Trail planned from Pukeiti gar­dens to coast

Taranaki Daily News - - News -

A 12 kilo­me­tre walk­ing and moun­tain bik­ing trail from Mt Taranaki to the coast is be­ing pro­posed to help at­tract a wider visi­tor base to the in­ter­na­tion­ally known Pukeiti rhodo­den­dron gar­dens.

The Kaitake Trail is planned to fol­low old log­ging tracks within the Pukeiti rain­for­est bound­ary, and on a pa­per road to­wards Oakura, west of New Ply­mouth.

There would also be shorter loop tracks devel­oped within the gar­den bound­ary for moun­tain bik­ers.

Fund­ing for build­ing the trail will be split be­tween the Taranaki Re­gional Coun­cil, which owned and man­aged Pukeiti, and New Ply­mouth District Coun­cil which owned the pa­per road.

The pro­posed trail is part of a 10 year re­gional coun­cil man­age­ment plan for Pukeiti.

Re­gional coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Basil Cham­ber­lain told a coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive, au­dit and risk com­mit­tee meet­ing on Mon­day that Pukeiti was now more than ‘‘just a gar­den.’’

‘‘If the re­gional coun­cil wanted to max­imise the value of Pukeiti there was a need to broaden the base of at­trac­tions,’’ he said.

The walk­ing and bik­ing trail would be aligned to the pro­mo­tion of the Taranaki Cross­ing as a world class track and pro­vide a gate­way from Pukeiti for peo­ple walk­ing the Taranaki Cross­ing.

Lo­cal eco­nomic im­pact re­ports placed the Taranaki Cross­ing as a sig­nif­i­cant visi­tor draw­card to help­ing the lo­cal econ­omy grow.

The trail de­vel­op­ment dur­ing the next three years would co­in­cide with other de­vel­op­ments in­clud­ing a canopy walk to view rhodo­den­drons from above, and an overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion hut for fam­i­lies.

Al­most $5 mil­lion has been spent up­grad­ing visi­tor fa­cil­i­ties at Pukeiti dur­ing the past 18 months, in­clud­ing the re­build­ing of the visi­tor lodge.

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