Conservation Minister Nick Smith today opened a 26 kilometre section of the Old Ghost Road cycle trail in Buller.
The project is a partnership between the Mokihinui – Lyell Backcountry Trust and the Department of Conservation. It is supported by community and business interests.
The Old Ghost Road is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail which showcases the very best of what New Zealand has to offer – spectacular scenery, unique culture and first class Kiwi hospitality.
“It is excellent example of how working together can achieve some pretty remarkable results,” Dr Smith said.
“The project has involved many hours of work by volunteers. In conservation and many other sectors of our society we are fortunate to have volunteers, and conservation benefits considerably.”
Work on the Old Ghost Road trail to date has involved the construction of four new huts; installation of bridges and some high quality track formation.
“Over the last couple of weeks three new cycleways have opened – Tasman Great Taste Trail (between Richmond and Mapua); Homestead Run (near Hanmer Springs) and The Old Ghost Road which illustrates the Government’s continued commitment to this exciting initiative.”
A formal recreational assessment indicates The Old Ghost Road may generate around $3 million a year for the Buller region.
Already The Old Ghost Road has been named in the top three cycle trails in the world by UK-based Essential Travel and New Zealand’s mountain biking greats the Kennett Brothers believe the trail has the potential to be to cycling what the Milford Track is to walking – among the best in the world.
Dr Smith looks forward to the completion of The Old Ghost Road cycle trail and the outstanding world class experience that it will provide for locals and visitors to the Buller Region.