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Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson joined with a group of cyclists today to celebrate the completion of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.
The 245km trail starts at Ruapehu, crosses the Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks and ends near the mouth of the Whanganui River.
Ms Wilkinson, accompanied by Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne, met with the cyclists, Whanganui Iwi representatives and local mayors to unveil a carved pou at the junction of the Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka Valleys in Whanganui National Park.
“In 2010 I was present when the first stage of the cycle trail was opened and it is wonderful to see it completed. It means riders from New Zealand and all over the world can now travel from the mountains of the central North Island to Whanganui on the coast.
“The Government is committed to developing quality tourism assets which will provide employment and business opportunities for rural communities.
“This cycle trail adds a new attraction to the region and allows visitors to experience some of New Zealand's most outstanding scenery. Several thousand riders have used parts of the trail to date, and I understand local businesses are already seeing the benefits.”
The first part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, the Ohakune Old Coach Road was opened by Prime Minister John Key in 2010.
Since then the trail partners Whanganui Iwi, Ruapehu District Council, Wanganui District Council and the Department of Conservation have been busy completing additional sections of the trail.
The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail/Ngā Haerenga.