Wheels moving on Chch to Waipara cycleway

Photo: Supplied / Shelley Topp / North Canterbury News
Photo: Supplied / Shelley Topp / North Canterbury News
A proposed cycleway from Christchurch to Waipara is close to becoming a reality.

The Pegasus Bay Cycle Trail, formerly known as Wheels to Waipara, is taking shape fast, linking cycle trails in Christchurch, Waimakariri and Hurunui.

Enterprise North Canterbury, the economic development arm of the Waimakariri and Hurunui district councils, received a $296,000 Lotteries Community Facilities Grant last month.

It will be used to upgrade two existing Waimakariri cycle trails to complete the first two stages of the Pegasus Bay Cycle Trail.

Chief executive Heather Warwick said ENC is collaborating with Environment Canterbury to upgrade the Kaiapoi Island Trail, along the Waimakariri and Kaiapoi river stopbanks.

It will also work with Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust, a collaboration between the Waimakariri District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tūāhuriri, to upgrade the Tutaepatu Trail along the coastline, linking Woodend Beach with Waikuku Beach.

Warwick said once the upgrades are completed the Pegasus Bay Cycle Trail partners will begin promoting the trail.

''Everything is off-road. It just needs the signage.''

Stage one would take cyclists from The Square, following the Avon Loop to New Brighton, following Marine Parade to Bottle Lake Forest and then Spencer Park, through Kainga, crossing the Waimakariri River and along the Kaiapoi Island Trail into Kaiapoi.

Once in Kaiapoi, cyclists had several choices, including taking the Passchendaele Memorial Path to Rangiora.

A more scenic route took the Pegasus and Tutaepatu trails to Waikuku Beach, or cyclists could turn off at Woodend Beach and take the Jill Creamer Trail and Rangiora-Woodend Path to Rangiora.

The Rakahuri Trail, along the Ashley-Rakahuri River, also links Waikuku Beach with Rangiora.

Arrangements are being made with private cycling companies to transport cyclists from either Rangiora or Waikuku Beach to Waipara, until more funding is secured to complete stage three.

Once in Waipara, cyclists can tackle the 16km Vineyard Track.

The entire trail, once complete, will be a three to four day journey.

ENC is leading the project, in partnership with ChristchurchNZ, ECan, Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust, the North Canterbury Wine Growers' Association and private cycling companies.

Warwick says Kaiapoi had become a popular destination for Christchurch cyclists since the opening of the new cycleway alongside State Highway 1 in December 2020.

''They come to us at the i-Site and ask 'where can we go next', because they haven't had enough.''

ENC has created a cycle map showing the trails in the eastern part of the district linking Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Woodend, Pegasus and Waikuku, collectively known as the Scenic Loop.

-By David Hill
Local Democracy Reporter

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