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Iconic Roaring Meg track re-opened to walkers
A farming family that allowed people to access the Queenstown Lakes region’s iconic Roaring Meg Pack Track up until the end of last year has announced it has re-opened public access to the track in time for the summer holidays.
The track, which passes through the McLean family’s working farm, has been closed since December 2015 after frustrations with the behaviour of some users.
New Zealand Walking Access Commission Queenstown Lakes and Southland regional field advisor Ange van der Laan said the re-opening of the track to the public was a sign of goodwill from landholders Anne Nielsen, husband Dave McLean, and the family.
“The Commission is working closely with the McLeans to secure free, enduring and practical access through Lowburn Valley Station. In the meantime, we are delighted that the family has re-opened the Roaring Meg Pack Track to walkers in time for the summer holidays.”
Ms van der Laan said the closure never sat well with the family as they were keen walkers and bikers themselves.
The McLeans had been working with the New Zealand Walking Access Commission behind the scenes since December 2015 to find ways to manage and formalise access in the future, including through the installation of clear signage illustrating the requirements of access.
While these discussions continue, the family asks the public to respect that, at this stage, it will allow only walkers and trampers to use the track, although possible ways to manage other forms of access may be considered in the future.
The family requests walkers follow instructions included on new signage installed at the track entrance, as the track crosses their working farm.
The Roaring Meg Pack Track follows the Pisa Range and links the Cardrona Valley with the Kawarau Gorge. It features magnificent views and was historically used by local iwi before the arrival of European settlers. Unformed legal road roughly aligns with the formed track in places but not in others.
Pictured: New Zealand Walking Access Commission regional field advisor Ange van der Laan (left) with Mitten McLean (with baby Jasper) and Anne Nielsen on Lowburn Valley Station.