‘Great Walk’ to Turangi features in Taupō economic strategy
Further to the announcement that $15.9 Million is available for recreational purposes in Turangi, TRM repeat the news article published 3 years ago by Robert Steven.
This confirms Council support for bike trail extensions to the existing Tongariro River Trail.
The Council support concurs with the Economic Strategy Report previously prepared which advised the bike trail was the most important project to secure the future prospects of Turangi.
Since then in late 2020 the Council Transport Strategy Committee confirmed the bike trail extensions as a priority project.
An economic development plan for Taupō features an $18million walk/cycle trail and a bigger airport terminal.
The “District Economic Strengthening Strategy” report has been approved by councillors and sent out for public scrutiny this week.
It includes six “catalyst projects”, which involve upgrading the airport, the civic precinct, creating a “tertiary hub”, promoting the district’s geothermal industry, marketing the Wairakei Tourist Park, and building a cycle trail from Turangi to Taupō.
Mayor David Trewavas is scheduled to meet with Minister of Regional Development Shane Jones on Friday to discuss the plan. This follows a meeting in Wellington last month.
“We’ll talk about our application for a share of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which could provide some revenue to facilitate these developments,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time: we’re transforming from a provincial town to a reasonable-sized metropolitan, and we need the infrastructure to cater for this.”
It is hoped the proposed Turangi-to-Taupō cycle trail could join the list of New Zealand’s Great Walks, Trewavas said.
“It would be like the Otago Rail Trail.
“For all those areas down south [of Taupō], this would be a huge game-changer
However, the cycle route could not go via the narrow, winding roads at Bulli Point, he said.
The trail would need to go inland, like the existing stretch of SH1 between Waitahanui and Hatepe.
“There is a long-term plan to divert [SH1] from Bulli Point, but it’s quite a fair way out,” Trewavas said.
“We’re advocating that the government bring that forward.”
Agreements with the owners of the land the trail would pass through, which is currently forestry, would also need to be reached, he said.
“It’s predominantly Maori-owned land.
“The potential economic benefits of the cycle trail would be huge, so we’re certainly trying to push our way through this with all stakeholders on board,” he said.
“It’ll be a walkway as well. It’d be great for accommodation providers and local businesses the whole way along the trail. It’s a huge opportunity for everyone.”
The total cost to build the track is estimated at $18.3 million
Construction of the trail will create new 47 regional jobs and between $2.87m and $4.71m in annual regional income, the report says.