Twin Coast Discovery Route boosted

Unlocking the potential of the Twin Coast Discovery Route to boost tourism and jobs will be supported by a $6.2 million injection from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Transport Minister Phil Twyford have announced.

“The Twin Coast Discovery Route is a huge opportunity for the region so we need to investigate how it can really contribute to the local economy,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The Route is an 800 kilometre circular journey along the east and west coasts of Northland on State Highways 1, 10, 11, 12 and 16, which connects communities, key tourist attractions and infrastructure.

“We know visitors go to the Bay of Islands to see the Hole in the Rock and to swim with the dolphins. We want them to go further, go sand dune surfing at Opononi or cycle the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

“We can help by ensuring their journey through Northland is a pleasurable experience on safe and resilient roads. The work that will be undertaken by the NZ Transport Agency could lead to future investment of $94 million,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The funding from PGF will be invested in a package of business cases. These will cover detailed investigations, including geotechnical work, to determine the best solutions for improving safety, resilience and reliability along the Route,” Phil Twyford said.

“Funding these investigations out of the PGF will provide certainty and the opportunity to progress individual projects as a cohesive programme.

“The most significant investigation will consider a resilience and safety upgrade of SH10 and SH11 around Kawakawa. It’s a critical tourism route between SH1 and the Bay of Islands, but suffers from flooding, slips and safety problems.

“Other investigations will consider more highway rest areas for visitors and freight drivers, funding for an overarching cycle trail plan for Northland and better signage along the Route,” Phil Twyford said.