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Kawatiri Coastal trail makes its way west
Kawatiri Coastal Trail builders are working their way west from Carters Beach to Cape Fowlwind and Tauranga Bay.
Their latest newsletter gives an informative and aspirational update on their 55km project.
The first 5km Pūwaha Section from Westport to Carters Beach opened late last year. The second Kawau section from Carter Beach to Cape Foulwind is due to open soon.
Riders and walkers have been making the most of the first part of Kawau from Carters Beach to Cape Foulwind. The 5km of flat terrain runs adjacent to the sandy beach and rises gently as it reaches the Cape Foulwind headland near Kawau Point. At low tide, the reefs located here were once important for kaimoana.
During the 1860s the miners' beach route to the Charleston gold rush would have been a hive of activity. Planning, designing and consenting of the next part of the Section is taking shape. In the meantime, the construction team have moved on to the Omau Section and are making amazing progress.
The commission has helped the Charleston-Westport Coastal Trail Trust develop agreements with landowners and the Buller District Council creating public easements that allow people to bike and walk along the trail. The agreements safeguard public access over the route. The commission has been working with the Charleston-Westport Coastal Trail Trust and offering advice since 2017. In 2018 and 2021 the commission granted funding to help pay the significant legal costs incurred with the project.
Meanwhile, Janet Bathgate has designed colourful and informative interpretation panels along the trail.
The panels connect trail users to their immediate environment, be it the special rocks under their feet, birds in the bush or fish in the creek. They help create a richer experience for those enjoying the trail. Even the speedsters are catered for with a considered colour palette that does not impose but looks like it has always been there. Those in a rush might even miss them - as it should be.