Old Motu Coach Road - Gisborne / Opotiki
Construction of a cycleway on the Old Motu Coach Road between Opotiki and Gisborne, on the East Coast of the North Island, has been given NZ$1.7m of funding. Work will begin in October.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) will contribute a further NZ$360,000.
The Motu trail will go from Matawai through the Old Motu Coach Road with an option of detouring through the Pakihi Track or continuing along the Pacific Coast Highway to the Tirohanga conservation area, following historic tracks through the heart of the Urutawa conservation area.
One of the strengths of the Motu trail is its suitability for all fitness levels, said Tourism Eastland chief executive Graham Breckell.
Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says the cycle trail will provide a good recreational link from Opotiki to Gisborne: "It will also be exceptionally good for the rural communities there, to look at opportunities for bed and breakfasts, nature trails, tourist trails and that sort of thing."
News of the cycle trail approval has been well received by the Matawai community where the cycle trail begins.
"Naturally we are very, very excited," said Matawai Hotel owner Essie Langley. "It will be a real bonus for the hotel and other businesses in the area and if it takes off anything like the cycle trail in the South Island, it would be great. We will do whatever it takes to bring the tourists here - we’ve just got to be prepared," he said.