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Pipwharauroa Trail Opens to the Public

2 August 2011

Pipwharauroa Trail Opens to the Public

On Saturday 27 August the much anticipated Pipiwharauroa Trail will open to the public. After an early morning opening ceremony, a group from the Raglan Mountain-biking Club will be the first to experience the 18 kilometre return track over privately-owned farmland on the Wharauroa Plateau.

At 430 metres above sea level, the trail winds over the Te Uku Wind Farm site which affords outstanding 360 degree views across the greater Waikato, to include Raglan, Kawhia and Aotea harbours, and on a clear day, Mt Taranaki.

Waikato District deputy mayor, Dynes Fulton will open the trail and is confident it will become a landmark Waikato district attraction.
“The trail offers a unique opportunity to experience the history of the site, unmatched views of the Waikato and a chance to get close to a number of the 137 metre high turbines in operation on the wind farm. It is an outstanding asset and we appreciate the generosity of the land-owners and Meridian Energy in making this possible.”

The name, Pipwharauroa Trail was decided after the public were given the opportunity to submit a name for the track to the Waikato Times. From the 54 entries received, the name was chosen by a panel represented by the land owners, Meridian Energy, Ngaati Maahanga and Waikato District Council.

The winning name was submitted by Brenda and Trevor George of Ohaupo, whose successful entry will be shown on a plaque to be installed at the site. The couple submitted the following wording to support their entry: Maaori used to travel this route to harvest pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo. They followed this trail in search of the bountiful supply of fresh food. The return of these birds from their winter migration indicated it was time to plant spring crops.

At the summit, a historic site treasured by local iwi, Ngaati Maahanga is known as Te Tiho o Tonganui. The site pays homage to three ancestors, Mahanga the eponymous ancestor and namesake of the tribe, Tonganui the warrior and Hone Waitere, the last Maaori owner of the Wharauroa block.

The formation of the Pipiwharauroa Trail over existing paper roads has been made possible with the co-operation and goodwill of the landowners. Cyclists and walkers are required to keep to the track which covers private farmland. The track crosses steep to rolling terrain and will take approximately four hours to walk or two hours to cycle return. Weather conditions are changeable and it is important hikers and cyclists prepare for potential changing weather conditions typical to this area.

The project is a joint initiative by Waikato District Council, Meridian Energy and landowners.

The trail will be open to the public from 9.00am on Saturday 27 August.


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