The long-awaited official opening of the Lake Dunstan Trail will take place on Saturday, 8 May, with the cutting of the ribbon in Clyde, followed by celebrations for the community at Cromwell Heritage Precinct.

Ten fortunate members of the public have been given the honour of being the first riders on the trail, riding the 42 kilometres from Clyde Heritage Precinct to Cromwell.  The riders were selected by ballot.

Once the official bunch sets off, anyone else is welcome to ride the trail from the Clyde end – ‘On Day One Way’. 

Festivities will then shift to Cromwell for the Grand Opening celebrations, scheduled from 12 noon till 5 pm.

“The Grand Opening will be held in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct which will be filled with live entertainment, delicious street food, and a selection of local wine,” says Gretchen Nightingale, Community Relationships Manager of the Cromwell & Districts Promotion Group. “It’ll be the perfect spot for supporters to enjoy the afternoon while waiting on their cyclists to complete the trail.”

It was in May 2016 that the then Prime Minister, John Key, announced a tripartite agreement between Central Government, Central Lakes Trust and Otago Community Trust to provide funding for the development of the trail.

The trail is unique is that bridges traverse the rocky bluffs along the 42 ks.  Along the way, as cyclists and walkers travel along the grade 1-2, safe single-day track, they will follow the history of the gold mining days, the rich Maori heritage, as well as the early farming history of the area.  Tourists will be able to get a close-up view of the Clyde Dam – New Zealand’s largest concrete dam.

“The trail takes you through amazing scenery (which would otherwise be inaccessible),  past some fascinating historic sites and onto wonderfully engineered structures,” says Stephen Jeffery, Chair of the Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust. “The route links to the Otago Central Rail Trail and forms part of the Great Rides in Central Otago and the Southern Lakes.”

For more information on the trail and the Grand Opening, go to lakedunstantrail.co.nz.