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High country parks network another step closer

High country parks network another step closer

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Hawea - Biker on Lake Hawea Track - Photo John Robinson

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Hawea - Hunter River looking downstream to Corner Peak

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Hawea - View of Lake Hawea from Hawea Conservation Park

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

12 September 2008 Media Statement
High country parks network another step closer

The creation of Hawea Conservation Park in Otago brings the development of a network of high country parks in the South Island another step closer, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“Hawea is the ninth high country park created since 2000. These parks offer amazing new recreational opportunities to the public, while protecting their special natural and historic heritage. Land that was mostly occupied by pastoral leaseholders is now public conservation land open for all to enjoy,” Steve Chadwick said.

“This week is Conservation Week and we are reminding New Zealanders about this very special place we call home – we believe in enhancing opportunities for everyone to experience our spectacular natural heritage, and this park gives the public more options to do just that.”

Hawea Conservation Park, at 105,000 hectares, is the largest conservation park in the network so far. It is located between Mount Aspiring National Park and Ahuriri Conservation Park, and covers the big catchments feeding into Lake Hawea.

“Hawea Park is home to many threatened birds, including kea, rock wren, falcon, black fronted tern, wrybill, kaka and mohua, as well as the threatened reptile the jewelled gecko, and special plant species including the Pittosporum patulum, the red flowering mistletoe, the tree daisy Olearia lineata and coral broom.

“Conservation parks can accommodate a wider range of activities than national parks, and this park offers both impressive landscapes and a wide range of recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, skiing, climbing and mountain biking.

“I am thrilled to introduce this new park to New Zealanders for their appreciation and enjoyment.”

An opening of the Park is planned for October.

Background information attached


Background information about Hawea Conservation Park

How was the park formed?
The park comprises new conservation land from the tenure review process together with already existing conservation land, and several areas of unallocated Crown land. The tenure reviews were for the Makarora, Ben Avon, Longslip and Dingleburn pastoral leases.

An area of the former Birchwood Station located in the upper Dingleburn and acquired by the Nature Heritage Fund has also been included in the park.

Park formation followed the process laid down in the Conservation Act 1987, including public notification, a discussion paper, a call for submissions and a decision by the Minister.

What’s special about the park?
In addition to its varied and threatened indigenous flora and fauna, the park has spectacular landforms including the broken, craggy tops of the McKerrow Range and the high, glaciated peaks of Barth, Huxley, Strauchon and Brewster. The park straddles the transitional zone from the glaciers of Mount Aspiring National Park to the dry grassland of the Lindis country.

What facilities are there?
There are tramping huts in, or just beyond, the park and a new camping area (Turihuka) has been secured at the mouth of the Dingleburn. Existing camping areas at Kidds Bush and Boundary Creek are also close to the park.

A new walking and mountainbike track has been built along the eastern side of Lake Hawea. Tramping access has been secured up the Dingleburn and Timaru River and over into the Ahuriri.

How do the public access the park?
The most direct access by road is from the settlement of Hawea to a DOC carpark north of the Timaru River on the eastern shore of Lake Hawea. Foot and mountainbike access then leads into the Dingleburn and the Hunter.

Tramping access is off SH6 at several points, and over the saddle with the Ahuriri at the head of the Dingleburn. There is foot and mountainbike access to the park from the lower Ahuriri via the Avon Burn.


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