After 14 years of construction and nearly $40m raised, the Te Awa River Ride is finally celebrating its completion.
The vision was that of Simon Perry, Chair of the Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust who in 2009 had the idea of opening parts of the Waikato River up to the community through a multi-purpose trail that was accessible to as many people as possible.
Locals and visitors are encouraged to get out and enjoy Te Awa on Sunday 26 March between 11am and 2pm – on foot, bike or scooter. There will be 27 stations set up along the path between Ngaruawahia and Lake Karapiro - participants collect stickers from each station and each sticker gives them an entry into the draw to win over $13,000 in prizes.
The prize-giving will be held at Hamilton Gardens in conjunction with Gourmet in the Gardens from 3:30pm, with the Minister of Transport, Michael Woods in attendance, along with the Mayors from Waikato District (Jacqui Church), Hamilton City (Paula Southgate) and Waipa District (Susan O’Regan).
A real strength of the journey to build through three different council boundaries has been the collaboration between the local authorities. A partnership with the River Ride Te Awa Trust that continues today.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate, who was present at the opening of the very first section in Cambridge back in 2009, is excited to join in on the celebrations this coming weekend.
“To be here 14 years later and see the full path through to completion now as the Mayor of Hamilton is exceptionally special,” said Mayor Southgate.
“We’re inviting all of New Zealand to come and enjoy the ride in our beautiful part of the country. “I was lucky enough to be at the blessing of the Hamilton section, late last year. As I said then, can we just extend another thank you to those who had the vision and supported this amazing project which brings such value to our city and region.”
Waipa District’s Deputy Mayor Liz Stolwyk said “It’s amazing to see the completion of this wonderful asset. The Waipā section is already highly used and loved, so it will be great to have the full 65km ride open to keep our communities active and connected. This Sunday will be a fun family outing for all and Council is proud to be supporting the event.”
Waikato District Council Mayor, Jacqui Church, says “Significantly, the Te Awa cycleway begins in the shade of the Hakarimata ranges at The Point in Ngaruawahia, where the mighty Waikato and the Waipa rivers converge. The Great New Zealand River Ride provides an awesome experience that invites people to connect with each other and enjoy our great Kiwi lifestyle here in the mighty Waikato. However, you choose to travel it, whether walk, run, or bike, you can’t help but be impressed by the natural beauty of the awa as you cross the iconic Perry Bridge at Horotiu, as you head south through the Hamilton section of the cycleway. I thoroughly recommend that you take the time to experience the newly opened stretch through the Mangaonua Gully at Tamahere”.
“Creating such an extensive, accessible and quality recreational asset for our community and visitors to enjoy really is something our Trust is really proud of. It is a fantastic example of great collaboration across towns and council borders to create a truly world class regional legacy” said Simon Perry, Chair of the Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust.
“And we can’t wait to celebrate its completion with our community”.
For more information:
Or contact Sarah Ulmer: 021 333 623