Wairarapa makes 'Heartland Ride' guide

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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The latest AA New Zealand Cycle Trail Guide includes Route 52, a 202km trail from Waipukurau to Masterton, via Pongoroa and Mauriceville. PHOTO/FILE
The latest AA New Zealand Cycle Trail Guide includes Route 52, a 202km trail from Waipukurau to Masterton, via Pongoroa and Mauriceville. PHOTO/FILE

A scenic route through North Wairarapa has been included in the AA's latest New Zealand Cycle Trail Guide.

The guide is into its third edition and now includes Route 52, a 202km trail from Waipukurau to Masterton, via Pongoroa and Mauriceville -- as one of three new "heartland rides".

Cycle tourist numbers are growing on the Great Rides that are part of the New Zealand Cycle Trails network throughout the country, according to The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc chairman Richard Leggat.

"Even busy trails like Tasman's Great Taste Trail have reported growth of 19 per cent this summer and as a result, hospitality, accommodation and rental services along cycle trails are [growing] both in revenue and staff numbers," Mr Leggat said.

"Some tourism businesses are enjoying growth of between 15 per cent and 50 per cent this summer compared to last."

The New Zealand Cycle Trails Guide provides travellers with enough information to create a packaged holiday experience, catered to their needs, AA Traveller general manager Moira Penman said.

"The layout is logical and is easy to use with all the wider information about accommodation, places to eat and even other things to do sitting alongside each of the cycle trails," Ms Penman said. "When information is presented in a way where it's easier for people to plan their trips like we've done in the New Zealand Cycle Trails Guide, you'll find more travellers taking up the adventure."

The AA will launch its third edition of the guide in May, with an increased print run of 50 per cent after the second edition disappeared off shelves in less than six months.

The guide includes maps, advice, section grades and timeframes, and is given away at AA Centres, i-sites and selected accommodation, attraction and cycle tour providers.

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