Relief over reprieve for Routeburn Classic

Evan McWhirter is delighted his Routeburn Classic adventure race has now got at least one more year to run.

The Queenstown man has organised the 32km Routeburn Classic every April since 2001, conditions permitting, so was staggered to find, when his 10-year concession ended last year, Department of Conservation had thrown open his event to all-comers.

Mr McWhirter was one of four applicants vying for a new concession and had been told Doc had cancelled next year’s race.

Last week, he learned Doc had extended his concession another year.

"I do believe the local area manager’s been going into bat to make sure there’s that continuity, which is very important when all events are being removed from the calendar. I’m just very grateful, as are the local communities the event passes through."

Next year’s event runs on April 30, with entries opening on February 7.

Doc Whakatipu operations manager David Butt said Mr McWhirter was a "known quantity" and it made sense for him to run another event before a new concession was decided.

Mr McWhirter hoped to hear about the concession before this event.

"Our government’s big on protecting heritage and culture — well, after 20 years, there’s a bit of culture there." — Mountain Scene

Philip Chandler

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter