3 Nov 2018

New DoC hut opens on Quail Island

1:38 pm on 3 November 2018

A new tourist attraction where visitors can stay overnight is opening up on Quail Island, near Lyttelton Harbour.

The Ōtamahua Hut

The Ōtamahua Hut Photo: Supplied

The Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, has officially launched the Ōtamahua Hut today.

It has been upgraded from a caretaker's cottage, to a 12 bunk tramping hut, with the aim of attracting Christchurch locals and children to stay the night.

Ms Sage said it was a worthwhile addition to the South Island area.

"Ōtamahua Hut is a fantastic new asset that will for the first time enable people to stay overnight on the island, just a 10-minute ferry ride from Lyttelton," she said.

Quail Island is pest free and is managed by the Department of Conservation.

The original cottage was built in about 1910 by prisoners from the Lyttelton Jail, and was used as a caretaker's house until the 1980s.

The island was used as a quarantine station for animals and people and was the site of New Zealand's only leprosy quarantine colony.

Remnants and replicas from the island's history can be seen from the walking tracks.

Hut bookings can be made through the DoC website from Monday.