Whilst debate rages about opening up more conservation land for mining, our local team have been restoring gold mining relics in the Kaimai’s and working with the local councils and communities to help them mine the tourist dollar.
Last month, Ranger Warren capped off five years of work in the Waiorongomai Valley with installation of a 3.5 tonne head frame replica onto the top of Butlers incline, by heavy lift helicopter. Check out youtube for a glimpse of the action.
And I hosted a workshop that brought together representatives from economic and tourism development agencies, councils and Te Puni Kokiri to look at how we can co-ordinate our efforts and assist local communities and businesses to identify, take advantage of and better promote business opportunities associated with tourism to the Kaimai Mamaku and Coromandel Forest Parks.
It’s all part of our Kaimai Heritage Trail project, where we are upgrading facilities, restoring and interpreting some nationally significant historic sites and working with locals and relevant agencies to promote these sites as an attraction that will get visitors stopping by and spending their money in the nearby small towns of Te Aroha, Paeroa, Waihi and Katikati.
It’s work in progress that our tracks team of five fit in along with their routine maintenance of 400kms of walking tracks and seven back-country huts.
Yet to come this year are some toliet upgrades, improved signage at the Victoria Battery site and a heritage assessment of the Wharawhara Valley that will help us to plan the development of a major entry point close to Katikati.