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New hut welcomes walkers on the Overland Track


Tasmanians walking the Overland Track this summer will be able to enjoy the comfort of a new environmentally efficient hut at Windy Ridge, the Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, announced today.

Ms O'Byrne said the new hut had been named the Bert Nichols Hut in recognition of the former hunter and Overland Track guide.

"The design of the hut has doubles the current capacity of the previous hut to sleep 24 walkers.

"Innovative design elements include a separate space for drying clothing and gear, communal space that is separate from sleeping quarters and increased capacity for emergency accommodation.

"The fully insulated hut also features double-glazed windows and there is ample natural light to save on energy needs.

"The project included a new separate staff hut providing accommodation for Parks and Wildlife Service track workers and track rangers."

Ms O'Byrne said track rangers would carry out maintenance of huts, toilets and the track this summer, while volunteers at Waterfall Valley and Narcissus would act as hut wardens and provide information.

"Windy Ridge is one of six overnight nodes on the track for public walkers and the Bert Nichols Hut is 11 km north of the northern end of Lake St Clair (Narcissus).

"The Overland Track is internationally recognised as one of the world's great bushwalks and this new hut will help to ensure it retains that reputation."

Ms O'Byrne said with the summer season officially beginning on the track on 1 November, she urged those intending to do the walk this summer to book as soon as possible.

"About 2800 people have already secured their walk through the booking system since bookings opened for the summer season on 1 July.

"Demand has been particularly strong for the Christmas break, with the period from 21 December to 20 January fully booked out."

Ms O'Byrne said the booking system allowed for 34 independent walkers and two groups of 13 to leave Cradle Mountain each day between 1 November and 30 April.