Image of the July 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
July 2019 Issue
Home / Articles / Walkshorts

Access award for Waiheke trailmaker

‘Waiheke champion’ Gary Wilton has been acknowledged for his contribution to walking access.

The island resident received an Outdoor Access Champion Award for his work in building the Te Ara Hura track network.

The 100km track explores the coastlines, native bush and historic sites of Waiheke Island, and is divided into four areas of differing character; Headlands, Beaches ‘n’ Baches, Forest Heart and Far End.

Wilton, who is Auckland Council’s Waiheke parks advisor, said his team contributed around 20 per cent of the linking tracks, but most of the network was pre-existing.

“We’ve got more tracks per square kilometre than anywhere in New Zealand. Nowhere is more than 2km from a public road or walking track – they really criss-cross the island,” he said.

“There were pioneers before me out there with spades cutting goat tracks around the coast, and they set the scene and established the arteries – we just gave it all an electric shock and got it started,” he said.

Wilton said it’s an honour to be recognised for his work, as building tracks is where his heart is.

“When I was sitting in my corporate law firm office in Glasgow in 1998, if somebody told me I would create just one track, I would have been over the moon,” he said.

The award also recognises Wilton’s work in creating and volunteering for the annual Waiheke Walking Festival, which Wilton believes in the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.