Popular walkways upgraded in time for Summer

Access along two popular New Zealand walkways has been improved in time for summer, thanks in part to funding from the New Zealand Walking Access Commission.

The Lake Ngatu Track, north of Kaitaia, has been widened to make practical access easier and the track upgraded to prevent it being washed out by heavy rain over winter. In the South Island, the Purakaunui Inlet Track, north-east of Dunedin, has been widened, resurfaced and reinforced with a rock wall alongside a vulnerable section to ensure it does not further erode into the neighbouring inlet.

Both projects received funding though New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Enhanced Access Fund, which aims to support projects that boost access to the outdoors and enhance knowledge of responsibilities when accessing rivers, forests, mountains, lakes and beaches. The Bushland Trust received $14,898 to assist with the upgrade work on Lake Ngatu Track and the Purakanui Amenities Society received $12,875 to assist with the work on the Puraukanui Inlet Track.

Purakanui Amenities Society Incorporated President Jude Newton said the access funding played a major part in ensuring work on the Purakaunui Inlet Track was completed quickly and to a high standard.

“The track offers great views of the inlet and is a great place for people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but restoration work was badly needed to ensure continued access. Parts of the track had slumped into the inlet and it had narrowed considerably. If it wasn't for this work, the track would soon have been too difficult to walk,â€