The Hawea River Bridge Ramp – An Update.

October 20th, 2017

This time last year Bikevember and the Trust set up a givealittle page to raise funds to build a ramp for the Hawea Swing bridge to improve access for cyclists and other users.
A idea of what it may look like is pictured below

A total of $2,760 was raised via the site. The project has a working budget of $40k.

Since then the Trust has been working with DOC on a practical design and has been obtaining prices for materials and construction.

The Trust was recently successful in an application to the Skycity (Queenstown) Community Trust, and they have donated $5,000 towards materials for the ramp.

The Trust is continuing to fundraise andwork on the project.

If you would like to support this project, donations can be made on this page or via our facebook page .


A Bridge over the Clutha near the Outlet?

July 19th, 2017

The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust is seeking public feedback on the concept of a cycle/footbridge over the Clutha River just downstream from the Outlet.

This would provide a key new link in the Upper Clutha track network, giving easy access to Dublin Bay and the Deans Bank Tracks. It could also provide a great option for the Great Ride Track (National Cycleways) linking Wanaka to Cromwell.

The bridge would need to be between 100 and 140 metres depending on its exact location, and would look something like this 148m bridge on the Heaphy  track.

The 148m Swing bridge on the Heaphy Track

The 148m Swing bridge on the Heaphy Track

Some possible bridge locations are between the Outlet and scenic photo point 8.

Some possible location for the foot/cyclebridge.

Some possible location for the foot/cyclebridge.

The bridge would provide easy access from Wanaka Township to Dublin Bay, and the tracks on the true left of the Clutha River. It would reduce the distance from the log cabin to Dublin Bay from 19km to 11.5km, cutting approx 7.5km from the journey.

It would also open a quicker route to the Deans Banks mountain bike track network and create a great 7.5km loop track to Albert Town on both sides of the Clutha River.

The Great Ride Connection

Planning is underway to link the Great Rides (National Cycleways) in Central Otago. As part of this project there will be a new Great Ride from Wanaka to Cromwell.  It is anticipated that this will use the existing Upper Clutha River Track to Albert Town.

The connection from Albert Town to Wanaka Township is yet to be considered. The key issues for Great Ride is that they be as scenic and “great” as possible, whilst keeping to a well defined track standard.

One possible route would be from Albert Town to Wanaka on the true left of the Clutha River, and the track would cross back to the Wanaka side near the outlet.

The Trust would welcome public comments and suggestions regarding this proposal.

Comments can be left on the UCTT facebook page


No guaranteed public access through Hunter Valley Station

March 3rd, 2017

Widespread disappointment regarding the Hunter Valley station sale decision by the Overseas Investment Office stems from the fact there will be no guaranteed access up the northern side of Lake Hawea into the Hunter Valley, according to Upper Clutha Tracks Trust chair Grant Fyfe.

“The decision means the access up the lakeside route is only permitted when the farmer says it’s OK,” Grant said. “That’s the key problem. There is no access as of right and the farmer can deny access at any time, on a whim, on the grounds that it will interfere with the farming operation.”

The iconic 6,468ha lakeside station runs 35km up the north side of the lake and is surrounded by bush clad mountains and conservation land.

Former lessees of the station, Taff and Penny Cochrane, have denied access often, particularly since they put the station up for sale in 2010. This has included access to the Kidds Bush Reserve camping ground. While, under the OIO decision, Kidds Bush will now be permanently accessible, most of the conservation area beyond the station will not be.

Grant said the solution would be for the new owner to “use his position as the pastoral leaseholder to give the public something meaningful”. (Television One News announced Today Show host Matt Lauer was the new owner on March 2.)

The public may not realise there isn’t any substantial access being offered. It’s all at the discretion of the farmer. There is a huge amount of conservation land up there and it would be good to see the new owner showing some goodwill by providing meaningful access to our public land.”

The OIO decision states “The consent holder must continue to permit the current non-commercial access over Hunter Valley Station Road by walkers, hunters, fishers, non- motorised cyclists, and horse riders, on terms to be determined from time to time by the consent holder and its lessees or agents, acting reasonably and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Pastoral Lease, and having regard to any officially designated use or purpose for the Land.”

Other clauses the UCTT and others are not happy with include walking access to Sentinel Peak being allowed only from the west (again at the discretion of the consent holder).

“That’s up Camp Creek,” Grant said. “It’s of no useful benefit because its very inaccessible to ordinary trampers. I’ve been up there and, without a lot of money being spent, it’s no good for access – it’s very steep and dangerous, more suited to climbers, not trampers.” Grant said a preferred access route up Sentinel Peak would be from the Neck.

The OIO decision also says the consent holder will donate entry fees from the annual Contact Epic cycling race to the UCTT “after direct costs incurred”.

“We want access, not this token gesture which is of limited benefit,” Grant said. “

“We wanted more huts to be constructed. Instead the Highburn hut is to be demolished. I would like to ask why. We understand it was built with public funds, possibly by the rabbit board.”

Other submitters asking for more access than has been granted included Federated Mountain Clubs,Otago Fish and Game and Upper Clutha Tramping Club.

The Walking Access Commission consulted on public access to the station with these groups as well as the applicant’s lawyer, Department of Conservation and Queenstown Lakes District COuncil and others last year. Long-time public access campaigner Wanaka local John Wellington said a comprehensive management plan was drafted and recommended to the OIO by the Walking Access Commission.

“Everyone is shocked and disappointed the decision issued effectively ignored the consultation and accepted only the minor access offered by the applicant,” John said.
“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to substantially improve public access to the Hawea Conservation Park, the Hunter Valley and Lake Hawea, and the opportunity appears to have been wasted,” he said.

“The new owner said he wants to be considered a good property owner and compared himself to Mutt Lange and how he has managed his stations between Wanaka and Queenstown.

“We view this as a very positive statement and would urge him to look at the public access that has been granted over Mr Lange’s properties, and then take another look at the submissions.”

Caroline Harker

Hunter Valley Station – Walking Access Commission Submission to Office of Overseas Investment

March 2nd, 2017

A Good Deal?

Hunter Valley Station

Hunter Valley Station

The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of Hunter Valley Station to an overseas investor on 9th February.

The Trust was one of the consulted parties.

Attached is the submission that was made by the Walking Access Commision, after consulation with 10 local and national groups.

CMS 3200 Hunter Valley Station Access Recommendations Report August 2016

(obtained under the Official Information Act)

The decision made by the Overseas Investment Office and the Minister ignored most of these recommendations.

Bike’vember Hawea River Bridge Ramp Fundraiser.

October 25th, 2016

Help build a bike/wheelchair ramp for the Hawea River Bridge


Bike’vember and the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust are raising funds to build a ramp for this bridge to improve access for cyclists and wheelchair users.

The project has the support of the Department Of Conservation and Queenstown Lakes District Council, and a budget of $40,000.

Any donation that you can make will help us get this project off the ground. Donations can be made online at the Givealittle website.  Bike’vember Give a little 


The image above has been prepared by Sarah Scott Architect  as an indication how the ramp will look.

For more details about Bike’vember

faceBike’vember  or


For more information about the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust (Reg. Charity no CC38956)

face Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

Email                                 Tel 03 443 8183

Motatapu River Track

October 6th, 2016


Track sign at Motatapu road end car park

The Motatapu River Track is the latest addition to the Upper Clutha Tracks Network.

It starts from the west end of the Motatapu Road near Glendhu Bay and follows the Motatapu River downstream to the Mt Aspiring Road just past the Rocky Hill Track.


The track is formed to a simple standard and can be muddy after rain. It is possible to cycle the track but there are a few stiles and steps where bikes will have to be carried.

Track sign On Mt Aspiring Rd

Track sign On Mt Aspiring Rd

The track follows the Motatapu river and there are lots of great picnic spots and shallow pools along the way.

From Mt Aspiring Road the track also provides a great view of the nearby climbing area and easy access to the small gorge below.

A ride down the Newcastle Track

July 9th, 2013

A 2 minute video ride along the Newcastle Track

Combine it with the Upper Clutha River Track to make a great loop ride from Albert Town

Newcastle Track

April 15th, 2013

Newcastle Track from Reiko's Lookout

Newcastle Track Opened on 8th December 2012

The new track is 14km long and runs on the true left of the Clutha River from the Hawea River Swing Bridge at Albert Town to near the Red Bridge at Luggate. , It creates a great loop track in conjunction with the Upper Clutha River Track.

The main funder of the track is the Otago Community Trust, with additional funding from the following:

Walking Access Commission – Enhanced Access Fund

The Lion Foundation

Skycity Casino Queenstown Community Trust

The Trust has had considerable support from the Department of Conservation Wanaka Office who have constructed some of the track and managed the project on behalf of the Trust.

The Trust would also like to thank Devon Diaries Ltd the adjoining landowner for their assistance with the project, and Bike Wanaka who will be assuming the day to day responsibility for maintaining the track.

The Trust welcomes anyone who would like to donate their skills and services or even make a financial contribution to future tracks.

AGM – 17th October 2012

October 9th, 2012

Six years of achievement

The Devil's Nook - Luggate Creek Track

Our annual general meeting will be held at on Wednesday 17th October at the Print It Community Room on Brownston St Wanaka.

Everyone is welcome to join us as we celebrate six years of achievement and discuss ideas for new projects.

Our current projects the Newcastle Track and the Luggate Creek Track – stage 2 are both expected to be completed and open by Christmas, and the Trust is now reviewing ideas for new projects.

We will have a range of ideas available for discussion and would welcome any ideas that the public may have.

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there on 17th.

Riverrun Trail Series

September 16th, 2011


Running the lakefrontRiverrun Trail Series

Come and enjoy one of Wanaka’s stunning tracks: the Hawea River Track, the Upper Clutha Track, the Damper Bay/ Waterfall Creek Track and the Outlet Track

Spectacular scenery, exciting trails that wind their way alongside the region’s most stunning waterways and races that appeal to all abilities – the Riverrun Trail Series.

The Riverrun Trail Series allows competitors to explore four of the region’s recently developed tracks.  The tracks are all lakeside or riverside and all are challenging in their own respects and will provide a memorable experience for athletes, from first timers to experienced runners.

The Riverrun Trail Series begins 1st October 2011 and concludes on 19th May 2012 with four races making up the series. There are prizes for place getters and plenty of spot prizes to ensure everyone’s in with a chance of winning.

Enter one or enter the whole Series – the overall winner of the Series will earn the John Pawson Trophy, named after inspirational local John Pawson who was a dedicated advocate for the environment and the development of the trails.

For more information visit or email