Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has funded an upgrade to Te Araroa-New Zealand's Trail, to help keep walkers safe in the northern Waikato.
About 6km of trail, between Oram Rd south of Mercer, and Dragway Rd north of Hampton Downs, has been upgraded with a gravel path and sections of boardwalk.
Previously, walkers had been using a half-formed track, with many choosing to walk on the shoulder of State Highway 1 Waikato Expressway instead.
"We're very appreciative of the support shown by Waka Kotahi through this trail upgrade," says Te Araroa Trust executive director Mark Weatherall.
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"As the trail continues to grow we're seeing more and more Kiwis out there, and it's important that they can use the trail safely."
The upgrade was paid for through Waka Kotahi's walking and cycling fund. Waka Kotahi director of regional relationships David Speirs says the upgrade improves the safety for both walkers and drivers using State Highway 1.
"Everyone should be able to get where they're going safely, whether they're walking, cycling, driving, motorcycling or using public transport.
"Te Araroa is an iconic New Zealand journey and we're pleased to be able to support this upgrade."
Te Araroa is a 3000km walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff using a network of walking tracks and backcountry roads to traverse the length of New Zealand.