Named by early settlers who used the landmark as a meeting and trading point, Welcome Rock takes its name from the prominent rock that sits on the skyline high above the homestead.
Present day Welcome Rock started in 2012 when the concept was conceived of a hand-built trail system through Blackmore Station following the old gold miner’s water race.
Tom O’Brien built Welcome Rock Trails, turning the first sod of earth on Tuesday 13th June 2013 and a revolution of new trail was revealed.
When Tom was a young boy, his mother and father had the wisdom to retire one thousand hectares of land, being half the farm, into a conservation convenant.
Their vision was to preserve the High-Country, allowing it to regenerate, and share this with other.
As a family we wanted to fulfil our forefather’s vision without affecting the peacefulness of the reserve.
We decided that low impact recreation such as Hiking and Biking would best fit this vision, allowing people to explore the High Country at their leisure. We wanted to be sympathetic to the landscape, sensitive to the Historic and Ecological features, and mirror the techniques of the water race builders over a hundred years ago.
Welcome Rock is now a Nationally Protected Ecological Area and has a Class One Heritage Order from Heritage New Zealand.
Today our dream is being realised, where the land is regenerating back to its pre-settlement beauty as visitors enjoy this sanctuary for how it was.
The product offerings started after Tom completed building a 21km trail. Visitors can explore the land on foot or bike and if they wish stay overnight in one of the two high country huts available on the property. As the business evolved the original Wool Shed was transformed into accommodation near the homestead.