The new Arthur’s Pass Walking Track will be officially opened this Saturday (15 March 2014) as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the first European discovery of Arthur’s Pass.
“The Arthur’s Pass Walking Track follows some of the route that Māori and European travellers took to climb over the Pass and links Arthur’s Pass village and the top of Arthur’s Pass itself,” says Department of Conservation Partnerships Ranger Chris Stewart.
Family on the Arthur's Pass Walking Track
“It showcases the best of Arthur’s Pass with diverse vegetation, waterfalls, wetlands and rich history interspersed with stunning views of the mountains.”
The opening will be carried out by a direct descendant of Arthur Dudley Dobson following speeches by Sir Tipene O’Regan, Selwyn MP and Environment Minister Hon Amy Adams, Selwyn District Mayor Kelvin Coe, Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, Westland District Mayor Mike Havill and DOC Director-General Lou Sanson.
The opening will take place at 11 am in the Punchbowl car park followed by a free guided walk of the track at 11.30 am.
Other events in the three-day celebrations (14-16 March 2014) include kiwi listening at Punchbowl Bridge and guided historic walks.
“The celebrations recognise the importance of the discovery of the route through the mountains by Māori and European explorers,” says Chris Stewart.
“In particular they focus on the development of the road over the last 150 years from a stage coach and pack track to a fully fledged highway.”