Tana's Track (Wellington)
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Fairly easy walk -our youngest team member (4 years) managed it with help on steeper bits of track.
The site of this cache gives you a good view up the Wainuiomata River towards the water collection area and water treatment station for Wellington City. The water is taken both from the Wainuiomata River and from the neighbouring Orongoronga River catchments. The water from the Orongoronga River is piped through the separating ridge to the Wainuiomata River. There is a small maintenance train in the tunnel. Occasionally this opens for tours.
The first water was taken from the Wainuiomata River to supply Wellington in 1878. In 1911 the Morton Dam, the remains of which can be seen from the cache site, was commissioned and in 1919 the tunnel to the Orongoronga River was built.
In 1987 the Morton Dam was decommissioned. It was an earthquake risk and now considered redundant due to new storage facilities being developed elsewhere.
The cache is accessed from the Tana Umaga Track which is named after a former Captain of the All Blacks who grew up in Wainuiomata.
The track is much steeper (though shorter) if accessed from the eastern end on the Gum tree loop Track. A more gentle gradient can be gained by walking up Sledge track taking left entrance following the stream (and you have the chance of another cache on the way) or slightly steeper taking the right entrance (a short detour is needed to get the second cache on this route). The visit can be started or concluded by finding NZ's oldest still active cache.
The track itself is mostly a wide dirt bulldozed track developed during the 1980's to expose the abutment of the proposed new 60 metre high dam (4 times bigger than the Morton Dam). This was vigorously opposed by local residents due to the earthquake risk and potential for a catastrophe for the urban area downstream if the dam failed.
The dam did not proceed and the whole valley, below the water supply restricted entry area, is now a pleasant recreation area with a number of easy to medium walks (and caches) adjoining onto the Remutaka Forest Park.
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