At the beach camp we have a real expert on the Paparoa Track, one who helped build it.
Tim got a job straight out of school working as part of the Department of Conservation team which built the Moonlight Tops section of the Great Walk.
Not a bad way to start life on the outside!
Tim says it was an amazing job. “I got to work in my backyard and build something that’s going to be here for a long long time “It was an epic place to work, very rewarding.”
At times they worked in snow for seven day stretches to get the work done, staying in existing huts and mountain biking to site in the mornings.
Tim’s work mates came from France, the Czech Republic and the US as well as NZ. He learnt heaps from them, he says.
This included techniques the old timers who built the pack tracks for miners used such as swales (rock culverts).
The existing swales had proved their worth by still being in good order over a century after they were built. Copying old methods also means the new parts of the track blend with existing sections.
Tim says they did a lot of environmental rehab up there too. If plants had to be dug out they were replanted on the inside edge of the track after sections were built which saved them and lessened landscape scarring. So when you’re riding or walking through, keep an eye out for his work!