Federated Mountain Clubs is pleased to advise that access issues across the private land adjacent to the boundaries of the Kaimanawa Forest Park have been resolved for FMC-affiliated club members and for Individual Supporters.
Executive member, Barbara Morris, recently met with the new licensee, Helisika chief pilot and operations manager, Tony Orr. Tony was very receptive to negotiations regarding access for FMC members and, in the course of time, this access is likely to be available for other trampers once the Department of Conservation and Walking Access Commission make contact with him.
In the meantime, a number of the ‘old’ routes may be available for our members, provided they adhere to the conditions which will be noted on the access permit.
Routes likely to be available, subject to negotiation with and approval by Helisika, are:
· Ngapuketurua track: Kiko road to Cascade hut.
· Cascade hut to Waipakihi hut via Ngapuketurua track, Ignimbrite saddle and Junction top.
· Cascade hut to Boyd Lodge via North Arm/Ngaruroro river/Te Waiotupuritia stream. This access could be quite limited, because it is a popular hunting block.
· Other routes, e.g. Makorako, Mangamaire, Waipakihi hut to Middle Range via Junction Top, could at times be available.
· Camping may be permitted in some instances and the designated place will be included on the access permit.
What you have to do:
Contact Helisika and discuss proposed dates of travel and proposed route, number in party, and whether you hope to camp at any stage during the tramp, and where this might be. A detailed written plan may be requested.
Depending on whether hunting or fishing parties are likely to be in the area, Tony will approve your plan and will issue an access permit. There will be no charge for this permit but all members of the party should carry their FMC card and Helisika may request the card number(s) and expiry date. Conditions such as the proposed route, designated camping spot etc will be noted on the access permit and members are asked to comply with all conditions so we don’t lose this access privilege. Obviously, all parties are expected to carry out their litter and ensure toilet wastes etc are buried and not visible to others.
In addition to the above, for parties who may have limited time or who find that the hills have grown, a 10% discount on helicopter charges for drop-offs at designated landing sites has also been agreed. Talk to Tony about what is available. He also offers a heli-biking option in a remote section of the private land.
This is a real break-through in an access issue which has been a source of discontent for trampers for a few years now. FMC is extremely grateful to Helisika for the positive approach it has taken in this matter. We hope that trampers will respect the privilege extended to us and will once again enjoy the opportunity to visit this area of outstanding natural features and adventurous tramping.