Adventurer dies tackling dream

Mapua adventurer in fatal West Coast fall

Last updated 08:57 04/03/2014
David Hutton
ENTHUSIASTIC: David "Dave" Hutton, 72, loved adventurous activities.

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Tramping along an isolated patch of the West Coast's "wild and often windswept" coastline was on Dave Hutton's bucket list.

The 72-year-old outdoor enthusiast fell to his death while tackling the tramp at the weekend.

His body was found on a remote West Coast beach on Sunday.

Hutton was an adventurer.

He was a paraglider, a deep sea diver, a painter, a traveller, a sailor, a tramper and a "staunch conservationist", his stepson Cameron Trott, 38, told The Press.

"Dave died doing what he loved and doing what people expected of him. He will be missed by many," Trott said.

He ran the Mapua Leisure Park with his wife, Kathy, for about two decades.

Hutton's death would be a shock to the seaside community as "everyone knows Dave in Mapua", Trott said.

The couple sold the park in 2002 and built a house for their retirement in Ruby Bay, near Nelson.

Hutton was last seen on Thursday, when he set off intending to tramp from Kahurangi Point to Karamea.

His family believe he slipped while attempting to navigate the rocky coastline on Friday.

His body was found by two trampers near the mouth of the Kahurangi River on Sunday morning.

The Kahurangi Point Route is a three to four hour unmarked track along a "wild and often windswept coastline in a vast isolated landscape", according to the Department of Conservation.

"He knew how risky it was and he knew it was going to be a hard trip, but it had been on his mind for a couple of years, it was on his bucket list, and he just decided it was time to give it a go," Trott said.

Hutton was an "old-school hard worker" who had a great passion for New Zealand's wilderness and natural parks.

He loved the sea, the mountains, the landscape and "everything New Zealand offered".

At 72, Hutton had his fair share of adventure, from sailing his catamaran around the Pacific to exploring New Zealand's wilderness, and spending three months painting in Indonesia.

He had experienced "a couple of near misses", including sinking a yacht while sailing to Australia and badly breaking his leg in a paragliding accident.

"He really was an adventurer and he was always taking life to the full."

Hutton was born in England and left at 16 to travel the seas.

He moved to New Zealand in the 1960s and had two sons, Andrew and Michael, with his first wife.

Hutton remarried Kathy Trott and became a much-loved stepfather to Cameron Trott and Bridget Wild.

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His funeral will be held at the Mapua Leisure Park on Friday.

- The Press


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