The love affair with Greater Wellington region’s parks and forests just keeps growing, with a Greater Wellington Regional Council survey indicating more local visitors than ever before.
The survey reveals that 72% of our regional population have visited at least one regional park in the last 12 months – up 4% from 2017.
“Our bumper summer last year may have contributed this result, but we’ve also put considerable energy into making our parks more accessible to a wider range of people over the years,” says Parks Portfolio Leader Cr Prue Lamason. “Residents say they appreciate the sense of freedom that our parks offer, as well as the chance to relax and get away from city living.
“We were especially pleased to see that visitor satisfaction remains high, with 95% of those surveyed expressing a high level of satisfaction.”
Queen Elizabeth Park was the most visited park (31% of people visited in the last 12 months) – up seven percent from last year, followed by Kaitoke Regional Park and the Hutt River Trail (both at 29%).
Walking and bush walking were the most popular activities (75%); with 48% enjoying family outings, recreation, picnics and barbecues; 24% mountain biking or cycling; 16% walking or running with their dogs and 12% camping.
Family activities in the parks increased 10% from the previous year. However, horse riding, fishing and hunting, driving (4WD and trail biking) have all decreased.
The biggest reasons respondents gave for not visiting the parks were ‘lack of time’ and ‘other commitments’. The ‘weather’ was cited less as an influence for not going to a park this year – only 2% compared with 9% last year.
“We use this research to improve our parks for our visitors,” says Cr Lamason. “We can already see the benefits of having this research as we continue to improve the activities available and access to the parks.”
The full research report is available here: GWRC Parks Survey Report 2018
Aerial top dressing is occurring on the farm today Wednesday, 19 September. Our licence holder will be applying superphosphate to the pasture. Signs are in place at each entrance with more information about this operation. Please follow any directions from farm/parks staff.
We are proposing to subdivide two parcels of land located at opposite sides of Belmont Regional Park; one parcel of land is at Belmont and the other at Waitangirua. The land is classified as Recreation Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977. To enable the land to be subdivided and sold, the reserve classification will first be revoked.
Access across Belmont Regional Park is complicated at this time of the year especially with Transmission Gully construction in the mix.
The relocation of the farming hub to Hill Road allowed us the opportunity to look at cross park access all year round. Even though the farmed areas are closed from August to October you can still get in a decent ride, walk or run from Hill Road to Belmont Road. You will also get glimpses of the motorway construction along the way.
There are many great locations to view the construction of Transmission Gully from Hill Road entrance. Check out this map
There are also plenty of options for mountain biking, walking running and admiring beautiful surrounds in the Korokoro Valley, Stratton Street and Hill Road entrances. Check out the beautiful Korokoro Dam and the refurbished tracks in the valley following storm damage repairs or for the more adventurous do the Belmont trig loop from Oakleigh Street
Something for everyone in the middle of three cities - Belmont Regional Park
Key Native Ecosystem plans set out the management activities that will be carried out to address threats to biodiversity at sites managed by GWRC as part of the Key Native Ecosystem (KNE) programme. The KNE programme includes sites that represent a full range of native ecosystem types with significant biodiversity values across the region. Management activities at these sites aim to protect and restore these important remnants of our natural heritage.
KNE sites within Belmont Regional Park
The Belmont-Dry Creek and Belmont-Speedy’s Key Native Ecosystem sites are both located in Belmont Regional Park. These KNE sites are part of an ecological connection or ‘corridor’ stretching from the Tararua Range south to Wellington City, and west to the Porirua Harbour basin.
With weeds, pest animals and the adverse effects of human activities posing ongoing threats to the area, GWRC is undertaking a long-term commitment to ensure that the KNE sites’ values are protected and restored.
This KNE site includes a remnant of pre-human forest consisting of trees such as pukatea, mataī, kahikatea and tawa. Areas of hard beech and black beech forest are also present. Surrounding the remnant forest is a large area of regenerating forest and mānuka scrubland.
Two uncommon native plant species that can be found here are narrow-leaved māhoe and raukawa. There is a wealth of bird life, and of particular importance is the presence of at least one breeding pair of New Zealand falcons. Whiteheads are also present and tomtits are occasionally sighted.
This KNE site contains remnant and regenerating lowland forest on hilly slopes and steep stream valleys. These remnants of pre-human forest are dominated by pukatea, kaikōmako, kāmahi, rewarewa, black maire, kohekohe, tītoki, and tawa.
There are records of nine native fish species from the streams within the KNE site including five nationally threatened species such as banded kōkopu and giant kōkopu. Barking gecko, a nationally threatened lizard, has also been recorded at Belmont-Speedy’s.
Download the KNE plans
You can find the Key Native Ecosystem plans for both sites and further information about the Key Native Ecosystem programme on our website:
From Friday 22 April 2016, the Korokoro valley track in Belmont Regional Park is again open to the public following extensive work after last year’s floods. Just in time for the long ANZAC weekend.
Placement of a new bridge on Tuesday 19 April was the last of major repairs Greater Wellington Regional Council has undertaken since the floods damaged almost every structure in the valley.
GWRC has repaired and replaced bridges and boardwalks, and reinstated large sections of the track between Cornish St and the Korokoro dam. Taking advantage of the closure, the team also organised the felling of over 2500 overgrown pine trees near the Korokoro Forks.
The repair works, along with tree felling, have created a safer and wider all-weather track suitable for the large numbers of people who enjoy this beautiful sheltered area of the park.
Despite the beating given out to it during the May floods, Belmont Regional Park is looking great and is gearing up for a good summer.
Work has advanced steadily on the areas of the Korokoro Valley affected by slips and washouts and new bridges and reformed sections of track will be opened when they are ready.
“But we still need visitors to comply with any stay out signs, which indicate dangerous conditions on the track. The signs are there to protect public safety,” says Park Ranger Jeremy Paterson.
While one door closes, another opens. Greater Wellington regional councillors Sandra Greig and Paul Bruce officially opened the new 4 Degrees mountain bike and walking track at the Stratton St park entrance recently. It was one of those built to replace an earlier track, Danzig, which was lost in the logging operations in the area.
Greater Wellington parks manager Amanda Cox said it was definitely a track for mountain bikers not commuter cyclists, but not too gnarly. "The Wellington region offers mountain bikers a lot of technical tracks but not many suited to intermediate riders, and this will fill that gap."
And take note, the next few weeks offer the last chances for the more adventurous at heart to walk or ride from one side of Belmont Regional Park to the other before the motorway designation is fenced off. The easiest access is via Hill Road, or people can climb from Stratton St up Middle Ridge and over the tops down to Takapu Road or Porirua. Once road construction starts in earnest, GWRC will be signposting routes to lookouts to check on progress, and to other destinations in the park.
As for Great Outdoors Summer Events in Belmont for the summer, among the highlights will be the Belmont Sunset Tour 4WD drive to the tops, the Maara Roa Traverse and the Belmont Mountain Biking Club Open Day.
The opening of the brand spanking new Belmont Regional Park Farm Hub in January provided a perfect occasion on which to show off some of the benefits of reinvesting funds from the sale of land for the Transmission Gully motorway.
Not only will the farm hub assure the viability of farming in the park it will also provide a new point of interest for park users to visit and use.
The new facilities include a woolshed and yards capable of simultaneously housing 3000 sheep and 200 cattle. As an added bonus, the regional council will review how the farm hub might offer a base for organised events outside shearing and other farm operations.
Open Day activities included a guided walk to a spot which overlooks the Transmission Gully Motorway route. It is one of the few points along the route where the public will be able to safely view construction progress and is sure to be a popular attraction once construction begins. The Cross Country Vehicle club offered 4WD trips and the Belmont Area Mountain biking association (BAMBA) gave guided mountain bike trips around the park. The hub was officially opened by regional council chair Fran Wilde in what was a festive affair.
The hub marks the re-investment of a substantial portion of sale funds back into Belmont Regional Park to advance the council’s environmental and recreational goals for the park, in a plan that fully takes into account the priorities of local community groups who get involved with the park.
Agreement has been reached with these groups on top priority recreational projects, including a new multi-use track improving access between Hill Road and Old Coach Road, landscaping around the historic Korokoro Dam, and a new easy grade downhill mountain bike track in the former pine plantation block. The regional community will be invited to comment on those ideas as part of our upcoming Long Term Plan consultation.
Long Term Plan consultation period is between March and April you are invited to share your thoughts on the proposals which help shape the councils work programme over the coming decade.
The LTP sets out the projects the council will undertake, what services it will provide and how it will fund them. It enables the council to plan for the next 10 years, and also sets the basis for Annual Plans during this period.
To ensure the LTP reflects the needs of the region, the council is seeking views on what residents think are the key issues and priorities facing the greater Wellington region. To find out more on submissions and getting involved in the Long Term Plan process, click here
One significant proposal effecting Parks which we are seeking feedback on is how we invest funds from the sale of land for TG into recreational improvements within Belmont Regional Park.
Parks joined forces with the Friends of Belmont Regional Park to engage the community in generating and evaluating ideas to reinvest $150,000 of Transmission Gully sales receipts back into the park. This turned out to be a hugely productive exercise, greatly aided by the Friends, whose convenor Peter Matcham coordinated, evaluated and presented the concepts back to the collective group in early December.
Three projects were identified – a new multi-use track to improve links between Hill Road and Old Coach Road, an easy grade downhill mountain bike track in the former pine plantation, and landscaping around the Korokoro Dam – and these have been forwarded for inclusion in the draft LTP. It also produced ideas for future improvements in the park, and overall was a great opportunity to engage with the community about the park and people’s aspirations for it.
“The Friends of Belmont Regional Park were very pleased with the high level of commitment to engagement with park users by Greater Wellington Parks manager Amanda Cox. We were particularly pleased that the role of the Friends as kaitiaki of the Park was recognised and that we were entrusted with managing the process of selecting recreational infrastructure projects to be funded. The whole process was an exemplar of effective public participation in decision making and we would strongly recommend its adoption in all future consultations.” said Peter Matcham, Friends of Belmont Chairman.
"The greatest outcome from this process was that the groups enthusiasm and engagement led to other ideas that can be implemented over time, so the whole exercise will have benefits beyond the reinvestment programme. Apart from that it has helped strengthen our relationship with the community and better understand everyone’s aspirations for the park. This is definitely a model of how we want to continue to improve the way we ask the community to contribute to decision making processes.” says Amanda Cox.
From here, the regional community is being asked to comment on the most favoured projects in the LTP. By going through this process we have a lot of confidence that the feedback will be supportive and the projects will be approved to proceed.
After a couple of year’s work on its tracks, Belmont Regional Park has really started to brush up well. Isn’t it time you came up and had a look?
Belmont sits at the heart of our regional park network. Centrally located in the hill country between Lower Hutt and Porirua, it’s easily accessible and is less than half an hour’s drive from most places in the region. Treasured for its breath-taking views, secluded bush-clad valleys and its wide open spaces for family picnics, walking, running, mountain biking or horse riding, Belmont Regional Park is the place to be this summer.
In fact it’s ready and waiting for you following the completion of two years of work on its standout Belmont Trig Track that takes people to one of the park network’s highlights, the stunning view from the top which, at a mighty 456 metres, is the highest point in the park. Until now, however, that’s not been easy to witness because safe access was restricted by the poor state of the track.
Work has been completed on the stretch of track lower down between Korokoro Forks and Baked Beans Bend, which has cut out multiple stream crossings and numerous rough and uneven sections. Further up the steepest grades of the track have been removed and a realignment takes you through attractive sections of maturing native forest. Track surfaces have been widened and smoothed and draining has been sorted out to minimise the effect of erosion.
“Upgrading the track will allow more people to enjoy view from the top on a safe track that can easily accommodate walkers and mountain bikers,” says Parks Manager Amanda Cox. “It has been built to commonly accepted standards that promote safety and access to the bush without significantly compromising the natural experience people seek in our parks.”
There’s more to the park than the Trig Track, of course. Other possibilities in its network of walking and tramping tracks include seeing the historic Korokoro Valley, the last significant stands of rimu, rata, tawa and kohekohe in the southwest of the Wellington region, and the pukatea, matai and kahikatea that can be found in the forests of Dry Creek and Cannons Creek.
History buffs will be rewarded by visiting the historic Korokoro dam, which provided a water supply for Petone from 1903, and the 62 impressive and atmospheric concrete ammunition magazines built to support the Pacific campaign. You can also walk the Old Coach Road, which from 1872 linked the Hutt Valley with Pauatahanui.
Thanks to the Freinds of Belmont Regional Park, Hill Road Community Group, Korokoro Environmental Group and the Friends of Maara Roa for helping us to achieve much more than what we would have been able to without their help.
So why not try Belmont Regional Park yourself? Look out for the park brochure or check out our introductory video
Belmont Regional Park has a new track. The Maara Roa track was opened on Saturday 6th December by Sylvia Jenkin and Neil Bellingham both long time advocates and hard workers improving the Cannons Creek catchment of Belmont Regional Park for many years.
The partnership between Greater Wellington and the Friends of Maara Roa to complete this track was celebrated at The Friends annual xmas picnic which was attended by members old and new. Cr Anita Baker from PCC, GWRC deputy chair Barbara Donaldson and Cr Jenny Brash as well as supporters who have had an association with the Friends of Maara Roa in the past all came to enjoy lunch at Cannons Creek Lakes reserve following a walk up the new track.
The new track will lead to a fantastic vantage point to view the construction of Transmission Gully motorway. Once the construction has finished it will be an important link from Cannons Creek to the rest of Belmont Regional Park.
The track also offers great views over the restoration work the Friends of Maara Roa have been doing for the past 15 years. Fire destroyed large sections of this part of the park which lead to the formation of this group to replant the area and restore its glory. They also carry out huge amounts of pest control work, trapping possum and removing pest plants.
The new track replaces the track that the group use to access the area every week which is aptly called the gutbuster. The walk in for them and everyone exploring this beautiful part of the region just got a whole lot easier.
Thanks Friends of Maara Roa, you are an amazing group of people who have worked tirelessly to improve the Cannons Creek catchment. Residents of Greater Wellington will be forever grateful for your efforts.
The Belmont Area Mountain Bike Association (BAMBA) was recently established as an incorporated society to promote the interests of mountain bikers and other recreational users of the Belmont Regional Park visit www.bamba.org.nz to find out more.
BAMBA have begun building a new Grade 4 descending trail down through the logged Danzig forest. The new trail starts up on Old Coach Rd about 1km in from the top of Normandale Rd, Lower Hutt.
415m has been hand built so far, descending 60m.
BAMBA need plenty of volunteers so please help us get all the way down to the GWRC Woolshed at the end of Stratton St.
Working bees are every second Sunday from 9am with morning tea & tools provided. Check out our events calendar for dates.
Here is a map of the new trail. Hope to see you soon.