Work on the first stage of the Taranaki Crossing in Egmont National Park is underway.
The Taranaki Crossing project has been funded by the Provincial Growth Fund and DOC’s Tourism Pressures funding, and will see the improvement of several tracks throughout the park to provide visitors with a world-class visitor experience representing the maunga (mountain) and its people.
The Taranaki Crossing includes the popular tracks of the Pouakai Crossing and will involve upgrading 25km of track aswell as increasing bunk space at Pouakai Hut from 16 to 30.
DOC’s Taranaki operations manager Gareth Hopkins said the $13.3 million project will create a “fantastic mix of short walks, day walks and a multi-day walking experience on Taranaki Maunga”.
“DOC has worked very closely with iwi on development of this project, which is progressing well from an idea that came out of the region’s economic development strategy, Tapuae Roa,” Hopkins said.
“This investment will protect and enhance the maunga to be a fantastic destination for walking in the outdoors, as well as giving locals, including iwi, opportunities to invest in tourism-related businesses and to support conservation efforts in the region.”
Initial investment will focus on core walking infrastructure between Dawson Falls to North Egmont and on to Mangorei Rd on the far side of the Pouakai Range, including building a large new swingbridge. The work on the 800m section of track near Mangorei Rd will be completed this autumn and will resolve issues of a wet, boggy and uneven surface visitors have encountered.
Up to 30 short-term jobs will be created through the upgrade work to tracks and Pouakai Hut. It’s expected there will be around 12 jobs directly created in the long term as a result of the project.
There will be no track or hut closures during the upgrade works.