30 Jul 2011

Taumarunui set to become cycle tourism hub

3:58 pm on 30 July 2011

Ruapehu District Council is confident the New Zealand Cycle Trail project is set to breathe life into Taumarunui as a tourist centre.

Three cycle touring routes starting or ending in the town are to be opened in August.

They are Taumarunui to New Plymouth - including part of the Forgotten World Highway - Taumarunui to Whakahoro - linking to the Ruapehu-Whanganui Trails, and Taumarunui to Ongarue, linking to the Pureora Timber Trail.

Ruapehu District Council chief executive, David Hammond, says the routes will make Taumarunui a hub for cycle tourism.

He says businesses are already beginning to invest in the town to capitalise on expected tourism growth.

The routes using existing roads will link up with the predominantly off-road rides being built at a cost of $50 million under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

A series of community events will be held in Taumarunui, Whangamomona and New Plymouth to celebrate the opening of the new rides on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August.