Renovations under way at deerstalkers’ lodge

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YVONNE O’HARA
yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

The News spotted Ray Webb and Al Kuzma, both of Dunedin, working hard at the Blue Mountains Lodge, owned by the Otago branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, near Beaumont, last Saturday.

The two men are renovating the lodge, which provides accommodation for 28 association members.

Mr Kuzma said they were putting in a dividing wall to split one of the bunkrooms in two, adding internal doors and installing a porch to protect against the weather.

Mr Webb said with the fallow deer roar starting, they expected the lodge to be fully booked.

The lodge was built about 30 years ago and uses old forestry and railway huts for bunkrooms.

It replaced a house on the site, the foundation pad of which can still be seen.

“It [the lodge] was built by branch members,” Mr Kuzma said.

More recently the branch had been given a grant from the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, which was put towards renovating the kitchen and living area.

Branch members hoped to eventually replace the old huts, which originally came from the New Zealand Forestry Service headquarters at Beaumont, but in the meantime they kept making improvements.