Monday, January 27, 2014

Swing Bridge, Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand:

Swing Bridge, Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand

Mount Aspiring National Park is located in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, north of Fiordland National Park, and between Otago and south Westland. The park forms part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.It was established in 1964 as New Zealand's tenth National Park. The park covers 3,555 km² at the southern end of the Southern Alps, directly to the west of Lake Wanaka, and is popular for tramping, walking and mountaineering. Mount Aspiring / Tititea is the mountain which gives the park its name. Other prominent peaks within the park include Mount Pollux and Mount Brewster.The Haast Pass, one of the three principal road routes across the Southern Alps, is found in the north-eastern corner of the park.In April 2005 the Nature Heritage Fund purchased private land in the Landsborough River valley as an addition to the park.In 2006, the Milford Dart Company asked the Department of Conservation to amend the Mt Aspiring National Park Management Plan to allow an additional road within the park for a bus tunnel, the so-called Milford Tunnel, from the Routeburn Road to the Hollyford Valley to take tourists to Milford Sound.The tunnel would have established a connection via Glenorchy and would have significantly reduced the current return travel time from Queenstown to Milford Sound of 9 hours.In December 2007, the New Zealand Conservation Authority declined to adopt the amendment to the Management Plan. The Conservation Authority considered the proposed road would not add to the use and enjoyment of Mount Aspiring National Park and that the adverse effects of construction and use of the road in the National Park would outweigh any benefits.The proposal gained approval in principle by the Department of Conservation in 2011, but was rejected by the Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, in July 2013. Smith stated that "the proposal was beyond what was appropriate for a World Heritage Area." The managing director of the company behind the proposal stated that he was "disappointed of course. National trying to out-green the greens. Going skiing.



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