Horotiu section of Te Awa River Ride opens

Andrea and Brendon Arnott of Ngaruawahia try out the new track.
Andrea and Brendon Arnott of Ngaruawahia try out the new track.

Hundreds of Waikato residents were able to satisfy their curiosity about the Horotiu section of the Te Awa River Ride when it officially opened on Saturday.

The summery day brought around 500 cyclists and walkers of all ages to try the three-kilometre section of the ride, which links the Horotiu Bridge with the start of the Hamilton section.

Te Awa River Ride project director Jennifer Palmer said it was an amazing day, and in the five minutes after the gates opened a dozen people had headed down the track.

And feedback was positive.

"I think people were really surprised at some of the things they saw.

"There's a really cool boardwalk, there's a beach, so there's just lots of of really unique things," she said.

"I think people are just really excited about cycleways in general, but this is a pretty spectacular section."

The Horotiu section had budget of about $1.5m and takes riders behind Fonterra's Te Rapa factory.

It also opens up access to the Mangaharakeke Pa site, which is one of the largest in the Waikato.

And there were a few famous faces around for its opening - Olympians Sarah Ulmer and Rob Waddell each presented a young spot prize winner with a bike.

Waikato Times