Innovative ideas for Cape Wanbrow

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It was evident yesterday that Waitaki residents are both passionate and innovative when it comes to reserves, trees and recreation.

Verbal submissions relating to the redevelopment of Cape Wanbrow were heard as part of the public consultation process on the Draft Waitaki Reserves Management Plan 2014.

Mr Graeme Clark and Mr Derek Golding, both of Oamaru, put forward their ideas to councillors which were met with enthusiasm.

Mr Clark said that many places in the world have their name on the top of a hill like Mosgiel, Hollywood and our very own Aldavady near Georgetown.

He gave a graphic presentation on what ‘Oamaru’ would look like on the hill adjoining Forrester Heights and Cape Wanbrow and said signage could be a novel way of linking the two areas.

The plantings would be in native trees which would be noticeable after 3-4 years, he said. Maintenance would be minimal.

Mr Clark said he supported council management’s design concept for Cape Wanbrow, especially the re-opening of Graves Track and the future connection to Bushey Beach.

“The potential for linking the two penguin colonies by a coastal walking (and cycling) track is enormous not only for our tourist industry but for the whole community as a recreational asset.”

Through the morning councillors were left to grapple with the idea that numerous user groups want to enjoy the cape and they were left ‘without an answer’ to walkers, cyclists and horse riders all wanting to co-exist.

Mr Golding suggested that a solar-powered, multi-purpose building be constructed on the dark side of the reserve which could be used as a base for night sky tours and astronomy lectures.

It could also act as a mini planetarium which is a dome with a projection theatre, he said.

Mayor Gary Kircher said from a tourism perspective the proposal would tie in well with the dusk viewing of penguins.

By LINDA MCCARTHY

IMAGE: SUPPLIED – Graeme Clark, Oamaru, presented this image to members of the Waitaki District Council yesterday during the submission hearing on the Draft Waitaki Reserve Management Plan 2014.