Three huts on the Whanganui Journey Great Walk have been closed after a "bedbug attack" was reported.
The Whakahoro and Tīeke Huts will be temporarily closed for treatment while the John Coull Hut will remain closed for the rest of the season.
Department of Conservation director of heritage and visitors Steve Taylor said a "highly precautionary approach" was being taken, with the huts being treated as if they have an infestation. They would be closed and fumigated immediately.
Bedbugs had not previously been reported in huts along the Whanganui River, but this week's single report was from a "credible source", Taylor said.
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"Consequently, we are treating this as an urgent matter and have responded immediately," he said.
The Great Walk season for the kayak journey ends in a week's time so the number of visitors affected would be limited.
Taylor said DoC had contacted everyone booked to use the huts through to the end of the season, as well as tour guiding companies, and advised them of the closures and treatment plans.
He said many people had indicated they would continue with their journey but may choose to camp instead. Others would get refunds.
Bedbugs were not a common issue in DoC huts, but infestations appeared from time to time and DoC tried to get on top of minor infestations before they became a bigger issue.
"Obviously, we want people to enjoy their experiences in the great outdoors, and part of doing that comes from knowing the facilities and services the department provides can be relied upon," Taylor said.
"Visitors to these fantastic DoC facilities can do their part by carefully cleaning their hiking gear between locations and by reporting any bedbug sightings or attacks promptly so we can deal with them as soon as possible."