The Backcountry Trust funds and supports volunteers to maintain huts and build tracks for outdoor enthusiasts including trampers, deerstalkers and mountain bikers.
The Trust was established in 2017. Prior to that the Outdoor Recreation Consortium – a partnership between the NZ Deerstalkers Association, Trail Fund NZ and Federated Mountain Clubs – operated successfully from 2014-17. The three organisations set up and provide ongoing support to the independent Backcountry Trust. Two trustees from each of the three organisations comprise the Board.
The Trust is in partnership with, and primarily funded by, the Department of Conservation (DOC). With the support of DOC through the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund and the huge effort of hundreds of volunteers around the country, the Backcountry Trust and Outdoor Recreation Consortium have so far funded the restoration of 80 huts and 700 km of walking and mountain bike tracks.
Many local volunteer groups and clubs have a rich history caring for our backcountry recreation network. The Backcountry Trust aims to provide a secure funding source that will allow them to continue this valuable work into the future.
The Trust website is jam-packed with inspiration, advice and resources for anyone interested in contributing to the maintenance of New Zealand’s backcountry infrastructure. Advice on building techniques, grant applications, agreements with DOC, Health and Safety legislation and more!