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The new Pukorokoro-Miranda to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail was officially opened on November 18.
Strong head winds didn't stop cyclists from trying out the new section of the Hauraki Rail Trail on November 18.
The new Pukorokoro-Miranda to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail was officially opened with a full day of events.
There were dawn ceremonies at both at the Robert Findlay Wildlife Area at Pūkorokoro-Miranda and at the Kopu bridge at the start of the rail trail.
The blessings were followed by an official opening at Kopu and a fun, family event with lots of activities for all ages and plenty of spot prizes.
In the afternoon, there was a best dressed bird competition for children and adults. Prizes included a Red Trek Precaliper youth bike from Thames JollyBikes, and two tickets for the Whitianga Waterways Summer Concert, courtesy of Coromandel's More FM.
There were three pit stops along the new section of trail, with a local school or community group selling food and drinks and the option for walkers and cyclists to take a free shuttle to Kopu.
Phil and Jo Schumacher travelled from Morrinsville for the grand opening, with Paeroa Infomation Centre's Michael Tansey, right.
Hauraki Plains College Te Wao Kahika kapa haka group performed during the day, along with Thames Valley Rockers and L&P Rockers, Dance Academy Paeroa, Steam Punk Flash Mob, Thames Youth Centre Hip Hop and guest singers and musicians.
Hauraki Rail Trail General Manager Diane Drummond wanted to acknowledge the contribution to the rail trail by the three councils, Hauraki District Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council and Matamata-Piako District Council.
"They've just done a fantastic job working together and working beside me to ensure we take this trail from good to great," she said.
Keen cyclists gather at the Kopu bridge for the official opening of the Pukorokoro-Miranda to Kopu Hauraki Rail Trail on November 18.
"It's taken us five years to be an overnight success so I think we're getting there."
There are currently four sections of the trail open to cyclists and walkers. Other sections include Thames to Paeroa, Paeroa to Te Aroha and Paeroa to Waihi.
A fifth section, from Te Aroha to Matamata, is under development, with work set to begin shortly.
Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust chairman Wati Ngamane, left, speaks to the crowd during the official opening.
Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, left, counts down the ribbon cutting by Matamata-Piako district mayor Jan Barnes, Hauraki district mayor John Tregidga and Thames-Coromandel district mayor Sandra Goudie.
Thames 50+ Cycle Group members Jean and Bob Gray get ready to hit the new trail.
Waikato Regional Council section manager Adam Munro is one of the first to ride on the new part of the Hauraki Rail Trail after it was officially opened.
Trevor and Larraine Phillips wait at the start of the new trail.
This article first appeared on www.stuff.co.nz
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