Enhancing a popular lookout site on Tipapakuku Rd is a project being explored by Dannevirke Lions Club.

Lions project committee chairman and immediate past president Mike Harold is behind the project which has had initial approval from Tararua District Council.

In a letter to Dannevirke Community Board Harold outlined the reasons behind the project initiative.

The first was to promote the site for the special vista it offers of the town and the Ruahine Ranges, particularly at sunset.


The second is to begin to "claim back" for the wider community a popular roadside parking spot which was subjected to regular littering.

"The initial focus will be in levelling and tidying the site, with the intention of placing a bench seat from which visitors can rest and appreciate the vista."

Harold said the plan was to create a local "destination" for walkers, cyclists or motorists interested in a special perspective which showcased the town of Dannevirke with its major geographical feature, the Ruahine Range, providing an impressive backdrop.

"I would be most appreciative of any support the community board could give to this initiative aimed at the enhancement of the town."

Speaking about the project at a community board meeting deputy chairman Terry Hynes the area of roadside was 55 metres long and 5.5 metres wide.

It provided a view of the ranges that stretched from Takapau to Woodville.

Hynes said the idea was to develop the area over a period of time. It would be partly funded by Lions.

The major cost would be in levelling and tarsealing the site.


"We had a meeting with Downer Alliance and they were very helpful. If Lions can get the site levelled Alliance will tarseal it and provided seating and rubbish bins."

Hynes said Lions would be approaching the community board for funding.

On a visit to the site Harold said the area needed to be reclaimed. Broken bottles and rubbish were strewn around the area.

One of the advantages of the site was that it was an easy walk from town, just 1.7 kilometres from the Domain Triangle.

Harold said when promoting Tararua its greatest asset were the ranges and the amazing cloud formations they create.

"The sky over Tararua looks amazing and the colour in the hills blows you away.

"One of the things we take for granted are our natural resources. We often complain about the number of cloudy days we have here but the cloud formations are amazing and constantly changing."

Harold spoke about Harry Combs who grew up in a railway worker family and lived for a time in Dannevirke in the 1890s when things were booming economically with the felling of the bush.

Later Combs was an MP for Oriental Rongotai as part of the Micky Savage first Labour Government in 1935.

"As an older man he wrote of his childhood years and he wrote this description of the Ruahines: This mountain backdrop (The Ruahines) is never the same two days running.

Indeed it changes from hour to hour. If residents would only pause to look, they would see that sunny day, cloudy day, stormy day, has each its charms. But best of all is sunset after rain. As lengthening shadows creep over the land the dark greens and browns of the bush disappear into a deep blue, to tantalise the amateur artists."

Harold says the community needs to be proactive and help clean up the area.

"Ideally this needs to be a collaborative project in the community, not just a Lions project, it's bigger than that."