A friend and I eagerly started walking the new Te Araroa track above centennial Highway on Sunday. We will not do it again.
The track starts of easy, but is not for those fazed by heights.
Once it ascends its narrowness makes it difficult for people to pass. Much of it is constructed on a steep face. There are cracks in some places where it’s likely some of the track will slip away. Heavy rain will probably bring down parts of the cut-away banks, which will block the track. The steps are steep with no guard rails. Many parts of the path are uneven and rough. In places, rocks which might be dislodged could fall on to railway tracks, endangering trains. It will require constant maintenance.
Instead of this scary track, I would rather see a new path built on the seaward side of the existing highway footpath. It would be used by large numbers of cyclists and walkers and would link with the Pukerua Bay to Plimmerton trail. No swing bridges needed. Once built, no costly maintenance.