Funding awarded for regional trails

Three projects designed to improve access to the outdoors have received support from the latest round of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Enhanced Access Fund.

The funding, awarded to Southland District Council, Rotary Club of Plimmerton and Vision Kerikeri was made available from the third and fourth funding rounds being run in the 2014-2015 year. A total of $76,000 is available across the four rounds to support groups working on projects to enhance public access to the outdoors.

The funding awarded to Southland District Council totalled $23,000, to be used to help formalise legal access across a number of private properties for the final stage of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail.

The final stage will stretch for 54km, from Centre Hill west of Mossburn, to Mavora Lakes near the upper Oreti River.

Once complete, the entire trail will span 175 km, starting from Kingston on the southern shore of Lake Wakatipu and finishing at Walter Peak Station on the western shore, with the famed TSS Earnslaw steamboat connecting the start and finish of the trail.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission chief executive Mark Neeson said the section of the trail receiving funding support would greatly enhance access to the area and provide a remarkable experience for locals and visitors alike.

“This is a project that provides immense value for New Zealand. It will open up new ways to access an amazing area with spectacular scenery, with great benefit to Kiwis and visitors to the country.

“This project has already received support from local government and generous assistance from private landholders who have agreed to allow access across their land. Our latest funding will be used to help secure enduring access for the benefit of all New Zealandersâ€