Wairere Traverse opens

Walkers now have access to a stunning new 11km track over Maungatautari mountain, in the heart of the Waikato.

Hundreds of people, including many volunteers, took part in the completion of the Wairere Traverse. The track is something of a construction and engineering feat: it includes five bridges and 197 culverts. The work was labour intensive, with workers on the track mixing 550 25kg bags of ready mix by hand.

Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust funding and grants administrator Kerryn Dunlop said the project had relied on the support of funders, including the New Zealand Walking Access Commission, which in 2010 awarded it $50,000 through its Enhanced Access Fund.

The track also depended on input from the community and local business people who provided equipment and resources. MEIT staff and contractors, as well as volunteers, provided hands-on assistance amounting to hundreds of hours.

Ms Dunlop said that over the last 12 months, the track had required approximately 1,100 dumper loads of metal, which took about 300 volunteer hours to lay. Volunteers were on hand throughout the summer, which was the only time of year when the weather was dry enough to allow work on the track.

She said volunteers had also helped with trimming back the vegetation from the Wairere Traverse. It took more than 100 volunteer hours in that time using hedge trimmers and scrub bars to remove impending vegetation. Volunteers included corporate groups, as well as a regular pool of dedicated volunteers.

Ms Dunlop said visitors of all ages and levels of fitness could now enjoy some spectacular scenery across the mountain track. For the locals, the new track provided an opportunity to get out and exercise, and to connect with others in the community. There had already been a lot of positive feedback from the public about this new addition to local recreation something everyone can access and enjoy, at no cost, Ms Dunlop said.

Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest and longstanding Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust supporter Celia Stephenson officially opened the Wairere Traverse on 31 March 2016.

Page last updated: Sep 8, 2020, 3:46 PM