Historic Rameka Track

Martin Langley has led a few work parties up on the old Rameka Track this month and has it completely cleared all the way to the pines. Here is a photo of Martin, and Spanish cyclist, Ignasi, test riding it.


They are probably the first riders in a century to pedal down this historic section of track, which was once the main route from Nelson to Takaka.

From the pines the track seems to disappear, so Martin has suggested building a new track out to a great look out point.

We will mark these tracks out in late June, when Bronnie and Jonathan head down to Project Rameka for tree planting.

Ready … Steady … Go!

28/29 April 2008
Settlement day is Tuesday 29 April. Eeks!

The nights bring heavy rain, the mornings bring grey but still skies.

We’ve arranged with the original landowner, Dave Edmonson to get on site early – before settlement date. We want to remove some pine trees from the clearing where we propose to plonk the Funky Shack.

Jonathan and Bronnie have been here before, but it’s all new ground for Bruce Craigie and Simon Johnson, who are going to be doing the tree felling. Simon has even bought a new chainsaw especially for this job.

Bruce and Simon study the trees in silence. They’re bigger than the two men expected. Fourteen-year-old pines don’t grow this fast down in Otago, which is where the pair have spent most of their time dealing to wilding pines.

The mission starts. It’s like a highly-organised secret-service strategic campaign. Drop Tree 1 in this direction, and it should clear the way for Tree 2 to be felled in this other direction … The planning has to be meticulous. If we get it wrong, at the very least, it means a whole load of effort removing limbs and hauling away a tree fall from the area that we want clear; at the worst, it could leave a person squished under a misplaced pine tree.

The weather is surprisingly kind to us. What looks like a day for spending in front of a coffee at the Wholemeal Cafe turns out to be a calm, if clouded and misty afternoon.

We work on the tree felling for two days and then step back. Ta-daa! Fifteen trees have been dropped, and we now have the perfect site for a nice wee hut. We can even see a smidgen of the sea from where we think the Funky Shack will sit.

Simon loves his chainsaw. He wants to sleep with it at night … we don’t say anything, we don’t catch his eye. So long as he and his chainsaw are dropping the trees, we can’t really protest. We just give him a wide berth.

Houston, We Have a Problem

28 April 2008
We get a phone call from the Bay. “Uhmm, … You know those doors you sent down for the Funky Shack? Do you have a key for them?”

A key! Who would have thought to check a set of recycled French doors for a key. Who indeed! Dave the builder merrily constructed the hut, finished it off, and closed the doors … Now we have to work out how to get in.

Good one Martin! We always suspected you had skills in many areas. Now the proof lies in the photo. A small sum of money should guarantee that no word of this leaks down to the constabulary!

Rameka Open Day – Track Building

Over the previous few days, Jonathan had been hunting around the Project Rameka property for the original Rameka Track bench and finally felt that he’d found the first few hundred metres of it. This track is about 1-metre wide, and must be over a hundred years old. The gradient is perfect for a two-way mountain biking track, so we decided to clear it on the open day.

Several Nelson riders biked over the Rameka to help locals and Wellington cyclists. A big thanks to Peter, Kalvin, Simon, Greg, Andrew, Garry, Dean, Dylan, Barbara, Patrick, Ricky, Corina, Seamus, Murray, and Stu. About 300 metres was cleared and 200 metres also re-benched. It’s looking great.


This photo shows work being done on the historic Rameka Track. The Rameka Road can been seen down on the left. The recently bulldozed track on the right leads up to the Lorax Lair.

After the old track enters the pines, it follows a farm track for 150 metres to a water trough, then disappears. New track will have to be designed from there. We will email everyone before the next work party.

The day ended with saussies and hash browns around a log fire and nicely rounded off with lots of shaggy-dog jokes. Special thanks to Karyn for “How many ears does Davy Crocket have?” Any guesses? You’ll kick yourselves when you hear the answer …