A total of 25 km of tracks will be improved – creating a mix of short walks, day walks and the foundation for a multi-day walking experience at Taranaki Maunga.
A key focus of this project is to provide the maunga component for the 'mountains to sea' experience that Taranaki’s economic development strategy Tapuae Roa is working to create. We want to enhance the visitor experience at Taranaki Maunga, while also limiting the impact of visitors to this beautiful location.
Project funding and costs
Funding for this project has come from the Provincial Growth Fund ($13.3 million), which was announced in September 2019, and followed a feasibility study.
Additional funding to support the project will be provided by the Taranaki Regional Council, DOC, the New Plymouth District Council and New Zealand Transport Agency.
Work on the project began on 25 February 2020, following a dawn blessing involving iwi, DOC and representatives of stakeholder organisations.
The project comprises three distinct workstreams and is scheduled for completion in 2023:
- An upgrade to 25 kilometres of tracks, including board walks, bridges, signage and rest stops at features
- An upgrade or replacement of the Pouakai Hut and improvements to toilets along the upgraded walks
- A new bridge across the Manganui Gorge.
The visitor experience
When the work is completed, the visitor experience on the mountain will reflect the relationship between DOC, mana whenua and the maunga itself.
The project will also strengthen connections to the maunga’s natural and cultural heritage, enhance biodiversity and provide opportunities for local people, including iwi, to express their kaitiatkitanga of the mountain by sharing their stories.
The Taranaki Crossing is expected to generate $3.70 million annually for the region’s economy by 2025.
Up to 30 short-term jobs will be created through work to upgrade tracks, carry out safety work and rebuild the Pouākai Hut. It’s expected there will be approximately 12 jobs directly created in the long term as a result of the Taranaki Crossing, with additional jobs created in support industries such as food and beverage and retail.