A series of distinctive bronze wayfinding plaques are to be installed on central-city footpaths today to mark one of the rare urban sections of the 3000-kilometre Te Araroa national walkway.
Eleven of the plaques are to be laid in place on footpaths in Bowen Street, Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Mercer Street and in Civic Square and on the waterfront to enable trail walkers to make their way from the northern suburbs and then on towards the Town Belt on Mt Victoria and the Southern Walkway to the end of North Island section of the trail at Shorland Park, Island Bay.
Installation of the plaques will concentrate on Lambton Quay this morning – with one plaque installed outside Cable Car Lane around 11am.
Bill Wakelin, Chair of Te Araroa Wellington Trust, says the numbers of people walking the entire length of the trail – from Cape Reinga to Bluff - is growing each year with about 200 mainly international walkers taking on the challenge this year.
The plaques are being installed in preparation for the peak time of the year when most people take on the whole trail which typically takes three or four months for the very fit and ‘committed’.
Bill Wakelin also hopes the presence of the plaques will encourage local people to follow the local sections of the trail which take in Te Ahumairangi (Tinakori) Hill, Trelissick Park, Mt Kaukau, Ohariu Valley and Colonial Knob.
Further north, the trail passes beside Porirua Harbour and the Taupo Swamp north of Plimmerton. Early next year the spectacular new section between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki, featuring two swing bridges across ravines on the cliffs above the Main Trunk rail line, will also be completed.