It's exciting times for the Whale Trail with multiple sections underway and number of others about to start.
If you’ve been to Picton recently you may have seen the action at Tuamarino where Elite Construction is building the trail at Te Ārai ō Wairau or The Wairau Affray. This is a very special historical section of the trail as the site of the first major conflict between Māori and Pākehā after the signing of Te Tiriti only three years before. You can read more about this on Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira’s page or the Government’s NZ History page.
Further north you may have also seen work underway south of Linden’s Road. CMT Group has commenced its operations - a 1.5km section to Para Road.
Trail building between Tuamarino and Picton is a juggling game with the weather as Whale Trail Construction Manager Vicky Nalder will tell you. Vicky describes last winter as “particularly challenging” with high rainfall making progress far slower than predicted. “It’s dry as a chip in the Para Wetlands at the moment, so we’re building in areas we know will become problematic when the rains come”. In some places the trail is being built up by 1.5meters to account for this waterlogging.
Later in February the Elite team builds northwards from Bush Road at the eastern end of the Koromiko-Tuamarino track for 1.7km along the east side of the Tuamarino river. At the same time Simcox Construction will build on the west side of the stop bank to the Wairau River clip on. On completion of these sections a rider will be able to ride from Tuamarino all the way to Seddon, get their ice cream and/or coffee, and ride back!