This strategic framework has been developed to provide regional-level suggestions for Hauraki-Coromandel to become a nationally-significant mountain bike destination. The approach is to gather input from all stakeholders and develop an aligned approach to the next steps. These actions are by no means exhaustive and are a basis for collaborative korero to begin. Key actions are to:
- Create a Trails Master Plan for the region
- Build a dedicated mobile, regional trail-building team and associated capacity and capability
- Create mechanisms and opportunities to allow 10 per cent of trail users to contribute to conservation and kaitiakitanga, whether through behaviour, funding or volunteering
Along the way, we will:
- Deliver high-quality experiences, where 90 per cent of trail users (locals and visitors) are connecting to nature in ways that improve the environment and human well-being
- Ensure that regional off-road trail development is sustainable, collaborative and delivered with the pillars of People, Place and Pathway in mind.
The Coromandel is explored more sustainably by connecting communities and showcasing our environment to become a nationally significant mountain bike destination by 2030.
- Forty kilometres of shared trails accessible within ten minutes of cycling of primary hub centres – Thames, Coromandel Town, Whitianga, Whangamatā.
- Four hundred kilometres of linked, epic recreational backcountry trails between primary hubs and outlying nodes with multi- day adventure riding as the key experience.
- A mobile, regional sustainable Trail Care Team with capability and capacity to build and maintain innovative high-quality trails and services.
- Build bike-friendly urban connections
- By connecting Kiwis back in to the ngahere, we increase the stewardship and value of trails for our residents and visitors.
- Strategic plan for Whangamatā Ridges Mountain Bike Park delivered
- Trail design, build and maintenance skills developed in Whangamatā team
- Whangamatā team trained two volunteer teams in Thames and Coromandel Town, thereby increasing regional capability while creating new trail assets.
- Hauraki Coromandel Biking Strategy developed and supported by local mountain bike clubs and Thames-Coromandel District Council.
- TCDC seeks feedback and discussion on draft strategy
June 2023: The draft strategy is being circulated for review as part of a wider tracks and trail initiative from Thames-Coromandel District Council to ensure that local residents and community groups have the opportunity to have input. Through this process, we can have confidence that strategic decisions reflect the aspirations and views of our communities, are aligned with destination management planning and reflect good decision-making.
When the government funded Destination Hauraki Coromandel (along with 30 other RTOs) to undertake projects to support the broader tourism industry, stimulate regional demand, and increase industry capability, we identified mountain biking as a key activity that would fit across all those objectives.
The initial project objective was to build local trail building and maintenance capability based in Whangamatā which would extend outside of the Whangamatā Mountain Bike Park to include other Coromandel and Hauraki trail groups. The strong support for bike clubs in the region and the work of the Coromandel Trails Collective, the initiative instigated and supported by the Thames-Coromandel District Council Economic Development team provided a high level of collaboration for the second part of an MBIE-funded project to develop a region-wide trail strategy.
This is the result, in draft form. It will take a lot more collaboration to move ahead, as it is more than just a funding strategy, but there is broad support for these principles and plan which has been developed at the grassroots, by the bikers who love to ride our trails.
As other projects have progressed, and business and community survey results for destination management planning have been collated, it is clear that the protection and enhancement of our environment are top of the list for many people. This is reflected in the environmental focus of the strategy and actions to nurture the natural environment in the areas of impact. This is a requirement for all future projects.
Long Term Vision
The Hauraki-Coromandel region has unlimited potential as an international cycling destination, constrained only by what is desired for our future generations. This draft framework
has been compiled with the input and help of many who are grateful to call this place our home. It is with this in mind that we would like to create:
a nationally-significant mountain bike destination in Hauraki Coromandel
that is developed sustainably, thoughtfully and with respect.
It is imperative that key stakeholders are aligned, work collaboratively, transparently and with a long-term, generational vision. But this does not mean we can sit back and wait for things to happen by themselves. Many volunteer hours have been invested into what has been created already in the region and it is our opportunity to stand up, pedal forward and create a cycle journey worthy of those before us.