To reply to Facebook questions re Taupo $4 + Million improvements to the bike trail in Taupo, this is a repeat of TRM’s report dated 18 October 2018 – to explain where the funding comes from. i.e. The $245,000 for the Kinloch track extension is from MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment). Compare Queenstown who received $13.2 Million!
Turangi asks – in terms of tourism (our biggest local industry) how can Kinloch compare to Turangi ? This has to be a deliberate strategy by Taupo Council to promote Kinloch at Turangi’s expense.
Turangi misses out again…
Image above of kids enjoying the Tongariro River Trail a real easy-peasy tourist ride..
Turangi is so excited! – $245,000 for Great Lake Trail extension!!
Ngā Haerenga NZ Cycle Trail (aka MBIE or Ministry of Business Innovation & Enterprise) announcement:.
A new 15 kilometre (?) extension to the Great Lake Trail has been granted $245,000 through the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail: Enhancement and Extension Fund.
The total cost of the Otaketake Link project is around $360,000, (i.e. $24,000/km!) with local sources contributing the remaining funding. The trail extension will take around eight months to complete.
Again Turangi feels neglected… Toe-paw Council again applied successfully for more Government funding for tourist trails to extend their bike club tracks at the northern end of the lake, while ignoring pleas from Turangi to extend the Tongariro River Trail – a real “tourist friendly” ride – either north to link with the lake edge trail at Waitahanui or south to link with existing DOC managed trails at Pillars of Hercules.
Can someone explain to Council there is far more demand for a “tourist” bike trail following SH1 north of Turangi than in Otaketake (wherever that is?), somewhere out beyond the Kawakawa Bike Trail west of Kinloch? The Council are guilty again of mis-directing Government funding allocated for tourist bike trails – being misappropriated into more technical challenging bike “club” trails – these could not honestly be described as “tourist” trails.
For the last decade Turangi has had to rely on the Toe-paw Council to make any official funding applications, so again they look after their own club trails at the expense of the demand for more tourist trails in Turangi. No wonder Turangi tourist bikers are frustrated.
Following submission in May 2018 for Council’s Long Term Plan (meeting above) confirms how Turangi is being neglected:
Taupo Council need to allocate top priority to the biking/walking track from Turangi to Motuoapa, as the first stage of the longer Turangi to Taupo Trail. All the research and feasibility reports have already been completed to confirm the likely success. A feasibility study of the Turangi to Taupo bike trail was completed in 2015 with supporting evidence from TRC (Tourism Resource Consultants). In 2016 they estimated within 5 years over 20,000 tourists would use the trail between Turangi and Motuoapa to generate between $2.87 & $4.71 million annual income.
The continued growth of biking/walking trails has been remarkable. Biking is the new golf, etc. TRC confirm one in every four visitors, who participate in a walking or biking activity, stay longer and spend more. Based on the success of other trails – Timber Trail, Hauraki Trail, etc. we believe these $$$ forecasts are now conservative. i.e. On both these trails new tourist accommodation was developed due to high demand from visitor numbers. Comparatively several motels on SH1 along this eastern edge of Lake Taupo have closed in the last five years… The independent TRC report confirms the Turangi to Taupo trail possesses all of the attributes that make successful trails.
Formal and informal discussions (by Turangi Councillor Tong Kingi) with land owners and trustees of multiple owned blocks of land have continued for over the last year. We understand they have nearly all been consulted and are equally enthusiastic about supporting the trail. To them it is needed as much as a long term business creation scheme as a tourist trail. They cannot afford further delays. It is now time to commence development. In TDC’s own study in 2017 – “Turangi Economic Development Strategy” this trail was considered the top priority – assessed as “transformational” for the economic future survival of Turangi.
Since then, in November 2017, TDC prepared a submission to DOC for this trail to be part of the next Great NZ Walks extending from Taupo through Turangi to Whakapapa. Much of the trail south of Turangi is linking existing DOC tracks. Only the Turangi to Taupo section involves new trails. The initial first step needed will be to link Turangi via the Tongariro River Trail to Lake Taupo at Stump Bay and on to Motuoapa. DGLT (Destination Great Lake Taupo – Damian Coutts) are totally supportive of this proposal and have already investigated the likely route.
From Taupo the lakefront “Lions Walk” already extends their popular biking/walking trail to Waitahanui. If this first 11km section north of Turangi is completed it will add to the existing 13 km Tongariro River Trail to provide a full day biking/walking experience out of Turangi. Nothing else is more important to encourage tourist growth to secure the economic future of Turangi. i.e. TDC’s own demographic projections indicate Turangi population could fall 25% in the next 25 years (from 3,340 in 2013 to 2,475 in 2043). Property values struggle as there are limited employment opportunities and limited demand. The demand is for holiday homes rather than from new permanent residents. i.e. Recently one Auckland buyer invested in seven properties to rent out as Airbnb holiday homes – for about the same price as an average house in Auckland.. MBIE analysis confirms such biking/walking trails provide an average return of $3.50 for every $1 invested.
For Turangi residents it is more important to provide long term employment as a tourist trail – in addition to initial short term jobs during construction. Irrefutable evidence from other trails (i.e. Hauraki Trail) confirms the growth of other localised business to support bike trails. It would be a win-win for everyone. The completion of this trail will increase international awareness for Taupo region as a biking destination – already claiming to be the “bike hub” of the North Island. Existing Bike Taupo trails around the north western side of Lake Taupo do not link with other trails such as “Waikato River Trail” and “Mountain to Sea” trails. As a result Taupo misses out on events such as the “Tour Aotearoa” bike-packing market from Cape Reinga to Bluff. This has been a huge success. i.e. In February 2018 over 600 bikers left on the Tour Aotearoa. None visited Taupo. Completion of this new “Great Trail” through to Whakapapa could bring the “Tour Aotearoa” (NZ’s 3000km bike-packing odyssey) to Taupo. This is not a new proposal. Turangi have been promoting this trail for the last ten years with support from Taupo MP Louise Upston and previous Mayor, Rick Cooper. i.e. It was subject to a feature article in the January 2010 issue of Wilderness Magazine. A video prepared in 2011 featured the MP and Mayor supporting the proposal. The Turangi Chronicle dated April 29 2010 front page featured it. Taupo Times, 12 February 2016 heading was “Taupo to Turangi bike trail reaches stage two” (?) etc. Meanwhile over the same time frame other trails – i.e. Waihaha etc. have been conceived and completed… It is time the construction of this biking/walking trail to link Turangi with Lake Taupo and Motuoapa commenced…
The last round of Government funding in May announced:
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced yesterday the Government would invest $820,000 in the upkeep of 11 New Zealand cycle trails in the Great Rides of Nga Haerenga network.
Central Otago Clutha Trails Limited will receive $82,721 for the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails, and Queenstown Trails Trust will get $15,125 for the Queenstown Trail, while Tourism Waitaki’s Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail will receive $14,203.
Two councils will receive sizeable sums: the Tasman District Council $300,000 for the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail and the Far North District Council $284,174 for the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.
The funding has come from the eighth round of the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, which aims to ensure New Zealand’s premier rides are maintained to their current world class standard.
The funding is great news for locals and the 220,000 international visitors who cycle each year. Maintenance projects include storm damage repairs, trail surface improvements, weed control and installation of signage.
This is part of the Government’s ongoing investment in the Great Rides of Nga Haerenga, including $3.4 million to extend the Hauraki Rail Trail and $2.4m to extend the Tasman cycle trail.
Other trails to receive funding include:
– Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust: Old Ghost Road (West Coast), $24,324
– Nelson City Council: Dun Mountain Trail (Nelson/Tasman), $20,000
– Queen Charlotte Track Incorporated: Queen Charlotte Track (Marlborough), $45,000
– Ruapehu District Council: Mountains to Sea (Manawatū-Whanganui), $11,890
– West Coast Wilderness Trail Trust: West Coast Wilderness Trail (West Coast), $23,073.
– Turangi – Tongariro River Trail extensions: $0000000000 Why? Because Taupo again failed to make application…
A 15 kilometre extension (but reported as only 10km in Turangi Weekender newspaper – who do you believe?) to the Great Lake Trail has been granted $245,000 through the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail: Enhancement and Extension Fund.
The new Otaketake Link will branch off the K2K Track, between Kawakawa Bay and Kinloch, and run to the start of the Orakau Track.
The extension will create a scenic 30 kilometre off-road loop that will add to the appeal of the Great Lake Trail and improve safety for those cyclists who currently ride on the road to undertake a similar loop.
The Great Lake Trail has been operating for nearly four years. It is currently 71 kilometres and provides an all-seasons riding experience through native forests, with views across Lake Taupō to the Tongariro National Park.
The intention is to create a hub and spoke model, with Kinloch as the centre *. Cyclists can either ride the full trail over a couple of days, or base themselves in Kinloch and do several shorter rides.
The total cost of the Otaketake Link project is around $360,000 (= $24,000 per km!), with local sources contributing the remaining funding. The trail extension will take around eight months to complete.
Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail is a network of 22 premier and predominately off-road Great Rides across the country, used by more than a million people per year.
* Turangi asks – in terms of tourism (our biggest local industry) how can Kinloch compare to Turangi ? This has to be a deliberate strategy by Council to promote Kinloch at Turangi’s expense.