Alps trail activity booms

John Dunn (left) and Alps 2 Ocean chairman Mike Neilson ride the Pukaki section of the Alps 2...
John Dunn (left) and Alps 2 Ocean chairman Mike Neilson ride the Pukaki section of the Alps 2 Ocean Trail in 2012. Photo by the ODT.
In its first ''official'' season, activity on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is much higher than the forecast.

Tourism Waitaki general manager Jason Gaskill said monthly trail counter readings from September 2013 to February this year show 3604 cyclists used the Lake Ohau Lodge section of the trail, 4815 cycled the Lake Pukaki section and 3646 passed the Ohau Weir section.

''The numbers are fantastic ... they are higher than what was forecast,'' Mr Gaskill said.

''In a lot of ways, it'd be hard to imagine how things could have gone a lot better [this season].''

While the Lake Pukaki section had been the most popular over summer, Mr Gaskill said the trail in its 300km entirety was also proving popular.

''Talking to operators and businesses along the trail we hear a lot of really positive things,'' he said.

Over the winter, work on building more off-road sections of the trail will continue.

Mr Gaskill said he was ''cautiously enthusiastic'' about the future of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, as its popularity showed no signs of waning.

''There's quite a palpable fizz - people are quite excited about it,'' he said.

rebecca.ryan@odt.co.nz

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