28 May 2010
The first cycleway project to be launched, the ‘Ruapehu - Whanganui - Nga Ara Tuhono’ trail, which runs from Ruapehu in the central North Island to Whanganui on the western coast, will form part of the ongoing ‘Great Rides’ national cycle network.
Riders will be able to cycle on two sections of the trail immediately after the launch, with the rest of the route to be completed before the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
The complete trail will traverse two iconic national parks - and is due to be finished next year. It will be a four to six day ride, with varying levels of trail difficulty.
Campsites and toilets are dotted along both sections and DOC is hoping to install more ‘track furniture’ such as bridges, seats and boardwalks over the next few months.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key today has already announced the Government would spend $50 million over three years to build a national cycleway.
Mr Key said the initiative would create a series of ’Great Rides’ of New Zealand that would have the long-term aim of creating a network throughout the country, with routes being influenced by existing cycleways, facilities, and tourism attractions.
"Some promising routes have already been identified and I expect to have announcement on them in the next couple of months," Mr Key said.