The guys continue to work on Reflection Point as well as many other places on the Trail. Some new plantings have further enhanced this beautiful spot.
Our application for resource consent to the next section of the Trail (Duck Creek to Hikuai) was lodged with Waikato Regional Council on the 6th May 2017. It has taken Andy Bolton and his team a lot longer than anticipated and no wonder, with a massive 220 pages of text and plans required to meet the Regional Council expectations.
A great effort by Andy and particular thanks to the professionals involved.
Much of the land involved is controlled by DOC and a similar effort will be required to give DOC all the information it requires.
We are all looking forward to the day we can start work on the extension but that day is obviously a little way off yet.
Gabi Hunnker and Esther Salvisberg from Switzerland posed for this photo just past the southern end of the boardwalks this morning.
They were going to take their time walking all of the Trail, stopping at the many picturesque spots along the way.
Absolutely the best way to do it!
The pavers for the picnic table were completed sometime ago and the maintenance crew has recently erected warning chains and ropes above overhangs which might otherwise cause problems. There is still some tidying up to do but this area has numerous seats and many picturesque views that offer great photo opportunities. It is already one of the most popular stopping points on the Trail.
More than 50% of dog owners taking their dog on the Trail choose to ignore the TCDC requirement that their dog must be on a lead. These silly people put not only wildlife but their own pets at risk, given that poisoned predators
are never far from the track.
Repairs to the Trail carried out after the severe flood early in March stood up well to the heavy rain on 4th April. The stream which changed course causing a major washout has now developed an attractive waterfall (above left).
The two new culverts which now divert water from the base of the waterfall worked perfectly.
The April rain caused minor damage including the slip pictured above right which Peter and John cleaned up on the first fine day.
Repairs to the major washout mentioned in Andy's Report (11.3.17) were completed within about 10 days, on the 19th March.
A creek not far from the southern end of the Trail changed course with the exceptional rainfall. The resultant washout can be seen below (left).
Two new culverts were laid and covered with gravel to complete the repair (below right). Storms Contractors and the usual suspects, John, Peter and Andy have done another great job dealing with maintenance requirements.
Generally the trail has stood up very well to the extreme weather event of 7/3-8/3/17. The following items were noted and fixed where possible:
1.0All bridges inspected and debris removed from under bridges. All streams are now flowing without any obstructions.
2.0Removed all loose debris from track surface. There was quite a lot of debris near Pa Point washed down onto the trail (see photo)
3.0All inorganic debris(plastic bottles etc washed down with the flood)collected and brought back to the shed for disposal.
4.0All drains checked for free flow. Debris/rocks removed where necessary. Two drains badly blocked and water has flowed down the track scouring out the surface, both these drains are now operating as they should. Some additional metal is required to fill in the scouring in two places (see photo at 3km)
5.0Minor slips cleared but there are three slips in the 3-4km area which will require a bobcat or small digger for speedy removal and the batter faces to be adjusted back as necessary (see photos).
6.0The sandy area near bridge no 2 has stood up well to the deluge but the retaining logs have been shifted and will require relocating and some back filling required.(see photo)
7.0There is a major wash out at about 2.7Km. A new stream has made itself apparent complete with water fall. The trail is not passable at this point due to debris and 300mm of mud over a 25m long area. We need to decide how to fix this but probably a culvert will be necessary. We can discuss over the next few days. (see photos)
8.0 We found two dead rats at the Millen Waterfall park in close proximity to the Good Nature killer and the counter showed two more hits.
9.0There was a dead wattle and Punga across the trail at about 3.5km. We cleared this with a handsaw (human chainsaw!) as we could not get the buggy there with the other tools due to the washout.
All in all we have a robust trail and it has weathered this event well. We did not know about this new stream which has caused the wash out!
Editor's note: Andy and Peter Millen did this work. They, along with John McKenzie, maintain our trail on a regular basis. No fuss; they just get on with it. - Absolute stars!
Sylvia and Peter Statham, all the way from Exeter in the UK, enjoy the southern end of the Trail this morning. They have been slowly wending their way up the east coast from Tauranga, visiting all the beautiful spots on the way. Needless to say our Trail has many of them.
Their surname conjures up unhappy memories for the (now) elderly cricket fans who were at Eden Park on the 28th March 1955. The MCC dismissed NZ for 26 runs in its second innings. We were given the day off school to watch it. Another sad incident in the rich tapestry of life.
Brian Statham, bowling for the MCC, took 7 wickets for 37 runs in the match - and yes - Peter is the great fast bowler's nephew.
The two surviving young banded rail have been released after two months in the tender care of Gaye Butcher and her family at the Bird Rescue Centre with Mill Creek Animal and Bird Encounters near Whitianga.. Looking very healthy, the birds flew into the wetlands and were seen soon after feeding and looking right at home.
Doris and Tejo van Schie came down from Auckland especially to see the birds released. The birds' survival was thanks, in no small measure, to the efforts Tejo and Doris made to get them into care as soon as possible after they were discovered near the Trail as recently hatched orphan chicks.