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Three southern cycle tracks are among the 13 nationally which are a step closer to being part of a national cycleway.
The Wakatipu Trail (Queenstown); Roxburgh Gorge Trail (Central Otago); Clutha Gold Trail (Otago) were selecteed from 54 contenders to precceed to the feasibility study stage.
New Zealand cycle trail programme manager John Dunn said all applications were outstanding but, with only $50 million to work with, only those that were "simply superior in every way" had been selected for the next stage".
"These applications promise trails of stunning beauty and, along with the previously announced Quick Start projects, will provide a network of about 2000km of iconic great rides," he said.
Prime Minister John Key said last May the national cycleway, which arose from a Jobs Summit, would create a high quality tourism asset that would enhance New Zealand’s competitiveness as a tourism destination, provide employment, and stimulate economic development opportunities in regional economies.
Other trails to be selected are: Tauranga Moana Coastal Cycle Trail (Tauranga); Old Motu Coach Road (Opotiki Gisborne); Thermal by Bike (Rotorua); Lake Track (Taupo); Mountains to Sea Cycleway - link (Ruapehu); Heretaunga Ararua: Land of a Hundred Pathways (Hawke's Bay); Dun Mountain and Tasman Cycle Loop (Nelson Tasman); Old Ghost Road (West Coast); Westland Wilderness Trail (Greymouth); Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail (Mt Cook); The Wakatipu Trail (Queenstown); Roxburgh Gorge Trail (Central Otago); Clutha Gold Trail (Otago).