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Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Discovery Area Opens

13 December 2004

Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Discovery Area Opens

On Saturday 11 December 2004 the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary’s Discovery Area was officially opened to Sanctuary visitors by Kerry Prendergast, Mayor of Wellington.

The site of the Discovery Area was the original upper dam construction camp. The upper dam was constructed from 1906 to 1908 and was a major engineering accomplishment at that time. In 1979 the reverse-arch gravity dam was declared unsafe due to its situation on the Wellington Fault and it was finally decommissioned in 1992.

Visitors to the Discovery Area can explore new tracks, artefacts and remnants from the original construction and interpretative signage will be completed in the next few weeks.

The Discovery Area has been developed by the Sanctuary in conjunction with ten Rotary clubs in Wellington – to commemorate their centenary, which takes place in February 2005. The three stage project has now reached near completion of the first two stages. Stage three involves the re-construction of a dam cableway tower including a lookout which will be completed in mid-2005.

”The Discovery Area reinforces the Sanctuary’s educational, conservational and recreational benefits. It is a fantastic area for both young and old to explore. We are very grateful to Rotary for the work they have done with fundraising for the development of this new area within the Sanctuary” says Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Marketing Manager, Rachael Dippie.

Rotary’s association with Karori Wildlife Sanctuary goes back to 1999 when the Rotary Club of Karori initiated a fence post appeal – where the naming rights to posts on the newly built predator-proof fence were sold for $100 each. This initiative, which was supported by Rotarians throughout the District, members of the Sanctuary and the general public, raised over $300,000 for the Sanctuary.

The ten Combined Rotary Club’s of Wellington involved in the Discovery Area development are the Rotary Club’s of: Courtenay Place, Johnsonville, Karori, Mount Victoria, Port Nicholson, Wellington, Wellington Central, Wellington Harbour City, Wellington South and Wellington North. For more information please contact:


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