Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail has been recognised as one of the best cycle trails in the world.
It was one of three international winners at the International Trails Symposium, hosted by American Trails in Arizona last night.
The New Zealand Cycle Trail will feature more than 2500 kilometres of diverse trails that explore all parts of New Zealand’s landscape. The Honourable Mention award recognises the Trail as an outstanding initiative that demonstrates planning, design and implementation and contributes to the international trails movement.
The New Zealand Cycle Trail is led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, with support from a wide range of government agencies and local organisations.
Programme Manager John Dunn says the award is a recognition of the immense amount of work put in to build the network of trails.
“The New Zealand Cycle Trail is truly an example of our country coming together. This award recognises the workers who spent their winters digging the tracks, the community groups that have been promoting the trails and local and central government agencies, which backed the vision with funding and support,” says Mr Dunn.
“The New Zealand Cycle Trail has emerged as a true national asset and is proving to be a popular tourist attraction, with visitors soaking in our landscapes, culture and hospitality.
“For operators along the trail, the economic benefits are obvious. The Ruapehu district, for example, hosts the Mountain to Sea Trail and has expanded its seasonal ski business community to a year-round operation that supports both skiers and cyclists.
“Further down the trail a jet-boat operator on the Whanganui River has seen its business double year-on-year since the trail was established.”
The American Trails hosts its awards every two years. This year marks the first year international trails were recognised. The award was accepted on behalf of MBIE by Tourism New Zealand North America Public Relations Officer Gabrielle Boyd.
For more information on the New Zealand Cycle Trail visit www.nzcycletrail.com