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Funding agreed for Hawke's Bay wineries trail

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Fuseworks Media
Funding agreed for Hawke's Bay wineries trail

Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail project and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council have confirmed funding for a new Wineries Ride in the Hawke's Bay.

The Wineries Ride will be one of three rides that will make up the Hawke's Bay Trails (187km). The Water Ride and Landscapes Ride are both fully funded and already well under construction.

The total estimated cost for the Wineries Ride is $1.14 million. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council today agreed to fund $590,260 towards the Wineries Ride in addition to reallocated funding of $191,865 from The New Zealand Cycle Trail project. The balance of the funding had already been secured from other sources including Hastings District and Napier City Councils.

New Zealand Cycle Trail Programme Manager John Dunn says the Wineries Ride will form an important part of the broader 3-themed ride package that makes up the Hawke's Bay Trails. "The Wineries Ride will offer an enjoyable riding experience through some spectacular scenery including a wide range of well-known wineries, farmlands, olive groves and orchards.

"It will improve safety for cyclists who are already cycling in the area and provide a powerful launch pad for local businesses promoting a range of activities from al fresco dining, wine tasting and picnics to extra activities such as skydiving, marae visits, Clydesdale riding and golf along the trail route."

Hawke's Bay Regional Council Chairman Fenton Wilson is a strong advocate for the trails. He notes the strong connection that locals and visitors establish with the region as they experience the trails and discover the diverse culture and unique stories.

"The Regional Council's open spaces include popular walking and cycling pathways, horse trails, country parks and public wetlands, so we are excited to show our support for a third cycle ride for locals and visitors to enjoy and connect via these open spaces to our many other attractions."

"Council's riverside stopbanks double as excellent recreational areas and provide a link between the trails, which are easily accessible for Napier and Hastings people." "The economic benefits of the trails are still emerging, but cycle tour businesses, wineries, restaurants and accommodation providers have been vocal about the increase in business they have experienced over the last 12 months," Mr Wilson adds.

FishBike co-owner Brian Fisher has a cycle rental business situated on the Water Ride in Napier and is very positive about the impact of cycling on the region.

"There is a definite growing awareness amongst visitors that Hawke's Bay is an excellent place to cycle," said Mr Fisher.

"We see an increase in visitors looking for active tours with more than 50% of our business from overseas, the rest mainly from Auckland and Wellington. When they get here, they often can't believe how much there is to do, and how far they can go on the trails."

The 36km Wineries Ride will stretch along the Ngaruroro River between the Expressway and Fernhill, past Roys Hill Reserve, the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa, then back through Hastings where there are connections to Hastings' iWays network and the Water Ride.

The Wineries Ride will be able to be completed as a single day ride or as part of a multiday experience by staying at a different location each night. Alternatively, a visitor may complete all or parts of the trail over a number of day trips, while staying at the same location.

The total cost of the three rides that make up the Hawke's Bay Trails is estimated at $5.3 million including New Zealand Cycle Trail project funding of $2.6 million and joint council funding of $2.7 million.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council will continue to oversee the completion of the trails including trail construction, directional signs, gateway signs and other ride infrastructure such as benches and tables.

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