Work on new Overland Track Huts set to begin
Site works and construction of two new huts on the Overland Track at Lake Windermere and Kia Ora within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park will begin this month.
The project is part of the Australian and Tasmanian governments’ commitment to improve the standard and quality of older huts along the multi-day track, while protecting the environmental values of the area.
AJR Construct Pty Ltd, a Tasmanian building and construction company, has been awarded the contracts to build the huts and associated amenities at both sites concurrently.
The construction of the new huts along the famous Overland Track is part of the Australian Government’s $33.5 million support for heritage infrastructure projects under the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
The construction will have a range of benefits for the area which has long been a haven for hikers. The construction of three new huts will ultimately provide new accommodation options for walkers, create local jobs, and generate economic stimulus for local communities.
The Overland Track is one of Tasmania’s major tourism drawcards, attracting avid interstate and international hikers over the years, and the new huts will ensure the track continues to cater for hikers for many years to come.
The redevelopment of the visitor facilities at Windermere and Kia Ora overnight nodes has been made possible by $6.8 million in joint funding provided through the Tasmanian Government’s Improved State-wide Visitor Infrastructure program and the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
Once completed each hut will include 34 beds, along with new updated toilets and common areas, to improve the visitor experience of those undertaking Tasmania’s most iconic multi-day bushwalk.
The public huts will provide improved facilities and meet current building and environmental management standards. The existing ranger quarters will be retained, and the former hut and toilet sites will be rehabilitated and repurposed once the new huts are operational.
Tasmania is a must-visit destination for many walkers, with the Overland Track high on the list for many, and this desire to explore our irreplaceable wilderness has continued even through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important for our economy and walking destination reputation that we undertake projects like this to welcome visitors and Tasmanians alike, while protecting our natural assets for generations to come.
The project follows the successful completion of the Waterfall Valley Hut in 2020.
Hut construction is expected to begin later this year, with preliminary on-site work starting this month. The impact on walkers during construction will be minimal with the current huts remaining open for visitors to use.
It is anticipated that the huts will be complete by mid-2022.