Prime Minister Helen Clark and Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick will tomorrow open a 15 kilometre section of track in Horowhenua which will form part of the national public walkway connecting Cape Reinga and Bluff.
The Prime Minister and Conservation Minister will walk a section of the track, and unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the section of Te Araroa (The Long Pathway).
“The opening of this track from Mangahao to Makahika is a significant milestone in our vision to create the national walkway,” Helen Clark said.
“This is the first newly developed section of the national walkway to be opened following the Labour-led Government’s $3.8 million commitment to the Te Araroa national project in Budget 2007. This section of the walkway cost $44,000.
“This project is about encouraging all New Zealanders to be physically active and providing greater access to our unique natural environment by linking communities the length of the country,” Helen Clark said.
“I’m delighted to be able to experience this wonderful new track and I urge others to get out and enjoy it.”
Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said the track’s completion is the result of close collaboration and hard work by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and volunteers from Te Araroa Manawatu Trust.
“The track runs through the spectacular foothills of the Tararua ranges, passing large rimu trees, crossing streams, and following a former tramline route from early native timber logging.
“It is just a 20 minute drive from Levin, and offers lookout points over the Horowhenua plains and the Makahika Valley,” Steve Chadwick said.
The Manawatu/Horowhenua section of Te Araroa covers approximately 100 kilometres, including these newly developed sections and existing walkways. The walkway will pass through forest, countryside and towns offering relaxing day walks or more challenging tramps.