Pedal-pow­ered Wizard mov­ing peo­ple

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - REXINE HAWES

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.

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