The first walkers were invited back into Eaves’ Bush in Orewa on August 31, with the fence taken down from the Old North Road entrance to the reserve.
Only one 0.65km stretch of track has reopened, and a small group of volunteers from the Eaves’ Bush Appreciation Society were the first to walk it.
Auckland Council closed the bush reserve just over a year ago so that kauri dieback preventative work could be undertaken.
Volunteer coordinator Laurie Rands was thrilled to see the new foot cleaning station, boardwalk, shingle on the paths, new drains and a seat.
She says volunteers really appreciate that Council contractors have done the work – previously all boardwalks and tracks were constructed by volunteers.
“Better their backs than ours,” one volunteer said.
Full reopening of the reserve, and replacement of the bridge from Kensington Park, is a long way off (HM August 5) due to funding that has been deferred at least a year as part of Council’s Covid budget cutbacks.
Council hopes to do sufficient work before summer to open up one of the link tracks up to Hillcrest Road. This will provide extra tracks and access through the reserve for the community to use over summer and the track would then be closed when the wet season returns.
The track that is open now can only be accessed from Old North Road. It is a loop alongside the stream to Nukumea Bridge, then back the same way.