If you want to get outside this summer and explore Wellington’s wild places then consider visiting the miniature huts created for the public art project Miniature Hikes.
This series of public sculptures are hidden in some of Wellington’s most scenic spots including Red Rocks, Matiu Somes Island and Mt Albert. Local artists Kemi Whitwell and Niko Leyden of Kemi Niko & Co. have created the huts from recycled materials. They range in size from smaller than a soft drink can to almost large enough to sit in and each one is less than half an hours walk from a road end. The aim of Miniature Hikes is to ‘celebrate the honesty and comfort of the New Zealand backcountry’ and connect people to the outdoors and each other.
You also have the opportunity to contribute to the project by filling in the hut logbooks with your thoughts, wishes, drawings and observations or by posting photos on their website. These will be compiled into a book when the project finishes in March.
Location maps and descriptions of how to find the huts and their logbooks are available from Kemi Niko & Co.’s website. Photographs of the huts are currently featured in the Courtney Place light boxes.
I visited all the huts, except the one on Matiu Somes Island, in one day. However, I suggest taking your time, reading the logbooks and enjoying the scenery at, and on the way, to each location. Each hut is unique but if I had to pick my favourites they would have to be Mount Cook’s Aoraki Biv, for its special features including water tank and intentions book, and Robin Hut at Red Rocks for its wild location that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Wellington city.