Kaipara mayor, Dr Jason Smith, opened the walk at a ribbon-cutting ceremony

Heritage trail opens

by Jill Dickie

The Butter, Barques and Gum Trail was officially opened last Sunday by Kaipara Mayor, Dr Jason Smith with a ribbon-cutting ceremony next to the gum diggers statue in Hokianga Road, attended by around 50 people.

Led by Sport Northland’s Roxanne Kelly, the trail walkers set out in search of the information boards located at the various historical sites throughout Mangawhare, following River Road and up the Park Road stairway to Pou Tu Te Rangi Harding Park. Ritchies Coachlines provided a minibus for the less mobile to view the signage and follow the route as far as possible by road.

The Mangawhare section of the heritage trail is part of the Amber Threads Tales and Trails project; a follow-on from the initial Historic River Walk established as a Millennium Project in 2000. The current walk is the culmination of two years’ research by a team of Dargaville-based volunteer heritage enthusiasts including Nick Puharich, Raewyn Sills, Brenda Lupton, Bronwyn Bernard, Dot Gorry, Anthea Hamlet and Sue Curtis.

DCDB business manager, Sue Curtis, was grateful for the creative help on the project. “Thanks to Kaipara District Council, Foundation North and Walking Access New Zealand for providing the funding to bring this project to fruition.”

A trail brochure is available from various locations around Dargaville, showing the location of the historic sites and signs along the way providing background and visual information.   The brochure is available from various locations around Dargaville.

Planning is currently in process to launch a future walk, the Time and Tides Trail, as a continuation of telling Dargaville’s stories of the past and is due to go live on the web at dargavillenz.com/talesandtrails.