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New section of track in the Atiwhakatu Valley

30 January 2008

New section of track opened for visitors in the Atiwhakatu Valley

A section of the popular Atiwhakatu track at Holdsworth in the Wairarapa has been reconstructed, making it easier and more enjoyable for day walkers and people heading into the Tararuas for a tramp to the summit.

The new part of the track, which includes a 174-metre boardwalk, is about 20 minutes walk from the road-end past Donnelly’s Flat. It gently heads uphill above the stream towards the Atiwhakatu Hut for a day trip or for the more adventurous towards Jumbo Hut.

The Department of Conservation upgraded the track to give visitors better access beyond a problematical area of erosion that has been a hazard for visitors said visitor assets ranger Alistair Smith, who has been managing the project since last winter when the preparation began.

“A lot of work needed to be done on the path to allow vehicles transporting gravel for the new path, so we engaged community work groups to help us with this and then they carried in the decking timber in for the boardwalk” said Alistair Smith. “They helped dig trenches and laid the ground work for DOC to have a suitable path for all levels of fitness.”

Wairarapa-based contractors Amalgamated Helicopters, Chris Tait building contractor, O’Connor Contracting and Eketahuna Farm Services transported materials, erected retaining walls and the boardwalk, and compacted gravel.

The new track makes the walk a more pleasurable experience,” Alistair said.

“Previously people had to navigate the slip, occasionally having to climb on their hands and knees Now they can walk amongst the spectacular forest and navigate over the swampy ground easily.”

Information about the Mt Holdsworth area can be found on the DOC website: parks and recreation>places to visit>wellington>wairarapa>holdsworth>www.doc.govt.nz>parks and recreation>places to visit>wellington>wairarapa>holdsworth


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