Northland Inc has welcomed the Government decision to pump more than $1.6 million of tourism funding into the restoration, improvement and care of some of the special regional treasures.
The funding includes a significant $1,114,000 boost for restoring the Mauri of Matapouri Beach as well as $539,000 for a new carpark and toilets to increase capacity and bus parking at Whangarei’s Abbey Caves.
Matapouri is a hugely popular destination along the Twin Coast Discovery Highway, which has been in place since 1999 as an 800km touring route connecting Auckland with the highways on the east and west coasts of Northland. It is also a key landmark on the Northland Journey – ‘Into the Wide Blue Yonder’ – which follows a circular route with all roads leading to the Pacific Ocean.
"It’s important that alongside the promotion of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway and Northland Journeys, there is ongoing investment in both infrastructure and facilities so that our treasures are protected and our visitors have an outstanding experience," says Northland Inc’s acting CEO Vaughan Cooper.
"Tourism is vital to Northland and we are appreciative of the efforts and support of central government and Whangarei District Council to ensure that this amazing sector thrives in a sustainable way.
"Revitalising the Twin Coast Discovery Route is pivotal to the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, which is being facilitated and supported by Northland Inc, the region’s economic development agency."
The Government funding – announced at Matapouri Beach by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis – comes from $12 million from round three of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, designed to help 25 councils and communities around New Zealand make the most of the many opportunities brought about by tourism.