Olveston Commemoration for Les Cleveland

Olveston ProjectThe Dunedin Amenities Society will combine with Rotary and Olveston to develop a memorial site on Queens Drive commemorating the contribution made to the city by the late Les Cleveland. The project will include seating, a memorial and drift planting of daffodils alongside the Olveston stately home. Planting of the daffodil bulbs on site will commence on Saturday 21st of March at around 9.00-9.30 am. Volunteers who wish to assist with the planting of the bulbs should bring a spade or suitable pry bar for opening up the ground. Les Cleveland was a generous and passionate benefactor to Dunedin and his love of people and plants can be seen across a wide variety of areas in Dunedin.

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Town Belt Traverse 2015

Walkers in the sun

Its time to get your walking shoes on again and explore one of Dunedin’s great natural and historical landscapes. The Town Belt Traverse is an 8.2 kilometre from the Southern Cemetery to Woodhaugh Gardens taking in the heart of the Dunedin Town Belt on Sunday 29th March. The great thing about it is its absolutely free!

The route is a pram friendly event for people of all ages stopping off at five points along the way. Participants will receive a map and ticket at the car-park inside the Southern Cemetery. The traverse starts at between 10-10.30 am and all participants must complete the traverse by 1.30. Collect a stamp at all five marshal points and you can be eligible for some great local  prizes. The route is marked and there will be marshals at road crossing points along the way.

The Dunedin Town Belt is one of New Zealand’s oldest reserves and plays a special part in the physical and historic landscape  of Dunedin. It has a rich history  that dates back to the planning of Dunedin before settlers arrived here in 1848. The Town Belt covers 203 hectares and includes the two historic cemeteries and the Botanic Gardens. With its extensive parkland and forest remnants it creates a green corridor through the heart of the city.

Today the Town Belt is an important recreational and ecological asset for the city and provides invaluable habitat  for kereru, bellbird, tomtit, tui, rifleman, morepork, and shining cuckoo. The vegetation is an eclectic mix of exotics that dominates the southern area of the ‘belt to the more kanuka and fuchsia dominated ridges and gullies of the northern areas. At Woodhaugh an old stand of kahikatea remains as a reminder of a significant wetland forest that once stood there.

For the Dunedin Amenities Society the protection and enhancement of the Town Belt was the beginning of its foundation in 1888. The Society was founded through the energy of Thomas Brown and Alexander Bathgate to protect, enhance and promote Dunedin’s landscape and biodiversity. The Town Belt Traverse is your opportunity to explore through a self guided walk one of New Zealand’s great reserve sites.

Lower Unity Park

Traverse Highlights

  • The outstanding views from Admiral Byrd’s lookout at Unity Park
  • Walking through Jubilee Park (Thomlinson’s Paddock) the site of the foundation of the Society and a  temporary camp for miners on their way to the goldfields
  • Serpentine Avenue where toitu stream once flowed
  • Learn about the old tram line running through Robin Hood Park from the High Street cable car group.
  • Learn more about the cosmos from the Beverly-Begg Observatory
  • Take a free visit the gardens and grounds of the Olveston stately home
  • Experience the lushness of the fuchsia dominated forest of Queens Drive to Cosy Dell
  • Hear local poets perform at the Clear in honour of Charles Brasch at Prospect Park
  • Enjoy lunch at the old wetland forest remnant at Woodhaugh (Free BBQ supplied)
  • Get a kowhai seed kit and learn more about Project Gold in the Town Belt

Family style

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A warm jacket (you won’t need it because it’ll be warm and sunny!)
  • A drink and a snack for energy (we have a chocolate bar to get you started)
  • Your camera
  • Your inquisitive nature
  • Your friends and family (dogs on leads thanks)
  • A costume (you might win a prize)

You can use the Normanby bus from opposite Woodhaugh to return to your vehicle at the Southern Cemetery. Check out the bus timetable here.

The Town Belt Traverse Route

The Town Belt Traverse follows the red line on the map from the historic Southern Cemetery to Woodhaugh Gardens. You can find out more about the unique features of the ‘Belt by clicking on the icons of the map and enlarging it with your mouse. This map is interactive and can be used on a smart-phone.

Strolling in the Sunshine of Success

SONY DSCIt was with an immediate eye on the skies above on Sunday morning that members of the Society started their day. With all of the planning and worrying seeing it dawn beautifully fine and clear took away any of those feelings of apprehension. This was our big day to share and celebrate with Dunedin the Amenities Society’s 125th Anniversary, and what a day it turned out to be. With over 520 people undertaking the Traverse it was great to see the many happy faces that enjoyed exploring one of Dunedin’s very special places.  The Traverse attracted a broad mixture of people of all ages and the fine conditions allowed the Town Belt to really shine.

The five stopping points all proved a welcome respite for walkers with something of interest at each point. There were snow dogs at Byrd’s Unity Park Antarctic monument, cable car enthusiasts at the tramway site in Robin Hood Park, the cool elegance of the grounds of Olveston and some inspirational poetry at Charles Brasch’s site “The Clear” at Prospect Park. None of these things would have been possible without the generosity of many people who gave up their time to keep people safe, informed and entertained. To all of those people the Society’s sincere thanks for your time and energy. All of these areas added to experience and understanding of the Town Belt and made our anniversary a day to remember.

Planting of the anniversary Kahikatea treeAt the Woodhaugh Gardens finish line participants were able to relax, enjoy their lunch and reflect on their achievement of a walk well done. This was also the opportunity for a short speech from the Society’s Chairman Robin Hyndman and a welcome piece of anniversary cake. It was also an opportunity for our youngest participants to plant a Kahikatea tree in the Woodhaugh grounds. This is particularly important for the Society as we think of the future of the Town Belt, our city and our organisation. We must cultivate a new generation of young people who are passionate about Dunedin and its environment.  As Society co-founder Alexander Bathgate once said “If you plant trees you do an unselfish act. The benefits are not yours alone, but are in a measure common to all. You are not likely to see the trees you plant attain, their full strength and beauty. You are then, not working for yourselves, but for others, including those who are to come after you, and are doing a generous and public-spirited action.” With the numbers of young people and children we saw on Sunday the Society is heartened that this new generation will take up that challenge.

The Town Belt Traverse was a resounding success and an event that could become part of the regular calendar. It celebrates not just an old an venerable organisation like the Dunedin Amenities Society but one of the great reserve areas of our city. Something that we in Dunedin should cherish and be proud of because it defines our city, our landscape and our heritage. Thank you to all who participated and created a great day for the Society and themselves. The pictures below are from Antony Hamel, click on the pictures for gallery view

The Town Belt Traverse

Town Belt TraverseThe Dunedin Amenities Society is celebrating its 125th anniversary and is going to celebrate by returning to the roots of its foundation with the Town Belt Traverse.

The traverse is a 7.9 km walk through the Town Belt from the Southern cemetery finishing at Woodhaugh Gardens on Sunday 3rd November. The route is a pram friendly event for people of all ages stopping off at five points along the way. The Participants will receive a map and ticket at the old morgue building next to the Southern Cemetery. The traverse starts at between 10-10.30 am and all participants must complete the traverse by 1.30. Collect a stamp at all five marshal points and you can be eligible for some great local  prizes.

The Dunedin Town Belt is one of New Zealand’s oldest reserves and plays a special part in the physical and historic landscape  of Dunedin. It has a rich history  that dates back to the planning of Dunedin before settlers arrived here in 1848. The Town Belt covers 203 hectares and includes the two historic cemeteries and the Botanic Gardens. With its extensive parkland and forest remnants it creates a green corridor through the heart of the city.

Today the Town Belt is an important recreational and ecological asset for the city and provides invaluable habitat  for kereru, bellbird, tomtit, tui, rifleman, morepork, and shining cuckoo. The vegetation is an eclectic mix of exotics that dominates the southern area of the ‘belt to the more kanuka and fuchsia dominated ridges and gullies of the northern areas. At Woodhaugh an old stand of kahikatea remains as a reminder of a significant wetland forest that once stood there.

For the Dunedin Amenities Society the protection and enhancement of the Town Belt was the beginning of its foundation in 1888. The Society was founded through the energy of Thomas Brown and Alexander Bathgate to protect, enhance and promote Dunedin’s landscape and biodiversity. The Town Belt Traverse is your opportunity to explore through a self guided walk one of New Zealand’s great reserve sites.

SONY DSC

Traverse Highlights

  • The outstanding views from Admiral Byrd’s lookout at Unity Park
  • Walking through Jubilee Park (Thomlinson’s Paddock) the site of the foundation of the Society and a  temporary camp for miners on their way to the goldfields
  • Serpentine Avenue where toitu stream once flowed
  • Learn about the old tram line running through Robin Hood Park from the High Street cable car group
  • Visit the gardens and grounds of the Olveston stately home
  • Experience the lushness of the fuchsia dominated forest of Queens Drive to Cosy Dell
  • Hear local poets perform at the Clear in honour of Charles Brasch at Prospect Park
  • Enjoy lunch at the old wetland forest remnant at Woodhaugh (Free BBQ supplied)

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A warm jacket (you won’t need it because it’ll be warm and sunny!)
  • A drink and a snack for energy (we have a chocolate bar to get you started)
  • Your camera
  • Your inquisitive nature
  • Your friends and family (dogs on leads thanks)

Transport

Parking can found at the starting point around the Oval. You can return to your vehicle using the Normanby – St Clair bus that leaves opposite the George St entrance to Woodhaugh at approximately, 1:45, 2;45, 3:45 and goes to the Oval via the Octagon.

Check the Bus timetable here….

This event is free and open to anyone wanting to enjoy Dunedin’s best kept secrets. We have a selection of great prizes from local venues around the city. So take this opportunity to visit the Town Belt, get some fresh air and exercise and enjoy wonderful part of your city.

Check out the Route

Use the map to find were the Town Belt Traverse  starts and finishes. You can change from a map view to an aerial view and navigate using the toolbar on the map. Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the Traverse.