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Beware - Blasting

  • 05 Sep 2008


Explosive experts will blast a 30-metre passage for Te Araroa next Saturday, across a bluff above the Mangaokewa River.

A paid three-man Te Araroa team started work on the Mangaokewa River Track October 7, assisted by overseas volunteers. They came to a halt at the bluff this week, and have called in quarrymen with gelignite.

The overseas volunteers came mainly from the local Casara Mesa backpackers at Te Kuiti. Te Araroa Construction Manager, Noel Sandford, is in charge of the team, and is living meantime at the Te Kuiti backpackers. He didn't hesitate to rope in anyone who showed an interest.

"As well as two terrific local guys, Michael Dinnan and William Griffiths, we've had volunteers from Britain, Japan, Holland, and last week five Year Ten students from Te Kuiti High School," said Sandford.

The trail will connect the Mangaokewa Reserve, to Mangaokewa North Road, 14 kilometres upriver. It's part of a longer Te Araroa connection to link Te Kuiti with Pureora Village, but it has also opened up the Mangaokewa Reserve to view.

The local Mangaokewa Reserve Trust has worked for years to reduce predators in the reserve, building a goat-proof fence, stocking bait stations, then releasing native birds.

The track now under construction will have a loop track component as it goes through the reserve
so day walkers as well as Te Araroa through-trampers will see some of the King Country's most accessible forest. Day walkers will be able to start one side of the river, walk for an hour, then cross on a proposed $21,000 river bridge to return to the trailhead just outside of Te Kuiti. They'll see some very large podocarps, glimpses of stalactites excrescent from the limestone cliffs and get one long view of the Mangaokewa River Valley as it stretches out towards Pureora Forest, 30 kilometres distant.

Page last updated: Jul 28, 2020, 5:08 PM