Whaakari Conservation Area.
Whakaari Conservation Area came under the auspices of the Department of Conservation in 2008, which opened up about 9000ha of rugged land to the public on foot, cycle and horseback.
Whakaari (meaning “To hold up to view”) is found between Glenorchy and Mt Aurum and boasts two major walking tracks – Mt Judah and McIntosh loops which offer amazing views of the Humboldts, Dart Valley and Mt Earnslaw, depending on how high trampers hike. It’s alpine, tussock and grassland terrain and the bottoms of valleys still have beech forest.
It was a very important area for the mineral, scheelite, from the 1880s. There are several historic huts open to the public including The Heather Jock, Long Gully, Huts on the Mac and the Bonnie Jean.
The car park 2km south of Glenorchy has interpretation panels and a map and is the gateway to the Mt Judah Track which winds past the Glenorchy Scheelite Battery, which was used for processing the scheelite bearing rock for export.
“ The landscape that you can explore reflects a century of scheelite mining activity, a unique chronology of events that lead to triumph and failure, hardship and heroism. The tough mining characters who created the scheelite industry leave us a legacy to rediscover”
Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai