User feedback on the popular Lake Dunstan Trail has led to the development of a new safety video.

Tourism Central Otago’s trails marketing executive Geoff Marks said the video was made in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Central Otago Queenstown Trails Network Trust (COQTNT), local police, search and rescue, trail operators and regional partners.

‘‘We collectively reviewed the user feedback to identify and pull together the content for the clip. To ensure consistent information is available to those researching and planning their rides, we have designed the video to be distributed and used by any business or organisation promoting the trail.

‘‘The messages in the Lake Dunstan Trail safety video are equally relevant for any trail experience — being informed, prepared, and properly equipped is key for having a great time,’’ Mr Marks said.

The Lake Dunstan Trail rapidly became one of the most popular cycle and walking trails in New Zealand, attracting more than 80,000 users in its first year.

Being awarded Great Ride Status by Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails (NZCT) on its one›year anniversary meant that NZCT user surveys were completed and provided to the trail partners for review. This provided factual and informed feedback on the areas of the trail that users enjoyed and those they were least prepared for.

‘‘The surveys show that although the trail was often a highlight, people needed to be better prepared for the terrain, remoteness, the challenging areas of trail, skills and fitness levels necessary to safely enjoy the Lake Dunstan Trail experience,’’ COQTNT chairman Stephen Jeffrey said.

‘‘We are really proud and excited that this trail has proven to be so popular so quickly and we have already done a lot of work to ensure there is good safety messaging in signage and on websites. However, with feedback that people are taking on the more remote and harder sections of the trail and finding they are not prepared enough to enjoy it, we welcomed Tourism Central Otago’s offer to help by developing a new safety video clip.’’

Lake Dunstan Trail manager Shayne O’Connor said video was an excellent way of addressing by visual means those areas of the trail that people had found most challenging.

‘‘These include the harder sections of trail in the Cromwell Gorge, that have those tight corners, longer climbs, two›way traffic, elevation, remoteness, and changeable weather.

‘‘What I really like about this particular trail is that it does provide variety and choices,’’ Mr O’Connor said. ‘‘The sections of trail from Smiths Way north of Pisa Moorings right through to Carrick Winery at Bannockburn are wonderful grade›one easy sections of trail that almost everyone can enjoy. Beyond there through the gorge section of trail, you do need to be well›prepared and have good bike skills to ride it safely.’’