The Queenstown Trail is the realisation of a ten year vision, combined with the tenacity, passion and patience of many individuals and organisations.
Back in 2002 after the then Wakatipu Trails Trust (now the Queenstown Trails Trust) was established following a community meeting organized by QLDC CEO, Duncan Field and DOC Wakatipu Area Manager, Chris Eden to assess the interest level for a network of recreational trails.
The early years were spent developing a vision, key strategies and a working plan and in 2004 the WTT strategy was finalised. To this day that vision and strategy serve as a guide for all trail development and activities.
Our vision: To create a world class trail network for walking and cycling.
It was envisioned the WTT would work in close partnership with Council and DOC.
At that time, the area was rapidly developing and the Trust had the foresight to secure access and easements to key land, before it was fully developed.
Coincidentally, in 2009, an idea emerged from the 2009 Government's Job Summit, to create to build a network of cycle trails that would open up new ways for Kiwis and international visitors to see the country – and also generate economic, social and environmental benefits for communities.
'Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail' was born.
In mid-2009 the Trust secured substantial Government funding which enabled us to greatly accelerate the development and construction of over 120km of world-class cycling and walking trails. Today, the Queenstown Trail is a flagship trail, forming part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
We owe a huge vote of thanks to so many: the early pioneers who had the vision in 2002; the local businesses and individuals who have contributed their time, money and ideas over the years; generous landowners who have agreed to share their beautiful land with the rest of the world; local and central government and the Department of Conservation, who have all played a major part in the planning, development and safety of these magnificent trails.
*As part of its Centenary Project the Queenstown Rotary Club, through its Bridge Restoration Trust, funded and restored the Historic Lower Shotover Bridge, raising $760,000.
**Grateful thanks to Karen and Jim Boult for funding the part of the trail that traverses Threpwood land.
***Millbrook Trail – thanks to Millbrook for the easement and link from Malaghan’s Road through the resort.
**** Spearheaded by Susan Stevens, the Gibbston Community Association raised $1.4m and obtained 10 landowner easements to develop the 8.5kms trail which is one of the most popular trails in the basin.
Thanks to all our key partnerships, particularly the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Department of Conservation, both authorities have provided land to build trails, and also have primary responsibility for maintaining those trails.
Other partnerships that have enabled this extensive trail network are: NZ Transport Agency, Historic Places Trust, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Private and Public Landowners, Community Trust of Southland, Central Lakes Trust and other Trusts, Bequests and financial sponsors and patrons.