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e-newsletter : May 2008
project news > May 2008

Welcome to the Parkway Group's latest Newsletter, containing updates on the development of the Clutha River Trail ...

New 'Reko's Track' Popular
We are pleased to report that the new track to Reko's Point in the Upper Clutha 'Snake' has become very popular among walkers, fishermen and mountain-bikers. This track is the first operational section of the Albert Town to Luggate trail presently under development. 

A feature of this trail is the new Reko's Point Conservation Area, with its exceptional native and historic values. Reko was a Maori Chief who guided the first European, Nathaniel Chalmers, down the river in 1853. We are grateful to DoC for providing signage and fencing, and for controlling the wilding pines in this special part of the Upper Clutha Mata-Au corridor. The Clutha Fisheries Trust also deserve thanks for their contribution to public access via Shortcut Rd, Luggate.

Clutha River Trail Progress
At a recent Parkway Group Project Committee meeting in March, John Pawson, Chair of the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust, reported that good progress is being made on preliminary work for the contiguous track from Albert Town to Luggate, which is close to the tendering stage. Track construction is expected to take 6-8 months after tenders are called.

At the same meeting, Rod Peirce, Chair of the Roxburgh Lawrence Trail Working Party, also reported steady progress on preliminary work for the track from Roxburgh to Lawrence, which will follow the river to Beaumont.

We are still keen to hear from residents in the Beaumont and Tuapeka areas interested in developing the trail down the true left of the Rongahere Gorge between Beaumont and Tuapeka Mouth. We've done some preliminary route work on this section, which has outstanding natural values.

Luggate to the Maori Gorge
As reported earlier, the Parkway Group is currently focusing on the section of the Clutha River Trail from Luggate to Lake Dunstan, with construction initially to the Maori Gorge at Queensberry. 

We are in the process of sourcing funding, but have not yet received any good news. A number of funding applications are currently being processed. 

This next section of trail will provide an essential linkage into Central Otago, ultimately providing a link from the Te Araroa NZ Walkway (which is coming down the Hawea River) to the Central Otago Rail Trail. The onward linkage to the future Roxburgh Lawrence Trail will create an impressive trail network with considerable regional benefits.

Draft map of the Clutha River Trail.

Donations and Letters of Support
Since our previous Newsletter, we have received much appreciated donations from Morley and Glenda of Cromwell, and also from Robert Scholten and family from Victoria, Australia. Thank you! 

We welcome donations of any amount. We will acknowledge contributions via this Newsletter unless the donee asks to remain anonymous. This e-news reaches hundreds of supporters along the Clutha Mata-Au River and elsewhere. If you would like to donate, please contact us here.

Letters from the public supporting our work are also valuable, as copies of these are submitted with funding applications. They are highly regarded and really do assist us to secure project funding. If you'd like to help us in this way, simply write a letter supporting development of the Clutha River Trail and post it to: Chairperson, Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, P.O. Box 124, Wanaka 9343. We'd be delighted to hear from you.

Te Kakano All Go
Congratulations to the those behind the Te Kakano Trust community-based native plant nursery, which recently gained funding from the Sargood Bequest to begin work on a site generously gifted to the Trust by Jill and John Blennerhassett of Wanaka. Chair of the Trust, Nick Mills, says “it’s fantastic that we have received this funding which allows us to contract a nursery manager and commence building a community nursery in Wanaka”.

The Parkway Group aims to undertake Native Restoration projects along the Clutha River Trail, section by section, using local seed stock and involving community groups. We're therefore pleased to support the valuable work of the Te Kakano Trust.

Come to the Slideshow!
The Central Otago Users Forum (CORUF) is hosting a special presentation on the Clutha River next Wednesday evening at the Alexandra Hall, titled 'CLUTHA MATA-AU ~ OTAGO'S TREASURE'.

Lewis Verduyn, Chair of Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, will provide an update on the project and explain how it all started. He will show some rarely seen slides of rafting on the river, including a journey on a pioneer log-raft in 1981, and another raft journey in 1992 that encountered a Grade-6 rapid nick-named 'Terminator', formed prior to the flooding of the Cromwell Gorge.

This is a public presentation, so please come along if you are interested in the amazing Clutha Mata-Au ~ Otago's Treasure.

Date: Wednesday May 21
Location: Alexandra Hall
Time: 7.30pm for a 8pm start

Radio Central's Mike Bain will also be talking to Lewis on Wednesday May 21 in the morning at 9.30am.



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