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.
The last round of Government funding in May announced:
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 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.
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
– 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.