Upgrade work has commenced on the Heaphy Track constructing wider bridges. The installation of a bridge over Swan Burn Creek (mid-way between Kohaihai and Katipo Creek Shelter) started during October. This is the first of five bridges planned for replacement over the next three years.
Mountain biking on the Heaphy Track finished for the year on 30th September. The track was well used especially during the fine weather in late August and September with the track on the Golden Bay side holding up well. There were 3168 bed nights for 1st May to 30th September (compared to 1813 for the same period last year) and the consumables (gas, wood, coal) were used up faster than expected.
To help protect whio (blue duck), the stoat trapping network on the Gouland Downs has been extended by a 4.5km line along Big River bringing the total length to approximately 11km. At present there are about seven pairs of ducks on the Gouland Downs.
An upgrade programme is planned for the Heaphy track this summer from Brown Hut to Gouland Downs, fixing last summer's storm damage, replacing culverts and putting on extra gravel.
The track to Shakespeare Flat near the start of Heaphy Track in Golden Bay has been reopened.
Anatoki Track in Golden Bay has fifty large windfalls that occurred during October.
Track cutting has been carried out on the Wangapeka Track during November following winter storms.
A bridge across Kiwi Stream in the Wangapeka Valley is planned to be installed early next year.
Taipo Hut on the Wangapeka Track has undergone extensive work during October including the installation of a new water tank, a new woodshed and a repaint of the hut.
In the Wangapeka Valley, an aerial 1080 operation was carried out during September to help protect whio (blue duck) nesting in the area. Six pairs are being studied, from an estimated 20 pairs in the area, with the aim of having 50 pairs. Genesis Energy has announced a sponsorship package for whio throughout the country, which could see a further 8.8km added to the trapping network, protecting about 73km of river.
The Wangapeka Road has undergone significant remedial work costing $35,000 after storms created significant slips.
The mountain bike trial on the Flora Saddle to Barron Flat track has been popular and a number of riders have biked in to Gridiron, leaving their bikes and doing day trips to the Tablelands.
DOC Motueka want to set up a volunteer hut warden programme next summer. This is expected to include the Tableland huts and some other popular huts.