29 Jul 2016

Queenstown tracks to get ratepayer funding

3:48 pm on 29 July 2016

Queenstown's council has agreed to pay to maintain 11 walking and biking tracks being developed across two high country stations.

Scenic view of Lake Wakatipu with Southern Alps in background near Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council will pay to maintain 11 tracks in the area. Photo: 123RF

The Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday agreed to pay $10,000 a year to maintain the existing and planned tracks, which will go across Glencoe and Coronet Stations.

The land is partially owned by the Crown under pastoral lease, and partially by Soho Properties, which has entered into an agreement with the Queen Elizabeth II Trust to protect the land.

Two of the tracks are yet to be formed, and the others are to be upgraded, with the work to be done by Soho Properties.

Queen Elizabeth II National Trust's central Otago spokesperson Rob Wardle said the work had been a long time in the planning.

"It's fantastic to see everyone getting on board to make it happen. It just goes to show the great results that can be achieved when everyone works towards a common aim."

Soho Property Limited's manager Russell Hamilton said the move was seen as part of the company's commitment to ensure access to the landscape.

"We've always thought that this beautiful part of the country was too good to be locked away and it's great to see the Queenstown Lakes District Council commit to maintaining these tracks once we've built them."

Some of the tracks are already open to the public, and work is expected to start on the new tracks in 2017.

The tracks will build on the existing network already accessible across both stations.