The Prime Minister cheered trail bike riders on as they set off on the Clutha Gold Trail after its official opening this afternoon.
John Key cut the ribbon, opening the trail, in front of a large crowd of spectators including the 50 riders who had earlier completed the Roxburgh Gorge Trail.
Mr Key said the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold trails were the 13th of 23 cycleways to be completed around the country and would be a ''legacy asset'' for the region.
The $50 million the government had invested in the cycleways initiative was ''money well spent'', he said.
''It was $50m well spent in terms of the great joy it would bring to the community. In terms of the two cycle ways we are opening today, they are about 109km that form part of 2700km of cycleway that has now been developed around the country.''
The government had put in $5.8m towards the development of the two trails, and he commended the Roxburgh Gorge Charitable Trust and Clutha Gold Charitable Trust to raise ''millions'' to co-fund the trail.
He also acknowledged the landowners' generosity.
''It is a long process going around the country developing the cycleways.
''You have to ultimately get Resource Management Act consent, approval and it comes at some inconvenience for the landowers. It opens up this most beautiful part of New Zealand to tourists from overseas and people locally, and people of all ages and ability when it comes to cycling, and it wouldn't be possible without the landowners' generosity.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.