Missing link joins up Hillary Trail

A missing link in the West Coast parkland and Hillary Trail has been bought into public ownership by the Auckland Council.

The property, purchased for $3 million, using the council’s ring-fenced park acquisition funding, links two disconnected parts of the Waitakere Ranges parkland.

Auckland Council today announced the acquisition of the block of land off Te Ahu Ahu Road, between Karekare and Piha. It features blow holes, sea caves, two historical baches and a headland pa.

The block has been on the council’s parkland acquisition plan since the 1970s.

Chairwoman of Auckland’s Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee, Christine Fletcher, says the creation of the Hillary Trail in 2010 heightened the importance of securing the block.

“Hillary Trail trampers will soon be able to journey along the coast west of Piha and avoid the busy and sometimes dangerous Piha Road.

“This land will now be protected in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy.”

Peter Hillary, mountaineer and son of Sir Edmund Hillary, welcomed the purchase.

“This is one of the best pieces of news from the West Coast in years. It makes me very proud that our conservation and recreation estate continues to grow.”

Mercer Bay Loop Walk can now be connected to the Tasman Lookout Track to form a safer route for the section of the Hillary Trail passing through Piha.