We are the leading cycle trail design and development partner in the South Island, providing design and trail maintenance services and advice to both Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes District Councils’. Working with Councils’ and community trusts’, we have been involved in the design and development of mountain bike parks, mountain bike tracks and outdoor recreational facilities across Otago, taking projects from concept right through to delivery.

Trail concept and feasibility

Got an idea for a track or trail? Our team have completed over 200km of tracks and trails across Otago and have the specialised knowledge to guide you from your idea to a detailed and tangible feasibility study. Feasibility studies bring together all the key information about the project and lead on to seeking funding, progressing land access and, ultimately, design and construction.

Our feasibility study will detail the technical issues in designing a track to meet your needs together with things such as land access, resource consents and landscape impact. We bring the information together to ensure a well-informed decision.

Trail design

Following on from the feasibility study, our trail designers will work with key landowners and agencies to determine the best location and design for the trail, toward meeting your objectives. These may call for a Mountain Bike (MTB) style track or a National Cycle trail great ride. We can design them and are passionate in the process. Your finalised design will allow for a unique expression of the landscape and can create a ride that people will remember. The trail design feeds into the pre-construction planning process including resource consent and archaeological authority.

Trail Construction Management

Whilst we may not physically construct your trail, we can manage the construction process so that it is seamless. Once the funding has been secured and the trail design completed, we will prepare the full suite of consents including land use, bridges, discharges and archaeological authority. In consultation with our client, we work with the landowners and Crown Agencies to secure the necessary legal access which will enable construction. Once consents are in place, we find the appropriate contractors to get to work. We will manage the construction process, so your trail is built to the industry standards and to achieve the riding experience you envision. When our work is complete, you will see and experience a cycle trail together with signs, bridges, toilets and shelters. All you need to do is get out and ride it!

What is it like being part of a Trail Project?

Being part of a track or trail development requires passion and motivation. Typically the process from idea to completion is between 3-5 years. This is a reflection of the time it takes to secure funding, access and consents and then see that construction of the track is completed accordingly.

During the lifetime of the project, many individuals and agencies will need to be consulted, the public informed and you will need to liaise with the community. Much of this work is best handled by the trail developer, which is usually a Charitable Trust. Whilst Southern Land can handle the former, if required, the best outcomes are achieved when those driving the project are directly involved in this process. With our guidance, if sought, we recommend that our clients’ foster the development of long-term relationships with key stakeholders – a vital element to achieving such a project.

Although trail projects can be demanding, we consider them to be equally rewarding. Your trail will be an asset to the community who can enjoy it, and all the well-being benefits, for many years to come!

Who have we worked with?

Southern Land has completed trail projects for the following organisations and groups:

  • Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust
  • Roxburgh Gorge Trail Charitable Trust
  • Alps to Ocean joint committee
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council
  • Waitaki District Council
  • Upper Clutha Tracks Trust
  • Queenstown Trails Trust