Cycling is a large part of the visitor experience for Central Otago. Roxburgh Gorge Charitable Trust and Clutha Gold Charitable Trust over the past eight years have been working towards the opening of these exciting new community assets. On Thursday 24th October 2013 the trails were officially opened.
The day started with breakfast at Monteiths Brewery Bar to celebrate the opening of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail. About 70 people gathered at Monteiths to enjoy a bite to eat with Mayor Tony Lepper and to begin the celebrations of the day.
Stephen Jeffery, Chairman of the Roxburgh Gorge Charitable Trust welcomed everybody and spoke about the amazing journey of developing the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, which has been 8 years in the making.
From here, everybody walked to the start of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail where Mayor Tony Lepper cut the ribbon. Once the ribbon was cut, about 50 riders set off to ride our stunning trail for the first time to discover another world.
Once the riders had completed their fantastic ride through the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, they and about 300 other people gathered at Commissioners Flat in Roxburgh to witness the official opening of both the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails. These were opened by Prime Minister John Key.
In official speeches, after a welcome and karakia from local runanga, Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust chairman Rod Pierce and then Roxburgh Gorge Charitable Trust chairman Stephen Jeffery thanked all those who made the trails possible - other trustees, the Central Otago and Clutha district councils, various landowners and funders.
Cyclists, including Finance Minister and MP for Clutha-Southland Bill English, carried on their way to Lawrence along the Clutha Gold Trail for the final ribbon-cutting of the day. Celebrations concluded at Simpson Park in Lawrence with a community barbecue.