What’s hot in the Greater Wellington Region: coffee!
By Chris Ward, Regional Field Advisor
Wellingtonians need our coffee - so we’ve just told the Greater Wellington council we want mobile cafes during the weekends at some of Wellington’s signature walks.
Our call for coffee was part of our submission on the Greater Wellington Region Parks Plan. This source document was comprehensive and contained excellent maps. Our submission called for:
- Opportunities for commercial activity to enhance visitors’ experiences at some of the main sites during weekends and public holidays. These include mobile cafes and accommodation in disused houses such as at Baring Head Park;
- Rangers on duty at weekends to meet greet and inform the public;
- Using volunteers more for tasks such as tree planting, weeding and track maintenance, and to act as guides at the most popular locations;
- Finding a solution for people who need to lift electric bikes over high steel gates. Electric bikes are becoming more popular, especially with those less physically able, making getting them over the gates a challenge;
- Creating linkages over private forest land in Belmont Regional Park, which would greatly improve the scope for loop tracks. The Commission has offered to help with discussions on this;
- Clearer signage saying if tracks in some locations are open or closed to mountain bikes. Overall the new signs in all parks are of a very high standard.
The Wellington Trails Group is meeting for the first time in early July. The Walking Access Commission is on this Wellington-based community input group, representing walkers. The Wellington Trails Group, supported by city, district and regional councils, is prioritising which trails to develop. It is doing this by putting trails into categories. A trail is either a Signature Trail, a Regional Trail or a Local Trail. Parts of one such trail, the Big Coast, is a Signature cycle trail, but it needs more signage, infrastructure and rescue support. In parts, it is very remote.
A gazetted walkway is being surveyed in the Kohitere Forest on the outskirts of Levin. This will add to the four already gazetted walkways in the Wellington area and will give Levin residents new recreational opportunities. Te Araroa walkers will also use this track to visit Levin to restock their food.
We are still investigating the possibility of a walk from Makara Beach around the coast to Red Rocks, as well as developing the Miramar Peninsular for recreational walking and cycling.
Lastly, I end with the story of a planned entrance to Tressilick Park from the bottom of Oban Street. Council has now realised people have been lobbying for this since 1981! Sounds a bit like the Mainland Cheese ad; “Good things take time”.
Photo by Lisa.Ng at Flickr.