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Boozer hut.


 

Boozer hut was named after a 1930s scheelite miner who was notoriously fond of his booze and was restored by DOC in 2011. It is a 10sq m one-room timber-framed dwelling, clad with sheet metal flattened from old steel drums, in the rugged 9400ha Whakaari Conservation Area, near Glenorchy.

The shack contains the bed, table, coal range and bric-a-brac left behind by the one or two long-gone miners, who used it sporadically while working their claims.

DOC capital works project manager Mr Struthers, who oversaw the restoration, said Boozer Hut had a "high level of historical interest", due to its days as a shelter for scheelite miners since the beginning of the last century.
"It's a museum piece, a snapshot of time and of how miners lived up there.
"It's available for day-time entry, but not for overnight accommodation."

Scheelite, an ore of tungsten, was used to harden steel and was extremely valuable to the Allied armaments industry during both world wars.

Mr Struthers said the hut was worth saving due to "It's historic heritage of early mining in New Zealand, in the same way our gold mining heritage is important.

"It's one of only two places scheelite was mined in New Zealand, so it represents a unique and intact history and is worth preserving."

The hut was built at the head of the Bonnie Jean Stream. But it had to be moved because the site was on a moving slip. The back of the dwelling was already stove in by a landslip, which had partially filled it with debris, and it was in danger of sliding into the creek.

How to get there.
From the car park on the Queenstown–Glenorchy Road, three kilometres before Glenorchy, an easy climb leads up onto the old Mt Judah Road which sidles around the northern side of Mt Judah. The track passes the remains of the Glenorchy Scheelite Battery and the State Mine, last operated in the 1960s. The Bonnie Jean Hut (day use only) is a half-hour climb up a marked track from the end of the old Mount Judah Road. Ten minutes before Bonnie Jean Hut, a short signposted track leads to The Boozer Hut.

 


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