Popular Hawke's Bay tramping destination Sunrise Hut has reopened after three months of repairs.
Located in the mid-eastern Ruahine Forest Park, Sunrise Hut was built in 1983 by the New Zealand Forestry Service and is a popular alpine bolthole for day trippers and weekend visitors.
Both the hut and Sunrise Track reopened on Thursday following renovations and improvements carried out by the Department of Conservation (DoC) and volunteers.
The hut was painted, while work on the track has reinstated eroded tracks, improved the surface and reduced the chance of standing water with measures like 16 new culverts and 369 metres of side drains.
Plans are also underway to repaint the roof of the hut, which is situated in a tussock basin beside the bush edge at 1280m.
DoC Manawatū supervisor Shaun Ruddle said the hut is the most popular in the park, with 3344 visitors counted between January and December last year and 1023 beds booked between October 2019 and April 2020.
Ruddle said the hut and track are subject to the demands of the weather and impacts of ongoing use.
"It's important for us to ensure these much-loved facilities are in great condition for the local community and others to enjoy for years to come," he said.
"The main visitors are families, schools and first-time recreation users looking to challenge their skills or fitness. Hunters also use the track to access more remote areas of the Ruahine forest park."
The recent work follows an upgrade made to the hut's interior last winter, which created jobs for six people over May and June 2020.
Ruddle said last year's improvements included a new fireplace, heat transfer system and refurbished interior painting.
"The track improvements will allow visitors to focus on the sights and sounds while accessing this great part of the country."