Antarctic tractors reach Mt Cook for Hillary fundraiser

Tractor driver Al Fratsier at the finish line
Tractor driver Al Fratsier at the finish line

Two Antarctic tractors have reached Mt Cook after a month on the road to fundraise for the restoration of Sir Edmund Hillary's hut in Antartica.

It marks the end of a 2012km journey, the same distance Sir Ed drove from Scott Base to the South Pole nearly 60 years ago in 1957.

Huskies were at hand to bring in the expedition, which set off from Piha 28 days ago. The tractors are the same Massey Ferguson model Sir Ed used for his trip.

The group is trying to raise $1 million to preserve Sir Ed's Hut, the first building set up at Scott Base. It's now languishing - the roof leaking, asbestos in the walls.

They've raised $700,000 so far, most from corporate backers and grants, with $99,000 coming from donations, Givealittle and events along the way.

The fundraising drive needs a $5 note - which carries the image of Sir Ed - from 60,000 New Zealanders to meet the goal.  

Or as Sir Ed would say, it needs one last push to knock the bastard off.