Motu Trails grand opening this weekend
The Motu Trails, the seventh Great Ride to be completed under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail, will be opened with a public cycling and walking event this Sunday, 20 May.
The Motu Trails extends from the spectacular Opotiki coastline through to Matawai, taking riders through a diverse range of landscapes, natural beauty and history. The trails boast spectacular sights of the Pacific Ocean, panoramic views of the greater Eastern Bay of Plenty, beautiful bush-clad country with plenty of native birdlife and the magnificent Pakihi Stream.
The grand opening was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed after storms caused a slip that saw the closure of State Highway 2’s Waioeka Gorge. The trails were unaffected by the wet weather.
New Zealand Cycle Trail Project Manager John Dunn says the Motu Trails will showcase the very best of the untouched hinterland so unique to the East Cape.
“With the grand opening of the Motu Trails, the region truly has a world-class cycling tourism product that will launch the East Cape onto the cycling tourism map."
“This is a region unbelievably wealthy in natural assets. The heritage engrained in this region and the spectacular scenery that will accompany riders every inch of their journey is something special."
"Cycle tourism is a growing industry and the opening of the Motu Trails will be a boost for local businesses, attracting tourists and creating jobs.”
The Motu Trails is a partnership project between the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, Opotiki District Council, Gisborne District Council, Whakatohea Maori Trust Board and the Department of Conservation. The Motu Trails Charitable Trust, formed in December 2010, will be promoting the Motu Trails to attract cyclists to the region.
Opotiki District Council Chief Executive Alieen Lawrie says the construction of the trails began just under two years ago, with the development of a project team committed to creating social and economic opportunities for the Eastern Bay of Plenty community. Over $2.9 million has been invested into the development of the Motu Trails.
"Wet weather may have delayed us from opening, but we’ve got there in the end. Thanks to the unwavering support of project partners and volunteers, the dream of the Motu Trails has become a reality," Mrs Lawrie says.
"The East Cape community and indeed all New Zealanders can be truly proud of the Motu Trails. It is a permanent new asset that will showcase the best of this beautiful region."
A dawn blessing will be held prior to the grand opening at the Matawai Bridge, corner of Matawai and Motu Road at 7:00am. The official opening will follow at 10:30am at the Pakowhai ki Otutaopuku Bridge, Memorial Park Reserve, Albert Street, Opotiki, on Sunday 20 May.
Key attendees will include East Coast MP Anne Tolley, Green Party MP Kevin Hague, Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon and Opotiki Mayor John Forbes.
Members of the public are being invited to join the celebration by participating in one of two community events, a 5km return walk or a 19km return cycle ride.
Details are available on the Motu Trails website www.motutrails.co.nz
For further information, or photos, please contact:
Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail
Ministry of Economic Development
Phone: 04 470 2508
Mobile: 021 358 274
Motu Trails Charitable Trust
Mobile: 021 56 46 65