Sustainable Trails
Conference 2024
Central Otago,
New Zealand 

The program is now in FINAL DRAFT stage and includes keynote speakers as well as case studies and field trips to exchange ideas and information in informal sessions. This program will also provide delegates with an opportunity to extend their knowledge and to strengthen practical skills.

The conference will focus on all aspects of sustainable trails based around the conference themes:

• Marketing and Positioning Great Destinations
• Governance and funding
• Planning and partnership models
• What can enhance your trail destination
• NZ and Australia National Trail Strategy and Body
• Universal Trail Grading
• Regenerative Experience
• Maintenance and Construction techniques and breakthroughs

Day 1 Tuesday 19th March – Draft

8.00am Conference registration at The Gate
8.30am Introduction to the day

Welcome to New Zealand

Welcome to the Conference

Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana
TRC Tourism
Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana
TRC Tourism
Janet Mackay
TRC Tourism
9.00am Welcome to the Central Otago Region
Showcase of Story of Otago Trail Network, its evolution and marketing insights
Anthony Longman
Central Otago Council
and invited representatives
9.40am KEYNOTE – The Accidental Traveller Mark Inglis ONZM
10.20am Morning Tea
10.40am Setting the Scene on the current walking and cycling market in NZ and Australia Cristine Angus
Angus & Associates
Panel 1 Session CREATING GREAT TRAIL DESTINATIONS
11.10am How Northeast Victoria Tourism turned the region into an outdoor active destination

Bess Nolan-Cook

Nth East Victoria Tourism

11.30am The Proposed Glacier Country Cycle Trail – testing a Great Idea Chris Rose
TRC Tourism
11.45am Quality trails are not the panacea for branding and marketing mountain bike destinations

Carl Solomon

Destination Marketing Store

Scott Ketley

SWELL Design

12.25pm FORUM SESSION FROM PANEL ONE SESSION
1.00pm Lunch
2.00pm KEYNOTE – Conservation Benefits Lou Sanson
World Commission on Protected Areas
Panel 2 Session COMMUNITY LED TRAILS
2.30pm Community Led Trail Projects – Keys to their success Daniel Le Blanc

Dungog Common Reserve

3.05pm Right Trails, Right Places, Right Reasons Craig Meinicke

Blue Sky Trails

3.30pm FORUM SESSION FROM PANEL TWO SESSION
4.00pm Afternoon Tea
Panel 3 Session BUILDING POSITIVE SOCIAL LICENCE
4.35pm Accessibility and Inclusivity

Wildly Accessible Trails: Bridging Gaps – Socially inclusive all abilities trails

Mark Inglis

Katie Owen

Recreation NZ

4.05pm FORUM SESSION FROM PANEL THREE SESSION
From 5.30pm Welcome Dinner @ the Gate

 
Day 2 Wednesday 20th March – Draft

8.00am Recap on Day One Chris Rose
TRC Tourism
Panel 4 session BRINGING OUR LANDSCAPES ALIVE
8.10am

Indigenous Ways result of the conference 2022 working with World Trails Network

  • Framework for Purposeful Engagement
  • Storytelling
  • Workforce Development
  • Indigenous Ways Global Rating System
Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana

TRC Tourism

8.30am Digital Storytelling -Storymapp is a creative new way to deliver visitor experiences in parks, trails and urban environments creating sustainable re-generative tourism outcomes Chris Hay
Locales
8.50am ‘Solesolevaki’ – a concept for the Fiji National Trail
Connecting People back to Nature
Ben Semira and Jake Taoi
Talanoa Treks
9.10am Creating a vision – the Yunbenun Magnetic Island National Park Trails Project Jo Peterson and Andy Causebrook
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
9.30am Wangetti Trail – a 94km walking and biking track showcasing unique Indigenous cultural history and stunning coastal and hinterland scenery through the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics and alongside the Great Barrier Reef. Presenters TBC
FORUM SESSION FROM PANEL FOUR SESSION
Morning Tea – prepare for field trips
10.45am Field trip 1: Bike Glendhu Mountain Bike Park Hosted by TRC Trails
Operators – Bike Glendhu
Field trip 2: Lake Dunstan Trail, Carrick Winery and Clyde Hosted by TRC Tourism
Operators – Trail Journeys and Carrick Winery
Field trip 3: Bannockburn Sluicings Walk and Te Kano Winery Hosted by TRC Tourism
Operators – Interpretation guide – Terry Davis of Highland Events NZ and Te Kano Winery
From 5pm NO ORGANISED DINNER FOR THIS EVENING

DELEGATES DO THEIR OWN THING (pre-booking somewhere for dinner is recommended)

Day 3 Thursday 21st March – Draft

8.30am Recap of day 2 and field trips
8.40am Vox Pops on great trail destinations Video interviews with trail destinations across Australia and New Zealand
9.00am CONCURRENT SESSION ONE
CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE TECHNIQUES AND INNOVATIONS Facilitated by Chris Rose – TRC Tourism
The Modern Trail Landscape – current innovations when it comes to new and existing trails Craig Stonestreet
Single Track Mind
Construction of Lake Dunstan Trail Tim Dennis TBC
Building trails with mountain bike coaching and progression in mind Shannon Rademaker
All Terrain Cycles
Senior Course Conductor
PMBIA
Group to determine key points to take back to forum All attendees
CONCURRENT SESSION TWO
PLANNING AND GOVERNANCE
Lessons learnt over 20 years of trail design, planning and consultation Gerard McHugh
World Trail
Innovations in funding trail maintenance –

How events can be used to gain funding for trail maintenance featuring NZ based Cavalcade and Queenstown event examples

Terry Davis TBC
Highland Events NZ
Power of strong governance and engagement Lynley Twyman TBC

Timber Trail NZ / Mountains to Sea –

Nga Ara Tuhono

Group to determine key points to take back to forum All attendees
10.45am Morning Tea
11.15am Recap from the Concurrent Sessions
12.00pm Regenerative Experience Economy

Transforming the tourism marketing journey to a tourism management journey: Learnings from Destination Queenstown’s transition to regenerative tourism.

Dave Hockly
DataStory NZ
12.30pm FACLITATED SESSION – how to develop a regenerative theme or element into trails development – workshop session
12.45pm Lunch
1.30pm Wrap up on morning session
Panel five Session OPEN DISCUSSION AND PRESENTATION ON TRAIL GRADINGS AND NATIONAL STRATEGIES
1.45pm Off-road Cycling Trail Grading in New Zealand. Findings and Emerging Issues from Grading in Six Territories Nationally in the Presence of Three Different ‘Standards’ Simon Noble
Envisage NZ
2.05pm Australian Perspective on Trail Grading Craig Stonestreet
Single Track Mind
Craig Meinicke
Blue Sky Trails

2.20pm OPEN Group discussion on the journey to develop an Australian National Trail Body and an New Zealand Trail Strategy
3.30pm Afternoon Tea
3.45pm WRAP UP FORUM – Conference takeout’s and topics for next conference
4.30pm Conference Ends
From 6.00pm GALA DINNER

What did past attendees think?

The Sustainable Trails Conference provided an excellent opportunity to share best practice across a variety of topics from trail building to governance. Each session was valuable in its own right. Great to see the collaboration between our two countries as we all strive to make the most of this growing community.

Diane Drummond | General Manager | Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust

The sustainable trails conference is a must do for all those involved in the planning, development and marketing of tracks and trails.

Anthony Burton | Principal | Anthony Burton & Associates

A well run and organised conference, excellent speakers who certainly provided a range of information in the topics presented. Took away some key learnings.

Jane Tito | Marlborough

I have been to a lot of conferences before, this was one of the best I have ever attended.

Mick Tucker | Mayor, Break O'Day Council

A fantastic conference. Great speaker line-up with leaders in the field. Learned a lot and made new connections.

Francesca Governali | Conservation & Tourism Fellow | Dartmouth College

The Sustainable Trails Conference provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the importance of trails to local economies and tourism, the amount of work going on in this space, and to share and learn from others working in the field.

Suky Thompson | Trust Manager | Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust

Check out our previous conferences

Marlborough, New Zealand 2019

Alice Springs, NT Australia 2021

St Helens Tasmania, Australia 2022