Doc RouteburnRouteburn Doc
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Doctor Hüttenwart reporting for duties.
Supervisors react to vacancy ads every year in July and had a seven-day briefing in Glenorchy two week ago. Guardians come from all over the world and are between 20 and 50 years old. Guards oversee Routeburn Flats, Routeburn Falls, Dart, Shelter Rock, Daleys Flat, Greenstone, McKellar, Mid Caples and Upper Caples shelters.
Wakatipu staff are salaried, regular staff, seasonally employed, living in self-contained accommodation next to the cabin for which they are in charge, and working for two consecutive weekly periods until the end of April. "Every morning I get the Queenstown Regional Visitor Centre at 8.15am. It' like a supervisor meet on TV.
"The hitchhikers are waiting anxiously for the prediction on the white board at 8.30 a.m., but regardless of the bad wheather they have to run, because behind them is another group of 48 more. "After the departure of the night visitors, Mr. Dignan thoroughly clears the cabin, although the hitchhikers are supposed to be cleaning up behind them.
They sweep bunk beds, clean lavatories, take care of the cabin and carry out railway work if necessary. "From the Routeburn Flats to the Harris Saddle. It' s about an hours and a half on foot on either side of my cabin and on Harris Saddle there is a cabin with restrooms and I take care of it too.
" The guards were usually back in their cabins at 3 or 4 pm and would, if the environment required it, light the fire, much to the relieve of the hitchhikers, Mr Dignan said. We' re talking about the wheather, the road security and what awaits you the next morning on the route.
"About 12,000 overnight stays in the cabins on the Routeburn Track every year, an average of two overnight stays in four different cabins - Routeburn Falls, Routeburn Flats on the Wakatipu side of Harris Saddle and McKenzie and Howden Hat on the Te Anau side. - about a third of the Routeburn hitchhikers are New Zealanders.
- This section traverses 32 km of Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, between the top of Lake Wakatipu and State Highway 94, Te Anau-Milford Avenue.