Wanaka Millennium Track News September 09

September 11th, 2009

Millennium Track Update 11 September 2009

Wanaka Millennium Track near Glendhu Bay

Wanaka Millennium Track near Glendhu Bay

Work is progressing well on stage 3 of the Millennium Track from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay. This is an Upper Clutha Tracks Trust project that is being funded and managed by Queenstown Lakes District Council with assistance from the Department of Conservation, and support of the adjoining landowners. This is another link in the Te Araroa long distance footpath.

Stage 3 runs from the small beach near the Mt Aspiring viewpoint on the road close to Glendu Bay,  and a new car park has been built at the start of the track.

A stile on the new part of the track

A stile on the new part of the track

This part of the track is virtually finished and is able to be used with care. The track is not yet a through route and finishes at Damper Bay from which you have to return the same way. The return walk takes about 3 hours. Part of the track crosses the Damper Bay Bluff and is quite high and exposed.

Safety Rail on an exposed part of the Wanaka Millennium Track

Safety Rail on an exposed part of the Wanaka Millennium Track

Stage 2 of the Wanaka Millennium Track will run from the current end of the track at Ironside Trig and join up with Stage 3 at Damper Bay. This section is being developed by Otago Regional Council and the contractors Fulton Hogan are currently building the track. It is expected to be opened before Christmas.

View of the route of stage 2 from Ironside Trig to Damper Bay

View of the route of stage 2 from Ironside Trig to Damper Bay

Stage 1 of the track is currently being upgraded and maintained on behalf of QLDC by contractor John Sutton. If you see him and his colleagues on the track, say hello and tell them what a good job they are doing removing the boggy sections. The track is also being re-routed near Slaughter Creek at the junction with the link track that connects to Mt Aspiring Rd and on to the Mt Roy track. The new route will improve the gradient and provide a better track surface.

The Wanaka Millennium Track Story

Stage 1 of the track from waterfall creek to Ironside Trig was originally developed by Ralph Warburton and was known as the Warburton Walkway. It was later upgraded and renamed the Wanaka Millennium Track by the Otago Regional Council.

The intention was to eventually extend the track to Glendhu Bay and Otago Regional Council commissioned a scoping report to detail the route and costs of the project. The idea was to split the remaining route into 2 parts with  stage 2 being from Ironside Trig to Damper Bay, and stage 3 being from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay near the Mt Aspiring viewpoint, on the road to glendhu Bay.

Damper Bay Bluff looking north

Damper Bay Bluff looking north

The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust was formed in October 2006 and one of the early projects considered was the Millennium Track extension. We  soon became aware that Otago Regional Council had set aside funds to build stage 2 to Damper Bay, and we were hopeful that the project would be started soon.

In May 2007 the Trust placed an ad in the Upper Clutha Messenger urging Upper Clutha Residents to make a submission on the Otago Regional Council  Annual Plan in support of allocating funding to build stage 3 of the track from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay.

The ad produced a great result and more than 150 submissions were sent in support of funding for stage 3 but sadly Otago Regional Council  were not prepared to allocate the required funds although they did assure us that work would commence on stage 2 in the near future.

Near Glendhu Bay

Near Glendhu Bay

At the time the Trust was mainly focused on the Hawea River Track, but with the assistance of DOC and Trish Wrigley and  Mark Symons, the Queenstown Lakes District Council Project Managers, the Trust and QLDC started planning how we could build stage 3 of the track.

In 2008, QLDC commited funds to the project and a route was marked and construction of the difficult section around the bluffs at Damper Bay was started in the summer. Unfortunately the contractor, John Sutton, was committed to other projects, and once the bluff section was completed,  had to leave the site to meet prior commitments.

Happily John and team have been back on site for the last few months and stage 3 of the track is virtually complete and can be used although it is still a dead end track.

Work has just commenced on stage 2 and this should be finished before Christmas. It will ten be possible to walk and cycle nearly all the way from Wanaka to Glendhu Bay.

The Trust is currently looking at the short and final section from the new car park to the Glendhu Bay camp ground and hope that this can be developed early next year.


Hawea River Track Official Opening 2nd August 09

August 14th, 2009

UCTT Trustees at the track opening

UCTT Trustees at the track opening - photo John Taylor

The Hawea River Track had its official opening ceremony on Sunday 2nd August. Although there was heavy rain in the morning, it cleared in time for the opening at 1pm and the Trust was very pleased that about 150 people came to join us in the celebrations.

Tim Dennis, the Trust chairman, paid tribute to John Pawson, the Trusts original chairman who sadly was killed in a climbing accident last November. It was John who persuaded the Trust to take on the challenge of the Hawea River Track as its first major project and although he didn’t see it opened, it was very close to completion at the time of the accident.

Hawea River Track Sign At Lake Hawea

Hawea River Track Sign At Lake Hawea

Mike Pullar of the Te Araroa – The Long Pathway Trust – spoke about the Te Araroa track running from Bluff to Cape Reinga and that the Hawea River Track was one of the “missing links” in Otago that has now been completed. He also said that when the Millennium Track is finished between Wanaka and Glendhu Bay, it will be possible to walk from Lake Hawea to Queenstown  in about 6 to 8 days. It will also be a beautiful cycle ride from Lake Hawea to Glendhu Bay.
View Hawea River Track in a larger map

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Clive Geddes in his speech stated that the the opening of the track was a “pretty clear statement to us all that they (UCTT) are going to deliver on the strategy they have put together”.

Meg Taylor, John Pawson’s widow, also gave a short speech before cutting a ribbon and declaring the track officially open.

Rush Hour at the Hawea River Track Bridge Opening

Rush Hour at the Hawea River Track Bridge Opening

The track was made possible by funding from

Central Lakes Trust

Otago Community Trust

Department Of Conservation Te Araroa Funds

New Zealand Transport Authority

Queenstown Lakes District Council

And with the support of

Te Araroa Trust

Contact Energy Ltd

Peter & Dawn Ward

Forest Range Ltd

Lakes Environmental Services Ltd


Tracks Trust News July 2009

July 7th, 2009

Hawea River Track – Official Opening – Sunday 2nd August

Hawea Bridge From Butterfield Reserve 9th July

Hawea Bridge From Butterfield Reserve 9th July

The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

is thrilled to announce the official opening of

The Hawea River Track

a fantastic project only made possible through the generous help and support of

Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Queenstown Lakes District Council,

Department of Conservation, Te Araroa Trust, NZTA, Lakes Environment Services Ltd

Peter & Dawn Ward, Forest Range Farms Ltd and many others,

so

please come and join us

to celebrate this already highly popular addition to our track network

1pm Sunday 2 August 2009

at the new Hawea River swingbridge

Vehicle access from the eastern side of the Albert Town bridge

Come prepared to walk or ride some of the track as a community celebration

Hawea River Track

Work continues on the Hawea Bridge as contractors Fulton Hogan prepare it for the official opening celebration on Sunday 2nd August. The bridge underwent  a “load test” on Thursday 9th July which is a crucial stage in preparing it for public use.  One of the ways the bridge was tested was by placing a large “balloon” on the centre of the bridge and pumping it full of river water – approximately 3 tonnes!

Hawea Bridge undergoing a Load Test 9th July 2009

Hawea Bridge undergoing a Load Test 9th July 2009

The bridge passed with flying colours and there are only a few finishing touches required.  These works should be completed by the end of next week (17th July).

The Trust hope that there will a good community turnout for the official opening to help us celebrate the completion of of our 1st major project.

The Hawea River Track was one of the “missing links” in the Te Araroa long distance track that will run from Cape Reinga To Bluff.  The Te Araroa Track is scheduled to open in 2010 and the Tracks Trust is very proud to be associated with the project and to be able to complete the missing link.

Millennium Track

The Millennium Track is being extended from Ironside Trig to Glendhu Bay in 2 stages.

Stage 2

This is the section from Ironside Trig to Damper Bay and is being funded and managed by Otago Regional Council. The tender for this work was advertised a few months ago, and the Trust has been advised that subject to some further information being received, Otago Regional Council hope to let the contract in the next couple of weeks. It is anticipated that this section will be finished in early summer.

Stage 3

This is the section between Damper Bay and Glendhu Bay, and is being funded and managed by QLDC with assistance and support from the Tracks Trust and Department of Conservation. From a construction point of view, the hardest part of this track around the Bluffs at Damper Bay has already been completed and the rest of the track is currently under construction. It is hoped that this will be finished by early summer.

Track Under Construction At Damper Bay Bluffs

Track Under Construction At Damper Bay Bluffs

These two stages are also “missing links”  in the Te Araroa Project, and again the Tracks Trust is proud to be able to be a part of the national project.

Albert Town to Luggate Track

This will run from Albert Town to Luggate on the true right of the Clutha River and cross the Cardrona River on a new bridge a few hundred metres upstream from the confluence of the Cardrona and Clutha Rivers.  The bridge plans are completed and all the resource consents are in place. The project is being managed on behalf of the Tracks Trust by the Department of Conservation, and the tender to construct the bridge should be advertised later this month.

The challenging part of the track to build is just downstream from Albert Town at the Haliday Bluffs, but a track line has been identified through this terrain and continues close to the river until an easier route is available on the river terrace upstream from Stevenson’s Rd.

Hard track construction work ahead at Haliday Bluff Albert Town

Hard track construction work ahead at Haliday Bluff Albert Town

The route from Stevensons Road to Short Cut Rd was marked with warratahs and signposted by DOC about 18 months ago and passes the Reko’s Point historic gold workings.  This section will be upgraded later as part of the project.

Track from Stevensons Rd To Reko's Point

Track from Stevensons Rd To Reko's Point

Carparks at Albert Town and near the Red Bridge have already been created for the track.

New carpark at Albert Town

New car park at Albert Town

New car park Shortcut Rd Luggate

New car park Shortcut Rd Luggate

Clutha River near Shortcut Rd

Clutha River near Shortcut Rd

NEW TRACK IDEAS

The Trust is always looking for suggestions for new tracks from the public. If you have any ideas or suggestions please contact Tim Dennis on

Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

03 443 5733 (evenings only)

PO Box 713, Wanaka

tim@southernlandckl.co.nz

Support Us

We are a Registered Charitable Trust (1898188) and are registered with the new Charities Commission (CC38956).  We welcome financial donations or donations of skills and services to assist us develop new walking and cycling tracks.


Tracks Trust News June 2009

June 22nd, 2009

The Trust has been busy for the last 3 years working on several projects.

Working together with QLDC, DOC, Te Araroa Trust, Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, adjoining landowners and with additional funding from Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust and NZTA, and the Wanaka Walkers the Trust has achieved the following

Albert Town to Lake Hawea Track (part of the Te Araroa long distance Track)

Heading towards Lake Hawea

Heading towards Lake Hawea

The first part of this track south from the bridge at Camphill Rd to the bridge site near Albert Town has been completed and opened. Although this is currently a dead end track, it is a very popular walk/cycle ride already.

The rest of the track from Lake Hawea to Camphill road has been completed and the bridge over the Hawea River at Albert Town is expected to be finished by the end of July.

Hawea bridge under construction 23rd June 2009

Hawea bridge under construction 23rd June 2009

An official opening of the track is being organised and details will be posted shortly.

Albert Town to Luggate Track (part of the Clutha Mata-Au long distance track)

The first part of this track from Stevensons Rd to Short Cut Rd near the Red Bridge, has been opened as a simple poled track. This is also gives access to the old mine workings at Reko’s Point.

A bridge design to cross the Cardrona River has been prepared and will be put out to tender shortly.

Planning and track line ideas for the Haliday Bluff section have been investigated and work is expected to commence on the remaining section in the next few months.

Millennium Track (part of the Te Araroa long distance Track)

Millennium track extension under construction near Glendhu Bay

Millennium track extension under construction near Glendhu Bay

Work has started on the final stage of the track from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay and this section should be completed by late winter. The link between Ironside Trig and Damper Bay has been committed to by Otago Regional Council, and the Trust is encouraging them to get this section completed as soon as possible.  A tender for the works has been advertised and bids received.

Millennium track extension under construction near Damper Bay

Millennium track extension under construction near Damper Bay

You can support this project by lobbying your ORC Councillors to finish the track.

Duncan Butcher  dunmore7@xtra.co.nz

Gerrard Eckhoff   mtbenger@nettel.net.nz

Millennium/Mt Roy Link

This short track links the Millennium Track to Mt Aspiring Rd approx 300m from the start of the Mt Roy Track. This means that it is possible to walk from the centre of Wanaka to The top of Mt Roy and only have to use a road for 300m. It also allows easier access to the lakeshore between Waterfall Creek and Glendhu Bay

Albert Town to Dublin Bay

A route along the true left of the Clutha River from the Albert Town Campground to Dublin Bay has been marked and signposted, using existing 4 wheel drive tracks. The Trust is investigating the idea of a new purpose built track that will run closer to the river

NEW TRACK IDEAS

The Trust is always looking for suggestions for new tracks from the public. If you have any ideas or suggestions please contact Tim Dennis on

Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

03 443 5733 (evenings only)

PO Box 713, Wanaka

tim@southernlandckl.co.nz

Support Us

We are a Registered Charitable Trust (1898188) and are registered with the new Charities Commission (CC38956).  We welcome financial donations or donations of skills and services to assist us develop new walking and cycling tracks.