A Wes Anderson-Inspired Short Doco About a Hut Warden in New Zealand

Saturday December 16, 2017 Written by garry

We didn't know this, but it turns out that New Zealand's famous wilderness hikes are supported by a 950-strong system of huts. Most of them, run by the Department of Conservation, operate on an honesty system, but the busier ones are managed by dedicated hut wardens who maintain the buildings and local environment, and look after visiting hikers. Sounds like a pretty idyllic job, right? Enter: Tanya Rinehart, a Colorado native and the resident warden of Mid-Caples Hut on New Zealand’s South Island. Unless you've hiked and sheltered there, you probably won't know Tanya Rinehart. But in this quirky, humourous doco you'll meet her... and we challenge you not to find her passion and zest completely contagious.

Far from being a sappy or overly earnest doco though, there's something Taika Waititi and Wes Anderson-inspired about this Whitney Oliver film – with its centre-framed poses, crash zooms, bold title cards and offbeat brand of humour. It’s a surprising and utterly fitting approach to capturing such a unique personality living in such an isolated and dramatic part of the world. Follow her as she chuckles her way through emptying giant rat traps, clearing tracks, and sharing her eco knowledge with guests. If this doesn't make you want to pack in your office job and run into the wilderness all-Christopher McCandless, it might at the very least have you booking a holiday there.