Anticipation is building as development of the Pounamu Pathway gains momentum and the opening of first of the four tourism hubs located along the West Coast draws closer.
The Pounamu Pathway will be a world class tourism attraction where visitors can embark on a journey across the West Coast of the South Island and experience the local pūrākau (stories) and untamed natural wilderness it has to offer. From Westport through to Haast, the Pounamu Pathway will deliver a 21st century representation of local cultural history that will enable visitors to retrace the footsteps of the cultural pathway on the West Coast and connect with iconic cultural sites, battles and wars and the rich untold stories of the region. It will captivate with an emotive experience that intertwines a modern representation of traditional storytelling with European heritage stories.
Wētā Workshop have been an invaluable partner in the creative design and development of each of the four Tourism hubs. With their expertise in the field of film and television special effects and their unparalleled passion for creativity and storytelling, Wētā Workshop has brought a unique and exciting dimension to the tourism experience.
“We are excited that the reality of this world class tourism experience for the West Coast is taking shape and we’re able to bring the stories of our tūpuna (ancestors) to life. The process of transforming an idea into a tangible, immersive experience is a journey full of challenges and triumphs, and the end result will definitely be worth the effort.” Te Ara Pounamu Limited Francois Tumahai.
The first tourism hub is due to open in Greymouth later this year, with construction on the Māwhera (Greymouth) site well underway. Work is soon to commence on the stunning pōkeka (rain cape) design of the roof. The building speaking to the regions cultural history and providing an important connection between those travelling via the TranzAlpine and the township.
Image: Artistic impression of the Māwhera building
The second of the Hubs, located in the much beloved Coaltown Museum in Westport, will bring together cultural storytelling of the Pounamu Pathway with the Pākehā industrial story (Coaltown), while honouring the diverse landscape of the region and its unseen people.
Images: Artistic impressions of the Kawatiri (Westport) hub
The Pounamu Pathway will deliver something truly special for both international and local visitors to the region, so stay tuned for more updates on this awesome tourism experience.