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Destination Fiordland photo comp – great prizes!

The Okaka Loop Track

This is a great opportunity to dust off those photo albums (or like most of us, look in your ‘Fiordland Adventures’ photo file) and admire your prized shots of your Hump Ridge experience. 

The Hump Ridge is just one of those places where you will inevitably run out of memory (or film) in your camera.  Whenever I’m lucky enough to be on the track I can’t help adding to my photo folder – there is always something new I need to capture – the light, clouds, colours.  Love it!

Go on – take a minute and have another look at your captured memories.  The priceless photo when you finally got to the top and discover “it was worth it!” Okaka Loop track rewarding you with it’s 360 degree views.  Balancing on the overhanging Luncheon Rock infront of the Southern Ocean on the way down the ridge or walking over the largest wooden viaduct in the world.  Amazing to think it was built by hand. 

There are so many of those priceless pics out there showing how Fiordland made you feel – this is your chance to show fellow kiwis, and win great prizes!  

Entry into the photo competition is free, all you have to do is post a hard copy of your photo(s), and entry form (matted 8″x12″) to 

Te Anau Information Centre – Lakefront Drive, P.O.Box 49, Te Anau. 

Now, I know there are lots of you out there who just don’t have the time to get them printed, post them away etc.  All you need to do it send a CD with your photos on it to the Te Anau Photoshop, (with the completed entry form for each photo) and they will do the rest for you!  How easy is that?!  Details on the entry form.

I just talked to them and it costs just $10 per photo.  You can call them with your credit card details or send a cheque with your cd.  As simple as that!  you will have your hands on that $500 in no time…

All the terms and conditions are on the entry form (link just below), along with instructions for displaying your photos etc. 

http://www.fiordland.org.nz/files/Photo-Comp-Entry-Form-2010.pdf 

GOOD LUCK! – Oh and before I forget we are giving away a freedom walk package for the best Hump Ridge photo… got to be in to win! 

Now, I’m off to hunt for my own priceless picy before I forget!

Hubbard’s Clipboard issue 112 – great breaky read!

Are you a Hubbard’s Cereal lover?  If so, chances are you have read our community volunteer story that features on the inside of their clipboard.  Well, what do you think?  Please add a comment below and tell us!

We are getting lots and lots of feedback about the story, thank you to Hubbard’s for spreading the word to Kiwi cereal fans!

If you haven’t seen this issue of Clipboard (found in all Hubbard’s cereal boxes), I’ll tell you the story…

A long, long time ago… (ah sorry, I forget it’s not really a nursery rhyme)

From an idea floated at a Tuatapere Promotions meeting in 1988, a charitable trust was formed to build the track and facilities, raising over $3 million and obtaining permission from private land owners and the government. The track is now run and maintained by the Tuatapere Hump Track Charitable Trust, whose members are all volunteers from the community with a passion for the Hump Ridge Track and the future well being of the Tuatapere community.

It took locals from 1988 to Dec 2000 to pass through all the red tape and gain the many consents required to build the track but it was finally opened on November 2nd 2001 by Prime Minister RT Hon Helen Clark.  Many community members have donated and continue to donate hundreds of hours to its upkeep and maintenance.

The track is amazing.  The diversity, lodge facilities and 360 degree views make it one of a kind.  It’s a really special experience and the best part of all is it’s working.  Tuatapere is along the Southern Scenic Route and we have tourists travellers stopping by daily.  Many businesses in the area are successful thanks to increased custom the track has brought in and Tuatapere is still alive and well.

Around 25,000 community hours went into construction with another 20,000 or so since then for track upkeep.  This included building the boardwalk into 3 metre length at a local woolshed during the evenings for 12 months prior to getting the actual construction team in.  The track took nine months to build, the construction team included professionals plus locals helping them.  Every piece of the 10kms of boardwalk has netting on it, stapled by hand, by volunteers.  How’s that for dedication?

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Joyce and Johan – Wairaurahiri Jet

These two caring kiwi’s took out the 2010 Southland Environment Awards Environmental Achiever prize for their volunteer stoat trapping program, great work guys!

Joyce and Johan are very passionate about the bird life in our untouched piece of Fiordland National Park.   They have been successfully trapping stoats and rats along the Wairaurahiri River where their Jet Boating business (Wjet) operates since June 2006.

On average they catch approximately 300 stoats and 300 rats every year.   Stoats kill whenever possible – even animals bigger than they are.  Every opportunity they get to rob a nest of eggs or kill a native NZ bird, they take – even if they aren’t hungry!

The traps all have bright pink spring loaded flags which pop up when the trap is set off.   Every time Johan takes a boat trip down the river he stops at all the traps which have their flags flying to reset them so they can catch more.  Every trap has a sponsor and there is a tally of how many dirt rotten rats and slimy stoats each sponsor has caught in their trap.

As well as down the river, Joyce and Johan also have stoat traps along the South Coast track and another 80 made for the Hump Ridge Track.  We are just on the lookout for further sponsorship so we can fly them to the top and get the traps into position, helping our beautiful native birds.

The most common question asked about their trapping program is – why do you trap the stoats in the first place?  Well, stoats were introduced in New Zealand to help control the growing rabbit problem back in the late 1800’s, unfortunately they like it here a bit too much (especially in our native forests) having no natural preditors!

If you want to know more about Joyce and Johan’s stoat trapping program or their must-do exhilarating jetboat day trip down the fast flowing Wairaurahiri River go to their website www.wjet.co.nz.

Joyce checking a stoat trap
This dirty rat didn’t get away!
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