16 Feb 2013

New South Island cycle trail opens

1:42 pm on 16 February 2013

A new cycle trail in the South Island is hoped to bring a financial boost to the region.

The 300 kilometre trail from Mt Cook to Omarama was being formally opened on Saturday.

Alps to Ocean Joint Committee chair Mike Neilson says he expects 20,000 will ride the trail during the next five years, bringing an extra $5 million to the Mackenzie and Waitaki districts.

Mr Neilson says the route, which it is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, was funded by a $2.75 million government grant.

Several hundred people were expected at Mt Cook Village on Saturday for the opening which was to feature helicopter rides, a gala dinner and fireworks.