Panama Reserve

In 2009 Josef Langer Charitable Trust (JLCT) purchased a 48ha block of land in Le Bons, which became the first tangible memorial to Josef Langer. The parcel includes the striking volcanic dyke and dome structure known locally as Kellers Peak, but more commonly as Panama Rock, which links the area back to the centre of the Akaroa volcano at Onawe Peninsula. Also present is a large area of regenerating native bush which is gradually recovering the area which had been totally cleared of forest during the 1800’s [apart from a few totara trees under the rocky bluff]. Previous owners had built a small lodge as a holiday unit which the Trust now allows people to use especially family, youth and volunteer groups and folk who have a keen interest in conservation and the environment.

In 2012 an adjoining parcel of 60ha was added and in 2014 another neighbouring 100ha block was purchased. Over the following years several walking tracks have been opened up to allow public access to all corners of the new 200ha reserve all year around and also visitors are able to bring dogs under control. Tracks allow a variety of short and longer walks including views from the tops to the Peninsula bays and as far as the Kaikoura Mountains. Also present up there are some threatened plants including the beautiful little gentian (gentionella serotina), the only known location for this plant on the peninsula.

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