FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
- Why do we want a cycle trail?
- Where does the cycle trail go?
- Who owns the land the cycle trail will traverse?
- Who will use the cycle trail?
- What economic benefits will the cycle trail create?
- How many jobs will it create?
- How can we be sure the estimated economic and usage figures are correct?
- How many people will ride the cycle trail?
- How fit will I have to be?
- Cyclists are killed on the roads, is this cycle trail safe?
- Where will people stay along the trail?
- Where will people eat?
- What will be the environmental impact of the trail?
- Who is running this project?
- How much will the cycle trail cost?
- Where is the money coming from?
- Is it certain the cycle trail will be built?
- Will my rates go up to pay for the cycle trail?
- What business opportunities will there be?
- Who will pay to maintain the cycle trail?
- When is construction likely to start?
A cycle trail on the West Coast will provide a wonderful recreational resource for use by locals and tourists. It will also offer significant economic benefits to the area. A similar cycle trail in Otago, the Otago Rail Trail, was highly successful in revitalising small rural townships and provided employment and business development opportunities.
- Day 1 starts in Greymouth, and travels 12 km’s on a coastal pathway running along the dunes. It then follows SH6 to Taramakau bridge, then travels inland on an old tram line to the historic mining town of Kumara. The total ride is 37 km’s.
- Day 2 leaves Kumara and traverses 31km of rainforest by alpine streams and mirror-‐like lakes and reservoirs, to Milltown which overlooks the Arahura Valley and has panoramic views towards the Tasman Sea.
- Day 3 starts near the Arahura River, the ancestral home of Pounamu (jade), cycle 31 km past Lake Kaniere, along extensive old water raceways in magnificent rainforest to fresh pastureland and finally to Hokitika, craft capital of the West.
- Day 4 is an easy 34km cycle alongside Mahinapua Creek, popular with local trout fishermen, then via a disused railway line to historic Ross, a small country town where goldmining continues to the present day.
For detailed maps refer to the website or check out the display at the Hokitika iSite.
The cycle trail travels over land administered or owned by Westland District Council, Grey District Council, DOC, Trust Power, and Fish and Game. It also traverses the land of two private landowners. Written agreements are in place with all seven public and private landowners granting ‘right of way’ easements.
Locals and tourists will use the trail. It is thought many Greymouth residents, including school children, will ride or walk the coastal pathway portion of the trail. Similar pathways in places like New Plymouth and Hawkes Bay have been very popular.
Locals, especially families, are also expected to enjoy day rides. The trail opens up areas previously not accessible to the public.
The trail will be popular with tourists, initially the majority will be domestic tourists but by year five it is estimated 15% of multi day cyclists will be international tourists, mostly from Australia.
It is estimated the trail will bring $2.5 million in direct benefits to the region in its first year of operation. Within five years it is estimated this will increase to $8 million per annum.
In the short term it is anticipated 40 jobs will be created in the construction of the cycle trail including work in bridge and track construction, signage, engineering and fencing.
Long term it is estimated 81 jobs will be created in businesses supporting the cycle trail like baggage and bus transfers, cycle hire, accommodation, food and beverage and cycle track maintenance.
Further long term employment will also come from developing accommodation and associated infrastructure along the trail.
The Westland District Council carried out a feasibility study on the economic viability of the cycle trail. Expert consultants looked at the current market demand for cycling holidays and forecasts in domestic and international tourist numbers. They looked closely at how the Otago Rail Trail has grown, compared figures with other cycle trails and discussed the issues with experienced operators.
All the usage and economic impact figures the Westland Wilderness Trail quote are based on what the experts say are “realistic” estimates.
Realistic estimates say 9 thousand visitors will use the cycle trail in the first year, rising to 20 thousands in year five. Initially it is thought more people will cycle the trail for a single day but that will change and by year five it is estimated half of the riders will be multi night users, with the other half single day users.
The cycle trail is a grade one gravel trail, purpose built for cyclists. Because it follows old tram and train lines, and water races, it is a fairly easy ride with an ambient 2-‐3 degree gradient. There are a couple of short hundred metre sections where you may prefer to walk.
Cyclists are killed on the roads, is this cycle trail safe?
Most of the cycle trail is off the main road, in the few points where it does go down the State Highway dedicated cycle lanes will be built with barriers between cyclists and traffic.
There is already adequate accommodation available in Greymouth, Hokitika and Ross. Local business people have plans to open accommodation in Kumara and Milltown when the cycle trail goes ahead. There are also holiday homes available for rent in Kaniere.
Operators may provide transfers from Milltown to Hokitika and return for those who prefer more up-‐market accommodation. Along the Otago Rail Trail, locals opened B & B’s, or built boutique accommodation.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Greymouth, Hokitika and Ross. Entrepreneurs are already planning dining facilities in Kumara and Milltown and growth in the cycle trail will provide opportunities for development by other business people.
A key feature of the cycle trail is it predominately utilises existing formed roadways, and DOC tracks. The Department of Conservation is strongly supportive of the cycle trail and has assessed the cycle trail will not impact on the ecology of waterways, and that there is unlikely to be issues in regard to clearing of indigenous vegetation and working near historic and archeological sites.
The Westland Wilderness Trust will work with interested groups to ensure environmental impact is minimised.
The project is being run by the Westland Wilderness Trust, a council controlled organisation. Representatives on the Westland Wilderness Trust are as follows:
- Mayor Maureen Pugh, Westland District Council
- Francois Tumahai, Chairperson of Trust and Te Runanga O Ngati Waewae representative
- Councillor Allen Hurley, Westland District Council
- Chris Auchinvolve, MP for West Coast-Tasman
- Mike Slater, Conservator, Department of Conservation, Hokitika
- Councillor Peter Haddock, Grey District Council.
The four day cycle trail is budgeted to cost $14.46 million.
|Greymouth to Kumara||$3.77 million|
|Kumara to Milltown||$3.06 million|
|Milltown to Hokitika||$3.48 million|
|Hokitika to Ross||$4.15 million|
$5.96 million is being contributed from existing infrastructure provided by both Councils, Department of Conservation and others.
$3.2 million has been contributed by the New Zealand cycle trail project. The Westland Wilderness Trust has asked Development West Coast for the remaining $5.3 million however Development West Coast has indicated any amount considered could be significantly less than this amount. The Westland Wilderness Trust is continuing to negotiate with Development West Coast.
There will be many business opportunities for locals interested in providing infrastructure along the cycle trail. This could be in the form of accommodation and food and beverage, cycle hire, baggage and bus transfers, trail maintenance and retail.
Bookings will be made through an official website and accredited accommodation providers and operators will pay 10% commission. This revenue will pay for cycle trail maintenance and it is predicted the cycle trail will run at a surplus within three years.
Further information is available from email@example.com
Copyright © Westland District Council 2013