The Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu

KI Logo Ngaroto Lake Walkway

Ngaroto is a peat lake which serves the Te Awamutu area as both a recreational area and a natural marsh wildlife sanctuary. It can be found a picturesque 10 minute drive to the north of Te Awamutu. The large lake has facilities for yachting, boating, rowing and canoeing.

Te Awamutu Kiwanis and the Ngaroto Lake walkway:

In 1996, the Waipa District Council and the Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu agreed to build a raised wooden walkway through the marsh at the upper (southern) end of Lake Ngaroto. This will be part of a recreational and nature walk that the Council is developing to go entirely around the lake. The Kiwanis Club was looking for a public service project with a high labor input that allowed all our members to get involved.
Max inspecting the new walkway.
Max Ward (District Council Parks Manager) inspecting the new walkway. Click on the picture to see a larger version (64 kB)
Walkway from East end.
View of the almost finished walkway from the eastern end. Click on the picture to see a larger version (39 kB)
The District Council provided all the materials and work was begun in November, 1996. The walkway was completed in June, 1997. The Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu put more than 240 manhours into the construction project and had a great time doing it.

Constructing the walkway across the marsh

The walkway has been built in sections from milled, treated timber. To keep the walking surface a reasonable distance above the always wet marsh grasses, each section rests on two buoyant plastic floats. These floats are of rectangular section and about the size of oil drums. As yet another example of Kiwi ingenuity, the Council has managed to purchase stable floats, suited to the purpose but inexpensive by buying plastic doghouse blanks (i.e. before the door has been cut out of the house). The sections are joined together with bolted aluminum braces.
Kiwanis working bee at the lake.
Kiwanis working bee at the lake. In front, the black doghouse blanks used as floats. Click on the picture to see a larger version (82 kB)

View of the No. 1 bridge from the West
View of the No. 1 bridge (still incomplete here) from the West. Click on the picture to see a larger version (96 kB)
The marsh to be crossed was about 600 meters wide and included two drainage ditches to be bridged. It was just possible to stand on the grasses of the marsh while working on the walkway. However, more than one Kiwanis member found to his discomfort that if he stood in one place for more than a few minutes he would have marsh water flowing over the tops of his gum boots.

The Ngaroto marsh

The marsh through which the walkway passes is home to several species of ducks, pukeko (the native New Zealand swamp hen), heron and plover. The walk does not yet extend entirely around the lake but we are hoping to help the Waipa District Council address that problem as well. The short walk across the floating walkway is suitable for street shoes.
No. 2 bridge from the East.
Ngaroto walkway bridge no. 2 from the East. Click on the picture to see a larger version (100 kB)

Kiwanis World President visits the Ngaroto Lake walkway

Christiano visits the Ngaroto walkway
Kiwanis World President visits Ngaroto walkway.
Photo courtesy The Te Awamutu Courier.
Click on the picture to see a larger version (85 kB)
On 9 April, 1997, The Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu had the honor to host Kiwanis World President, Jerry Christiano and his partner, Anita at a Kiwi-style barbecue at the park at Lake Ngaroto. Jerry and Anita and our District Governor and his partner were able to view progress of the construction of the walkway. The arrival of so distinguished a world personality from so far away to view a local Te Awamutu project prompted the local newspaper, The Te Awamutu Courier to run the adjacent picture on the front page on 10 April, 1997.

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Page last updated by (David Fentress) on 18 September, 2011.
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