Wairarapa Five Towns Trail Network

October 2021

The South Wairarapa District Council is supporting an ambitious plan to create a network of trails connecting Wairarapa’s five towns.

The Wairarapa Five Towns Trail Network project aims to develop almost 200km of recreational trails for walking and cycling, linking Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton.

Its vision is to enhance the Wairarapa’s economy and recreational facilities by creating an internationally recognised network of trials that showcase the region’s natural and cultural attractions, for locals and tourists alike.

A master plan was released in October 2021 and is available on its website: www.fivetownstrail.co.nz.

Leading the project is the Wairarapa Trails Action Group (WTAG), based on a concept conceived by the Five Towns Trails Trust to connect Wairarapa’s towns.

The project overall is expected to take about a decade, drawing largely on funding applications outside the region’s ratepayer base.

The first stage between Featherston and Greytown has already been significantly boosted by a $1.3 million contribution from the Government’s Covid-19 recovery fund. It includes a 150m walking and cycle suspension bridge over the Tauherenikau River, becoming the country’s longest suspension bridge.

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said construction of the bridge showed what was possible.

“This is a major project that is likely to take 10 years or more to complete, but the bridge project is a great start. And by accessing external funding, using the master plan, it can be a win-win for ratepayers and residents.”

WTAG Chair and Carterton Mayor Greg Lang said the master plan was key to kicking off funding applications and conversations with landowners.

Other members of WTAG include South Wairarapa, Carterton and Masterton District Councils, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Destination Wairarapa, and a number of Wairarapa-based trails trusts.

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