Scenic cycle route open
At least eight sections of the Alps to Ocean cycle trail are open for the summer holidays, with work expected to continue.
Marketing and sales officer Jason Menard said some parts were more complete than others but the organisation's website would provide daily updates on the progress.
"The sections are all rideable, with some detours along roads while construction work progresses. There's going to be a lot of work," he said.
"However, I have heard from a tour group that they really enjoyed cycling along the road from Ohau Lodge. It's great to see people enjoying the scenery while the trail moves on."
At least 14 companies have signed on as "official partners", according to the website.
"There are at least a couple of cycle tour providers who have established themselves at various locations along the trail [and] we're sure to get more accredited partners as interest builds," Mr Menard said.
The Government has pledged $2.75 million towards the 312km Aoraki-Mt Cook to Oamaru trail; about 187km of the trail would use existing surfaces such as the canal roads.
"For the section from Aoraki-Mt Cook to Braemar, the best way to experience it is by taking a short helicopter flight over the Tasman River," Mr Menard said. "You end up in a very remote area. The only alternative . . . is to drive up a long gravel road on the other side of Lake Pukaki, then turn around and cycle back."
The Waitaki District Council has already pledged more than $384,000 of funding towards the trail over the next two years, with one-third of that going towards promotion and marketing. The Mackenzie District Council has so far indicated it would contribute $125,000 over the next three years towards the trail's maintenance.
"A lot of the work is voluntary," Mr Menard said.
For updates see the official website alps2ocean.com.
The Timaru Herald