Case Study, Walking Tracks - DOC Taranaki Area Office

Wilkies Pools Track Upgrade


Track Description & Project Brief

Wilkies Pools Track is located in the East Egmont area, 14 kilometres from Kaponga, west of Stratford and Eltham. The track entrance is 100 metres from the Dawson Fall Visitors’ Centre (DOC) and is a popular destination for bush walkers and day visitors wanting to experience the subalpine (goblin) forest and view the pools scoured from 20,000 year old lava.

The brief was to upgrade 480 metres of the current track to enhance visitors’ walking comfort and remove what had become a worn and undulating track surface with, therefore, many potential trip hazards of steps, rocks and tree roots. Further consideration was to provide a surface which was “barrier free” enabling use of strollers, walking frames and wheelchairs. Finally to provide a surface which will tolerate very high rainfall, up to seven meters per annum?

Construction Steps

  1. Considerable infilling was carried out to create a track without steps and to remove hazards. The hard fill was either excavated existing track aggregate or supplied AP20 aggregate, compacted to a maximum of 150mm.
  2. Timber (150X25mm R/S H4 treated) edgings and pegs (50X50mm R/S H4) were used for track containment along one edge of the entire track. A water course was created at the side of the timber side of the track to reduce water flow across the track with the intention of reducing rutting and track water damage.
  3. Bedding sand was added to a depth of 20mm onto which JakMatEnviro was positioned. The mats were laid two across (2 X 585mm) giving a total track width of 1170mm.
  4. Pinning of the mats was achieved using a wire staple (230 X 2.5mm diameter wire) at the centre join of the two JakMats (approx 2 per mat).
  5. The JakMatEnviro was then filled with GAP20 aggregate and compacted. Another 10-15mm layer of GAP 20 was compacted on top of the mat.
  6. Fall of the track surface was 2% either to the right or left and in some places a crown design was use again with a 2% fall from centre.

2 Years Down The Track

Wilkies Pools Revisited!

TJakMat ground stabilisation mats have been installed on the Wilkies Pools Track for over two years and it was time for us to see how they had been performing. The first JakMatEnviro was laid in Aug 2009 to cover 480m of the Wilkies Pools Track. An additional 200m was laid with JakMatEnviro in May 2010 followed by a further 83m in Aug 2011.

Stage 1 Construction Completed 2009 Two Years Later 2011

The stabilised track is performing well despite the heavy rainfall of up to 7 metres per annum. Other benefits of the JakMatEnviro ground stabilization programme have been the enhancement of visitor’s walking comfort by the removal of trip hazards like rocks and tree roots.

Stage 4 of the upgrade (135m approx) is set to be completed in the 2012/13 - track extension project on the Nature walk, North Egmont Visitor Centre. This will create a link between two tracks to provide a short loop track.

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Case Studies

Check out a number of case studies which show the different uses of Jakmat:


JakMatGeocell is a more robust version of the JakMat and can be used in car parks and utility area construction.

JakMatEnviro is used for walking tracks and environmental protection, for reinforcing ground used by walkers to reduce the physical wear and tear on popular walking tracks and also for farm environments.

JakMatDairy provides a solution to race problem areas on farms caused by high stock traffic.


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