Another 1.7km added to Glenorchy walkway

Glenorchy residents try the newly opened Lagoon Boardwalk Track yesterday. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Glenorchy residents try the newly opened Lagoon Boardwalk Track yesterday. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Glenorchy residents welcomed the new $315,000 extension to the Lagoon Boardwalk yesterday after six month's construction.

Locals of all ages gathered to the unveiling for a stroll around the 1.7km addition to the track at midday, followed by a community picnic in fine weather.

The trail begins at the lakefront and and now runs 3.3km in total through the Hobbit-like swampland north of the township.

The project began in May as part of the area's 150 celebrations, with the aim of commemorating the sesquicentennial with a lasting memorial that would see plenty of use.

More than 18,000 runners, walkers and bikers are recorded to use the track every year - popular with both locals and tourists.

Walkway committee member Amanda Hasselman said the project had been a huge one for the small township to undertake.

"We are extremely proud of the result and of the way the community has really pulled together to make this project happen. We are also really pleased to have been able to work so well with the Department of Conservation, who have put a huge amount of resources into the extension."

Financial contributions had come from near and afar, she said, with the Central Lakes Trust, The Community Trust of Southland, Walking Access New Zealand, and The Queenstown Lakes District Council all having input in to the project.

Mrs Hasselman said community labour and generosity had been the biggest help for the walkway's timely completion.

Vladka Kennett, another member of the organising committee, had previously tackled the walkway before it wascompleted and said it was a remarkable improvement.

"Me and my husband Richard used to walk the swamp. It was really quite a task and was like a swamp or a waterbed.

"Conditions are very difficult and we all felt for the guys who were building the boardwalk during the winter."

She said the walkway would be an asset for the local community and for tourists.

"It wouldn't have happened without the manpower given by community members."