Located within the Balmoral Fire Lookout Conservation area in the Canterbury region. Planting at Balmoral Forest began in 1917 and by 1931 most of the forest area had been planted. At the time wild fires were common and quickly became seen as a threat to plantation forests, which resulted in the building of fire lookouts in State Forests from 1921/22. Balmoral was gazetted as a permanent state forest in 1940 and this coincides with the building of the fire lookout. The Lookout was used by the New Zealand Forest Service until a replacement lookout was built in 1978/79 at Green Hill, approximately 13 km northwest of the Balmoral lookout. Only four of the 12 lookout towers and buildings constructed in Canterbury since 1922 remain, and of these the Balmoral Lookout is the only wooden building. It has recently been tidied up and freshly painted thanks to the efforts of the Hawarden/Waikari Lions Club.

Balmoral Fire Lookout Hut

Photograph supplied by Shaun Barnett.

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john reid hut

Staying in a hut

DOC manages a network of over 950 huts of all shapes and sizes. They provide unique places to stay, refuge from bad weather, or rest and recover when you're out exploring the outdoors. Find out more about bookable huts.

Learn more

South Island

Top Crooked Hut

Located in Ahaura River and Lake Brunner catchments area in the West Coast region.

Starveall Hut

Located in Mount Richmond Forest Park in the Nelson/Tasman region.

John Reid

Located in Kahurangi National Park in the Nelson/Tasman region.