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23 Oct 2013
New Zealand’s only cycle trail located on the doorstep of a major city will be launched by the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, today.
The 115km Rimutaka Cycle Trail starts at Petone’s foreshore, then runs through Wairarapa before finishing at Wainuiomata’s Orongorongo River. Three stages of the cycleway are complete, with the final section from Ocean Beach to Orongorongo currently being finalised. The Rimutaka Cycle Trail will be promoted as one of New Zealand’s Great Rides as part of Nga Haerenga – The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) Chief Executive David Perks says it’s expected the new trail will be a strong tourism draw card for the region.
“The Rimutaka Cycle Trail offers a two to three day journey through distinctive Wellington landscapes. Riders travel through everything from a river valley and bush-clad hills, to lakeside farmland and a rugged southern coastline.”
With physical and geographic accessibility a key factor for visitors, the trail has the potential to become as popular as other prominent trails throughout the country, Mr Perks says.
“The Rimutaka Cycle Trail is well signposted, offers a good mix of cycling grades and is located on the doorstep of the country’s capital. No other cycle trail in New Zealand is this close to a major city or transport hub.”
Highlights of the new cycle trail include the Rimutaka Incline and the picturesque Turakirae Head – home to the largest New Zealand fur seal colony in the Wellington region.
The project has been a collaboration between PWT, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Destination Wairarapa, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Department of Conservation, along with both iwi and Rotary groups.
“Many of the trail’s components already existed; it was just a matter of linking them together,” says Mr Perks.
The first three sections of the trail are fully operational with the final section expected to be ready to ride shortly. A proposal for the second phase of the project, which would see the trail link around Pencarrow through to Eastbourne where a ferry could be caught back to Petone or Wellington city, is also currently underway.
Mr Perks says the Rimutaka Cycle Trail will be a welcome addition to the region’s already impressive collection of cycling attractions.
“From world-class mountain bike tracks to wine tours by bike, the Wellington region is one of New Zealand’s premier cycling destinations.”
The region’s cycling attractions were this month promoted at The Bike & Lifestyle Show Australia, a consumer event which saw thousands of cycling enthusiasts converge on The Dome in Sydney’s Olympic Park from 19-20 October to learn about the latest products and services industry has to offer.
“People were excited to learn that a unique feature of the country’s capital is its closeness to nature. Less than 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Wellington you’ll find prime mountain bike tracks, a 20 minute drive and you could be trailing through the great outdoors and in an hour you’ll be cycling through the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.”