Strik­ing con­struc­tions a draw­card

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS -

It’s im­pos­si­ble to drive around Cen­tral at the mo­ment with­out com­ing across one of our new trails. The road­side sec­tion west of the Kawa­rau – bungy – Bridge on High­way 6 looks very classy, with its post and rail fences and rock work. The zigzags of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, vis­i­ble from the road as it winds down El­bow Creek from the Roxburgh Hy­dro look­out, and the Clutha Gold Trail dodg­ing in and out of the High­way 8 road­side re­serve west of Tun­nel Hill, are all strik­ing pieces of civil con­struc­tion. I’ve got to de­clare an in­ter­est – as a mem­ber of the Roxburgh Gorge Tail Trust, and of community fun­der Cen­tral Lakes Trust – but I can’t help be­ing stoked by the po­ten­tial of these trails. More than 100 years ago, rail opened up in­land Otago. Now, our grow­ing net­work of tracks and trails are do­ing the same. They’ll bring thou­sands of vis­i­tors ev­ery year, and one day – maybe quite soon – will be more im­por­tant than ski­ing in Cen­tral, just as they are be­com­ing big­ger than forestry in the cen­tral North Is­land. We’ll see a host of new busi­nesses, new tourism prod­ucts, new recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties, and a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of our spe­cial land­scapes. We’ll look back in a few years and say, ‘‘Wow, this is big­ger than hy­dro, big­ger than wine, big­ger than snow sports.’’ We’ll be Bike Cen­tral.

Mal­colm Macpherson teaches ap­plied busi­ness ex­cel­lence at Otago Polytech­nic and writes on busi­ness top­ics. He was Mayor of Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict from 2001 to 2010.

On track: Roxburgh Gorge Trail Trust chair­man Stephen Jef­fery and trust mem­ber Bar­rie Wills take to a com­pleted sec­tion of trail.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.