Mon, Mar 6, 2023 6:00 AM

Six new shelters for Great Taste Trail


Jo Kent

Four of the six new shelters on The Great Taste Trail are now finished with the remaining two due for completion by April.

Trail manager for the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust, Belinda Crisp, says the new shelters cost $40k in total and will provide cyclists with respite from sun, wind and rain.

“The shelters are being built with external funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Tasman District Council and other voluntary contributions, plus in-kind labour from the Nelson Rotary group.

“The work has been going on for a few months and we expect to have all shelters finished by next month.”

Belinda has been in the trail manager role since late last year and is enjoying being part of something she loves.

“I’ve had a passion for the trail since I moved to Nelson in 2008 and have been involved with it in several forms since then, by fundraising for it, riding it or booking customers to travel on it while working for Kiwi Journeys.

“I have a huge admiration for the people who have been involved with the development of the Great Taste Trail. It is, and continues to be, a gigantic project with so many elements, and it wouldn’t be possible without the input from volunteers, trust members, contractors and the trail supporters.

“I’m looking forward to bringing some of the projects started by my predecessors to fruition, which will add to the experience of the trail and make it even better.”
Tasman’s Great Taste Trail spans around 200km and in some places, runs through remote areas that are exposed to the elements.

There are several stopping points, distinct from towns and villages, which break up the ride and are used by many trail users, but that have minimal or insufficient shelter.

“Shelter and amenity are a recurrent comment in our feedback surveys and in discussions with trail operators,” says Belinda.

The shelters which are currently finished are Tasman View, Wai-iti, Peninsular Bridge and Baton. The final two are Woodstock and Belgrove.

Nelson Rotary have been actively involved with work on the GTT for many years, and spokesperson John Hambleton says this project has been very straightforward thanks to the meticulous planning of the building team.

“Essentially, in just a day and a half, these shelters are completed. I have to give the building team a lot of credit because their planning has been excellent.

“Each shelter is built by a team of five, led by two of our members who are builders by trade. After it’s built, we then go in with a team of four to complete the shelter with oil-based stains which takes about two and half hours.”

The volunteers have already been getting great feedback from trail users.

“People have stopped us while we are working to comment on the design of the shelter and say they look good. Peninsular Bridge also has an area where people go swimming, so the shelter is handy for them too.”

Previously, the group worked on the first two stages of the trail development back in 2012, building sections of boardwalk on the Waimea estuary as a club-only project, then joining the other clubs, including Nelson West Rotary, The Rotary Club of Whakatu and the Rotary Club of Richmond at various times, doing further boardwalks in 2012 and 2013.

In 2014 and 2015 the club was involved in joint working parties building the entry platform and doing the lighting in the Spooners Tunnel.

The club also responded to a call for help from the Trust in early February in 2018 when Cyclone Fehi severely damaged the boardwalk sections of the trail.

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