The proposed monorail is part of a bigger project called the Fiordland Link Experience. The company behind this project are called Riverstone Holdings Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd. Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd also owns half of Pegasus Town Ltd, a property development near Christchurch which went into receivership in August 2012.
The Fiordland Link Experiience is quite complex, involving users hopping on and off these different transport modes. It would include: transporting up to 960 passengers a day on six trips by a high speed catamaran across 20km of Lake Wakatipu between Queenstown and Mt Nicholas Station; then passengers boarding all-terrain-vehicles for a 45km journey through the Von Valley and Mavora Road to the Kiwi Burn; then passengers boarding a train to travel at 78kph on a 41km monorail to Te Anau Downs (29.5km of which is through the Snowdon Forest Conservation Area) prior to their transfer on coaches to Milford Sound (an additional 90 minute journey).
The monorail is the biggest concern, as it would involve destroying tens of thousands of trees and ripping through the heart of a conservation area with World Heritage status that is much loved by trampers, kayakers, hunters and anglers. As well as being environmentally damaging, it would also be an eyesore, marching across a landscape of wide valleys and forested terrain on concrete piles.
The plan also includes construction of a terminus at Kiwi Burn, a remote and beautiful place, and a terminus at Te Anau Downs on the edge of Lake Te Anau, complete with facilities such as restaurants, parking, etc.
The areas affected by this scheme including Kiwi Burn, Mavora Lakes, the Upukerora area and the upper Whitestone. The plan is diabolical primarily because it’s environmentally damaging to these beautiful areas. But it makes no sense on many levels.
Read our 10 reasons why the Fiordland Link Experience must not happen.