It was an early morning for all at the Pororari carpark, 6am Feburary 29. Approximately 150 people turned out to attend the dawn ceremony to open New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk the Paparoa Track.
More than two years in the making this was a historic moment for all involved. The Paparoa Track is now doable from start to finish. Many involved in the track attended all three ceremonies, where Ngati Waiwai blessed the archways that will lead hikers and bikers onto the track.
Three different cermonies took place, two at the Punakaiki ends and one at the Blackball end. After opening the track in Punakaiki we all drove over to the Blackball end of the track. The sun came out at the same time as the rain. Along with guitar and singing the Blackball end was open!
Riders were excited to get on the track, with a dozen zooming past shortly after the ceremony. The first walker to enter under the new entrance was a Japanese lady who had up to now completed all the Great Walks of New Zealand and was excited to cross of number 10!
Our first customer to ride the full track was Gary, he has the “Great Rides App”. A fantastic app which gives advice to riders, has fantastic maps and offers all information needed for anyone wanting to ride NZ’s Great Rides! Gary helped mark out the track and has been excited to ride all the way through for years. We will have his full trip report here on our blog soon!
All archways were different and show a “contemporary” approach to Maori art. Incorporating metal into the more traditional carvings. A great description of what each carving showed was short, sweet and interesting!
Fun times to come!