Pūkorokoro/Miranda to Thames Trail spins new GM’s wheels 08 June 2017 A test spin on the almost completed Pūkorokoro/Miranda to Thames section of the Hauraki Rail Trail was all in a day’s work for General Manager Diane Drummond last week. Four months into her new role, she says the stunning section, which runs along stop banks on the shore of the Firth of Thames, is looking superb and will officially be opened before Labour weekend. “What brought the whole ride to life for me was the birdlife. I knew this section was going to be a real asset to the existing Trail, but I was genuinely surprised by just how beautiful it is through there,” she says. The new section of Trail will be officially inspected in June to make sure it is up to the standard required for Great Ride status. This means that once approved, it will join the rest of the Hauraki Rail Trail as one of only 22 Great Rides included in the New Zealand Cycle Trail network. In the process of rolling out a whole new website and marketing material as part of a fresh new start for the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust, Drummond says there’s a huge opportunity for communities to tell their stories and create business opportunities alongside the Trail. “The Trail is accessible and convenient for so many people. The cruise market docks at both Tauranga and Auckland. The country’s biggest airport is within two hour’s drive. It’s hardly surprising its easy grade and great scenery has become a hit with families and social cyclists. I’m a perfect example of how you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to ride it,” she says. A One Stop Shop information evening for the Pūkorokoro/Miranda to Thames section of the Trail, and separate day workshop for entrepreneurs and business people anywhere along it will be held in the district next week. The Pūkorokoro/Miranda to Thames leg of the Rail Trail has been funded by our Council, in partnership with Hauraki District Council, see here for more. Marketing and product development workshop for businesses The Hauraki Rail Trail and the New Zealand Cycle Trail Network invite businesses to attend a full day Marketing and Product Development Workshop and Information Day. When: Tuesday 13 June 2017, 9am – 4pm.Where: Thames Rugby Club RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The programme includes a workshop presented by tourism expert Craig Wilson, to help you get the most out of the Hauraki Rail Trail. This will be followed by an update from the Trust and how you can be involved as an Official Hauraki Rail Trail Partner to take the Rail Trail from Good to GREAT! Key Objective:To provide businesses with practical insights relating to domestic and international marketing plus identifying improvement opportunities for visitor experiences that will generate greater commercial returns. Benefits: Learning of the latest domestic and international marketing activities and focus areas Updates on local cycle trail initiatives and activities Uncovering opportunities for growing local business Meeting others and networking. Workshop outline: Updates on international and domestic market segments interested in cycling and mountain biking. Marketing activities of Tourism New Zealand (international), the AA (domestic) and how The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. supports key agencies via its official website, Facebook and Product Directory for travel trade and media. What's working well and what needs to be improved on our cycle trail(s)? What’s missing on our Trail? What new products / services do we need? Identifying new ways to work together to share costs, refer customers and keep in touch. One Stop Shop information evening On 14 June there will be a public information evening at Waitakaruru to discuss business opportunities along the new section of the Trail, and management of the coastal margin along the Trail, including the recent change to cease the grazing of stock on the seaward side of the stop banks along the Firth of Thames. This is a drop-in session between 5 - 7pm at the Waitakaruru Community Centre. Those in attendance will include: Representatives from the Living Water Project - a Department of Conservation/Fonterra partnership to improve biodiversity and water quality in the Firth of Thames. Department of Conservation representatives - to discuss the future development and management of the coastal margin. Economic development officers from Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki district councils - to discuss business opportunities alongside the Rail Trail. For more information contact Diane Drummond, Hauraki Rail Trail General Manager, phone: 027 322 7227 or email: email@example.com.