Feedback on the masterplan: tracks and huts

In the March newsletter we reported back on an engagement session looking at the masterplan’s recommendations regarding recreation facilities, tracks and huts, along the Milford Road Corridor and at Piopiotahi Milford Sound.

At a high level, the masterplan talks of creating more recreation choices through a range of experiences and accommodation options at a series of key nodes. The intention is to spread visitation out, to provide options for travel at a slower pace, for people to stay longer and take time to get to know the area’s communities, cultural heritage and nature.

Recommendations include enabling a shared cycling and walking trail within the Eglinton Valley via the nodes, enhancing accommodation within the corridor (such as camping, cabins and campervans).

The masterplan also contains a wide range of specific recommendations such as:

  • changes to Mistake Creek overnight walking track including a new 80 bunk bookable hut,
  • a Lake Marian loop walk,
  • an extended Hollyford Track

In our first round of engagement with local groups and individuals, on the tracks and huts elements of the Masterplan recommendations, we heard from:

  • local operators and tourism providers
  • Fiordland Tramping and Outdoor Recreation Club
  • Fiordland Trails Trust
  • Bike Fiordland
  • New Zealand Alpine Club – Southland
  • New Zealand Deer Association, Southland
  • Fiordland Outdoors
  • Department of Conservation

They fed back to us that they were generally supportive of cycleways, track enhancements and accessible activities to slow the journey down or provide for a multi-day experience.

There was some discussion on whether the plan had got the right scale or locations for some of these recommendations—for example could the area support the environmental footprint of an 80-bunk hut—and we looked at what might work better.

The question was raised if more infrastructure associated with these proposals, was in keeping with the vision of the Masterplan – ‘Piopiotahi – New Zealand as it was forever’. How would additional facilities be maintained? How would any impacts be minimised?

Our plan is to write-up, check back and share feedback from these sessions (anonymously) online as we are able.  View a summary of feedback from the March Track and Hut engagement session as a PDF file.

If you are interested in feeding into this work, or engaging on other aspects of the Milford Opportunities Masterplan,  we’d love to hear from you: Contact us – Milford Opportunities