Highlights, challenges, and an exciting future for the network of trails in Fiordland were all on the agenda at the Fiordland Trails Trust’s 2023 Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday 10th October.

Among the highlights were:

Jobs for Nature

Among the many and varied highlights outlined was the Trust’s Jobs for Nature project, – Bringing the Park to the People – which, as well as creating employment opportunities, had led to some outstanding results within two years, including:

  • More than 15000 new plants have been planted
  • An extensive predator control programme is ongoing
  • 2km of trail from the lake edge to the Upukerora Bridge has been completed and is in use (this was part-funded by Jobs for Nature, Fiordland Community Board and via local funding)
  • The Upukerora Trail bridge was fully constructed (funded and maintained by Waka Kotahi

Angus & Associates Report

The Trust commissioned Angus & Associates to undertake an impact assessment of the Lake2Lake Trail. The results highlighted what an asset the trail is to the local area – an economic value of more than $3million to the Fiordland area could be attributed to the trail, and the report also highlighted environmental, health and social benefits associated with the trail.

New trail extension progression

The Trust achieved resource consent and a community agreement with the Department of Conservation, to enable 14km of new trail construction. Once complete this will include a 3.8km section from the Upukerora Bridge to Sinclair Road, and a further trail connection to Boundary Creek for 14km of new trail.

Also on the agenda was the future of the Lake2Lake Trail, which had recently been decided by the Trust.

After years of discussion and an initial hope for the trail to be connected via the national park, the Trust had opted for an alternative option to complete the trail outside of the national park.

While there will be a lot of work to do to see the trail through to completion, there is a real sense of excitement at the prospect of a complete trail from Te Anau to Manapouri.

While it was acknowledged there were plenty of challenges ahead, there was a general sense that the direction of travel was extremely positive –the Trust looks forward to more and varied positive outcomes in the year ahead.

Click here to view the annual report

Click here to view the AGM presentation