Pedal-powered Wizard moving people
Considering Matamata has become a destination town -a Matamata local says it has a serious lack of tourist activities and has started his own venture to meet that need.
Corey Lewis started The Wizard Cart, a leisurely sightseeing experience through Matamata’s scenic Centennial Drive, which he aims to turn into a thriving tourism venture.
He has an app, with multiple language settings, detailing the history of the drive, as well as details on the local flora for tourists to enjoy during the relaxing ride.
Lewis says he saw the bikes on the Auckland waterfront and what he had seen available in the United States.
And thought rather than being a push bike taxi, he would do tours for tourists to enjoy the beauty Matamata has to offer.
With a three-month turn around on bikes direct from the United States, he found what he was looking for on TradeMe.
The bike has a twin seat attached to the back of it, which can comfortably carry two adult passengers, with an addition of a young child.
He says activities for tourists within town is something Matamata is lacking.
He has discovered most tourists come to Matamata, visit Hobbiton and then leave the area.
He thinks they need to have activities close to, or in the CBD that keep them in town longer.
‘‘I just wanted to start something for tourism, because of how crazy Matamata has become.
‘‘There isn’t really anything here for the tourists yet - apart from accommodation and cafes.
‘‘I thought I’d do something different.
‘‘I am finding it hard attracting the tourists who come to town.
‘‘The locals think it’s a great idea but its hard letting the tourists know its there.’’
At this stage the locals are enjoying the experience more than the tourists.
He left his job to start the business, and has people willing to be drivers. He wants to grow the business and says it has potential.
He says he has fliers at most of the B&B’s and motels in town, i-Site and eateries, but he needs to find a way to engage the tourists before they come to town.
Most people think he is a taxi - an idea Lewis says they like - but it is clearly advertised as a ‘tour’.
And with the bike only on pedal power, Lewis isn’t too keen to become a taxi service.