Project Tongariro

Project Tongariro has been involved with the Tussock Traverse since its conception in 2006. Over the years it has become an iconic event for both its spectacular setting in World Heritage Tongariro National Park and for its ongoing contribution to conservation and restoration projects in the park.

The sand dunes around the Tukino Mountain Road, the start of the 26km Tussock Traverse course, have been the site of a successful, ongoing restoration project. The Tussock Traverse through Project Tongariro has been a major contributor.

Decades ago, the Ministry of Works planted marram grass to stabilise the sand dunes, however the negative impact of this plan became apparent in more recent years as the vigorous and invasive marram grass seriously threatened the native plants in this area. A plan to eradicate the marram grass through spraying was implemented and proved successful. Despite this, the original problem of erosion still existed. 4WD activity off the formed road has furthered the degradation of this area.

Together, DOC and Project Tongariro instigated and continue to support the community restoration programme to plant tussocks in the area to help stabilise the landscape. The partnership of Plateau Events, organisers of the Tussock Traverse, and Project Tongariro together with event participants help to make the restoration work possible.

Each competitor in the Tussock Traverse is given a tussock plant on the day and they have the choice to donate it back to Project Tongariro to be planted as part of the community tussock re-vegetation programme. In addition, for every competitor, Project Tongariro and Plateau Events provide an additional tussock for the cause. Then, in October of every year, Project Tongariro organises a volunteer group to go forth and plant the tussocks. Every year since 2006 around 400 tussocks, over 2000 in total, have been donated and planted in the area and you can now really see the difference in the landscape. So by participating in the Tussock Traverse, each entrant knows that they are directly making a difference to the local landscape and contributing to the ongoing conservation of Tongariro National Park.

Become a volunteer Project Tongariro Member

For those participants that are keen to follow the conservation effort full circle, competitors and families are invited to join the volunteer effort in October to help plant the tussocks - if you would like to be a part of this volunteer planting day please Click Here to become a Project Tongariro member.

Make a donation

If you would like to know more, or if you would like to make a further donation to help sustain the ongoing work that Project Tongariro undertakes, check out our website or make a donation by clicking here

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