$5000 grant for Kawarau Gorge cycle-walking link

Glen Christiansen
Glen Christiansen
A proposed cycle and walking trail linking Cromwell with the Gibbston Valley is an exciting prospect which already has the support of some of the key ''players'', one of the proponents says.

The Kawarau Gorge Trail would span 27km, from the far side of the Nevis Bluff to Cromwell and the project was estimated to cost about $5 million, charitable trail trustee Glen Christiansen, of Cromwell, said.

He attended the recent Clutha Management Committee meeting and sought $5000 towards a $76,000 feasibility study into the project. The committee agreed to his request.

No route had been decided on yet, but it was intended to link up with the Queenstown Trail and the Gibbston River Trail, Mr Christiansen said.

''We're pretty excited about the project and it has the support of Doc [Department of Conservation] and the Queenstown Trails trust and we've had preliminary talks with the majority of the landowners along the way - most seem in support.''

The trail trust had asked the Central Lakes Trust for funding towards the feasibility study and should hear the result this month or next month, he said. The gorge trail would cross from the Central Otago district into the Queenstown Lakes district, but he had yet to contact the Queenstown council for any funding.

Council parks and recreation manager Mathew Begg said the committee had supported other cycle and walking track proposals. This included $5000 towards a proposed trail at Alexandra and acting as the funding applicant for a feasibility study into a Cromwell to Clyde trail.

As well, the committee had supported other trails developed around Lake Dunstan, he said.

- lynda.van.kempen@odt.co.nz