Kapi-Mana News : April 2nd 2013
8 KAPI-MANA NEWS, APRIL 2, 2013 FEATURE 4573935AA Porirua City Laundrette Kilkerran Place, Porirua • Service or Self Service • Cold, warm, hot wash • Detergent included • Mink Blankets, Duvets • Sports Gear • Big washers and dryers • Ironing, pressing available • We accept eftpos • Off street parking • Commercial service: linen hire, pickup/ delivery, specialised wash programs Mon-Fri: 8am to 5.30pm Saturday: 9am to 4pm Sunday: 9am to 3pm www.kpclaundry.co.nz • firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 04 237 5010 New walkway offers cliff face views Happy trails: Celebrating the completion of the first section of the new escarpment track between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, from left, Te Araroa chief executive Rob Wakelin, Nga Uruora's Joe Clarkson, Te Araroa Wellington Trust members Penny Redward and Debby McColl, and chairman Bill Wakelin. Looking south: The view to Pukerua Bay from the lookout. Many steps: The track runs up to a point 220m high. By RANDALL WALKER A new walking track, offering some of the best views in the region, opened last week. The eight-kilometre Paekakariki Escarpment Track to Pukerua Bay is the latest improvement project to the Wel- lington section of the national pathway Te Araroa -- a 3054 kilometre trail stretching from Cape Reinga to Bluff. On March 28, the first half of the track, from the Paekakariki end, was opened to the public. The remaining section to Pukerua Bay has yet to be built, and will link up with newly constructed swing bridges. Until then it will be a there and back trail. Work started on the $1.4 million proj- ect in late 2011 and it is hoped the full section will be open by next summer, depending on funding. Te Araroa chief executive Rob Wakelin said there was about $370,000 to find. Starting from the rail overbridge at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Ames St, the 3.7km completed track runs up and along the side of the hill and drops to alongside railway lines. It rises to about 220 metres at its highest point. Kapi-Mana News took a guided tour of the completed section on March 21, with those involved in the project, including Mr Wakelin. With much of the track on a cliff face, the view is outstanding, looking out to sea and taking in Kapiti, Mana and the South islands, as well as a bird s eye view of the highway and railway. The track is built from rock on the hill- side, with a digger and trailer helicop- tered in to the inaccessible parts. While volunteer conservation group Nga Uruora had roamed the escarpment over the years, eradicating weeds, the tracks were new. Mr Wakelin said the feasibility study was done about four years ago. The government provided $400,000 in seed funding, with other big support from charitable trusts. Porirua and Kapiti councils had also supported the project. Two 30 metre to 40m swingbridges have been completed at the Pukerua Bay end, to span ravines, but link tracks are not built and they will remain inaccessible until the full track is completed. Te Araroa officially opened in Decem- ber 2011 and until now walkers between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay have had to negotiate their way along SH1. Mr Wakelin said with railway stations at either end of the full track, and the cafes in Paekakariki, he expects it to be popular with locals and tourists once completed. The whole concept of Te Araroa was wanting it to be a stimulus for the com- munities it passes through as well. He said multi-week hiking was foreign to most Kiwis, but big in United States and Europe. What you see along those trails, is the communities it passes through really buy into it. They set up accommodation and hos- pitality options, and in return they take ownership of maintaining the track. The feedback we get from inter- national people is that it s the variety that Te Araroa offers that really makes it unique and special. The new track takes in archaeological sites, including the Maori Paripari dwell- ing site. In future, signs would be installed showing this settlement and other historical points of interest, said Bill Wakelin, chairman of the Te Araroa Wellington Trust. He said the track started as a dream of a few trust members at the time, includ- ing former chairman Denis McLean, who died two years ago. Initially it was hoped they could get permission to have a walkway on farm- land but the farmers weren t keen, he said. After scoping work, a feasibility study was conducted, paid for by Porirua City Council. They backed it from the start. The lack of farmer support meant they had to build the 42-metre swing bridges across gullies. The bridges took about three months to build and were com- pleted about three weeks ago, by Levin s Edifice Contracts. The completed section of the new escarpment track takes about an hour to walk.
March 26th 2013
April 9th 2013