More than $730,000 in funding for safety improvements to two Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, has been announced by the government.
The work will be carried out on sections of the trail in the Ruapehu and Wellington regions plus an extension to the Waikato River trail.
“The Great Rides are great regional tourism assets that showcase the best of New Zealand – our landscapes, environment, culture and heritage,” said tourism minister Kelvin Davis.
“They are encouraging domestic and international visitor spending in our regions and smaller communities – to the tune of $37.4m per year at the last estimate. The value of our premiere rides is without question, so it’s important we look after the trails and keep users safe.”
Safety projects on the Mountains to Sea and Remutaka cycle trails, which are a funding priority, will be completed as quickly as possible, said Davis.
The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail will receive $393,500 from the New Zealand Cycle Trail: Enhancement and Extension fund for improvements needed on the Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka tracks to address fall hazards and narrow and boggy sections.
The government will provide $334,125 towards the Remutaka Cycle Trail, which requires a bridge at Siberia Stream, an upgrade to some currently unrideable sections, and the installation of toilet facilities on the Wild Coast section.
In addition, $38,452 has been allocated from the Tourism Facilities Development Grants fund to extend the Waikato River Trail by 2.34km into Atiamuri village to help improve rider safety and create additional economic benefits for local businesses.
The minister also announced the opening of round eight of the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, which aims to ensure the Great Rides are maintained to their current world class standard.
Applications are open to Great Rides governance organisations and close on Friday 2 March 2018.
Click here for more information on Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.