High coun­try ride ma­jor at­trac­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

An in­au­gu­ral high-coun­try trail-ride has raised more than $20,000 for Montes­sori Chil­dren’s House Wanaka and the Wanaka Pri­mary School.

More than 550 trail-bike en­thu­si­asts from as far away as Bluff and Christchurch con­verged on Lindis Peaks, Deep Creek and Long Gully sta­tions near Tar­ras on Sun­day to ex­plore 66km of pri­vate alpine farm trails, rarely ac­ces­si­ble to the public.

Wanaka Pri­mary School and Montes­sori Chil­dren’s House Wanaka Board of Trustee chair­man An­drew Howard said the event was a huge suc­cess de­spite rain showers.

‘‘There’s been an in­cred­i­ble vol­un­teer ef­fort from a lot of peo­ple and it’s been a great fam­ily day out. It’s cer­tainly been a big draw­card to have the op­por­tu­nity to ride through three high-coun­try sta­tions,’’ Howard said.

The ex­ten­sive high-coun­try ter­rain, or­gan­i­sa­tion and help­ful at­ti­tude of the vol­un­teers at the event re­sulted in a very pos­i­tive re­sponse from the rid­ers, with many al­ready plan­ning to re­turn next year, he said.

There was a good choice of fam­ily, in­ter­me­di­ate and ex­pert loops with spe­cial­ist en­duro and hill­climb sec­tions for rid­ers and a pee wee track was also a popular fea­ture with rid­ers as young as three-years-old.

Kate Ben­nie, 9, Ni­cola Ben­nie, 18 and Ruth Ben­nie, 13, take a break from tak­ing part in the high coun­try trail ride near Tar­ras at the week­end to raise funds for the Montes­sori Chil­dren’s House Wanaka and the Wanaka Pri­mary School.

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