What has been done?
Council approved a project in the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan to develop a cycleway from Te Aroha to Matamata.
Since our last update, we have been making improvements to the design of the planned cycleway. This has included:
- additional directional, information and educational signage
- additional seating along the route
- engineering design and trail surface improvements in some areas
- a landscape design for various sections of the trail including rest areas
We are now nearing the end of the planning phase.
What happens next? We are compiling a business case with the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust (which manages the existing Hauraki Rail trail), for additional project funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The outcome of this application will likely determine the start date of the construction phase.
What route will the trail follow?
The route will follow the Kaimais along Manawaru Road (in the road reserve).
A number of submitters to Council supported the cycleway, but suggested a more scenic/varied route along Old Te Aroha Road (rather than the proposed route along Manawaru Road). We investigated both routes and have chosen the route along Manawaru Road, as this will mean the trail can be 'grade 1'. Grade 1 trails are suitable for all levels of cyclists, and would be consistent with the rest of the Hauraki Rail Trail. We will propose that this new extension is officially incorporated into the Hauraki Rail Trail, which will be beneficial for promoting the Te Aroha-Matamata leg. We also believe this route will result in better economic benefits for the district, encouraging people to stay overnight in Te Aroha or Matamata when cycling the rail trail.
The route along Te Aroha Gordon Road may have had more features of interest, however, could not be completed as a grade 1 trail, and would cost substantially more. We are proposing to signpost features of interest along the Kaimais such as Waiorongomai, Wairere Falls, the Kaimai Air Crash Memorial and Stanley Landing, however, the links to these sites would be along the road (not dedicated cycleway).
Note that some sections of the trail route (such as the exact routes in and out of Te Aroha and Matamata) are still to be confirmed.
Frequently asked questions
We've received a number of questions about the cycleway ranging from why are we extending it, through to what are the health and safety liabilities for farmers along the trail - so we compiled this list of FAQs to help answer the most common questions.
Register for updates
You can receive the latest information and updates on this project directly to your inbox - just subscribe to the 'Cycleway Extension' mailing list on the Sign Up page