A popular Queenstown lakeside trail has been closed for a $100,000-plus upgrade to broaden its appeal.
The scenic 3.6km walking/cycling track from Kelvin Heights’ Jardine Park to Jack’s Point opened several years ago but has deteriorated through lack of maintenance.
The upgrade, funded by Queenstown Lakes District Council quango Wakatipu Trails Trust, will bring the track up to the standard of Department of Conservation day walks.
DoC, which is overseeing the work, will take over and maintain the track – but WTT will also chip in with $4000 a year for the next five years.
The trail will become “a good, easy track for walking and cycling”, says new WTT boss Kaye Parker.
“The upgrade will enhance one of the most iconic, drop-dead tracks in the Wakatipu Basin.”
The trail will be gravelled and culverted, and in places contoured and widened to resemble the standard of QLDC’s Lake Hayes loop track.
Funding comes from the Community Trust of Southland, Central Lakes Trust and WTT supporters, while the Jack’s Point development company is providing the gravel at cost – “which is a huge saving”, Parker says.
The southern end of the trail concludes at Jack’s Point, which itself has a series of walking/bike trails around farmland, the golf course and residential neighbourhoods.
“WTT has really pushed this [upgrade] as a priority as part of its overall strategy for a continuous loop right round the lower basin,” Parker says.
Subject to weather, the upgrade will be finished by Labour Weekend.
The track was originally put in by former local developer Kevin Carlin when he opened up his Lakeside Estates subdivision south of Jack’s Point.