Plans for a cycleway linking three Great Walks at the bottom of NZ’s South Island are underway.
A group of residents from the town of Tuatapere have ambitious plans to build a multi-million dollar cycle trail that it hopes will provide an economic boost to western Southland.
Southland is New Zealand's southernmost region. It consists mainly of the southwestern portion of the South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura.
The plan for the trail is for it to link with existing cycle trails joining the soon to be Great Walk Humpridge Track with the Milford Track and Kepler Track as it travels from Manapouri to Te Waewae Bay.
Western Southland Trails chairman Andrew Hunt said the trail, estimated to cost between $7m and $8m, would be about creating a reconnection to the awa (river).
Historically Tuatapere had struggled financially with the closure of mills; and the project could have a huge economic benefit by rejuvenating the area as a tourism region alongside the Humpridge Track, Hunt said.
Hunt believes the project would establish Tuatapere as a centre for low carbon tourism in New Zealand.