Hawea River Track Official Opening 2nd August 09

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