Date: 14 August 2009
Feedback is sought from the public and outdoor recreation groups on a proposal to extend the Te Araroa trail through the western side of the Tararua Forest Park, including the currently untracked Oriwa ridge.
Te Araroa, The Long Pathway, aims to be a continuous 3000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff connecting various settlements, towns and cities en route.
The Department of Conservation is supporting the Te Araroa Trust with sections of the trail traversing DOC-managed land. Recently completed sections in the Tararua foothills - Burtton’s and Mangahao-Makahika Tracks - were constructed with the Te Araroa Manawatu Trust.
The Te Araroa Wellington Trust proposes to continue the track from Poads Road in Levin through to Otaki Forks, linking Waiopehu Hut with Waitewaewae Hut via Oriwa Ridge. Part of this area is currently designated as the Otaki Remote Experience Area - an area with minimal facilities which is suitable for more experienced recreational users. The ridge is used by trampers as a through trip, requiring navigational skills and a degree of self sufficiency.
DOC, which manages the park, is seeking the views of park users and the wider public before it makes a decision on the proposal.
“While parts of the proposed track will follow existing track networks, a new tramping track would be required along the Oriwa Ridge, a distance of approximately 15km,” Kapiti Area manager Ian Cooksley said.
“Because this would involve putting a track through an area designated to have minimal facilities, we want to hear the views of park users and the general public before making any decisions.”
Submissions close on 18 September 2009.