You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
While Prime Minister John Key grinned and greeted children and adults, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English donned lycra and rode over the trail's Southern Discoveries bridge.
The $5.4 million 110km trail has been three years in the making and yesterday was opened by Mr Key with hundreds of supporters eagerly watching in the rain.
The trail is part of the Government's $50 million nationwide cycle trail initiative, and he commended the Queenstown Trails Trust and its contributors for raising $3 million to match the Government's $2 million contribution.
Asked whether the money could have been better spent elsewhere, Mr Key said the trails had created 882 jobs during construction and would lure tourists to the area.
"It's a great way of producing jobs. We know the tourists come and want things to do and we know cycling is hugely popular. ... I just think it will be a great thing for New Zealand."