A flushing loo is hoped to entice new trampers into the bush

The country's newest Department of Conservation hut has been officially opened. The first overnight stayers have bagged their bunks.. without even breaking a sweat.

The Watson family are the first to bunk down in the new hut on Quail island in Lyttelton harbour, is just short trip from Christchurch.

"It's a fantastic way to break our young kids into what is a great New Zealand story," said Simon Waston.

Since the arrival of Europeans, the island's been a working farm, and a quarantine station - where Antarctic explorers Scott and Shackleton housed their huskies and horses.

In the early 1900's it was a leper colony, where people suffering from the highly-contagious disease were isolated.

It was also home to pests and predators but now they're all gone.

Over the years, the Quail Island restoration trust's planted ninety-five thousand native plants.

"The island's looking really good and now's the time to share it with the rest of the people of Canterbury," said Ian McLennan, chair of the Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust.

DOC hopes this heritage hut, just half an hour from Christchurch will tempt a new generation of trampers.

Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation said "it's a chance for a lot of children to actually enjoy maybe their first night in a hut, being on an island and there are only two islands on the Canty coast so this is really special."

Tonight, eight people will spend the night bunked down with Lyttelton's lights as the backdrop.

There are twelve beds in the hut and despite little publicity the bookings are filling up.

The lodging has a log burner and a flush toilet – modern features that will hopefully convince some new trampers to make the journey.

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    A cosy fire and modern facilities are hoped to attract a new generation of tampers. Source: 1 NEWS