Queen Elizabeth Park’s Te Ara o Whareroa trail will be officially opened on Saturday 23 January, ending a year of planning and construction that’s resulted in a superb cycling and walking trail that is likely to attract visitors from throughout the greater Wellington region.
Funded by the NZ Transport Agency at a cost of $825,000 plus GST and designed and built under the management of Greater Wellington Regional Council, Te Ara o Whareroa provides a 6 km trail that gently undulates through the park from Poplar Ave in the north to Tilley Road in the south, connecting communities at both ends.
The cycleway/walkway is expected to encourage more people into the park, giving them an opportunity to enjoy a new attraction that will provide fun, outdoor recreation and a new commuting route to schools and local train stations.
“We’re keen to promote cycling, which is an inherently positive activity which should be encouraged because it delivers health benefits and wellbeing for all involved,” says Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw.
“We’re hoping that students, in particular, will gain from using the trail to get to and from school and college. It will foster their independence, improve their fitness and provide a hell of a lot of fun in the process. And, by some estimates, it will help them save up to $800 a year on bus fares.”
The trail was funded to provide an alternative route for cyclists to joining the busy traffic along SH1.
Its opening should attract more people to what is already Greater Wellington Regional Council’s most popular regional park, which sees around half a million visitors each year. The trail is easy to ride and, with the installation of new gates, easily accessible for disabled users and those with modified bikes.
“The cycleway route will also open up new areas of the park that have been off limits in the past, enabling people to enjoy the scenery along the eastern edge of the dunes. It’s one of the best ways of seeing Queen Elizabeth Park and we encourage people to get along and experience the trail,” says Chris Laidlaw.
Details of the formal opening, which will be followed by a festival of cycling are;
Date: Saturday 23 January 2016
Time: 1011am (formal opening)
Location: Queen Elizabeth Park, MacKays Crossing entrance