The wheels are in motion for the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail from Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to the Pacific Ocean with the appointment of Chris Eden as Project Manager.
Mr Eden is director of Eden Environmental Solutions Limited, a Queenstown company specialising in project management and consulting services for recreational trail development and ecological restoration work.
A former area manager with DOC in the Aoraki/Mount Cook and Wakatipu, Mr Eden has also held senior management positions in similar agencies in Australia.
Mr Eden will manage the project from Twizel and said he was “very much looking forward to getting stuck into such an exciting project.”
“Alps 2 Ocean is a fantastic cycle way concept that winds through some of New Zealand greatest scenery and native bush. From jagged mountains through the Mackenzie and Waitaki countryside to the rolling ocean, there’s no doubt it’ll become one of our Great Rides,” he said.
“Putting together a project like this is always a real juggling act, but the end result will be something we can all be proud of and generations to come will be able to enjoy.”
The 312km Alps 2 Ocean track will descend 780m through the Mackenzie basin down the Waitaki Valley to the Victorian town of Oamaru and is being billed as “New Zealand’s ultimate cycleway”. It has been welcomed as a showcase for the amazing diversity of the Mackenzie and Waitaki regions – encompassing everything from the country’s highest peak, through some of the country’s most spectacular natural landscapes and wildlife -- and is predicted to result in huge economic and social benefits for local communities.
The first stage of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle way from Mt Cook through the Mackenzie basin is scheduled to be completed for next summer.
Destination Mount Cook Mackenzie General Manager Phil Brownie said he was delighted to have Chris on board the project.
“It’s fantastic to have someone of Chris’ background and expertise involved with Alps 2 Ocean, and combined with his knowledge of the local area I’m confident he’s got the necessary qualities to carry this project through to its successful completion,” he said.
In Queenstown, Mr Eden was a co-founder of the Wakatipu Trails Trust, and has been involved in several trail projects in the Wakatipu area, including construction of the very popular Lake Hayes circuit cycle and walking track.
“However my time at Mount Cook was a particularly rewarding period, and I’ve maintained an active interest in the Waitaki catchment since then,” he said.
He has managed many projects involving public recreation, tourism and conservation in the Aoraki/Mount Cook, Queenstown and Milford Sound areas as well as conservation and recreation projects in Australia.
Chris Eden is a long time advocate of community and stakeholder involvement in public projects.