A vast combined cycle trail that will enable travellers to ride from Roxburgh to Queenstown is a turn of the wheel closer.
Construction of the 54km Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail begins this week which will involve building a trail from near the Clyde Dam, along the Lake Dunstan shore, past Cromwell and near to Pisa Moorings.
Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust chairman Stephen Jeffery was delighted to ‘‘finally get started’’.
‘‘It is exciting to start this whole project.’’
This is the first of several projects that will eventually link the existing Otago Central Rail Trail, the Clutha Gold Trail, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the Queenstown Trails, creating a network of more than 500km of trails across Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes district.
Even as work began on the Lake Dunstan trail, negotiations for the next phase were under way, Mr Jeffery said.
The trust was working on securing easements for the trail to Gibbston Valley which would link with the Queenstown Trails.
‘‘Archaeological assessments are being done currently, so there is work in progress there.’’
They hoped to begin the consent process for that part of the trail later in the year, Mr Jeffery said.
‘‘Sometimes something will come along that holds you up, but that is our goal.’’
The leg from Pisa Moorings to Wanaka was also at the negotiating stage to get easements.
The trust had representatives from different trail groups across the region, who combined to secure $26.3 million of funding from Central Lakes Trust, the Otago Community Trust and the Government, Mr Jeffery said.
‘‘It is basically our job now to construct it.’’