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Wilkies Pools Revisited!


2 years down the track

JakMat 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.

The stabilised track is performing well despite the heavy rainfall of up to 7 metres per annum. Other benefits of the JakMatEnviro ground stabilisation 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.

Getting Away From Rutting and Water Damage:


Heaphy track upgrade on walking and mountain bike access

The Heaphy Track is the longest at 78.4 kilometres getting approximately 8,000 walkers and bikers per year. The upgrade was between the Heaphy and the Lewis Huts earlier this year (Aug 2011) and approximately 2 kilometres had the JakMat laid as the base.

The issues that have driven the upgrade were,
  • Considerable storm damage to the track in recent months
  • Heavy upcoming walking and biking season (Mountain bikers were given the use of track through the months of May to September).
  • It was also decided to depart from historically used track building techniques and use more methods and product now proven within DOC (e.g. sustainability, recycled material).
The outcomes that DOC personnel are expecting from the upgrade to JakMatEnviro include:

  • A better track than previous with reduced ongoing maintenance both in time and cost.
  • To be able to cope with the more extreme weather patterns now experienced.
  • A permanent integrity of the track surface.
  • Rain events no longer removed gravel (aggregate) from the track.
  • That the public using the Heaphy track, both walkers and bikers, are positive about the upgrade and that there wilderness experience is enhanced.
 Construction completed 2009

Two years later 2011

Typical track rutting issue

JakMatEnviro laid,
filled and capped


Bay of Islands - Holding Materials Together and Prolonging Track Life

Minimising visitor impact and protecting features with a mat that can be uplifed at a later date leaving the area intact and undamaged

Mahinepua Peninsula is located about 40 min drive north of Kerikeri and it is home for fourteen archaeological sites. The track travels about 3km, giving access to many sheltered bays and costal views. JakMatEnviro have been installed on Mahinepua Peninsula Track for 18 months, mainly on each landing after each flight of steps.

Before the upgrade, the area was subject to intense erosion and it was shoulder high in places. The upgrade saw steps installed on the steeper parts of the track for safety and archaeological protection. The track attracts approximately 5,000 visitors every year (10,000 trips) and JakMatEnviro was mainly used for step platforms maintaining the gravel in place of hard wearing points and keeping the crown surface.

Paihia Viewing Platform
The site was heavily eroded 16 months ago before the upgrade to of JakMatEnviro being laid on the track in April 2010. Paihia is another popular site that gets at least 10,000 visitors (20,000 each way) per year. Capital Project Manager, Visitor Assets of Bay of Islands Katrina Upperton re-visited the track at Paihia this month and was impressed about how JakMatEnviro was holding and that there is no sign of surface cover being exposed. "You wouldn't even know it was there".

According to Katrina, JakMatEnviro performs better than other ground stabilisation product they have evaluated.

What they like about JakMatEnviro is:

Product strength: it is flexible and not brittle enabling power barrows to be rolled over.
Wall to wall interlinking system creates broad matrix.
The key between the sub-base and ground material being supplied. Backcountry Construction Ltd. was awarded the contracts for both Mahinepua Peninsula Track Upgrade and Paihia Viewing Platform Track Upgrade and they appreciate the fact that JakMatEnviro pack nice and compact for easy transport. "We like how easy (compact and relatively light) they are to fly".

 Mahinepua Peninsula: 
JakMats used for step platforms

After Paihia viewing
platform upgrade

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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 Geocell(AU)   Geocell/Enviro(NZ)      Dairy (NZ)

Where to buy?

See a list of stockists HERE