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CUP book

Huts: Untold stories from back-country New Zealand

20 November 2023

By Mark Pickering


(Out of print)

October 2010, reprinted 2016
384pp, Paperback
252 x 210mm, Full colour throughout
ISBN 978-1-877257-91-9

Huts is a celebration of the endurance of New Zealand's back-country huts and the men who built and lived in them. It is a fascinating look at the place of these iconic dwellings in New Zealand’s social and mountain history. 

Huts Untold stories from back-country New Zealand

There are over 1500 huts in New Zealand – an extraordinarily large number. Mark Pickering focuses on 15 historic huts, but many others besides are referred to. Most of the huts still do the job they were built for, whether it’s a pit-sawn deer cullers’ hut in Urewera National Park or a tiny skiers’ shack in the Craigieburn Range.

If huts could talk they could in fact tell the whole history of the back country.

Beautifully written, lavishly illustrated – this book is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts, trampers or anyone interested in New Zealand's early history.

'Tiny huts and their occupants in the shadows of grand New Zealand landscapes become astonishingly characterful as a result of Mark Pickering's research.' Press

Mark Pickering was born in England but took root in New Zealand, and has had a physical and emotional commitment to the hills honed over 30 years. He has explored many forgotten landscapes, holed up in solitary old musterers’ huts, and mulled over the left-over ruins of people who lived on and worked the lands long before he ever got there. The back country is an open-air book of history once you tune your eyes to the landscape. Twenty walking and tramping guidebooks later, Mark still finds himself looking at each place he visits with fresh eyes. He has made his living out of the mountains, and counts himself lucky that he never passed that bank manager’s exam. Mark lives in Christchurch with his partner, Rachel Barker, and their daughter Alexandra.

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