Trampers tossed off Twain’s place


Two trampers weren’t impressed that much when allegedly booted off singer Shania Twain’s property for trespassing unawares.

Christchurch lads Sandy Burton-Davis and Michael Roberts – who are walking the length of New Zealand – were stymied en route from Arrowtown to Wanaka on Tuesday.

The 21-year-olds were walking the last leg of the three-day Motatapu Track when they opted to bypass 1200-metre climbs by taking a shortcut to the main road.

They apparently wandered on to private celebrity turf instead. “A couple of farmers came up to us,” claims Burton-Davis. “They were pretty angry. They referred to themselves as workers for this company but they didn’t say what it was, and they said we were obligated to turn back.”

One of the farmworkers drove the pair back to Rose’s Hut – a day’s walk – even though the public road was close by.

Canadian country music superstar Shania Twain opened the publicly-accessible Motatapu Track on her 24,700-hectare property this March. It was a government precondition for her purchase of Mt Soho and Motatapu Stations.

Managers at the two stations – now run by a company called Soho Property Ltd – couldn’t be contacted before deadline but the Department of Conservation confirms the Motatapu Track doesn’t pass over any other private land.

The two trampers backtracked, stayed the night in Arrowtown and got a ride to Wanaka next day. Burton-Davis says they had no idea it was Twain’s land: “We didn’t find this out till that night when we told friends and family the story.”