Source: New Zealand Government
The Government is backing a high-adrenaline tourism project in Northland by investing $490,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund towards the final stage of the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.
Funding for the $2.1 million project has come from a variety of sources and it is anticipated that the project could create over 160 jobs after 10 years. When completed, the community-owned park will offer mountain bikers 72 kilometres of trails catering to all abilities, and is expected to attract 15,000 new visitors to the region after three years.
“This will be a premium tourist attraction for the Bay of Islands that will create jobs in the long term and support the success of surrounding businesses,” Kelvin Davis said.
“Cycle tourism is a growing part of the market. The Waitangi Mountain Bike Park will complement Northland’s other major cycling attraction – Pou Herenga Tai Far North Cycle Way – and the long term plan is to connect the two attractions.”
The 2015 Northland Economic Action Plan (NEAP) identified tourism as a key opportunity to improve economic outcomes across the region and makes specific reference to developing higher quality and culturally enriching tourism offerings.
“This project has had buy-in from across the local community with support from the Waitangi National Trust, the local community board, local councils, and Northland locals.
“On top of generous donations to support the park, more than 200 people have written letters in support and 163 locals have registered as volunteers to carry out maintenance. It’s great that the Government is able to support this project too,” Kelvin Davis said.
Waitangi Mountain Bike Park is expected to earn a silver rating from the International Mountain Bike Association, putting it on a level with some of the most popular mountain bike parks in the world.