A bare section of reserve land along Lake Wānaka is almost unrecognisable now with a forest of tall native trees and shrubs showcasing what a purposeful native habitat restoration initiative can achieve.
Thanks to the partnership between Ridgeline Wanaka, Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust and Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), this site at Glendhu Bay, featuring a special lookout towards Mt Aspiring, has seen over 450 native plants in the ground since 2012.
Ridgeline is Wānaka’s premium operator of high country walks, off-road safaris, and photography tours and was established in 2008 by Mark Orbell. Ridgeline aims to connect people with Wānaka’s raw beauty through its experiences and has a strong conservation philosophy for its business.
“Every person that takes part in an experience with Ridgeline is specifically contributing towards the Glendhu Bay planting project, as a percentage of all bookings are pegged for purchasing native trees to plant at this site. It is a chance for our guests to give something back to the Wānaka community,” said Mr Orbell.
The native trees are grown by Te Kākano; a community-based, non-profit native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. The trust works with local community groups, schools, organisations and businesses to promote hands-on community land care.
Ridgeline recently launched a new ‘group conservation experience’ tailored specifically to the growing conference/incentive market coming to Queenstown and Wānaka. Mr Orbell shared, “We’re very excited to supercharge our plantings with this new opportunity and look forward to the next 10 years of planting even more trees around Wānaka.”
To mark the special milestone, a celebratory planting event was held on 1 October.