Final piece of Riesling Trail puzzle at Auburn

Dreams became reality as the final piece of the Riesling Trail jigsaw puzzle was unveiled.

More than two decades of planning and hard work culminated with the opening of the final stretch of the trail at Auburn complete with a bridge over the Wakefield River.

It marked the official start of the iconic path in the shadow of the old Auburn Railway Station and linked to the nearby Rattler Trail.

And, it was the end of a long road for the Riesling Trail Management Committee.

Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock and federal Grey MP Rowan Ramsey were on hand for the unveiling, while Narungga MP Fraser Ellis also made an appearance.

Mr Ellis represented his Liberal colleagues Tourism Minister David Ridgway and Sport and Recreation Minister Corey Wingard.

Committee chairman Allan Mayfield said the completion of the trail would now be "safer and more convenient" for its users.

"Part of the issue was that people would turn up and come into the park to go on the Riesling Trail and then clearly the trail was not there in front of them," he said.

"It was obvious that something had to be done, this was unfinished business."

Mr Mayfield paid tribute to the many volunteers who helped complete the work "within time and under budget."

All the businesses that contributed to the completion of the project were based locally.

This included Clare Metal Fabrications, Mace Engineering, SJM Carpentry and Building, Clare Quarry, Smart Earthworks and Neyles Earthworks and Fencing, with support from Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council.

With a total cost of close to $350,000, funding was provided by both state and federal governments as well as Waterloo Windfarm, Clare District Lions Club, Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association, the Grosset Gaia Fund and Mount Horrocks Wines.

The committee put its own funding towards the project.

Mr Brock praised the "perseverance, patience and confidence" of the committee.

Students from Auburn Primary School were first to pass through Paul Leditschke's archway.

Constructed in 1994 following the closure of the Spalding railway line a decade earlier, this stretch was initially left out due to logistical problems and high costs of creating a crossing over the Horrocks Highway.

But it has returned to its former route and created a 52-kilometre link from Riverton to Barinia.

Mr Ellis said that the Trail attracted more than 75,000 users with a yearly increase of four per cent.

The trail will be an even stronger tourist attraction for the beautiful Mid North district through which it passes.

Auburn will be a focal point with its archway attraction.

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