Four cycleway sections to open by Christmas
Trail to open from Lake Ohau to OtematataMATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
The Alps to Ocean cycleway should have at least four new sections open in time for the Christmas holidays.
Joint committee secretary Coralie Reid said the Lake Ohau to Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau Lodge to Quailburn Road, Quailburn Rd to Omarama and Omarama to Otematata were all in their final stages of completion.
"It's been encouraging, it's all coming together," she said.
"There have been some issues with the rain and floods over the winter, which has delayed some of the work in the more sensitive areas, but I think we've made good progress."
The Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru cycleway received $2.5 million in Government funding. Committee chairman Mike Neilson said it would be about 310km long.
"According to the most recent update, of the 123 kms to build, 33 kms are complete, 36 kms are under construction and about 54 kms of construction is still to be started.
"There is 187kms of trail which use existing road such as the canal roads and the road on the north side of Lake Aviemore," Mr Neilson said.
Mr Neilson said the first stage of the trail- about 123 km long- would be newly constructed trail.
Waitaki Tourism Board will handle the marketing and tourism promotions aspects of the trail.
Applications for a marketing services manager for the trail will close at the end of the week.
"I imagine they're looking for a marketing guru who really likes cycling," Ms Reid said.
The cycleway was one of 18 "great rides" to receive Government funding.
"Cycleways are becoming more popular. According to the latest Economic Development figures, at least 90,000 of the country's visitors cycled here last year," Mr Neilson said.
"To put that into perspective, about the same number said they came here to ski."
- The Timaru Herald