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$2.4m to extend and upgrade Tasman cycle trail

$2.4m to extend and upgrade Tasman cycle trail

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis today announced up to $2.4 million in funding towards extending and upgrading Tasman’s Great Taste Trail to a multi-day ride.

This is the first major investment to be made through the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund. The trail will be extended by about 40km south between Wakefield and Woodstock; and other sections will be upgraded, including 33km between Woodstock and Brooklyn.

“The Great Taste Trail already attracts a significant number of local and international visitors but not necessarily for long stays, so benefits for the region are restricted,” Mr Davis says.

“The new extension will make the Great Taste Trail a two to four day ride that links accommodation, food and beverage outlets and attractions such as beaches, vineyards, National Parks, heritage sites and arts and crafts producers.

“The trail has fantastic local support and presents ongoing economic development opportunities as a tourism asset. Like many of the 22 Great Rides around the country, Tasman’s Great Taste Trail also has social and health benefits for the community, providing a family friendly recreational and commuter trail between townships.

“I know the Great Taste Trail has suffered significant damage following recent weather events and I encourage the Tasman District Council to apply for extreme event funding through the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund to support the necessary repairs to the trail.”

The Tasman District Council will now create an implementation plan that will set out a timeframe for the extension project.

The Enhancement and Extension Fund also allows some high priority safety projects to be fast tracked. Two priority projects have been identified for funding.

“Currently Otago’s Roxburgh Gorge Trail ends with a steep downhill slope that is prone to water scour and loose gravel. The Government will provide up to $120,000 to replace this section with a switchback trail that will be easier to ride, particularly for inexperienced cyclists,” Mr Davis says.

“Up to $99,000 will go to improving the Waikato River Trail between Whakamaru and Atiamuri. This section runs beside State Highway 30 and over time the trail surface has become very rough with exposed roots and rock.”

Last week the Government announced a $1 million investment through the Provincial Growth Fund to complete the final section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail and improve facilities around the West Coast’s Old Ghost Road cycle trail.

For more information on Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, visit:

http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/nga-haerenga-new-zealand-cycle-trail

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