Waikaia’s pump track is officially open.

Southland District Mayor Rob Scott declared the track open on Sunday in front of a crowd of about 250 people.

The track is stage one of a Waikaia Forest Trails Trust project to build a 25km network of mountainbike trails in the nearby forest.

The pump track is part of a hub where people will park their cars before heading out on their bikes to the forest.

Graded Earth Ltd owner Matthew Coultas and staff member Lewis Taka built the track.

Trust chairwoman Hilary Kelso said it was ‘‘off-the-scale pretty . . .amazing’’ to have stage one finished.

A lot of hard work and planning had gone into the project so far, she said.

The cost of the track was about $140,000 but would have been more if some of the components had not been donated or discounted, she said.

Sunday outing. . . Aliyah Honnery, 6, of Gore pedals her way around
the new Waikaia pump track at its opening on Sunday.

The pump track offered an opportunity to develop skills.

‘‘All ages and abilities can grow in their confidence on riding a track like this so that they are then more prepared for the tracks that are going to be in the forest.’’

Eventually a bike wash, a tool stand and signage about the trails would also be available for bikers at the hub.

Mr Coultas and Mr Taka would spend this week scoping the forest and marking out potential trails for stage two of the project.

Stage two would comprise building a loop trail with two technical trails leading off it.

Mr Scott said the project was an example of community-led development in which he was a great believer.

‘‘Watching this go from a green paddock that was grazed to this incredible world-class asset has taken a lot of volunteer labour.

‘‘I’m as proud as punch of what this team has done.’’