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St James Cycle Trail the first Great Ride

Hon Kate Wilkinson

Minister of Conservation

19 November 2010

Media Statement

St James Cycle Trail the first Great Ride

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson will officially open the St James Cycle Trail tomorrow, the first of the country’s ‘Great Rides’ to be fully completed.

The trail passes through the iconic backcountry of St James Conservation Area, near the tourist town of Hanmer Springs, and is marketed and branded as one of the country’s Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

“The St James Cycle Trail is the third trail to have sections of track available for use – but it is the first to be completed from start to finish,” says Ms Wilkinson.

“DOC has worked incredibly hard with Nga Haeranga to complete this project and the result speaks for itself.

“This is a real tourism asset and I have no doubt it will draw thousands of cyclists a year.

“The landscape is stunning and managing these sorts of natural assets is dependent on a good balance between protection and public access.

“This Government wants to get people outside enjoying our amazing country and the opening of the St James Cycle Trail will certainly achieve that.”

The 64 km-long St James Trail offers iconic scenery and a mix of trail standards, down spectacular river valleys, past high-country lakes and through beech forest and grassland valleys.

Of the 18 nationally promoted cycle trails, it requires the greatest level of experience to complete.

Experienced mountain bikers are expected to complete the full trail in roughly 10 hours. There are four huts along the way, providing a chance to make a weekend of it.

“This particular trail will be more challenging than most of the others under this brand, but I believe it fills a gap, catering for our more experienced rider community – which I am sure they will appreciate,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“I can imagine that many cyclists having completed the track would reward themselves with a soak in the Hanmer Springs hot pools on the way home.”


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