By GUY WILLIAMS
The re-routing of about 200 metres of the Lower Shotover Trail, wiped away by a huge slip over the past few weeks, won’t start until well into next year.
Queenstown Trails Trust boss Mark ‘Willy’ Williams says high river flows after major rain events in June and July caused the main course of the Shotover River to shift across to its northern bank, opposite the Tucker Beach Wildlife Management Reserve.
The river cut into the toe of the silt and gravel cliffs beneath Littles Road, eventually taking the trail with it.
The grade 3-4 biking track, which runs for 8km between the Old Lower Shotover Bridge and Littles Rd, remains closed.
Williams says his trust’s discussing ways of re-routing the trail with the Lower Shotover Conservation Trust, potentially above the slip, but it’ll take time.
‘‘It’s a shame because it was a really popular track … but you can’t fight nature.’’
A major trail extension between Arthurs Point and Tucker Beach, for which the trust gained consent earlier this year, will not pass through the slip site, instead crossing to the south side of the river via a yet-to-be-built suspension bridge about 2km upriver.
However, it’s still desirable to have trails on both sides, he says.
Meanwhile, repairs to a section of the Twin River Trail, also closed by a slip over the winter, should be completed before summer.
The work involves relocating a hairpin bend on the Old Macdonalds Hill section of the trail — between Shotover Country and Lake Hayes Estate — away from an active rockfall zone.