The following has been achieved:
- Boardwalks and viewing platforms completed by Owen Builders.
- Netting will be applied when track metalling has been completed
- All benching has been completed
- 84% of track edging on the DOC land has been completed
- 20% of the bush track has been metalled and is progressing well. This has been achieved by the purchase of a compact tractor and a purpose built trailer.
A shipping container was also obtained to house the tractor, trailer and plate compactor. This container is behind the Te Waiariki Purea Trust building.
There have been quite a number of working bees of LOCA Volunteers held throughout the year. These were reduced over the winter months due to the muddy conditions. Working Bees on the track are currently being held every Tuesday from about 4.30 till 6.00pm and on the first Saturday of the month from 9.00 -12.00 noon.
In January this year we hosted 16 students and 4 chaperones from Northern Michigan University who did a sterling job of metalling part of the track. A big thank you to all those who came out to work beside the students and to those who baked and supplied morning tea.
On Saturday 11th February 2017, 750 runners used the track as part of the course for the Tarawera Ultramarathon. An inspection after the race showed no damage at all, in fact if you walked the track yesterday afternoon you would not guess that a race on gone through that morning.
The track is being well used by residents and visitors for walking and running and everybody has remarked that it is a fantastic track. We have also had pushchairs (including a double push chair), wheelchairs and mobility scooters using the track. They also showed great support for the track.
There is still a small problem every now and then with cyclists and dog owners using the track, including some residents of Okareka. Some wait till no one is working on the track and then proceed to walk their dog, however they are still breaking the law.
I would like to thank all those volunteers who have given up their time to work on the track. In particular I would like to thank Sandra Goodwin for all her work and all the emails she sends out to the volunteers. I would also like to thank to Landcare Okareka volunteers for their help with tree planting along the new track.
I would also like to say a big thank you to the Lake Okareka Volunteer Rural Fire Force for carrying in our track timber and the removal of two trees. There is also a big thanks due to Rotorua Quarries for the supply of metal and to Moore’s Quarry for the delivery of the metal.
Finally I would like to thank Mike Goodwin for all his help with track work, weed spraying, tractor driving and so on.
Track Construction Supervisor
P.S. From the LOCA Committee: A huge thank you to Brian Law for all of his volunteer efforts with getting the walking track built - and to each and every volunteer who has helped in any way with this new track.