Gearing up for scenic route celebration
Preparations are under way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Southern Scenic Route.
The route, which runs between Queenstown and Dunedin via Te Anau and Western Southland, Invercargill, Bluff and the Catlins, was opened in November 1988.
Former Tuatapere resident John Fraser, who now lives in Dunedin, is credited as the founder of the route.
He pursued the vision and developed the original idea with a wide group of people throughout the south, who had to overcome many barriers on the way.
"I think that it's probably been worth tens of millions of dollars to the southern economy," Mr Fraser said.
He believed the route had helped Tuatapere remain a decent-sized town and without it, could have become just a rural supply town.
During the 1940s there were less than 40 accommodation beds but now there were about 160.
The route also saw a general revitalisation of Catlins.
Sealing the road meant tour buses and campervans could travel the route, which also made it a great cycling route, he said.
A Southern Scenic Route committee has organised a public event in Tuatapere later this month to celebrate its success.
The committee is made of members of five regional tourism organisations: Destination Fiordland, Destination Queenstown, Venture Southland, Destination Clutha Catlins and Tourism Dunedin.
Venture Southland tourism marketing projects co-ordinator Nikki Dermody said the event, at Tuatapere Domain on November 24, would open with an official ceremony.
From 11am to 3pm, the public could expect plenty of entertainment, displays and activities.
A revamped brochure was being printed to mark the anniversary. The website had 4434 unique visitors from May 2013 to September 2013, she said. The committee would also revamp the website and promote a video of the route via social media.
- © 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.