Trail upgrade smooths the way for city bikers

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City bikers can now cycle through Gibbston’s renowned wine country.

The Queenstown Trails Trust held a function on Saturday to launch an 8.7km, $370,000 upgrade to the Gibbston River Trail alongside the Kawarau River.

Trust chairman Tony McQuilkin told guests at Gibbston Valley Winery that the original trail, installed by the Gibbston community in 2010, was a Department of Conservation standard day walk.

“Our feedback from visitors and tour operators clearly told us that the beautiful DoC walkway was too difficult for city bike riders.”

McQuilkin says the trail upgrade was only possible due to easements granted by nine landowners, whose names will be added to the Wall of Recognition on the Queenstown Trail.

With a maximum 1 in 10 grade, the new trail officially joins the 100km Queenstown Trails Trust network, which was formally opened in October 2012 and is one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s 23 Great Rides.

McQuilkin also paid tribute to the drive of former Gibbston Community Association chairperson Susan Stevens in creating the original trail, parts of which have been retained.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay presented certificates of appreciation to the nine landowners.

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