Coun­cils to pack­age up re­gion’s trails

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

A multi-coun­cil move to plan, de­velop and man­age the Wellington re­gion’s off-road tracks and trails has been un­veiled.

More than 12 months in the plan­ning, the Wellington Re­gional Trails Frame­work, is sup­ported by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the re­gion, the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and the Wellington Re­gional Economic Agency.

A fully co-or­di­nated ap­proach with the re­gion’s 2600 kilo­me­tres of tracks would en­hance re­cre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cals and at­tract tourists, Wellington’s civic lead­ers say.

‘‘It’s big pic­ture stuff,’’ Up­per Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said.

‘‘By com­bin­ing our ef­forts we can cre­ate unique op­por­tu­ni­ties not avail­able else­where in the coun­try,’’ said Guppy, chair of the Re­gional May­oral Fo­rum which en­dorsed the Trails Frame­work in Au­gust.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester said the Trails Frame­work was a ‘‘unique and very ex­cit­ing propo­si­tion’’.

‘‘We need to take the next step and lever­age the well­ness and economic ben­e­fits to be re­alised by in­te­grat­ing our trails and alert­ing vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike to the fan­tas­tic pack­age of out­door trail ori­ented op­por­tu­ni­ties that await them.’’

Af­ter set­ting up a steer­ing group in 2016 the trails project has gath­ered sup­port from lo­cal and cen­tral au­thor­i­ties and a range walk­ing, tramp­ing, cy­cling, horse rid­ing and trail run­ning or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The re­gion’s ex­ist­ing trail net- work in­cludes na­tional walk­ing and cy­cling tracks (Te Araroa and Rimu­taka), two moun­tain bike parks and 1800km of shared use tracks.

A point of dif­fer­ence in the re­gion is the di­verse op­por­tu­ni­ties in easy acess of ur­ban ar­eas.

‘‘Only in Wellington can you sip a latte by the har­bour, take in a visit to Te Papa, stroll around Par­lia­ment grounds, do some shop­ping and then, within half an hour, find your­self spin­ning along the high trails of Makara Peak or Bel­mont Re­gional Park or step­ping up to the Te Araroa trail,’’ Lester said.

How­ever, prob­lems ex­isted with tracks man­aged by mul­ti­ple en­ti­ties with lim­ited sup­port ser­vices, in­fra­struc­ture and mar­ket­ing, the Frame­work said.

The Wellington Re­gional Trails Frame­work es­tab­lishes three classes of trails.

Sig­na­ture trails such as the Makara Peak Moun­tain Bike Park and the Rimu­taka Cy­cle at­tract recog­ni­tion for the re­gion as a des­ti­na­tion and are fo­cal points for res­i­dent ac­tiv­ity.

Re­gional trails, in­clud­ing the Wainuiomata Trail project, east­ern Hutt Hills and the Waikanae River Trail, form the core of the network for users look­ing for a less ‘‘pop­u­lated’’ ex­pe­ri­ence while lo­cal trails pro­vide re­cre­ation op­tions close to a user’s home.

Par­ties to the Wellington Re­gional Trails Frame­work are the Greater Wellington Re­gional Coun­cil, Wellington City Coun­cil, Hutt City, Up­per Hutt City Coun­cil, Porirua City Coun­cil, Ka¯piti Coast Dis­trict Coun­cil, Master­ton Dis­trict Coun­cil, Carter­ton Dis­trict Coun­cil and South Wairarapa Dis­trict Coun­cil as well as the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and the Wellington Re­gional Devel­op­ment Agency.


Walk­ing from the Otai­hanga Do­main up the Waikanae River trail, one of trails that forms the core of the network.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.