On 11 December 1989, NZAC and DOC signed a management agreement after deciding there were mutual benefits in sharing responsibilities for the huts that the NZAC had built.
Since then, the iconic Aspiring Hut has become increasingly popular with walkers, mountain bikers and family groups, with more than 3,000 people overnighting there last summer season.
Further up the valley, the French Ridge hut is popular with climbers and trampers, while Colin Todd Hut on Tititea/Mt Aspiring remains a destination for climbers.
DOC and NZAC have met regularly each year over this period, building a strong and enduring relationship and ensuring the huts in the valley remain havens in the wilderness for the public and club members alike.
”When they originally signed in 1989, I’m not sure that those signatories could have expected the Agreement to be such an enduring success and such a wonderful example of what can be achieved with a partnership between the Government and a Club,” said NZAC President Lindsay Smith.
The establishment of the Agreement broke new ground, DOC’s Central Otago Operations Manager, Mike Tubbs said.
“Managing the huts on behalf of NZAC allows for revenue to be used for the maintenance of the valley’s hut network,” Mike Tubbs says.
“It is satisfying to see the original vision of the Agreement, to ensure that the huts and associated facilities are managed to be used and enjoyed by all, has been upheld.”