NZTA gives official approval for CO Touring Route
It’s official! The Central Otago Touring Route has been given the green light from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Tourism Central Otago General Manager Dylan Rushbrook said formal approval from the agency means it is now “all systems go” getting signage in place along the scenic driving route and rolling out marketing to encourage visitors to plan their next road trip.
“The Central Otago Touring Route features 336km of stunning natural and cultural attractions that takes people on a road trip through Central Otago, via Middlemarch, Ranfurly, Omakau, Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell and Arrowtown, when travelling from Dunedin to Queenstown or vice versa.
“Tourism Central Otago and CODC has been working with Enterprise Dunedin, Dunedin City Council, Destination Queenstown and Queenstown Lakes District Council over the past 16 months to prepare for the imminent launch. This has included preparing our application to Waka Kotahi; developing pull-off areas; applying and securing funding for two new electric vehicle charging stations to ensure a truly EV-friendly route; creating interpretation panels to tell the key stories along the route; and developing a suite of marketing materials.
“It’s great to reach this milestone on our journey where this route will now be officially on the drive tourism map linking with other nationally recognised touring routes,” said Mr Rushbrook.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said the new route would encourage visitors to get out and explore more of the district and ensure the benefits of tourism were spread throughout the district.
“It is just another drawcard to attract visitors here to our piece of paradise on top of what is already a very rich tourism offering. It’s a road trip that will appeal to people who don’t just drive to get from A to B, but who want to experience a unique part of the world with beauty on all sides and a wide open road in front of them,” Mayor Cadogan said.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said Queenstown Lakes District Council was delighted to be part of the attractive new Central Otago Touring Route.
“Many of our visitors at the present time are New Zealanders getting out and exploring their own backyard. The development of a new touring route in our region is a timely addition to our offering, making it easy for Kiwis to get out and about in the most beautiful part of the country.”
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins is pleased with the collaborative approach taken with the touring route.
“This is another great example of Otago councils and regional tourism organisations working together to promote these special places we call home. The rich history and outstanding landscapes along this route are an important part of who we are. We love sharing it with visitors to our region, and this will make it easier for more of them to take up that opportunity.”
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships, South Island Jim Harland said Waka Kotahi was pleased to have been able to play its part in making this excellent initiative a reality.
“Achieving this is a result of the commitment of everyone involved, to work in partnership on an exciting opportunity to drive further visitor growth and deliver economic benefits for Otago businesses and communities.”
The route will be officially launched later this year.