Trust Updates – May 2023

Glenorchy trails riders with snowcapped mountains

Kia ora e te whānau,

I am reaching out today to update you on the impact of your generous donation to the Glenorchy Trails Trust. While we’ve been quiet on the communication front, this update should assure you that we’ve been busy getting things done and preparing for exciting future projects. You can look forward to more frequent updates in the future as we power up our community communications.

Buckler Burn Trail Update

The next stage of the Buckler Burn trail will aim to provide access to the Whakaari recreational area_(AKA Mt Judah Track) from the township— without needing to get into your car. This next stage is a bit tricky as we work out how to build a bridge across the Buckler Burn, negotiate some pretty steep inclines, find safe crossing points and the best possible route for the path. Even the smallest of route mapping changes can have frightening cost-implications.

To date we’ve prepared preliminary trail alignment options, cleared the vegetation on the southern side of the Buckler Burn and completed an initial assessment on the possibility of reusing the historic bridge abutments. While the first report was not very positive, we are currently waiting on the revised design and build concept from the specialist bridge-builders, still hoping we will be able to reuse the abutments.

Our next step will be to secure consent for the bridge from the ORC. This is crucial to continue our conversations with the council roading team and to apply for funding from various funding sources. Would you like to help funding our trails? Please Donate HERE

Glenorchy to Queenstown Trail

Yes, you heard it here first—we’re dreaming big! Last year, we formed an alliance with the Queenstown Trails Trust, the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club and the Southern Eco Trails Trust to apply for funding from QLDC for a study to assess the feasibility of a trail linking Glenorchy to Queenstown.

The vision for this 50km trail is that it will offer one of the most spectacular one-day trails in the world for walkers and riders of all abilities. Fellow GY local, Kevin Jennings (KJ) has been co-ordinating this work in partnership with Glen Jacobs, a world-renowned trail builder. We’re eagerly waiting on his final report—his field visit left us feeling very excited about what this trail will offer. Stay tuned!

New Website

In addition to new trails work we’ve been focussed on some of the organisational basics this year. I’m excited to announce the launch of our new website, which can be found here:

We’re going to be continuously upgrading and improving the site. You can help our cause by pointing keen supporters and potential donors in our direction—let’s build a strong community of trail lovers.

Other Activities

We’ve got a bunch of smaller projects underway, so be on the lookout for another fundraising event soon – likely something that will motivate you on your bike in the springtime! Over the next 12 months, we are aiming to raise $300k toward completing the Buckler Burn trail – trail building, as with all other parts of life, is getting increasingly expensive.

You may also start to see QR codes on our signage soon, encouraging spontaneous donations. Finally if you’re having trouble sleeping, ask us about the ongoing focus on DoC’s Conservation Management System to ensure that trails can be considered within public conservation land. It’s not all sexy trail-building, but we have to get the bureaucratic building-blocks right too…

Glenorchy Trails Trust – Team Updates

We’ve had a bit of shift in the GYTT team over the last year. After a number of years at the helm, Matt Belcher has stepped down from the role of chair to focus on family life. Matt is one of those humble people with a huge vision and we couldn’t have hoped for a better Founder. We’re taking this opportunity to wish him all the best and remind him not to be a stranger – always a welcome voice around the table.

We have also bid a fond farewell to two other long-standing trustees. Firstly, to Toni Glover, whose energy and marketing skill has been a huge asset to the trust during its development and will be much-missed. Secondly we say goodbye to Tom Fleming. Tom is retiring from the trust having helped us navigate the challenges of getting everything established – making sure all of the “Ts” were crossed and the “Is” were dotted. He will remain on our speed-dial for all things legal and there will always be a beer waiting for him at our trust events into the future!

A heartfelt thank you to Matt, Tom and Toni – your time, skill, kindness and enthusiasm has been massively appreciated.

The GYTT now consists of two ‘old’ (sorry M) trustees – myself and Michelle Morss, plus two shiny new trustees – Dan Nogueira (Secretary) and John Schuitemaker.  I’ve stepped into the role of chair and am aware those are big shoes to fill, but the new team is raring to scout out funding and get trails built! A huge thank you to my better half Kath, who is our committee member, looking after events and social media.

If you’re keen to get involved – drop us a line to find out how! The more people helping the ore we will get done.

You’ll be hearing from us again, and in the meantime don’t hesitate to tap one of us up for info at any time. We’re a passionate group of volunteers, always happy to hear new ideas, have a yarn and answer any questions!

Ngā mihi,

Steve Hewland

Chair of the Glenorchy Trails Trust