The Motu Trails, one of 11 "Great Rides" officially open under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail Programme will be celebrating its first birthday via a public cycling event starting at Motu next Sunday 19 May.
The Motu Trails extends from the spectacular Opotiki coastline through to Matawai, taking riders through a diverse range of landscapes, natural beauty and history.
Construction of the cycleway began in October 2010 and during the tenure of trail construction the trails have achieved a number of objectives including boosting tourism opportunities for local businesses, providing employment and enabling direct access to the beautiful Pacific Ocean which for many years has not been viable for the community and visitors. Last year the grand opening of the Motu Trails was held and one year on the trails is exceeding estimated visitor usage originally anticipated for the cycleway.
“Single day visitor usage was expected to peak at 4,000 in year one,” says Motu Trails Charitable Trust Chairman Dave Emslie. “Data recently collated from the trails shows that usage is well over 7,500 for the 12 month period. It has well exceeded the Trusts expectation of anticipated usage. The Pakihi Track, which is regarded as the flagship track for the Motu Trails has over 1,180 users in the January ‘13 to March ‘13 period alone.”
“The heritage engrained in this region and the spectacular scenery that will accompany riders every inch of their journey is something special. The region truly has a world class cycling tourism product that will launch the East Cape onto the cycling tourism map,” says Emslie.
The birthday event will start at Motu with refreshments and a raft of spot prizes up for grabs including accommodation packages offered by Portside Hotel, Bushaven, Motu Community House, Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp and Toatoa Farmstay and more goodies on offer including a bike hire and shuttle voucher from Motu Cycle Ltd, t-shirts and DVD’s.
The Motu Trails is a partnership project between the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, Opotiki District Council, Gisborne District Council, Whakatohea Maori Trust Board and the Department of Conservation. The Motu Trails Charitable Trust, formed in December 2010 has been engaged to develop and promote the Motu Trails brand.
Of the 21 Great Rides that have been constructed, eleven are fully open, a further nine trails have significant sections open and seven trails are still constructing significant sections.
Birthday Celebration Event Details
The birthday event will start at 9:30am, 19th May at the Motu Rest Area opposite Motu School with food and refreshments available for purchase. After a short welcome, members of the public are invited to join the birthday celebration by participating in a spectacular downhill ride on the Pakihi Track and finishing at Weka Wilds with wood-fired pizza and refreshments.
Cash only- there will be no eftpos available. The event will be held rain or shine. Further event details are available on the Motu Trails website www.motutrails.co.nz