New Queenstown trail finally gets under way

Work kicked off last week (from left) Murray 'Muz' McBain, Kerry Dunlop, John Thompson and Mark Williams. Photo: Mountain Scene
Work kicked off last week (from left) Murray 'Muz' McBain, Kerry Dunlop, John Thompson and Mark Williams. Photo: Mountain Scene

A new trail at Tucker Beach is under way after almost two years on the drawing board.

Despite getting Queenstown council's thumbs-up in 2015, construction of the walking and cycling trail only started last week.

The Rotary Club of Queenstown trail will run from the Old Lower Shotover Bridge to the Tucker Beach Delta across a mix of council, Department of Conservation and privately-owned land.

Rotary project boss Kerry Dunlop puts the delays down to paperwork and ensuring the 3.2km track got the OK from landowners.

As well as stumping up $70,000 of its own, the club's wrangled funding from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland and Queenstown Trails Trust – to the tune of almost $180,000.

This pond was drained last week. Photo: Mountain Scene
This pond was drained last week. Photo: Mountain Scene

Another $50,000 has been given in kind.

Dunlop says the hard yards have been worth it. "We had to communicate with the property owners ... we had to mitigate the effect of the track running along the front of their properties."

They've had to drain an existing pond and remove vegetation.

"They used a 20-tonne machine. It was three days' work with men and machine."

The track will open in about six weeks.

Trails Trust boss Mark Williams says it's part of the network's "bigger picture".

"We're working on a big plan linking Arrowtown to Arthurs Point and from there back to Frankton, and this trail fits in as part of that.

"We're really pleased that this one is off the ground and we can provide a good connection."

Once complete, Rotary will get the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust on board to help rid the area of gorse and replant it with natives.
 

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