Unique link in Tasman’s Great Taste Trail officially opens
New Zealand’s Cycle Trail Ambassador Sarah Ulmer and Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne will take to their bikes on Sunday 2 October 2011 to officially open the new 6.8km section of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail that runs through Rabbit Island.
“I’m really looking forward to doing my first bike ride on Rabbit Island this coming weekend. Rides like this one are awesome. They are family-friendly and a great way of encouraging families and young people to get outside and experience the pure joy of riding a bike,” Ms Ulmer says.
The new section of cycle trail, which is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, runs from the entrance to Rabbit Island through to the Mapua estuary, where a brand new ferry has been built to transport cyclists and walkers across to Mapua’s bustling wharf area.
To mark this occasion Estuary Adventures Ltd, which has built the ferry and will operate the ferry service, and the Mapua and Districts Business Association have organised a family picnic day in Mapua and are inviting everyone along to enjoy the festivities this coming Sunday.
The full event will run from 930am-530pm on Sunday with a ceremony to bless the ferry being held at midday. Visitors to Mapua will be able to spend the afternoon exploring Mapua’s recently upgraded wharf area, traveling across to Rabbit Island and back on the ferry (gold coin donation) and enjoying all that this beautiful family spot has to offer.
Tasman’s Great Taste Trail is a joint project between the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust (NTCTT), Tasman District Council and The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
The trail’s overall objective is to create a 175km cycle trail in a loop around Tasman from Nelson, passing through Mapua, Motueka, Riwaka, Ngatimoti, Tapawera, Kohatu, Belgrove, Wakefield and Brightwater and back to Richmond. The trail is an economic development project aimed at generating lasting economic, social and environmental benefits for local communities.
New Zealand Cycle Trail Programme Manager John Dunn says Rabbit Island has been a popular daytrip for some time and it’s great to see that both locals and visitors alike will now have the chance to enjoy more riding on the island thanks to the new trail and cycle-friendly ferry service.
“There is a growing demand for cycle tourism. With the Tasman’s famous sunshine, and the region’s already considerable existing tourism infrastructure, including wineries, cafes and cottage industries, the Tasman region is in a good position to capture this growth,” Mr. Dunn added.
Funding has so far been secured for the Nelson, Richmond, Mapua and Brightwater sections of the trail. In order to extend the trail right around the full 175km, local communities, environmental groups and tourism providers are being engaged by the NTCTT for ideas on how sections can be funded.
Individuals or organisations can show their support for the project by donating money, becoming a member of the ‘Heart of Biking’ (the NTCTT umbrella brand for all of its cycle trails in Tasman and Nelson), buying virtual sections of cycle trail or organising fund raising events.
For more details go to www.heartofbiking.org.nz or contact:
Phone: 03 544 4975 ext. 213
Senior Communications Advisor
The New Zealand Cycle Trail
Ministry of Economic Development
Phone: 04 474 2912
Mobile: 021 221 3274