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West Coast to receive $3.9m funding boost following decision to close access road to Fox River valley

The West Coast's Glacier Country is set to receive $3.9 million in funding from the Government to boost tourism in the area after the decision was made not to reopen the access road to Te Moeka o Tuawe/the Fox River valley.

The investment will be funded by the International Visitor Tourism and Conservation Levy (IVL) as part of the Government's plan for sustainable tourism, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

The funding boost will go towards:

- Redesigning the Fox Glacier/Te Moeka o Tuawe experience and valley walks, creating a carpark and cycle/walkway for access to the south side of the valley and glacier views, and building trails to connect existing facilities

- Collaborating with Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio to develop a day walk to Lake Gault, which has reflection views of the mountains and forests and will incorporate rowi kiwi and lowland forest stories. This walk extends the walking options at Lake Matheson

- Developing and promoting the easy access Peak Viewpoint which offers stunning views of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana

- Re-opening the coastal walkway to Galway Beach

- Extending the cycle/walking trail on Cook Flat Rd from Fox Glacier township to Lake Matheson

- Re-configuring car-parking at Lake Matheson to provide for additional users displaced from the glacier valley

- Refreshing road signage and visitor information

"The Government is committed to supporting the area at this time through investing in diverse, enduring and exceptional experiences in nature," Ms Sage said in a statement.

"Westland is still wide open for business. This investment will increase the many ways that visitors can enjoy Fox Glacier and the wider region, despite the closure of the glacier valley access road."

The majority of the work will start immediately, Mr Davis said, and is expected to be completed this summer.

Fox Glacier (file picture). Source: istock.com