The agreement sets clear rules for public access by walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and 4WD vehicles. Access is available by permission only, and must be arranged with Orange Lakes at least one day prior to arrival to the station. The preferred method of contact is via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org; alternatively you can ring 03 442 1242. Parties wishing to obtain access are urged to read the whole agreement document, and will need to sign a form prior to entering station land.
There will be no access during lambing (1 October to 1 December) and no access to 4WD vehicles during the winter months (1 May to 30 November). Access may also be restricted during farming operations.
FMC considers this agreement to be a huge improvement on the previous situation and worth celebrating, as it gives clarity over access to the valley, and sets conditions for access that are both reasonable and fair.
We would like to thank the owner of Hunter Valley Station, Matt Lauer, for his goodwill in giving public access through his land, and the Department of Conservation for their work and negotiations to make this happen. We would also like to thank the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, for her support on the issue.
We believe that without tenacious campaigning from FMC and the early work of the Walking Access Commission, the Otago Fish and Game Council and the Upper Clutha Trails Trust, this wouldn’t have happened.
If you are happy with the work FMC is doing, please consider supporting FMC to enable it to keep fighting for the public interest.