Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Bike trail for Waihi has good support

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Council has approached land owners with concept of track from town to sea

Western Bay of Plenty mayor Ross Paterson sees a bike trail as a good thing for Waihi Beach. Photo / Andrew Warner
Western Bay of Plenty mayor Ross Paterson sees a bike trail as a good thing for Waihi Beach. Photo / Andrew Warner

Wheels are in motion for a bike trail linking Waihi and Waihi Beach.

Extending the Hauraki Rail Trail is in the works, to link Waihi and Waihi Beach, a distance of about 13km.

Western Bay of Plenty mayor Ross Paterson said Hauraki and Western Bay of Plenty District Councils were working together on the project.

Read more: 14,000 people to take up cycling in the Bay

He said the idea had been in the works for the past 18 months and had got to the stage where they had spoken to land owners.

"We've gotten good support from them.

"They are happy for a trail to go across their land," he said.

We've already started on Paengaroa/Maketu and that is our capital expenditure for this year but following on is Waihi to Waihi Beach trail.
Ross Paterson, Western Bay of Plenty mayor

Mr Paterson said the Waihi to Waihi Beach bike trail was in the budget and in the next financial year the council would begin making decisions about location and what was needed for it, such as bike bridges.

"In the short- to medium-term we are looking at doing the Waihi to Waihi Beach trail.

"We've already started on Paengaroa/Maketu and that is our capital expenditure for this year but following on is Waihi to Waihi Beach trail," Mr Paterson said.

"I think it would be good for a place like Waihi Beach, where there's already a lot of infrastructure in place and it's an environment people want to spend a day or two.

Waihi Beach. Photo/file
Waihi Beach. Photo/file

"We see it as a way to bring people into Waihi Beach, to spend the day and then carry on to other areas or other trails we have underway like the Omokoroa to Tauranga or the Eastern Link."

"[There is] a great number of people biking on the Hauraki trail and I think we'll see quite a considerable flow on into the Waihi area once the trail is constructed."

He said the trail would be part of a circuit of trails, including the Omokoroa to Tauranga and Eastern Link trails, which would, in the long term, be linked as a bike trail all the way through.

"However, that's a real long-term plan and considerable work will be needed to achieve that," Mr Paterson said.

Read more: $4.5m cycleway will join Omokoroa to Tauranga

Tourism Bay of Plenty chairman Ian Smith said the councils had signed a memorandum of understanding for the trail before Christmas last year.

Coming out to the beach there is a change in levels, it won't be a flat ride and there will be some challenges in it. But there's no reason why families still can't do it.
Ian Smith, Tourism Bay of Plenty chairman

"Western Bay of Plenty District Council has made a commitment to facilitate the building of the trail," he said.

Mr Smith said the trail would probably go from the Gold Discovery Centre in Waihi out to the beach, though it would not be part of the Hauraki Rail Trail because while that trail is a grade one, the track out to the beach would be a grade two.

"Coming out to the beach there is a change in levels, it won't be a flat ride and there will be some challenges in it. But there's no reason why families still can't do it."

"Waihi Beach is a tourism destination where we've got a huge amount of facilities to cater for a summer crowd," he said.

As owner of Top 10 Holiday Park at Waihi Beach Mr Smith said he found a lot of cyclists doing the Hauraki trail were going out to the beach to find accommodation and eat and drink.

"It would increase the number of visitors coming to the beach, an opportunity for them to enjoy the beach and what it has to offer."

Mr Smith said that tourism operators or accommodation providers would not be the only winners.

"There's an argument that if someone spends $100 that money goes around the community at least six or seven times. It pays wages, pays for petrol and so on."


Bike trail

• The bike trails are part of council's 10-year plan and are being funded by council and NZTA.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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