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MUST YOUR FREE COPY

DOs

Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Great Rides

Featuring the Great Rides & Heartland Rides • Route Descriptions • Maps • Safety Tips • Things to See and Do • Places to Stay

aatraveller.co.nz


AUCKLAND

Relax between rides with any of The Great Journeys of New Zealand. All our services are designed for carrying cycles or you can hire a bike at your destination. Our scenic trains and ferry offer an easy way to travel and explore with hop-on-hop-off excursions, so you can experience New Zealand’s spectacular cycling trails.

• Matamata • Waitomo

Tongariro National Park •

Paraparaumu • • Nelson

Find out more at greatjourneysofnz.co.nz

GREYMOUTH

PICTON • Kaikōura

• Lake Brunner Arthur’s Pass •

• Waimakariri River

CHRISTCHURCH


Remutaka Cycle Trail © Jay French

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Cycling is a journey Nga Haerenga, ‘the journeys’, describes the New Zealand Cycle Trails and also the career path of sportswoman Sarah Walker. Like many New Zealanders, Sarah has ridden bikes since childhood – but she’s taken it a long way further, representing her country as a BMX rider for the past 12 years. Sarah is aiming for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 so, currently, all her bike riding time is spent training.

I

’ve seen a lot of New Zealand, travelling to BMX tracks and when BMX athletes have been visiting from offshore, I’ve taken them on tours of New Zealand, which has always been special. New Zealand is such a beautiful place and so many people spend a lot of money to come here; it’s something we New Zealanders can forget. While I’ve seen a lot of this country already, I’m really looking forward to riding through it, seeing it from the saddle. I know that it will be quite different – and that excites me. You can go places on a bike that a vehicle can’t go – and I prefer riding to walking. I love bikes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on two wheels forever! Once I have time in my schedule, tackling New Zealand’s Cycle Trails will definitely be on the agenda, touring around, checking out the different trails.

I think about the ups and downs of my career – the up-hills being injuries, the down-hills being the successes – and I understand that you have to do the hard work to get the fun. In international racing, it’s not the down-hills or any one moment that’s been the best for me – it’s all of it together. The journey, with all the ups and the downs, is what it’s about. It’s like the Cycle Trails. Not everyone is going to make the whole trail – but as long as they enjoy what they do, it’s worth it. It’s the hard work paying off and the ride ultimately being fun and enjoyable.

Sarah Walker is New Zealand’s first Olympic BMX medallist. 1


THE CYCLING COUNTRY WE ALL DREAM OF...

Lake 2 Lake Trail

Perenuka Park

Welcome Rock Trails

Te Anau Around The Mountains Cycle Trail

Lumsden

Borland Road

Hokonui Loop Track

Tuatapere

Gore

Bald Hill

Sandy Point

Hokonui Water Race Trail

SIT Velodrome

Invercargill

The Catlins

Bluff Hill

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Oban

RIDE A WORLD-CLASS TRACK, EXPLORE BREATHTAKING TRAILS, OR EXPERIENCE THRILLING MOUNTAIN BIKING...

Self guided and guided bike tours throughout Central Otago, Queenstown and Dunedin. Sightseeing by jet boat, 4WD and more. Wine tasting tours Golf tours Luggage transfers Standard and eBikes available We’ll plan a memorable trip for free!

www.trailjourneys.co.nz

Call 0800 724 587 2

Stewart Is. southlandnz.com/greatrides


THE NEW ZEALAND CYCLE TRAIL

ISBN > 978-1-98-852331-6 © The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated 2019. All rights reserved. AA, the AA logo and the Tourism pictogram are registered trademarks and the colour combination YELLOW & BLACK are trademarks of The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated. The AA gratefully acknowledges Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. and its writers Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater for providing much of the editorial content for this edition; © New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc.

contents 8

NORTH ISLAND MAP

10 SOUTH ISLAND MAP 11

Plan your Ride

12

Times and Distances

13

Safety on the Roads

14

New Zealand Road Rules

While every care has been taken in the compilation of this guide, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies or changes since going to press, or for consequential loss arising from such changes or other inaccuracies, or any other loss direct or consequential arising in connection with information provided in the publication. There is no requirement for advertisers in this guide to provide discounts for AA Members; some individual advertisers offer concessions and details of these are indicated in their listings. All content in advertisements was provided by advertisers.

15

Need to know, climate and what to take

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced (except brief passages for the purpose of review), stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publishers/ individual copyright holders. Published in July 2019 by AA Tourism Publishing Ltd Level 1, Building 2, 61 Constellation Drive, Mairangi Bay, North Shore, Auckland 0632 PO Box 101 001, North Shore, Auckland 0745 T. +64 9 966 8720 F. +64 9 966 8721 E. tourism.inquiries@aa.co.nz W. www.aatraveller.co.nz ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: T. +64 9 966 8720 E. tourism.sales@aa.co.nz

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Welcome to Nga Haerenga

NORTH ISLAND TRAILS 16

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail

22

Far North Cycleway

24

Kauri Coast Cycleway

27

Kaipara Missing Link

29

Hauraki Rail Trail

35

Waikato River Trails

39 Te Ara Ahi – Thermal by Bike 47 Motu Trails 53

Rere Falls Trail

55

The Timber Trail

59

Great Lake Trail

61

Mountains to Sea Trail

64 Forgotten World Highway Cycle Route 66 Hawke’s Bay Trails 72

Manawatū Cycleway

75

Remutaka Cycle Trail

ABOVE: Karangahake Gorge, Hauraki Rail Trail © www.thecoromandel.com RIGHT: Roxburgh Gorge Trail © Tim Bardsley-Smith / Tourism Central Otago COVER PHOTO: Otago Central Rail Trail © Miles Holden / Tourism NZ

SOUTH ISLAND TRAILS

116 Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

82

Queen Charlotte Track

121 Otago Central Rail Trail

86

Coppermine Trail (formerly Dun Mountain Trail)

128 Roxburgh Gorge Trail

88

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

93

The Old Ghost Road Trail

134 The Queenstown Trail

97 West Coast Wilderness Trail 106 Molesworth Muster Trail 108 Rainbow Trail 110 St James Cycle Trail

131 Clutha Gold Trail 141 Around the Mountains Cycle Trail COLOUR KEY: Great Ride Heartland Trail

3


CYCLING MUST-DO’S

1. Twin Coast Cycle Trail

1

Bay of Islands

2. Te Ara Ahi – Thermal By Bike 2

3 4

5

Rotorua

3. Waikato River Trails Taupo

4. Great Lake Trail

Taupo

8

10. St James Cycle Trail 11. The Queenstown Trail

10

Queenstown

Otago

HHM628 06/19

14. Roxburgh Gorge Trail Otago

4

5. Motu Trails

Opotiki / Gisborne

6. Remutaka Cycle Trail

Wellington

12. Around The Mountains Cycle Trail 13. Central Otago Rail Trail

7 9

Hanmer Springs

Queenstown

6

7. Queen Charlotte Track Blenheim

11 14 12

8. Tasman’s Great Taste Trail 13

Nelson

9. Dun Mountain Trail Nelson

There are 13 Heritage Hotels properties on the doorstep of The New Zealand Cycle Trail, assuring you have the perfect place to prepare or to wind down after a day of pedal-powered exploration. www.heritagehotels.co.nz/nzcycletrail


Cycling Must-Do’s

This guide features Great Rides, Heartland Rides and Journeys beyond the cycling trails. GREAT RIDES AND HEARTLAND RIDES

This guide provides detail on the skills required for each trail, along with lengths and estimated times.

Cycling at Craggy Range © Hawke’s Bay Tourism

these trails involve riding on public roads, at least in part. Those roads are mainly quiet, rural roads with a mix of sealed and gravelled surfaces. In this guide, you will find references to Heartland Rides

Heartland Rides link the Great Rides. Unlike the Great Rides,

that connect with Great Rides, to help with the planning of your cycling itinerary. Refer to the maps on pages 8 and 10 and see page 11 for more on planning your rides.

For more New Zealand travel ideas, see www.aatraveller.co.nz

JOURNEYS

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

There are 22 Great Rides on Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail, covering over 2,600 kilometres of the country. They are predominantly off-road trails, taking riders deep into New Zealand landscapes not accessible by car. Some trails are relatively easy, some require expert riding; most feature a combination of grades.

OFF THE BIKE While you’re in the region, why not explore beyond the cycle trails? A range of journey ideas, from river cruises to rafting adventures, road trips, walks and train travel are presented for beyond-the-saddle inspiration.

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

5


iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one streaming radio and digital music service

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

BEST MUSIC, MORE VARIETY

ROCK/ ALTERNATIVE

TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 4487 FOR FREQUENCIES

TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 3483 FOR FREQUENCIES

TOP 40

BEATS THAT MOVE YOU

TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 9696 FOR FREQUENCIES

TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 8200 FOR FREQUENCIES

EASY LISTENING TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 2699 FOR FREQUENCIES

SPORT TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 5009 FOR FREQUENCIES

ALL THE GREATEST HITS TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 9611 FOR FREQUENCIES

NEWS/TALKBACK TEXT ‘FREQ’ TO 9292 FOR FREQUENCIES

MILLIONS OF SONGS, OVER 250,000 PODCASTS, THOUSANDS OF STATIONS, ALL FREE LISTEN ON IHEARTRADIO.CO.NZ OR DOWNLOAD THE FREE APP

FAVOURITES FROM THE 70S TO TODAY TEXT ‘STATIONS’ TO 9611 FOR FREQUENCIES

WWW.IHEARTRADIO.CO.NZ | DOWNLOAD THE FREE APP

6


Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © C Rutherford / Tourism NZ INSET: Rere Falls Trail © Mead Norton

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

The best by bike The initial focus of ‘Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail’ (NZCT) has been on developing a series of ‘Great Rides’. These are predominantly off-road cycle trails that showcase the best of New Zealand’s landscape, environment, culture and heritage.

H

owever, there has always been a longer term objective of expanding the NZCT, connecting the Great Rides with the rest of New Zealand through the creation of a nationwide cycling network. Heartland Rides aim to encourage cycle tourists (and recreational cyclists) away from busy state highways and arterial routes and on to scenic, quiet back-country roads where they will experience heartland New Zealand. The benefits of connecting Great Rides with Heartland Rides include: • Spreading the economic benefits of

cycle tourism to more regions throughout New Zealand. • Providing more cyclefriendly alternatives to riding on busy state highways and arterial routes. • Getting more New Zealanders and visitors on their bikes by catering for a wider range of cycling interests and abilities. • Further enhancing New Zealand’s reputation as a cycle tourism destination.

7


Far North Cycleway p.22

North Cape

Cape Spirits Reinga Bay

Great Exhibition Bay Nin ety

1 M

Karikari Peninsula

il e Be

Cavalli Islands

ac h

Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai p.16

10

Kaitaia

Ahipara

Bay of Cape Islands Brett

1

Kerikeri Russell

Paihia Ferry

1

Poor Knights Islands

Ferry

12

Opononi

Kaikohe 1

Omapere

Kauri Coast Cycleway p.24

15

12

Kai Iwi Lakes

15

14

Whangarei 15

Waipu

Maungaturoto Mangawhai Heads

TASMAN o pir Ri

Little Barrier Island / Hauturu)

12

Matakohe

Goat Is

Co

SEA

Hen & Chicken Islands Taranga Is

Ruakaka

Dargaville

Great Barrier Island

ast

Wellsford 1

16

Warkworth

Kaipara Missing Link p.27

Cuvier Island

Kawau Is

Hauraki Gulf r om Co

Orewa

Whangaparaoa Pen.

1

Waiheke Island

Rangitoto Is

22

NZ Cycle Trails – Great Ride

Thames

Bombay

Waiuku

25A

25

2

Waikato River

25

NZ Cycle Trails – Heartland Ride Huntly Ngaruawahia 1

Waikato River Trails p.35

Matamata

Cambridge

21

24

31

Otorohanga

1

27

Arapuni

Papamoa Beach Maketu Te Puke 2 33

36

Tirau

Lake Rotoiti

28

to ik a Wa

Te Kuiti

Ri

32

Whakatane Ohope Beach

35

Ruatoria

2

34

30

Rotorua L Tarawera

Tokoroa

37

Waitomo Caves

Bay of Plenty

Edgecumbe

5

Putaruru L. Rotorua

3

Hicks Bay

Tauranga

2

29

28

29

Te Awamutu

Mt Maunganui

Morrinsville

39

White Island

Island

27

Hamilton

23

Te Ara Ahi - Thermal by Bike p.39

Mayor

Island Waihi Waihi Beach Matakana Te Aroha Motiti Island

Paeroa

OCEAN

Whangamata

26

27

Kawhia

The Aldermen Islands

PACIFIC

Slipper Island

Karangahake Gorge

1

Raglan

Hauraki Rail Trail p.29

Pauanui

a

Pukekohe

Thames Coast

i nsul Pen

Auckland Int. Airport

Coromandel 09 Whitianga Rd

25

Firth of Thames

Manukau Papakura

20

3

AUCKLAND

16

el

Albany

18

SOUTH

and

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Helensville

Great Mercury Island

Opotiki

Kawerau

30

Motu Trails p.47 35

2

ve r

30 30

The Timber Trail p.55

3

Wairakei

North

Lake Taupo

Taumarunui

Bight

Tolaga Bay

5

2

Taupo

32

Taranaki

The Forgotten World Highway p.64

38

1

4

41

Gisborne

1

Lake Waikaremoana

43

New Plymouth

3A

47

Egmont Village

Inglewood

Cape

Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont)

Egmont

Wairoa

Hawke

Ohakune Waiouru

49 Wh an

1

nui Riv er ga

Hawera 3

4

MAP REFERENCE AA Centre

50 54

Bulls

Mountains to Sea p.61

Waipukurau

Marton Feilding 3

M an

Palmerston 57 North 56

aw at u

Manawatū Cycleway p.72

2

1

56

Woodville

Riv er

57

Levin

Golden Bay

Kapiti Island

Takaka MARLBOROUGH

1

Richmond

6

Renwick 6 63

Murchison

8

63

Inte r -I

1

Porirua sla nd

1

WELLINGTON Fe rr y

Blenheim

Mount Bruce

Waikanae Masterton Paraparaumu Carterton Upper Greytown Hutt 2 58 Lower Featherston Hutt Wairarapa 53 Lake

SOUNDS

Bay

Motueka

Otaki

2

Eastbourne

Wellington Int. Airport

Martinborough

Motorway

Sealed

Unsealed

SH 1-9 SH 10-99 Main Roads

Pahiatua

Foxton

Havelock

Havelock North

Waipawa

Whanganui

Nelson

Hawke’s Bay Trails p.66

50 A

399 .

Mangaweka

Bight

60

Portland Island

2

50

2

Mahia Peninsula

Bay

Napier

Hastings

Taihape

Taranaki

Tasman

Great Lake Trail p.59

2

4 2797 .

45

60

38

5

1967 . 2287

Stratford

South

Poverty Bay

48

43

3

Opunake

Turangi

46

Waikaremoana

Rere Falls Trail p.53

0 0

Railway/Rail Tunnel

Scale 15

50 km 30 miles

State Highway Shield i-SITE Visitor Centre Information Centre DOC Information/ Visitor Centre

Remutaka Cycle TrailSOUTH p.75 PACIFIC OCEAN

International Airport Domestic Airport Dive Sites Park HQ Skiing Tramping

1


CYCLING MUST-DO’S

DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF TARANAKI

Photos: Rob Tucker

From mountain to sea there’s a lot to discover in the region Lonely Planet called ‘an undiscovered gem.’ From the Forgotten World Highway to coastal cruises, there’s plenty of places to ride in Taranaki. Put Taranaki on your to-do list, and for everything you need beyond the bike head to visit.taranaki.info.

visit.taranaki.info 9


Queen Charlotte Track p.82 Coppermine Trail p.86 Cape Farewell Farewell Spit

Okiwi Bay

Kaiteriteri

Motueka Hira

Kenepuru Head Te Mahia Portage Havelock Waikawa

Rai Valley

NELSON

Mapua 6

Little Wanganui

Picton

Richmond

1

Tuamarina Spring Creek

6

Old Ghost Road p.93

Riv er

Wairau Valley

Waimangaroa

Buller Gorge Swingbridge

Carters Beach

6

St James Cycle Trail p.110

Kekerengu

Ikamatua

7

Totara Flat Ahaura

Blackball

Rapahoe

SEA

1

Moana

Lake Brunner

7

Lake Sumner

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Arthur’s Pass

Ross

Arthur’s Pass

Waipara Valley Tr a nz

Lake Paringa

Lake Moeraki

Waipara

Lake Ohau Alpine Village

Lake Wanaka Lake Hawea

Wanaka

Sh

Homer Tunnel

Glenorchy

Arrowtown 94

Lake Manapouri

Lake Roxburgh

Te Anau

8

94

Roxburgh

95

97 94

Lake Onslow

Middlemarch

Tapanui

8

Winton

Otautau

99 98

INVERCARGILL

Tokanui M at

y

au

Ferr

Fortrose Waikawa Riv

Ruapuke Island

Halfmoon Bay (Oban) Paterson Inlet

Rakiura/ Stewart Island

C atli

ns

Co

t as

er

Clutha Gold Trail p.131

Sealed

SH 10-99 0 0

Scale

50 km 30 miles

Main Roads Railway/Rail Tunnel State Highway Shield i-SITE Visitor Centre Information Centre DOC Information/ Visitor Centre

International Airport Domestic Airport Dive Sites Park HQ Skiing Tramping

10

Unsealed

SH 1-9

Nugget Point

Pounawea

ra

Motorway

Kaitangata Kaka Point

Owaka

Codfish Island

MAP REFERENCE AA Centre

Balclutha

Clinton

Wyndham

1

Mason Bay

93

1

Bluff

Portobello

Milton

Mataura

Edendale

Wallacetown Riverton/ Aparima

88

DUNEDIN

1

1 96

Otago Peninsula

1

Gore 96

Tuatapere

86

Roxburgh Gorge Trail p.128

Port Chalmers

Waitati

Lake Mahinerangi

90

Otago Central Rail Trail p.121

Palmerston Waikouaiti

Lawrence

Mandeville

OCEAN

Moeraki

Karitane

87

Millers Flat

Riversdale 94

PACIFIC

Oamaru

Hampden

Mosgiel Balfour 6

SOUTH

Waitaki Bridge

1

Lake Monowai Lake Hauroko

Lake Poteriteri

Riv er

85

Waikaia

Lumsden

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail p.116

hao Riv er

Glenavy

Maheno Herbert Waianakarua

Au

Ettrick Mossburn

i

Danseys Pass (North)

a-

Manapouri

Ranfurly

W ait ak

Alexandra Kingston

Cl ut h a River / M at

Lake Te Anau

Doubtful Sound / Patea

Naseby

Lauder Omakau

Clyde

6

Danseys Pass

85

8B

W ai

82

Duntroon

83

Becks Oturehua

Cromwell

6

Bannockburn

6A

Lake Wakatipu

North Mavora Lake

Waimate 82

Lake Dunstan

Frankton

Queenstown

St Andrews

Kurow

6

Banks Peninsula

1

Lake Waitaki

St Bathans

Akaroa

Canterbury Bight

Timaru

8

8A

Little River Birdlings Flat

Ashburton River/ Hakatere

Washdyke

Lake Aviemore

83

75

Temuka

8

Otematata

Lindis Pass

Lake Hawea

er Riv er oto v

Milford Sound

Pleasant Point

Omarama

84

CHRISTCHURCH

Winchester

Lake Benmore

Lake McKerrow/ Whakatipu Waitai Lake Alabaster/ Wawahi Waka

79

Geraldine

Burkes Fairlie Pass

Twizel

8

Waimakariri River

Sumner Lyttelton Governors Bay

1

Southbridge

Bay

New Brighton Beach 74

73

Rakaia

Rainbow Trail p.108 Pegasus

Lake Opuha 8

Lake Ruataniwha

Lake Ohau

Makarora

Lake Wilmot

Belfast

Waikuku Beach Pegasus Woodend

Rakaia River 79

Lake Pukaki

71

Kaiapoi

Templeton Hororata Rolleston Burnham Tai Tapu Dunsandel

Ashburton

Lake Tekapo

80

Mt Brewster . 2423

Haast Pass/ Tioripatea

Mt Aspiring / Tititea . 3033

Cust Darfield

77

Lake Tekapo

6

MARINE RESERVE

Mayfield

Haast

Big Bay

Methven

Mount Lake Camp Somers

Rangiora

Oxford

Sheffield

77

Hurunui River

Amberley

Mount Cook

Knights Point

H aa st R ive r

Around the Mountains p.141

Springfield

Glentunnel

Lake Clearwater

Mt Tasman 3498 . 3754 . Aoraki / Mt Cook Aoraki/

Lake Paringa

Queenstown Trail p.134

Rakaia Gorge

Lake Heron

Fox Glacier 6

lway Rai

Franz Josef/Waiau Lake Matheson

73

Domett

Leithfield Beach

n

Lake Coleridge

Lake Coleridge

1

Waikari

Craigieburn Al p i

Harihari Whataroa

Waiau River

Cheviot

7

e

Lake Mapourika

Hawkswood Parnassus

Rotherham

Hurunui Hawarden

Hokitika Gorge

Pukekura

Lake Ianthe/Matahi

Waiau

Culverden

Otira

Kaikoura Peninsula

Mt Lyford Village

Hanmer Springs

The Lakes

Jacksons

73

Lake Kaniere

6

Kaikoura Mt Lyford

7A

Kumara

Hokitika

Lewis Pass

Lake Hochstetter

South Beach

H okitik a Rive r

Maruia Springs

Springs Junction

7

Greymouth Kumara Junction

Bruce Bay

Lake Grassmere/ Kapara Te Hau Cape Campbell

Lake Rotoiti

65

Reefton

nd

Inte rFe Isla rry nd

6

TASMAN

Okarito Lagoon

S tte rl o ha

Lake Rotoroa

Punakaiki

West Coast Wilderness Trail p.97

C

Blenheim

69

NZ Cycle Trails – Heartland Ride

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi

62

Seddon Lake Grassmere

63

St Arnaud

Murchison

Inangahua

Renwick

63

6

67A

Molesworth Muster p.106

NZ Cycle Trails – Great Ride

Buller

Westport

Cape Foulwind

Granity

67

d un So

ST

Bay

60

Oparara

Karamea

Karamea Bight

MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS

French Pass (Anaru)

Tasman

Marahau

OK

MARINE RESERVE

CO

Ngarua Caves

Oparara Basin

Rangitoto ki te Tonga (D’Urville Island)

Totaranui

Pohara

s

Takaka

en

Tata Beach

Bainham

ue

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail p.88

Golden Bay

Pe lo ru

Pakawau Collingwood

Q

MARINE RESERVE

1

IT RA


Plan your Ride

TRAIL GRADES GRADE 1 (EASIEST) Off-road trail surface is either firm gravel or sealed and is wide enough for two people to cycle side by side for most of the way. On-road trails generally follow quiet roads with little traffic. GRADE 2 (EASY) Off-road trails are predictable and mostly flat with some gentle climbs. The surface is either firm gravel or sealed. The trail is wide enough for two people to cycle side by side at times. On-road trails generally follow quiet roads. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) Off-road trails can be narrow and may include hill climbs, steep drop-offs and small river crossings. The trail surface is mostly firm, but may include muddy or loose sections. There may be obstacles such as rocks to tree roots to avoid.

GRADE 5 (EXPERT) Off-road trails are likely to be challenging with long, steep climbs, precipitous descents and dangerous drop-offs as well as rocks, roots, ruts and potentially hazardous river crossings. The graphs shown alongside each trail show the approximate split or proportion of each trail grade offered by that trail. This example indicates the trail’s total length (187km) is made up of: 20% Grade 1 20% Grade 2 20% Grade 3 20% Grade 4 20% Grade 5

The New Zealand Cycle Trail offers cycling experiences that will appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities. No matter what type of riding ‘spins your wheels’, it is important to take some time to plan your ride BEFORE heading out on your bike!

The New Zealand Cycle Trail has adopted the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council’s Outdoor Safety Code, which can be applied across all types of outdoor activities, sports and recreation: 1. P  lan your trip – seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take. 2. T  ell someone – let them know your plans so they can raise the alarm if you haven’t returned by a certain date. The NZCT recommends you don’t ride alone.

3. B  e aware of the weather – New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Always check the forecast before you head off and be prepared for weather changes. 4. K  now your limits – your responsibility is to enjoy and maximise your riding experience, while reducing and minimising the risk. 5. T  ake sufficient supplies – make sure you have enough water, food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario.

GREAT RIDES

HEARTLAND RIDES

Predominantly off-road trails

On-road riding – mainly quiet back-country roads so there’s a mix of sealed and gravel roads

Showcases New Zealand’s unique landscape, environment, culture and heritage

Highlights rural scenery and farming, ie New Zealand’s heartland

Remutaka Cycle Trail © Caleb Smith ABOVE: Tasman’s Great Taste Trail © Nelson Tasman Tourism

11

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) Off-road trails are narrow with steep climbs and unavoidable obstacles. Poor traction in places. Walking may be required. On-road trails have moderate vehicular traffic and possible gravel sections.


5:43

Auckland

Travel time & distance

421

Cape Reinga

Time (hrs : mins) Distance (kms)

2:29

7:08

1:34

CYCLING MUST-DO’S 12

3:33

2:43

1:30

5:58

2:35

8:32

4:30

4:02

6:51

2:07

526

230

280

275

203

113

386

194

646

338

295

444

159

12:27

8:39

9:23

9:13

8:22

7:09

11:37

8:15

14:11

10:09

9:41

12:30

3:40

270

911

544

916

110

1026

834

781

213

947

651

701

696

625

535

806

615

1066

759

715

865

264

9:34

3:58

9:48

2:50

10:27

7:45

7:15

1:58

9:12

5:24

6:08

5:59

5:08

3:55

8:22

5:00

10:56

6:54

6:26

9:15

0:58

665

298

670

160

780

588

535

127

701

405

455

450

378

288

560

369

820

512

469

618

58

5:57

2:44

11:21

5:58

2:59

8:19

10:13

5:18

4:29

5:54

4:21

4:30

6:11

2:26

6:34

7:20

5:33

3:12

6:19

9:12

381

179

800

438

216

620

716

387

274

437

328

288

401

159

489

524

419

186

460

647

5:47

6:35

3:52

3:22

4:38

5:20

1:31

2:15

2:06

1:34

1:49

4:29

1:07

7:04

3:02

2:50

5:23

3:38

6:11 386

Christchurch

434

483

291

239

351

403

108

160

153

106

108

263

73

523

217

194

323

281

11:36

8:44

5:42

8:49

10:27

8:01

4:43

7:09

5:44

4:45

6:25

5:09

6:54

10:03

7:01

3:27

9:03

9:26

806

617

395

573

722

566

279

449

358

293

406

338

426

703

454

191

639

652

12:16

9:33

9:03

1:38

11:01

7:12

7:56

7:47

6:56

5:43

10:10

6:48

12:45

8:42

8:15

11:04

2:13

916

724

671

102

837

541

591

586

515

425

696

505

956

649

605

755

154

3:14

4:49

11:08

1:29

5:38

4:29

4:37

6:36

7:40

5:44

5:48

1:30

4:08

6:58

2:31

10:07

Masterton

Collingwood

228

Napier

Cromwell

340

832

107

411

323

330

473

538

394

424

99

296

494

180

763

5:51

8:25

2:32

2:55

3:28

1:55

3:53

4:57

2:42

4:09

4:34

3:07

4:15

3:33

7:24

410

640

177

219

251

142

281

346

171

302

314

232

303

250

571

7:53

3:21

4:13

2:56

4:07

4:33

5:02

7:02

2:28

5:04

3:42

5:34

2:20

6:55

587

234

297

220

296

312

337

445

180

353

278

380

160

518

9:52

6:02

6:46

6:37

5:46

4:33

9:00

5:38

11:35

7:33

7:05

9:54

1:04

New Plymouth

Dunedin

Paihia

Franz Josef/Waiau

active new zealand holidays

3:43

227

3:02

Kaitaia

6:20 450 7:48 501 2:19 173 2:30 144 8:18 524 6:53 498 7:25 478 10:07 625 4:42 334 6:24 459 7:57 570 7:23 522 6:02 350 8:09 509 6:47 486 6:44 422 4:53 285 3:41 273

2:59

360

10:30

Blenheim

8:26 555 3:20 233 2:05 152 7:49 546 5:55 411 2:55 206 7:27 556 4:06 287 6:06 406 8:49 644 10:32 768 1:34 112 9:36 690 3:49 283 4:09 290 2:43 197 3:42 257 3:41 276 9:11 646

6:48

413

11:00

Hicks Bay

2:59 224 5:29 332 3:52 285 2:22 170 7:47 505 2:58 188 3:07 234 8:10 618 2:37 196 4:57 335 9:33 706 11:15 830 3:17 227 10:20 752 0:52 60 2:59 219 3:51 269 1:56 140 0:44 53 9:10 605

3:07

605

13:41

Dargaville

12:48 914 12:05 852 7:58 542 8:59 630 14:08 1004 5:41 370 10:28 686 14:58 1058 5:41 373 10:11 717 17:43 1248 3:16 208 2:18 130 10:31 740 4:09 264 13:38 973 15:45 1132 9:21 655 10:56 775 12:51 827 4:47 305

4:51

312

1:28

Hamilton

7:13 498 5:48 423 5:04 361 5:32 387 1:58 139 7:07 513 3:48 250 8:02 531 7:58 567 2:58 202 3:11 227 10:42 757 3:58 290 5:40 415 3:30 249 4:45 337 6:37 483 8:44 641 2:20 165 3:56 285 5:51 427 4:31 332

5:20

494

13:02

Aoraki/Mount Cook

5:59 453 3:56 244 10:39 828 10:22 807 7:03 496 7:33 584 12:12 975 4:46 324 9:34 640 12:53 1011 6:04 449 8:39 673 14:52 1120 2:22 162 1:40 114 8:58 695 0:26 28 11:12 847 13:03 1006 7:56 610 9:18 730 10:11 782 3:52 260

8:03

123

7:13

Alexandra

9:54 778 4:34 330 11:35 821 2:47 203 4:34 320 7:36 484 2:39 192 5:03 368 7:17 505 5:05 341 5:53 436 6:57 528 1:24 103 7:42 536 8:19 612 10:02 737 3:00 208 9:06 659 3:37 262 5:44 421 2:50 209 0:55 64 2:51 206 8:39 605

4:17

489

12:49

Gisborne 3:09 231 11:00 856 6:10 452 13:11 943 0:28 34 2:31 190 5:55 365 4:14 314 1:54 136 8:13 538 3:24 221 2:49 201 8:33 645 2:59 225 5:22 368 9:55 735 11:37 859 3:12 220 10:42 781 1:18 93 3:25 252 4:13 298 2:18 169 1:09 86 9:36 638

7:22

175

4:17

Geraldine 5:22 384 4:38 313 6:10 423 6:14 438 4:33 333 1:15 89 8:46 619 5:43 421 7:26 546 1:46 121 6:30 468 4:44 345 6:48 503 0:37 36 2:00 146 3:56 289 5:59 413

457

507

502

430

341

612

421

872

565

521

670

70

4:23

3:14

3:21

5:20

6:25

5:03

4:33

2:09

2:53

5:43

1:03

8:52

332

244

251

395

459

343

345

141

217

416

74

684

2:34

1:09

1:04

2:36

3:05

2:15

6:07

2:26

1:27

4:30

5:03

Rotorua

Gore 9:51 697 5:17 357 0:56 65 9:12 706 4:52 361 4:02 254 10:51 795 12:34 920 3:36 263 11:38 842 2:22 168 2:05 139 4:46 348 4:11 304 3:03 222 11:14 797

753

Palmerston North

173

Taumarunui Greymouth 4:51 318 10:39 699 4:37 326 5:54 403 12:28 799 2:25 162 4:08 287 6:16 434 5:06 350 8:24 524 10:28 682 5:05 349 6:38 460 7:13 458 1:24 101

65

159

158

148

451

178

87

340

388

3:18

3:53

5:03

1:20

4:57

0:47

3:53

3:08

5:47

115

225

257

304

101

363

58

256

163

438

2:05

3:10

3:25

2:21

5:06

1:25

2:28

3:29

5:37

Taupo

Haast 5:47 380 9:24 642 4:55 335 7:37 481 7:12 478 8:55 602 5:35 365 9:53 666 3:34 207 5:39 365 6:09 407 4:14 278 2:24 141 6:11 417

82

1:44

143

Tauranga Invercargill 9:53 760 5:42 430 4:15 273 11:42 849 13:25 974 4:27 318 12:30 896 2:37 187 2:17 158 5:37 402 5:01 373 3:27 242 11:59 797

189

164

371

97

164

259

433

4:02

2:18

7:05

3:23

1:23

5:28

4:47

115

220

146

514

240

92

402

361

5:34

2:46

8:09

4:28

3:04

6:32

3:34

314

171

578

304

205

466

271

Thames

Kaikoura 5:39 422 13:05 952 4:06 292 5:35 412 6:00 445 6:21 474 9:03 678 11:00 838 5:00 359 6:30 480 8:14 624 4:42 328

208

1:46

5:13 7:03 4:43 3:42 6:02 8:01 Waikaremoana 303 How to use the chart: 480 285 175 416 543 6:17 2:07 3:33 4:28 4:40 To find the distance and Waitomo Caves 464 158 234 264 352 Milford Sound time needed to travel between, 4:36 7:26 2:46 10:36 Wellington 336 535 193 803 for example, Haast and Timaru, 14:27 Murchison 2:48 6:34 1039 put one finger on the name Haast Whakapapa Village 3:46 261 136 496 16:10 1:43 Nelson and the other on the name Timaru. 5:49 6:06 1164 125 Whakatane 423 452 7:38 7:15 8:58 Move sideways along the chart Oamaru 8:55 518 532 656 Whanganui 602 from Timaru and downwards from 15:14 2:41 1:53 8:02 Picton 1086 188 134 578 Haast. Where they meet you’ll see Whangarei 4:26 10:25 12:08 4:10 11:09 Queenstown the distance between them is 288 766 890 287 812 2:00 12:29 14:12 5:41 13:16 2:26 407 km and the travelling time Te Anau 118 924 1048 402 970 171 is 6 hours and 9 minutes. 8:45 6:05 7:48 1:10 6:53 4:41 6:47

Lake Tekapo 7:32 530 6:56 509 8:38 634 2:33 175 7:43 556 3:29 256 5:34 415 1:26 105 0:45 58 2:41 200 7:14 501

603 6:50 474 5:17 343 13:48 898

447 7:41 567 9:37 709 1:31 97

572 9:23 692 11:19 834 3:13 222

85 2:08 145 3:21 231 7:36 533

494 8:28 614 10:24 756 4:12 286

328 2:46 199 1:12 69 9:43 624

487 4:52 358 3:19 227 11:50 782

Timaru 2:11 163 3:55 273 6:26 448

Twizel 2:00 143 7:59 559

Wanaka 8:35 558

Westport

See www.aa.co.nz for maps.


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Napier Airport E s tu ary

Puketapu

share the road safely is the AA’s message for cyclists and motorists

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Puketapu Loop

The AA urges road users, be they in vehicles or on bikes, to follow the tips

listed below to help keep to Taihape themselves and others safe on the roads.

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However, cycling infrastructure around New Zealand, particularly in our cities, is a developing asset and visitors from some countries will find it less advanced than they may be used to. This means that, at times, cyclists will be ‘mixing it’ with motorists on the roads.

Oingo Lake PLEASE NOTE: Sections of the trail on a busy road or State Highway Runanga Lake are indicated on the maps with a broken line and the above Roys Hill Reserve symbol. Please take extra care.

Otatara Pa

TARAD

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N

ew Zealand is developing its reputation as a cycling nation. Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail has seen the government and local bodies invest in establishing a wide network for cyclists that builds strongly on the 100% Pure New Zealand brand.

Safety on the Roads

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Be safe – ride to the conditions and follow the road rules. Cycle no more than two abreast and ride single file where visibility is an issue or traffic is busy.

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Wineries Ride

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Oa

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50a

FLAXMERE

TIPS FOR PEOPLE IN CARS

TIPS FOR PEOPLE ON BIKES Ngatarawa Wines

1

HASTINGS Stick to the road rules and Cellars help to be seen by having lights Triangle on your bike and50wearing brightly coloured or reflective Bridge Pa clothing. 2

2

Double check for cyclists before turning or coming out of a park.

2

Use hand signals to indicate when you are turning or HAVELOCK NORT stopping. Maraekakaho Road 50a

3

Keep at least a 1.5m gap from someone on a bike.

3

HASTINGS GOLF CLUB Ride in single file as much as possible, especially on narrow roads. 2 to Waipawa

4

Be willing to slow down and drive behind a cyclist until there is space to pass them safely.

4

If you have a tail of cars behind you, pull over and let them pass. A little consideration stops frustrations boiling over.

5

Check for cyclists before opening your car door.

5

In New Zealand it is compulsory to wear a helmet when you are cycling.

1

Make a conscious effort to look out for cyclists.

Sileni Estate

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

13

Wa


New Zealand

Road Rules

IF YOU ARE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO LEARN THE LOCAL ROAD RULES AND REGULATIONS – FOR YOUR OWN AND OTHERS’ SAFETY. TO HELP YOU DO THIS, HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE ROAD CODE. TAKE NOTE

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS • New Zealand’s emergency phone number is 111 or *555 from a cellphone (not all areas have cellphone coverage). DRIVING LICENCES • A current licence and/or international licence are acceptable. • Minimum age for rental car hiring is generally 21 years. IMPAIRED DRIVING • Drugs or medication which impairs your driving are not permitted. • There is a zero alcohol limit for drivers under 20 years of age; drivers aged 20 or more are recommended to consume no more than two standard drinks before driving.

• You must not drive if fatigue or poor health impairs your driving. SEAT BELTS • All modern cars and campervans are fitted with seat belts for all occupants. In New Zealand it is compulsory to wear them. Failing to do this can incur a $150 fine. CELLPHONES • Drivers must not use a hand-held mobile phone, unless the device is completely hands-free or mounted securely to the vehicle and touched infrequently and briefly. Writing, reading or sending text messages while driving is illegal. Offences incur a fine of $80 and 20 demerit points.

MOTORWAYS Keep left unless overtaking and always indicate at least three seconds before changing lanes. ON A MOTORWAY YOU MUST NOT: • walk or cycle • stop your vehicle • make a U turn

ALWAYS KEEP LEFT IN NEW ZEALAND, TRAFFIC TRAVELS ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD. If your speed is impeding following traffic, you must allow them to pass as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so. A good rule of thumb is to not let more than four cars build up behind you. Pull to the left when there is sufficient width to allow the vehicle to safely pass you. At slow vehicle bays and passing lanes, you must use the left lane and allow traffic to pass you. Failure to do so can incur a $150 fine.

OVERTAKING • Y ou may overtake to the right of a slow moving vehicle if safe to do so and you have 100m clear visibility throughout the entire manoeuvre. Always turn your indicator on at least 3 seconds before you start to overtake. YOU MAY NOT OVERTAKE: • At a no-overtaking line marked by a yellow line on your side of the centreline.

RAILWAY CROSSINGS New Zealand has a significant number of rail crossings. You must give way to all rail traffic at all times. Some crossings are provided with bells, lights or barrier arms. You must stop as soon as these devices begin to operate. At other crossings stop signs may be used. You must stop and not proceed until you are sure there are no trains coming from either direction. Proceed only when certain you can complete the crossing safely. At all other crossings you are required to slow and make certain that there are no trains approaching from either direction. Proceed only when certain you can complete the crossing safely.

ONE-WAY BRIDGES • Approaching a pedestrian crossing, a railway crossing or an intersection. • At any curve, crest of a hill where you cannot see more than 100m throughout the entire manoeuvre and cannot conduct the whole movement safely.

INTERSECTIONS Look in all directions and slow down so you can stop if required. Obey any traffic lights or road signs and any directions shown by words or arrows on the road. If traffic lights or road signs do not determine which vehicle has the right of way, use the following rules: • If you are turning, give way to vehicles going straight.

The circular sign with the red arrow means you must give way to oncoming traffic. The large black arrow reinforces that oncoming traffic has right of way.

• When turning right, give way to vehicles coming towards you turning left. • At a T intersection (and all driveways), traffic on the side road gives way to traffic continuing along the main road. • In all other situations, give way to vehicles coming from your right.

14

The rectangular sign with the large arrow in your direction shows you have the right of way. However if a vehicle is on the bridge or cannot reasonably stop entering onto the bridge, you must give way.


ROUNDABOUTS • Signal at a roundabout if you wish to turn, give way to traffic on the right, and turn left into roundabout. • Signal as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take.

NEED TO KNOW Safe and secure

N

ew Zealand has some of the best beaches in the world but care is needed when swimming off them. Never swim alone and take particular care on surf beaches. Rips are strong currents of water running out to sea; they’re very dangerous for swimmers but are difficult to identify. Ideally, swim at patrolled beaches and stay within the flags. • Always lock your car and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. • Keep valuables, such as passports, secure at your accommodation. • Don’t leave bags unattended in public places. • It pays to have travel insurance when visiting New Zealand.

Far North Cycleway © J Kennett

• Carry a mobile phone. In an emergency, dial 111. Mobile phones have limited coverage in some areas of New Zealand. Check the details of the cycling trails in this guide; consider carrying an alternative communication device such as a personal locator beacon or a satellite messenger device or phone.

See www.aa.co.nz for road rules and driving tips.

• Parking is not permitted where the road is marked by a broken yellow line. • Parking is not permitted within 6 metres of an intersection or pedestrian crossing. • Parking facing oncoming traffic is not permitted. You may not stop, stand or park in the area indicated by No Stopping signs.

You may not stop, stand or park in the area indicated by the sign in the time period stated. You may park in the area outside of the specified times.

 You may park for up to 30 minutes in the location indicated by the sign in the time period stated. You may park for an unlimited period outside the specified time.

PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS • When approaching a pedestrian crossing slow down and be prepared to stop. • Do not overtake anyone near a crossing and give way to any pedestrians on both sides of the pedestrian crossing.

CRASHES • If you are involved in a crash or encounter a crash you must stop and help and call the police if someone is hurt. • Obtain the vehicle registration numbers, names and addresses of involved parties and their insurance companies. Do not discuss blame or liability with other parties.

N

ew Zealand weather can change quickly. Temperatures differ depending on where you are in the country – generally the average temperature drops the further south you go. When enjoying outdoor adventures, it is recommended you wear layers, protect yourself from

the sun’s UV rays with sunscreen, hat and sunglasses and carry a windresistant, waterproof jacket. MetService provides New Zealand’s official weather forecasts. See www.metservice.com for weather warnings, short and long range forecasts and to download a mobile weather app.

What to take

C

ycling light is the aim and on many trails, accommodation providers will transport bags while cafés, stores and wineries offer a range of refuelling options. However, basics in a daypack should include: • Bottled water • Snacks • First aid kit

• Extra clothing • Raincoat • Sunblock • Mobile phone • Maps • Cycling gloves • For remote trails, a personal locator beacon (PLB) • Torch or headlamp • Puncture repair kit Thames Coast Road © Destination Coromandel

• You are required to report the detail of the crash to your insurance company within 24 hours and complete an accident report. Rental companies also require you report details of the crash to them. • If no one is hurt, you must give your name and address to the property owner, or the police if the owner cannot be found.

15

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Local climate

PARKING RESTRICTIONS


GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

BAY OF ISLANDS to HOKIANGA HARBOUR 2 days

87km

A scenically spectacular cross-country journey from the Bay of Islands to Hokianga Harbour, Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail serves up an irresistible mix of relaxing riding with some seriously significant heritage sites and stories.

G

littering coasts, east and west, a tranquil harbour, wetlands, native forest and rolling farmland can all be enjoyed on this ride across the Far North, passing through towns rich in history and manaakitanga (hospitality).

SEE PP 22, 24 & 27 FOR CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDES 16

Following a smooth rail trail, cycle paths, wetland boardwalk, suspension bridges and country roads, it can be ridden in either direction or broken into smaller day trips. Both relaxing and highly rewarding, it offers opportunities to visit various interesting cultural sites and attractions adjacent or

close to the trail, whilst enjoying the subtropical climate for which the ‘winterless’ north is famous. The trail is split into four sections and is an easy ride almost the entire way with the exception of the short intermediate section between Ōkaihau and Hōreke. Although it can be ridden in either direction, the most popular route is east to west (as described on the next page), or downhill in either direction from Kaikohe near the centre of the trail. IMAGE: Twin Coast Cycle Trail © Ruth Lawton Photography INSET: Taumarere Bridge on Ōpua to Kawakawa section © Twin Coast Cycle Trail


MAP LEGEND open section

town

camping

café/restaurant

state highway

start / finish point Omahuta Forest

Puketi Forest toilets

point of interest

car park Rangiahua

detour 500m on road

i-SITE Visitor Centre

1accommodation

EAST COAST Bay Of Islands

Russell

Paihia

OPUA MANGUNGU Horeke Rd MISSION HOUSE

OKAIHAU Lake Omapere

Kohukohu

Horeke

1

11

KAWAKAWA Rawene

Lake Owhareiti

WEST COAST Hokianga Harbour

Tuhipa

Ngawha Springs

KAIKOHE

OTIRIA 1

Ngapipito

TRAIL INFO 2 Days 87km

12

to Whangarei KAIKOHE AERODROME

© AA Traveller 2019

riding the trail Hōreke

400m

Taumarere Railway Station

1

28km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ōkaihau

Kaikohe 14km

Kawakawa Ōpua 34km

11km

200m

TRAIL GRADES: ŌPUA TO KAWAKAWA 11KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) KAWAKAWA TO KAIKOHE 34KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) & GRADE 2 (EASY) KAIKOHE TO ŌKAIHAU 14KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) & GRADE 2 (EASY) ŌKAIHAU TO HŌREKE 28KM GRADE 2 (EASY) & GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good around larger towns and settlements but patchy between Kawakawa and Kaikohe, and Ōkaihau to Hōreke. DRINKING WATER: Water bottles can be filled at various settlements; be sure to carry plenty on hot summer days. TYPE OF BIKE: Can be ridden on a hybrid bike, although a mountain bike will ensure maximum comfort and safety, especially on the Grade 3 section from Ōkaihau to Hōreke. E-bikes are also permitted and available through most bike hire operators. GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY)

0m

ŌPUA TO KAWAKAWA

Ōpua is centred around a pretty marina and the car-ferry port for the boat trip to and from historic Russell – a must-visit for history lovers and a great place to start your journey. The trail itself begins alongside the marina following a pretty estuary edged with mangroves – a classic sight along New Zealand’s northern coasts. It then runs beside the tracks of the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway and crosses the beautifully restored bridge to reach Taumarere Station, a nice photo op and a good place to pause for a snack. This section ends all too soon at the bustling rural town of Kawakawa where you will find one of Northland’s looniest tourism attractions – the Hundertwasser toilets adorned with mosaic tiles, sculptures, cobblestone floors and a grassy roof. Cafés, shops, a museum and local Māori artists can also be found in the town.

KAWAKAWA TO KAIKOHE

After Kawakawa, the trail passes the sleepy rural town of Moerewa with its old disused wood mill before climbing

gently for the next 25km through rolling farmland and pine forest to Kaikohe – Northland’s largest inland town. Highlights of this section include beautiful waterfalls, graceful suspension bridges and the Kaikohe Pioneer Village – a lively museum with complimentary tea, coffee and water for thirsty cyclists. Kaikohe is a handy place to stop with plenty of accommodation, eateries and a couple of supermarkets. The Waiariki Hot Pools at nearby Ngāwhā Springs will soothe weary legs after a day in the saddle.

KAIKOHE TO ŌKAIHAU

The trail climbs gently along an old railway corridor to reach a viewpoint 280m above sea level. After passing through a curved 80m tunnel built in 1915, the trail descends to Lake Ōmāpere, Northland’s largest lake and one steeped in Māori mythology. Another trail highlight is the ford close to Ōkaihau. See if you can whiz through it without getting your feet wet, or just cross the adjacent walkway bridge. This section ends at the tiny settlement of Ōkaihau, which serves the surrounding

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Coastal and cross-country scenery • Rich Māori and colonial history • Evocative bilingual info panels • Close to Waitangi, Russell, Kerikeri • NZ’s only coast-to-coast cycle trail • Noho Marae at Te Rito Marae in Ōtiria (stay overnight in an authentic marae)

Māngungu Mission House The site of the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, this Wesleyan mission house (18381839) at Hōreke overlooks the Hokianga Harbour. It’s furnished with missionary items and relics.

rural community with a café, takeaways, small supermarket and public toilets.

ŌKAIHAU TO HŌREKE

Beyond Ōkaihau, the trail parallels the road passing churches and the war memorial gates, with information panels adding flavour to the ride. Continuing through farmland, riders are greeted by a fabulous view down the Utakura River valley where the trail follows a series of switchbacks. Further on is another highlight – the 1200m-long boardwalk section that snakes through the mangrove estuary connecting to the Hokianga Harbour. Quaint Hōreke, on the shores of the harbour, is a town with history in spades. At the start/finish of the trail is Māngungu Mission (1838– 1839) sitting pretty above the Hokianga Harbour. Here is where you can meet the passenger ferry connecting with the quirky craft townships of Kohukohu and Rāwene. Whether you go east to west or vice versa – you are following in the footsteps of the great travellers Cook and Kupe.

Bay of Islands Vintage Railway From Kawakawa, take a ride on a vintage train as it chugs its way down the middle of a state highway, through the middle of the town and across scenic countryside.

17

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

ferry

Bay Of Islands

Kerikeri

10


POU HERENGA TAI GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE Self-contained serviced accommodation in central Paihia. Quiet location, spacious studios and apartments with sea views, sunny terraces & patios. • Sky TV – Guest select, 32in Smart TV’s with DVD player • Air-conditioning, filtered water, electric blankets • 250m to swimming beach restaurants & cafes • Free WIFI, bikes, tennis & BBQs • Spa Baths • Secure bike storage • Qualmark 4.5 star, AA Smartfuel 2 MacMurray Road, Paihia info@admiralsviewlodge.co.nz www.admiralsviewlodge.co.nz Freephone 0800 247 234 Ph 09 402 6236 PAHEKE BOUTIQUE LODGE Historic Paheke (1862) Boutique Lodge, Qualmark 4 Stars, a beautiful homestead and retreat situated on State Highway 1 and a five minute drive to Kaikohe and the cycle trail. Paheke offers lovely rooms with ensuite, a breakfast of choice and a three course dinner by arrangement in advance. paheke@xtra.co.nz www.paheke.co.nz Ph 09 405 9623 RUSSELL – ORONGO BAY HOLIDAY PARK A picturesque 4 star silver Qualmark rated Holiday Park close to historic Russell in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Spot rare birdlife filmed by BBC. Kiwi Trail. Amazing night skies. Accommodation to suit all budgets. Swimming Pool. Bikes for hire. Wood BBQs & Pizza Oven. Café & shop on site. 5960 Russell Road Russell Bay of Islands NZ Stay@russellaccommodation.co.nz Ph: 09 403 7704 LEFT BANK AND MINT CAFÉ LEFT BANK & MINT RESTAURANT/CAFÉ - Best place to stay at the trail’s mid-point. Built for BNZ in 1910, it has been restored as a Restaurant/Café, boutique hotel with stunning rooms upstairs, and flash-packers downstairs. Our award winning chef and great local staff look forward to serving you some wonderful local produce. Secure bike lockup onsite. manager@leftbank.co.nz www.leftbank.co.nz Ph 09 283 5534

Instagram - Pouherengatai_cycletrail

info@twincoastcycletrail.kiwi.nz 18

THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH HOTEL The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, situated on the waterfront, in Russell Bay of Islands operating since 1827 – legally since 1840! Offering a unique restaurant and accommodation experience. With 38 rooms an award winning restaurant , an amazing function and event area - a 4.5 star hotel, can’t be missed if you visit Russell or the Bay of Islands. Especially good if you cycle here - plenty of spaces to park you bike! 35 The Strand, Russell, Phone +64 9 403 7829 info@theduke.co.nz, www.theduke.co.nz HOREKE HOTEL BIKE HIRE AND SHUTTLE SERVICE Horeke Hotel, bike hire and shuttle Accommodation for groups up to 18 cyclists with a fully licenced restaurant and bar, also one stop shop for cyclists, bike and ebike hire, bike and cyclist transportation. From here you have easy access to an exciting variety of activities, fishing charters, native forest walks, Kayak hire, plenty to see or do. Or just sip a glass of wine on our balcony and soak in the picturesque view and relax after a long cycle. email horekehotel@gmail.com Ph 09 4019133 www.horekehotel.nz

CLENDON HOUSE Clendon House – Places that tell our stories. Visit the 1860s home of James and Jane Clendon. The couple feature at the heart of New Zealand’s emergence as a multi-cultural nation and their story charts a tale through riches to rags and back again, weaving through the politics and trade of early New Zealand. At Clendon House, follow the story of James, antipodean politics, and the growth of industry or delve into Jane’s story of perseverance in the face of adversity after the death of her husband. Please check online for opening hours, Admission fees apply. 8 Clendon Esplanade, Rawene, 09 405 7874 www.clendonhouse.co.nz WAITANGI TREATY GROUNDS Waitangi Treaty Grounds welcomes you on a journey of discovery through New Zealand’s most important historic site. Enjoy an authentic and interactive full day experience at this award-winning premier attraction to discover the story of New Zealand’s history and share in the spiritual and cultural experience that is Waitangi. 1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi www.waitangi.org.nz Freephone 0800 9248 2644


Twin Coast Cycle Trail

PIONEER VILLAGE - KAIKOHE Take a journey into the Past, Explore and discover this hidden gem. Nestled in the heart of Kaikohe . The Pioneer Village has something for everyone. Absorb the History and Heritage! With an extensive collection of heritage buildings, machinery, artefacts and displaysPioneer village appeals to both the young and old. Stroll through the village at your leisure or book a guided tour (12.30pm) .Only 50m off the cycle track. Secure Bike stand, toilets and refreshments. Open 10am-4pm.1a Recreation Road Kaikohe, info@pioneervillage.org.nz Ph : 09 401 0816 www.pioneer village.org.nz MANGUNGU MISSION Established on the shore of the spectacular Hokianga Harbour in 1828 as a Wesleyan Mission station. It was built in 1838-1839 for the Reverend Nathaniel Turner. Overlooking the harbour, it was here that the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the country took place. Over 70 Chiefs, before a crowd of 3000 people, added their assent on the 12th of February 1840. The first honey bees were introduced at Mängungu, providing a major contribution to the success of pastoral farming in New Zealand. Explore the Mission House and learn about the key events that happened here in the Hokianga. Mängungu is the Western Terminus point for the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Motukiore Road, 3 km from Horeke Ph 09 405 9734 www.mangungumission.co.nz THE RANUI A Passenger and Cycle ferry service between Horeke, Kohukohu and Rawene. Private Charters, sunset cruise, fish and chip cruise and other options available. This is more than just a ferry ride - the skippers tell you the most amazing stories and bring the Hokianga Harbour to life! The scenery is amazing, the trip becomes a memorable part of your time on the cycle trail! Take time to explore the area. phone: 022 644 3599 www.ranui.nz

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

CHARLOTTE’S KITCHEN A social contemporary dining experience with a killer view at the end of the Wharf in Paihia – a funky fun atmosphere for casual dining and drinking from wood fired Pizza to slow cooked pork Charlottes has something to please everyone. The perfect place to refuel after a day’s riding. #charlotteskitchen www.charlotteskitchen.co.nz hello@charlotteskitchen.co.nz Ph 09 402 8296

TOP TRAIL HIRE AND TOURS Top Trail Hire and Tours Discover the Twin Coast Cycle Trail – Cycle Hire & Cycle Tours • Cycle Hire • Individual itineraries • Tours • Baggage transfers • Information & Assistance • Accommodation • Transfers to and from all sections of the trail & Rawene • Bases at Opua and 39 Rankin Street Kaikohe TO BOOK: Freephone 0800 TOP TRAIL (867 872) Ph 027 453 5176 info@toptrail.co.nz www.toptrail.co.nz FOOTPRINTS WAIPOUA Join the world acclaimed Footprints Waipoua night tour to the Waipoua Forest for an experience of a lifetime. Stand in awe before the silhouettes of the world’s oldest and largest kauri trees. Your local Maori guide will make intermittent stops to connect you with thought provoking information, stories, song and much more. 334 State Highway 12, Omapere, Hokianga +64 9 405 8207,admin@footprintswaipoua.co.nz, www.footprintswaipoua.co.nz PAIHIA MOUNTAIN BIKES: RENTALS AND SHUTTLES Operating a full shuttle service, rental mountain bikes, e-bikes or your own bikes across the entire cycle trail. Only quality rental bikes, perfect for exploring Northland (padded gel seat included of course!). Can arrange any package /transport for your group no matter the size, a few hrs to multi-day experiences. Check out our TripAdvisor! info@paihiamountainbikes.co.nz www.paihiamountainbikes.co.nz 021 187 8192 COPTHORNE HOTEL & RESORT HOKIANGA By the quiet water’s edge of the harbour, you’ll find the welcoming Hotel and its 43 rooms and luxury villas. This 4-star Qualmark-rated hotel is an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its beachfront rooms are a minute’s stroll from the shore, and rooms with balconies offer magnificent views of the harbour and sand dunes. Address: State Highway 12, Omapere PO Box 19, Omapere Hokianga, New Zealand 0444 Email: info@omapere.co.nz Phone: +64 09 4058737 copthorne.hokianga@millenniumhotels.co.nz

Facebook - www.facebook.com/Twincoast

www.twincoastcycletrail.kiwi.nz

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland19


T

Along the trail

he Bay of Islands, with more than 144 stunning islands to discover, are a favourite playground for holidaymakers from around

Explore incredible natural beauty and cultural heritage

the world.

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

The main town in the area, Paihia, is an ideal base for exploring the region. Situated between rolling green hills, blue harbours and biscuit-coloured beaches, Paihia is the ultimate destination with attractions ranging from the indulgent to adrenalinpumping. You may wish to catch a culture show, go souvenir shopping or just laze on the beach. With all of those islands beckoning, however, you’ll want to find your sea legs. A wide range of boat tours depart from both Paihia and Russell, including the Cream Trip, the Hole in the Rock (conditions permitting), the R. Tucker Thompson Tall Ship, sailing, cruising and fishing trips, charter boats as well as dolphin encounters. The beautiful Hokianga Harbour welcomes you to either the end or the beginning of the cycle trail. Look for the twin harbourside settlements of Ōmāpere and Ōpononi, famous for the golden sand dunes monopolising the view from the shoreline.

Paihia

Boardwalk leading to Hōreke © Twin Coast Trail INSET: Paihia waterfront © Fullers Bay of Islands

HARURU FALLS Only 5km west of Paihia, the falls cascade in a rare horseshoe shape. The Waitangi Haruru Mangrove Walk links the Treaty Grounds with the falls, a 90-minute hike each way.

NGĀWHĀ SPRINGS Just 5km east of Kaikohe is the village of Ngāwhā Springs, where the rustic thermal pools are interestingly coloured and therapeutic – especially after a long day on the bike.

here’s a good place (missionary Rev Henry Williams) • 24km SE of Kerikeri

Pioneer Waterfront Apartments

Absolute waterfront apartments with all facilities, self-contained, in Paihia, Bay of Islands • 2-bedroom apartments • WiFi • BBQ • SKY • Flatscreen TV • Spa baths • Private balconies • Swimming & kids paddling pool, hot spa • Off-street parking • 2min walk from town centre and wharf

Paihia TOP 10 Holiday Park 0800 867 014 1290 Paihia Rd Paihia paihiatop10.co.nz

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Situated in a private bay, surrounded by native bush, just a couple of minutes’ drive south of the centre of Paihia. Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Situated right on the water front • BBQ Area • Adventure Playground • Boat Ramp • Free WiFi • TV Room • Café • Secure bike storage

0800 27 27 86

www.pioneerapartments.co.nz hosts@pioneerapartments.co.nz I 44 Marsden Rd, Paihia


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Cream Trip, Urupukapuka Island © Fullers Bay of Islands BELOW: R. Tucker Thompson © R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust

Kerikeri: full of flavour While you’re here, sample the outstanding fresh fruit that the town’s become famous for, and explore all of the wonderful locally produced gems: gourmet cheeses, ice cream, liqueurs, handmade chocolates, wine, kauri giftware and natural skincare products among them.

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, Bay of Islands?

Opposite Te Ti Beach and the waters of the Bay of Islands with one and two bedroom suites. 138 Marsden Rd, Paihia

HHM629SSS 06/19

Base your trip from Heritage Collection Sea Spray Suites, Paihia.

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

E

xplore this largely undeveloped paradise, whether it’s aboard a modern or historical sailing vessel, a fishing charter, a dolphin-watch boat, a cruise out to Urupukapuka Island or the Hole in the Rock, or just taking the ferry between Paihia and Russell. There are various cruise options available from Ōpua, Paihia, Russell or Kerikeri. For an adventure on a Northland icon, you can’t beat a trip on the R. Tucker Thompson. A sight to behold, this 85ft-long gaff-rigged schooner looks as though she would be more at home on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean than sitting alongside the wharf at Russell. With beautiful hardwood decks finished with flashes of brass and looming rigging and masts, this ‘Tall Ship’ is perfect for exploring the Bay under full, magnificent sail. You can learn the ropes, literally, and help the crew set the sails, or relax and watch the mainland slip by. Throw in a mouthwatering barbecued lunch, a jump into the water off the ship’s rope swing, a rigging climb and a cold bevvy on the way home, and you have the makings of a perfect day out on the water.

Kerikeri

to keep on digging • 24km NW of Paihia

THE KAURI WORKSHOP

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, Bay of Islands? Base your trip from Heritage Collection The Waterfront Suites, Paihia. Luxury one and two bedroom apartments located in the heart of Paihia’s restaurants and wharf precinct. 100 Marsden Road, Paihia

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

• Plenty of gift ideas for all budgets. • Wide range of handcrafted wood made from New Zealand native timbers including kauri, rimu, totara and pohutukawa. • Overseas shipping available. • Come on in and see our woodturner at work.

HHM629TWS 06/19

K

erikeri is a charming town with a permanently relaxed holiday vibe. You’ll find two of the oldest European settlement buildings in the country here – the Kemp House, built in 1822, and the Stone Store, 1832. Discover them both at the Kororipo Heritage Park.

With a plethora of islands dotting the warm waters of the Bay and a gorgeous coastline to explore, getting out on the water after your cycling adventure is the best way to appreciate the staggering beauty of this pristine area.

www.kerikeri.co/kauri-workshop 500 Kerikeri Rd, Kerikeri • P: 09 407 9196 • E: kauriw@xtra.co.nz 21

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

Cruise the Bay of Islands


CAPE RĒINGA to HOKIANGA HARBOUR

FAR NORTH Cycleway

2 days

North Cape / Otou

CAPE REINGA

1

Parengarenga Harbour

Ni ile

M ty ne ch

a Be

Great Exhibition Bay Te Kao

1 Cape Karikari / Whakapouaka Rangaunu Pukenui Bay Karikari Houhora Peninsula

Kaimaumau Rangaunu Harbour

T

10 Mangonui

Taipa Waipapakauri Beach

Ahipara Bay

Kaitaia

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre town café/restaurant

H

Herekino ur rbo Ha o er e k in

toilets car park accommodation

Whan g

ap

r ou arb eH

u Ma Broadwood

1

Kohukohu

Warawara Forest

camping

ki a

state highway

iw

tan

a ng

R ha

Omahuta Forest Twin Coast Cycle Trail v

er

Herekino Forest

start / finish point

ge

an

Ahipara

ferry

Wa i h

ou

Ri

RANGIORA RAWENE

nga Harbou r

open section

Awanui

1

MAP LEGEND

Starting at Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Rēinga) – one of the northernmost points in the North Island – this roadtouring route follows Northland’s beautiful west coast to reach the little town of Rāwene on the edge of the Hokianga Harbour. he Far North Cycleway starts from the famous Cape Rēinga lighthouse that looks out over the convergence of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. After a short road section it hits the sands of Ninety Mile Beach to reach Ahipara then heads inland across the countryside to the Hokianga Harbour.

Doubtless Bay

Ho

HEARTLAND RIDE • FAR NORTH CYCLEWAY

Giant Sand Dunes

© AA Traveller 2019

161km

Kauri Coast Cycleway

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At Hokianga, this route connects with the Twin Coast Cycle Trail Great Ride. It also connects with the Kauri Coast Cycleway and Kaipara Missing Link Heartland Rides for a full west coast touring route through to Auckland. The riding surface of this Heartland Trail is around 50% solid sand and 50% sealed road, with the occasional stiff climb. Soft sand only occurs on Ninety Mile Beach where streams flow across the beach. The ride is best suited to reasonably fit riders with some cycle touring experience. Riders should have good road sense and be prepared to encounter traffic, even on Ninety Mile Beach.

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 250m 200m 150m 100m 50m 0m

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Waipapakauri Beach

Cape Rēinga 90km

Ahipara 15km

Herekino 15km

Rangiora 60km


riding the trail

look out for... Cape Rēinga

2 Days 161km

TRAIL GRADE:

CAPE RĒINGA TO HOKIANGA HARBOUR, 161KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ACCESS: Cape Rēinga is 112km from Kaitāia via SH 1. To bus up to Cape Rēinga, contact Harrisons Cape Runner Tours, P: 09 408 1033. NINETY MILE BEACH: The beach is best ridden at low tide. The tide times are printed in every edition of the local newspaper, the Northland Age, or check at the Kaitāia i-SITE, P: 09 408 9450. FERRIES: A car ferry crosses the Hokianga Harbour between Rāwene and 4km south of Kohukohu. It runs every 45min between 7.45am & 8pm. You can also take the Ranui ferry to Rāwene to begin the Kauri Coast Cycleway, or to Hōreke – the start/end point of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. See www.ranui.nz MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: At main towns but limited along the rest of trail. WATER: Fairly remote ride, with limited services, so it pays to plan ahead. TYPE OF BIKE: Touring bikes and mountain bikes are suitable for the terrain. E-bikes can also be ridden. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Wild and unforgettable Cape Rēinga is the tip of the country. Here the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, having been separated by the North Island for so long, collide in dramatic form. There are spectacular views from the lighthouse and several walking tracks for exploring the Cape and Spirits Bay. In Māori legend, Cape Rēinga is where the spirits of the deceased leave the land by leaping from an 800-yearold pōhutukawa tree. It’s a sacred

site; please note that eating is not permitted here as a sign of respect. Cape Rēinga Lighthouse © NorthlandNZ.com

Te Paki sand dunes

Te Paki sandboarding © David Kirkland

At the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach, near the Te Paki Stream, are some seriously steep and seriously fun sand dunes. Rent a sandboard on site and hurtle down the 150m-high dunes for an adrenalinpumping ride.

23

HEARTLAND RIDE • FAR NORTH CYCLEWAY

The trail starts at Cape Rēinga lighthouse, built in 1941, where you will find interpretation panels and toilets but no other facilities. Rēinga is Māori for ‘underworld’ – Māori believe that the spirits of the dead depart for the underworld from Te Rerenga Wairua. From Cape Rēinga, this route follows SH 1 for around 16km before turning west at Te Paki and following Kauaeparaoa Stream (also called Te Paki Stream) to the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach. The beach is your ‘highway’ for 80km through to Ahipara, which is also the first and only place beside the beach that has shops. It is a long journey along the beach, but at low tide the beach surface is hard, smooth and fast riding with a tailwind. The only soft sand occurs where streams flow across the beach. Note that the beach is best ridden at low tide. The locals will know the tide times, but you can also check them on the Metservice website. It’s worth stopping to wash the salt and sand off your bike at Ahipara before heading out of town on Foreshore Rd then Roma Rd. Turn right at the Kaitāia–Awaroa Rd T-intersection. At Herekino, turn left to continue following the Kaitāia–Awaroa Rd. The village of Broadwood lies along this road about 35km from Ahipara. It has a general store. From Broadwood, it is 30km, including a 2km ferry trip, to Rāwene, via Broadwood then Kohukohu Rd. The ferry terminal to Rāwene is 4km south along the coast from Kohukohu. The ferry runs several times a day. It charges a minimal fee for the 15min trip across the Hokianga Harbour to Rāwene.

TRAIL INFO


KAURI COAST

RĀWENE to DARGAVILLE

Cycleway HEARTLAND RIDE • KAURI COAST KAURI CYCLEWAY COAST

Two beautiful harbours, charming towns and towering kauri forest are all highlights on this road route along Northland’s west coast.

© AA Traveller 2019

Hokian ga H arb

Warawara Forest

RAWENE

r ou

12 Waima River

12 Waima Forest

Opononi

12

Omapere Waimamaku

T

he northern end of the trail is the pretty town of Rāwene on the edge of the tranquil Hokianga Harbour. The route then heads inland through the magical Waipōua Kauri Forest before winding through farmland to Dargaville and out to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.

Mataraua Forest Tane Mahuta Waipoua Kauri Forest Waipoua Forest

Marlborough Forest

Highlights of the trail include the twin settlements of Ōmāpere and Ōpononi set alongside the beautiful Hokianga Harbour, Waipōua Forest and Trounson Kauri Park.

Trounson Park Rd

12 MAP LEGEND

Kaihu

open section

Kaihu Forest

Kai Iwi Lakes

start / finish point

113km

1-2 days

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre town

12

14

Wairoa River

café/restaurant toilets car park

Baylys Beach

accommodation camping

Kaipara Missing Link

state highway

DARGAVILLE 12

Warm summers and mild winters make it possible to ride this trail all year round. However, Waipōua experiences a lot of rain so a good raincoat is essential at all times. The surface of this trail is 90% sealed road and 10% gravel road with some climbing required. It is best suited to reasonably fit riders with some cycle touring experience. The trail also links to the Twin Coast Cycle Trail Great Ride, and the Heartland Ride touring routes to the north and south, the Far North Cycleway and Kaipara Missing Link.

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 500m 250m 0m

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Rāwene 21km

Ōpononi

Waimamaku 15km

25km

Waipōua Forest

Dargaville 51km


riding the trail The whole route between Rāwene and Dargaville is about 8–11hr riding time in all. An overnight stop is therefore suggested.

Starting in Rāwene, this route heads out on Parnell Rd to the T-intersection with SH 12. Then turn right and cycle to Ōpononi and on to Ōmāpere. There is a sharp 110m climb out of the far side of Ōmāpere. Twelve kilometres on from Ōmāpere is the small settlement of Waimamaku, which has a café and Four Square grocery store. Beyond Waimamaku, the road climbs into Waipōua Forest. A small descent leads to the car park and a takeaways caravan at the start of the 1min walk to New Zealand’s most famous tree, Tāne Mahuta. New Zealand’s largest living kauri and known as the ‘Lord of the Forest’, this imposing giant has a 13.77m girth, a trunk height of 17.68m and a total height of 51.5m. Please respect all

Just after crossing the Waipōua River bridge, it is possible to detour 1km to the right to Café Forest, which is part of a visitor complex with information, camping and cabin options. The touring route continues straight ahead on SH 12 and up a 5km climb through forest and across farmland. About 7km from the bridge, either continue to follow SH 12 or take the gravel road to the east. The gravel option will be slower but has less traffic. If taking the gravel route: follow the road down to Donnellys Crossing, turn right onto Trounson Park Rd and cycle 8km to Trounson Kauri Park. Just after the kauri park, veer right to continue along Trounson Park Rd and back up to SH 12. Turn left to continue towards Dargaville. Two kilometres after passing Kaihū Tavern, turn left onto Ahikiwi Rd and take the following country roads to Dargaville. Turn left onto Marapiu Rd, then right onto Maropiu Settlement Rd. Then 8km from Kaihū, turn left onto Waihue Rd, then 200m later, right

Waipōua Forest is the domain of New Zealand’s largest living kauri, Tāne Mahuta, the ‘Lord of the Forest’ at 51m high. Help stop the spread of kauri dieback disease by following all signposted instructions.

onto Opanake Rd. Almost 13km down Opanake Rd, turn left onto Parore West Rd and soon after, right onto Waihue Rd to cruise into Dargaville and down to the main shops. For a small town, Dargaville boasts a lot of art and craft, a prime example being The Woodturners Kauri Studio, which showcases kauri carvings and gives access to a workshop to see how it’s done. And as this is New Zealand’s ‘Kūmara Capital’, it’s no surprise to find a museum dedicated to farm machinery here. Harding Park is home to vintage tractors, harvesters and logging equipment. For amazing views of the area, it’s also worth taking the short, sharp walk to needle-like Tokatoka Peak.

1-2 Days 113km

TRAIL GRADE:

HEARTLAND RIDE • KAURI COAST CYCLEWAY

You will inevitably want to get up close with the mighty kauri trees. Please note, however, that kauri dieback disease may mean you can’t access all kauri forest walks; please respect all signage, staying well clear of any areas off-limits.

signage in relation to this, and other, forest reserves. From Tāne Mahuta, the road is mostly downhill for 10km.

TRAIL INFO

Tāne Mahuta

RĀWENE TO DARGAVILLE GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is available at main towns but limited along the rest of the trail. DRINKING WATER: Water (and food) is available at the start and end points – Rāwene and Dargaville – and along the route at Ōpononi and Ōmāpere. Free water is available at the Dargaville Museum. There is also a tavern at Kaihū. TYPE OF BIKE: A touring bike, mountain bike or e-bike is suitable for the terrain.

Kai Iwi Lakes

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

33km NW of Dargaville

Kai Iwi Lakes one of NZ’s best holiday spots!

look out for... Dargaville: history + lakes Explore Dargaville’s pioneering past at Harding Park, where vintage machinery and a museum reveals stories of the area’s Māori, maritime, logging and gum-digging history. On your way to Harding Park, cycle along the riverbank, which was a vital link in the former kauri and logging industries. Find out all about Dargaville’s affinity with the humble kūmara (sweet potato) at

Kai Iwi Lakes Camp Northland’s shining jewel 35km from Dargaville.

Rāwene

many days, or setting sun • 41km W of Kaikohe

HOKIANGA HARBOUR NEW ZEALAND

538 hectares of premier recreation reserve with white sand, freshwater dune lakes and 2 campgrounds. Perfect for camping, swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, exploring walking and cycling tracks, wildlife & close to surf beach. • Only 3 hrs from Auckland, 35km from Dargaville • Tent & Campervan sites • Walking and cycling tracks • Water lovers’ paradise • Mobile shop open: 26th Dec - 6th February • Powered sites available

the Kumara Box, where you can take a tractor tour of a kūmara farm complete with intriguing stories, local memorabilia and home cooking. A detour before you reach Dargaville leads you to Kai Iwi Lakes, where pristine white sand and rolling countryside surround three freshwater lakes, ideal for water sports and camping. The rugged yet beautiful Baylys Beach is also nearby.

HOLIDAY PARK 1 Marmon St West, Rawene Ph: +64 9 405 7720

Situated on a hilltop, sheltered by native trees with stunning harbour views. Family owned and operated, wide range of accommodation, pet-friendly by arrangement.

Taharoa Domain, Kai Iwi Lakes & Domain Road, Omamari, Dargaville, Northland Phone: +64 9 439 0986 • Email: lakes@kaipara.govt.nz ON-LINE BOOKING: www.kaiiwicamp.nz

info@raweneholidaypark.co.nz • www.raweneholidaypark.co.nz

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From the Far North to Kaipara, to Auckland, the Kauri Coast and Kaipara Missing Link trails provide a rich experience of New Zealand at its finest for cyclists wanting something different. HEARTLAND RIDE • KAURI COAST CYCLEWAY

Try starting with the Kauri Coast Cycleway from Omapere to Dargaville (1–2 days, 113km). Warning – it’s a sharp 110m climb out of Omapere, but the reward is a wonderful view over the Hokianga Harbour.

Stop off in the rainforest of Waipoua Forest to see Tane Mahuta, and then sweep through the Kauri forest and on to the rolling farmland closer to Dargaville.

Dargaville is a little gem with an important place in New Zealand’s history. Kaipara is also New Zealand’s kumara capital! There’s plenty to see and do here before you join up to the Kaipara Missing Link trail between Dargaville and Poutu (2 -3 days, 118km). Take River Road, which becomes Poutu Road, towards Te Kopuru with lots of interesting history to investigate.

Look out for: KAI IWI LAKES in the Taharoa Domain

• swimming • cycle tracks & more

TANE MAHUTA in the Waipoua Kauri Forest

DARGAVILLE MUSEUM

at Pou Tu o Te Rangi - Harding Park, including a historic Pa site and panoramic views

RIPIRO BEACH

New Zealand’s longest continuous sand beach

KAIPARA HARBOUR

Biggest in the southern hemisphere

POUTU LIGHTHOUSE

experience exhilarating views from New Zealand’s oldest wooden lighthouse

Poutu Road takes you to Poutu Point (gravel the last 5km), or cycle from Dargaville to Baylys (a picturesque seaside settlement); from here you can cycle south down Ripiro Beach and past Poutu Lighthouse. You do need to watch the tides, keeping a buffer of 2.5 hours either side of low tide. From Poutu you can go by boat across Kaipara Harbour to Parakai, 3km from Helensville, completing the missing link of the trail.

General Information • The roads are shared – look out for logging trucks and commercial vehicles • There are gravel roads and steep inclines • Ripiro Beach is remote, and weather and tide dependent • Cellphone coverage is poor

Ferry must be booked in advance: Kaipara Cruises Ph: +64 9 420 8466 or Mob: +64 27 497 0654. www.kaiparacruises.co.nz • kaiparacruises@xtra.co.nz Or try a fishing trip for a different option www.kaipara.govt.nz 26


DARGAVILLE to AUCKLAND

KAIPARA

Missing Link Tangihua Forest

2-3 days © AA Traveller 2019

1

Tangihua Forest

1

DARGAVILLE

Te Kopuru

12

12

Mangawhai

1

Leigh Matakana

POUTO POINT

Warkworth

1 South Head

16 Shelly Beach

Orewa Whangaparaoa

PARAKAI Woodhill Forest

Helensville Riverhead Forest

1

Riverhead Kumeu Muriwai Don Buck Rd Te Henga (Bethells Beach)

Te Kopuru

BRITOMART TRANSPORT CENTRE

AUCKLAND

12

12

Mangawhai

1 Kellys Bay Leigh Matakana

POUTO POINT

Warkworth

1

MAP LEGEND

South Head

open section boat route

16

busy road section start / finish point

Shelly Beach

Orewa

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre

Whangaparaoa

PARAKAI

town

Woodhill Forest

café/restaurant toilets

Helensville Riverhead Forest

1

Riverhead Kumeu

car park accommodation

BRITOMART TRANSPORT CENTRE

Muriwai

camping

Don Buck Rd Te Henga (Bethells Beach)

state highway

AUCKLAND

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Dargaville 100m

0m

Pōuto Point 65km

Parakai boat

Britomart 49km

This pleasant link between Dargaville and central Auckland features a boat trip across the beautiful Kaipara Harbour, Helensville’s pleasant Victorian village vibe, and a gentle cruise through pretty countryside.

A

s the name suggests, the Kaipara Missing Link provides a key link between Auckland and Northland’s touring routes and Great Rides including the Kauri Coast, Far North and Twin Coast cycleways. Following on from the end of the Kauri Coast Cycleway, the trail heads southwest from Dargaville to one of Northland’s best-kept secrets – the holiday village of Pōuto Point, where more than 150 shipwrecks are buried along the coast and the ever-shifting sands often reveal them. Cycling straight from Dargaville out to the west coast and along the beach all the way to Pōuto is the best way to go in favourable winds, but can only be done within 2.5 hours either side of low tide, so check the tide times carefully before committing to this option. From Pōuto Point, take a boat trip across the Kaipara Harbour – an adventure in itself. It takes 2-3 hours depending on conditions; bad weather may postpone the trip. Crossings can be made via Kaipara Cruises. The trail then follows a surprisingly gentle route into the very centre of Auckland. Please note there are no shops at Pōuto. Supplies can be purchased at Dargaville, Te Kōpuru and Helensville.

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HEARTLAND RIDES • KAIPARA MISSING LINK

DARGAVILLE

118km


riding the trail

TRAIL INFO 2-3 Days

DARGAVILLE TO PŌUTO POINT, 65KM

118km

Cycle west from Dargaville on River Rd, which becomes Pōuto Rd. At the 11km mark is the village of Te Kōpuru, which has a general store.

TRAIL GRADE:

HEARTLAND RIDES • KAIPARA MISSING LINK

There are two options from Te Kōpuru – the beach ride or the road. The beach ride is the best way to go when the wind direction is favourable, but note that it’s only possible to ride on the beach within 2.5hr either side of low tide, so check the tide times carefully before committing.

DARGAVILLE TO PŌUTO POINT, 65KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) PŌUTO POINT TO AUCKLAND CENTRAL, 53KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

To reach the beach, turn right onto West Coast Rd, then left onto Redhill Rd, right onto Glinks Rd and cycle out to the coast.

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Available at Dargaville and Parakai, and from Helensville south.

For the road option, simply continue from Te Kōpuru along Pōuto Rd directly to Pōuto Point. It’s worth taking the detour down to Kellys Bay; look for the left turn down a gravel road at around the 45km mark (from Dargaville). You can then take the steep gravel-road climb out of the back to loop back to Pōuto Rd 5km further southwest.

DRINKING WATER: There are no shops at Pōuto. Supplies can be purchased at Dargaville, Te Kōpuru, Parakai, Helensville and Auckland. TYPE OF BIKE: Touring bikes and mountain bikes are suitable for the terrain. E-bikes, with sufficient battery capacity, are also suitable.

A boat trip can be arranged across Kaipara Harbour from Pōuto Village to Parakai, 3km from Helensville. The Kaipara Harbour crossing will need to be arranged in advance, with the main options being Kaipara Cruises or a charter service. It’s also worth considering taking a fishing trip, which will not only get you across the harbour but make a real adventure of it!

PŌUTO POINT TO AUCKLAND CENTRAL, 53KM

Kaipara Harbour Crossing: Crossings can be made via Kaipara Cruises Ph: +64 9 420 8466 or +64 27 497 0654 www.kaiparacruises.co.nz Pōuto © NorthlandNZ.com

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

look out for...

The cross-harbour boat trip will take you to Parakai, 3km from Helensville. Parakai is known for its geothermal water recreation centre complete with large indoor and outdoor pools, hydroslides, BBQ and picnic areas.

Parakai Springs Fun for all ages, Parakai Springs offers hours of fun with its pools – both indoor and outdoor – and its pair of thrilling hydroslides. There’s plenty of space for picnics and bookable barbecue areas.

Helensville is a good place to break the journey overnight. As well as having plenty of visitor accommodation, there’s also great antique and collectable shops, cafēs and hotels housed in pretty Victorian buildings. The route to Auckland continues from Helensville’s main street; simply head right up any side street and you will reach Garfield Rd. Turn right along Garfield Rd, which becomes Wishart Rd and then Old North Rd where it meets Inland Rd on the left. Keep on Old North Rd until Nixon Rd (also known as Taupaki Rd), which becomes Red Hills Rd as it leads to the west Auckland suburb of Massey (19km from downtown Auckland). Your best bet for navigating your way into the city centre is to look up the Auckland Transport Cycle Route maps; many of the routes are well-signposted.

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Parakai Springs © www.parakaisprings.co.nz

Helensville Pretty Helensville is a classic country town with a vintage vibe thanks to its restored Victorian buildings housing antique and collectables shops and cafés.

With a main street that curves enticingly, a meandering river through the town and salt air sweeping in from the nearby Kaipara Harbour, it’s a town with plenty of appeal. Check out the Railway Museum.

Walkers and cyclists have many options including the recently completed Helensville Riverside Walkway, and the adventurous can take harbour cruises, join a fishing charter or hire a horse.


HAURAKI

Cycling along the sand © Hauraki Rail Trail

Rail Trail

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

TRAIL INFO 3-5 Days 160km

TRAIL GRADES:

KAIAUA to MATAMATA 160km

3-5 days This lovely laidback trail traces the Shorebird Coast and follows stop-banks and old railway lines between the historic towns of Kaiaua, Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi and Matamata.

I

t’s a flat, easy ride offering contrasting scenes – from the salt-licked Firth of Thames with its notable birdlife, to the verdant Hauraki Plains and a flinty gorge strewn with intriguing gold-mining relics. Located south of Auckland and north of Tauranga, the Rail Trail is split into four sections, with an exciting new section to Matamata (the home of Hobbiton) scheduled to open in 2019. The whole

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Karangahake Gorge’s gold-mining relics and short walks, including the brilliant Windows Walk • Bird-spotting on the Shorebird Coast • Spooky 1100m tunnel with glowworms • Pretty rural scenery on Hauraki Plains

• Old gold towns of Thames and Waihi • Matātoki cheese factory and café • Paeroa’s famous giant L&P bottle • Gorgeous Owharoa Falls • Hot pools at Miranda and Te Aroha • Vintage train rides between Waikino and Waihi

trail can be completed over two–four days, overnighting in atmospheric accommodation along the way. The four sections are described on the next page in an approximately north to south direction, although note that one section (Paeroa to Waihi) heads off on a tangent as illustrated in the map. Day rides are also popular, with convenient bike hire and shuttles making the logistics a breeze. The Rail Trail is suitable for riders of all ages and abilities, being wide, flat and smooth for most of the way. Riders should take extra care on short road sections and crossings, and at cattle grids where wheels can get wedged.

Karangahake Winery Estate Boutique, hand-crafted wines are created here. Tasting is available at the cellar door, and the winery restaurant is open for brunch and lunch.

KAIAUA TO THAMES 42KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) THAMES TO PAEROA 34KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) PAEROA TO WAIHI 24KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) & GRADE 2 (EASY) PAEROA TO TE AROHA 23KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) TE AROHA TO MATAMATA 37KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) Under construction (completed mid-2019). MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Mobile phone coverage is generally good; it can get patchy within the narrows of Karangahake Gorge. REFRESHMENTS: We recommend carrying plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you fuelled up; this is especially important out of peak season when some cafés and shops run on limited hours. Water bottles can be filled at settlements along the way; be sure to carry plenty on hot days. TYPE OF BIKE: Friendly rail trail terrain makes this suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to touring bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes. GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY)

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riding the trail Thames

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Paeroa 21km

Kaiaua

42km

Te Aroha

Matamata

37km

200m 100m 0m

Firth of Thames

THAMES

Kopu

Pūkorokoro-Miranda

25 Waitakaruru

Puriri

Pipiroa

ver u Ri

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2

Coromandel Range

Hikutaia

Hauraki Plains MAP LEGEND open section optional route

26 2

25

heritage train ride start / finish point

27 point of interest

Karangahake

PAEROA 2

i-SITE Visitor Centre

tunnel Waikino

tunnel town café/restaurant

Victoria Battery Karangahake Windows Gorge Walk

Tirohia

toilets car park Kapuatai Wetlands

WAIHI 2

26

camping accommodation state highway

TE AROHA KAIAUA TO THAMES, 42KM

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THAMES TO PAEROA, 34KM This richly historic area was once only accessible via the two rivers, Waihou and Hikutaiā. The Māori people believed that the deep valleys cutting

MATAMATA

© AA Traveller 2019

Named ‘The Journey of Te Aho’, this section of trail follows in the footsteps of early Māori settler Te Aho. Starting from Kaiaua, it winds around the edge of the shallow Firth of Thames, over chenier shell banks and through wetlands of international significance. The trail will officially start at Kaiaua when an extension is completed mid2019. For now, a good place to start is the Pūkorokoro–Miranda Shorebird Centre where you can learn about the area’s precious birdlife before heading out to the hides to see them for yourself. Fanatical twitchers may wish to check ahead for the arrival and departure schedules of various migratory species. From Miranda Holiday Park and Hot Pools, the trail

skirts around the Firth, following stop-banks for much of the way. There are expansive views of coastal 26 wetlands and verdant farmland, with the volcanic Coromandel Ranges a dramatic backdrop. Refreshments are available in the 27 villages of Waitakaruru, Pipiroa and Kopu. After the Kopu Bridge, the trail turns northwards for a few kilometres to reach Thames, an atmospheric town with plenty of dining and accommodation options. As you approach the town centre, look out for various sculptures along the 27 community’s art trail.

Kopu

ou

Matatoki Puriri R iver

through the Coromandel Ranges were carved by the thrashing tail of a taniwha. This is also the place where bushmen, gumdiggers and gold miners sought their fortunes, routinely crossing over to the eastern side of the ranges on rugged bush tracks through forests of mighty kauri. It is amid this history that this section of trail begins, at first following the old railway line out of Thames town and onward through lush farmland with the impressive ranges a constant companion to the east. Matātoki’s Cheese Barn, The Coach House at Pūriri and the Convenient Cow Café at Hikutaiā are nicely spaced pit-stops. Near Paeroa, it’s also just a short detour to the Historical Maritime Park, once New Zealand’s most inland port. Paeroa, at the southern end of this section is ‘world famous in New Zealand’ for its giant L&P bottle – a homage to home-grown soda-pop. Its antique shops are also notable. There’s also accommodation and places to eat for riders wanting to overnight here.

PAEROA TO WAIHI, 24KM

Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park

heritage battery 1

2

THAMES

Waih

ho Wai

Matatoki

ko River Pia

Piako River

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

Pipiroa

25

Firth of Thames

Kaiaua

25a

The most popular section of the Hauraki Rail Trail follows the Ohinemuri River through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge, a deep canyon cut through the Kaimai Ranges. Highlights of the gorge include a cascading waterfall, photogenic gold-mining sites and the charmingly old-fashioned Victoria Battery museum, plus the freaky Windows Walkway that burrows through a shadowy side-gorge. The pièce de résistance is an amazing 1100m-long railway tunnel, wobbled through with the aid of a torch. Near the halfway point is cute Waikino Station where there’s a café and bike hire. This is the terminus of the vintage train that runs between Waikino and Waihi; it’s well worth timing your riding to coincide with its running times as it’s a pretty special experience. Otherwise, it’s another 8km of riding to Waihi. With plenty of accommodation and places to eat – as well as proximity to glorious beaches – Waihi is a great base for continued on p.31


Along the trail

continued from p.30 your Hauraki adventures. This ‘Heart of Gold’ town still has an operational mine that can be visited on tours, plus the wonderfully interactive museum known as the Gold Discovery Centre.

Group of riders at Waikino Railway Station © Hauraki Rail Trail

PAEROA TO TE AROHA, 22KM

 E AROHA TO MATAMATA, T 37KM This new and gentle section of trail will be open in October 2019 and passes through fertile plains and significant horse studs. It will eventually stretch all the way to Hobbiton, near Matamata, where visitors can get their Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings fix (it’s well worth going for the gardens alone, never mind a refreshing pint at the Green Dragon Inn!) Along the way it passes various landmarks including the scenic Wairere Falls, Stanley Landing and the Firth Tower.

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he Hauraki Rail Trail lies between the Hauraki Plains and the Coromandel and Kaimai Mamaku forest parks, both living museums of botanical history with many kilometres of tracks to explore. In Paeroa at the Historical Maritime Park you’ll find a significant collection of the region’s history on show, including displays on Captain Cook and the Northern Steam Ship Company.

The Kauaeranga Valley’s historic walks include the Pinnacles, a challenging but popular day or overnight hike, the Wainora Kauri Walk and the Catleys Track. The area’s pioneering past, which is undoubtedly tinged in gold, provides many of the trail’s most fascinating features. The Karangahake Gorge is full of walkways and old tunnels to explore. This picturesque stretch of river was once home to one of the busiest gold strikes in the country.

There were once three huge steamoperated mining batteries here that were built in the 1890s to process ore. In the heart of the gorge, spot the Owharoa Falls and stop for a picnic or a dip in one of the swimming holes. At the Te Aroha end of the trail, spend an hour or a whole day exploring the many tracks that lead up and around Mt Te Aroha before finishing your day with a soak in one of the town’s natural mineral water pools.

Thames

named by Captain Cook after nearby river • 32km NW of Paeroa

Email: info@thejunction.net.nz

700 Pollen St, Thames Phone: +64 7 868 6008

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he Hauraki Rail Trail is one of the easiest trails in the country to cycle, with the 160km track made up of 5 sections. This allows for a range of scenic day rides to comfortable 3 to 4 day tour rides. Kaiaua

Thames

A

www.thejunction.net.nz

Licensed bar restaurant

• The historic Junction Hotel (est 1869) offers clean, comfortable, affordable accommodation. • Group rates available for cycle groups. SJ` • Most rooms have an ensuite and all rooms have TVs. • Guest kitchen with TV • Family & backpacker-friendly. FREE WIFI • Tariff: $30-$140 (from dorm beds to family room).

B

Waihi

Paeroa

C D

Te Aroha

E

Matamata

For up-to-date track information and things to see & do visit:

www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz

ROLLESTON MOTEL

105 Rolleston St (PO Box 228) Thames • Ph: +647 868 8091 • Fax: +647 868 8783 Email: rollestonmotel@gmail.com • www.rollestonmotel.co.nz

Do you want a quiet peaceful location to stay? In a very quiet cul-de-sac close to Central Thames and the Hauraki Cycle Trail. 17 quality self-contained ground-floor units. Studio & 1-brm units ideal for corporates and families staying in the gateway to the Coromandel. Recently refurbished and always cleaned to a high standard. Swimming & spa pool available. All major credit cards. Tariff: $130-$162 (2 persons) extra $20. 2-brm from $230 (sleeps up to 6 persons). Corporate & seasonal rates apply.

GS:T46 Reservations: 0800 77 66 44 31

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

Heading south, this leisurely section passes through pretty Waikato farmland dotted with dairy cows. Front and centre are the bushy Kaimai–Mamaku Ranges and their 952m-highpoint Mt Te Aroha (952m; ‘the mountain of love’), plus wideranging views over the Hauraki Plains. Currently, the southern terminus of the Rail Trail is Te Aroha, a small rural town with historic mineral hot pools – a great way to soothe pedal-weary muscles. Te Aroha also has a lovely town domain, and is home to some great cafés.


Cycling through farmland, Hauraki Rail Trail RIGHT: Paeroa BOTH © Destination Coromandel

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

Paeroa

Thames Hauraki Cycle Trail

‘World famous in New Zealand’, Paeroa is the hometown of the soft drink L&P (Lemon & Paeroa). Locals invented it after drinking from the local mineral spring and adding a slice of lemon for flavour. A 7m-high replica of an L&P bottle stands proudly on the main street. Aside from a famous soft drink, Paeroa is also known for its shops of antiques and collectables.

The town of Thames was built on the pioneering industries of gold mining and kauri logging and has an appealing main street that’s full of character. History is alive in its Victorian buildings and the excellent Thames Historical Museum and the School of Mines museum house artefacts from the area’s industrial past. Walk the Kauaeranga Valley and Karangahake Gorge and check out the Saturday market with its arts, crafts and fresh produce. Between Thames and Paeroa, an essential stop is The Cheese Barn at Matātoki.

Bookings for: • Bike Hire – electric, mountain, cruiser, children. One-way & return hire. • Sherpa Shuttle bus for Passenger transfer, Bike transfer, Bag transfer. • Trail information • Accommodation • Attractions • Multi-day tours – start from any point along the Hauraki Rail Trail: Kaiaua Miranda Thames Paeroa Waikino Waihi Te Aroha Matamata

6 Wharf Street, Paeroa Tel: 021 525 515 (within NZ) Landline: 07 862 69 11 Tel: +64 27 241 08 58 (international) Email: info@hrtrail.nz

www.haurakicycletrail.co.nz 32

Tuscany on Thames Studio, 1 & 2-bedroom units. All units have hush glass, heat pumps/air-con, cooking facilities, dbl spa baths (except 2 access units), free high-speed fibre WiFi, 50+ SKY. Pool, free parking, guest laundry and bike storage. Being environmentally friendly is very important to us. Tariff: $162-$222 (2 persons) 200 Jellicoe Cres, SH 25, Thames • P: +64 7 868 5099 • Reservations: 0800 559 560 E: tuscanyonthames@xtra.co.nz • www.tuscanyonthames.co.nz


Waihi

Gold Mine, Waihi © Destination Coromandel

There are many reasons to linger after riding the trail, including world-class beaches, spectacular views, lush forests and historical artefacts.

W

aihi Beach is a superb 8km stretch of sand and pristine surf – a gem at the southernmost end of the Coromandel Peninsula. There are coastal walks to Orokawa Bay and beyond as far as Homunga Bay. There’s a good golf course here, or if you’re after original art and craft, there are studios and galleries in town and tucked away in the hills. ‘Mural town’ Katikati’s colourful main street has many stories to tell. Soak in a thermal pool at Sapphire Springs, stroll around the Katikati

Bird Gardens, admire the murals and open-air artwork in the town centre and walk the Haiku Pathway. Forming a barrier between the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park is steeped in Māori and European history and you can explore its wonders on the popular walks and tramping tracks. Nearby Te Aroha is the kind of place where it’s easy to just relax, browse the shops, enjoy a meal and soak up the tranquillity. Within the beautifully restored Edwardian Domain are the

Waihi

mineral spas, a swimming facility, beauty spa and the 1898 Cadman Bath House, which now houses the Te Aroha and District Museum. Give your muscles a long, relaxing soak before exploring the town’s other offerings, including the world’s only hot soda water geyser and quirky eateries. If you’re still feeling energetic, the town’s mountain backdrop provides activities from walking and tramping to mountain biking. IMAGE ABOVE: Waihi Beach © Deane Tetley

EXPERIENCE WAIHI GOLD DISCOVERY CENTRE & VISIT KARANGAHAKE GORGE

rising water • 63km NW of Tauranga

www.waihimotel.co.nz

a To gakak Karan Town Centre

INCLUDING SPORTS & MOVIES

To Whangamata

t

yS

n en

K

Waihi Motel To Tauranga

t

2 Tauranga Rd, SH 2, Waihi Ph: +64 7 863 8095 Email: info@waihimotel.co.nz

Martha Mine

on m se Ro Rd

• Newly refurbished • Comfortable, quiet, double-glazed windows and closest motel to town centre • Secure lock-up for bicycles • Wireless internet in each unit • FREE WiFi • Fully air-conditioned units • Walking distance to restaurants, cafés and shops Tariff: from $110

Waihi Beach

gushing water • 11km E of Waihi

123 Parry Palm Ave Waihi +64 7 863 8461 info@palmmotelwaihi.co.nz

www.palmmotelwaihi.co.nz

• Studios, Kitchen Studios & Family Units • Swimming pool & Spa pool • Spacious Garden • Sky TV • 1km to town • Secure bike storage

GS:Z\4

300 metres to trail

• Self-contained Motels/Chalets • Cabins & Spacious Sites • 15min from Waihi/Katikati • 5min from Waihi Beach • Friendly Welcome & Clean Facilities • Hot, Natural Mineral Pools FREE to our Guests • Tariff: from $44-$215 (2 persons). E: hotsprings@xtra.co.nz • www.athenreehotsprings.co.nz 1 Athenree Road, ATHENREE • PHONE FOR RESERVATIONS: +64 7 863 5600

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GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

Explore all things gold here because Waihi, with its elegant palm-lined boulevard, has mining at its heart. Take an ‘inside the fence’ tour of the working Martha Mine, peer 200m down into the open-cast pit and visit the 100-yearold pumphouse. Visit the excellent Gold Discovery Centre for a fascinating insight into this town’s golden roots. You can also walk around Lake Gilmour or follow the historic art trails here too.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

A road trip around the Coromandel Peninsula

S

tart your journey in Thames, the boomtown of the 1880s gold rush. From here the road north clings to the edge of the west coast in a constant procession of pōhutukawa-fringed beaches, before heading inland.

short ferry ride from Whitianga to Ferry Landing, then walk to the beautiful Cooks Beach via Front Bay and Flaxmill Bay (about 40 minutes each way).

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

In Coromandel Town take a train ride at Driving Creek Railway up into the hills to the Eyeful Tower, and take a zipline ride back down, through and above the native forest. Starting nearby is the 309 Road, a 22km-long gravel road with attractions along the way including Waiau Falls and The Waterworks, a quirky water-powered theme park.

Hot Water Beach © Destination Coromandel

The Coromandel Peninsula was made for road-tripping. Huge pōhutukawa trees line the western side, the eastern shores are fringed with more than their fair share of stunning beaches, the volcanic ranges in the centre are clad with thick rainforest and the Pacific Coast Highway is an escape route beckoning you to explore it all.

Crossing over to the east coast, a bevy of beautiful beaches await. Whitianga is a popular holiday spot with sparkling beaches, deep harbours and a town centre boasting a variety of restaurants, cafés and things to do. Take a

On your way south from Whitianga, visit Hahei and don’t miss walking (90 minutes return), kayaking or taking a boat trip to Cathedral Cove – a sparkling beach with a majestic archway that has graced many a picture-perfect postcard. Further down the coast, Hot Water Beach is a natural wonder. For two hours either side of low tide, dig a hole and watch as water from natural hot springs seeps through the sand, creating your own natural hot pool. Whangamata, one of the Coromandel’s holiday hot spots, has a spectacular beach that boasts both great surf breaks and safe swimming, and a lively town centre.

Whangamata

30km N of Waihi on SH 25

www.marinereserved.co.nz

on the forest tracks th A cycle en relax b y the beach.

Beachaven TOP 10 Holiday Park

Base yourself at Beachaven while on your biking adventure. Accommodation options to suit all budgets.

0800 867 022 21 Leo Street Waihi Beach beachaven.co.nz

Motels | Cabins | Sites • Backpackers • Lodges • 150m to the beach • BBQ area • Children’s playground • Pet friendly • Woodfired pizza oven • Free WiFi

Relax to the sound of Whangamata’s ocean waves lulling you to sleep. Our self-service 1, 2 and 3-brm apartments are provided with a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor BBQ. Each apartment has its own lockable 2-car garage. Tea, coffee, linen & towels are provided. Seasonal rates apply. Please contact us to confirm your booking.

412 Ocean Rd & Lowe St, Whangamata Beach • Ph: + 64 7 865 9773 Email: office@marinereserved.co.nz

Katikati

nibbling (leader Tama visited, while men ate quickly) • 36km N of Tauranga

Sapphire Springs Holiday Park & Thermal Pools

34

Waihi Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort

Conveniently located for local cycling tracks and Hauraki Cycle Trail. We also have a bike repair station as well as hire bikes.

0800 521 054 15 Beach Road Waihi Beach waihibeachtop10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Swimming Pool & Spa • Gym • WiFi • Sauna • Close to the cycle way • BBQ area • TV room with SKY • Playground

Family-owned holiday park. 32ha native bush haven with stream. Choice of motel units, camp sites, bungalow, lodge and cabins. Motorhomes welcome. Features: Warm thermal pools and hot tubs, playground, BBQs, camp store and more. 5km from Katikati at foot of Kaimai Ranges. Come for the day and play, or stay for a relaxing holiday. Tariff: Camping from $20. Lodge/cabins from $60. Motels from $130 (2 persons). Bungalow from $360 (12 persons). Check website for day rates.

274 Hot Springs Rd, RD 2, Katikati Ph: +64 7 549 0768 Email: info@sapphiresprings.nz www.sapphiresprings.nz

Katikati

Sapphire Springs

Pacifica Golf

To Tauranga


WAIKATO RIVER Trails

TRAIL INFO 1-4 Days 107km

TRAIL GRADES:

KARĀPIRO to ĀTIAMURI 1-4 days This trail through the North Island’s rural heartland follows a stretch of the mighty Waikato River as it flows through striking hydro dams, and pools into tranquil lakes.

107km

T

he trail passes through exotic and native forest, wetlands and pretty recreation reserves. Memorable sights include volcanic outcrops and a gorge, hydropower stations and dams, suspension bridges, and riverside villages with welcoming cafés. The journey is enriched by flourishing native birdlife and vegetation, along with the strong sense of community spirit that surrounds the trail.

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Mid-century hydropower dams • Arapuni Suspension Bridge – 152m long and over 50m high • Serene riverside reserves with picnic spots and camping • Native plant restoration and flourishing birdlife

KARĀPIRO (POKAIWHENUA BRIDGE TO ARAPUNI) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Mostly smooth and gentle with some more challenging terrain, the trail is divided into five sections, each named after the lake it runs alongside. The lakes are man-made, formed as the Waikato River pools behind a sequence of hydro dams built between 1924 and 1966. Interpretation panels tell their fascinating stories and much more. The whole trail can be completed in two-four days, with local bike companies assisting with transport and other logistics. The trails, however, are often ridden as day trips, either one-way or return from various recreation reserves and car parks dotted alongside.

Bridge the gap • Wetland boardwalk • Pōhaturoa Rock (520m) • Riverside villages with cafés • Stretches of flowing singletrack • Cycling, walking, running and multi-sport events held regularly including The Taniwha on 2 Nov 2019 and the Waikato River Summer Sizzler on 11 Jan 2020

The bridges on this trail span from scenic to thrillingly high. The Arapuni Suspension Bridge is a staggering 152m long and 54m above the river; the Mangarewa Suspension Bridge is 80m long and 42m high.

ARAPUNI (ARAPUNI TO WAIPAPA DAM) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) WAIPAPA (WAIPAPA DAM TO MANGAKINO LAKEFRONT) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) MARAETAI (MANGAKINO LAKEFRONT TO WHAKAMARU DAM) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) WHAKAMARU (WHAKAMARU DAM TO ĀTIAMURI BRIDGE) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Sometimes trail sections are closed due to logging operations. Before starting out, check www.waikatorivertrails.com and respect closures and signage. Dogs are prohibited on many sections of the trail. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Mobile phone coverage is reasonably reliable on the Karāpiro, Whakamaru and Maraetai sections. It gets patchy beyond there, particularly on the Arapuni and Waipapa sections. TYPE OF BIKE: Mountain bikes are recommended. E-bikes are also permitted. WATER: Taps to fill your water bottles in the villages along the way, namely Arapuni, Mangakino and Whakamaru. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

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GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

Cycling Waikato River Trails © waikatorivertrails.com


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GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

Waotu Jim Barnett Reserve

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riding the trail Pokaiwhenua Arapuni Bridge 11.5km

This is one of the most challenging but varied sections. Starting at the village, the trail hugs Lake Arapuni along a very pretty stretch of trail to reach Jones Landing, a pleasant recreation reserve. It then joins country roads for around 17km before rejoining the lakeside path. The road section involves a gradual 15km climb, broken around the halfway point by Jim Barnett Reserve – a good place to rest amidst pretty picnic spots and forest featuring a 1000-year-old tōtara tree. After descending 2km, it’s largely easy riding along the lakeside to Waipapa Dam. Along the way is the thrilling 82m-long, 42m-high Mangarewa Suspension Bridge.

i-SITE Visitor Centre

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400m

ARAPUNI (ARAPUNI TO WAIPAPA DAM), 36KM

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Dunham Point Reserve

maru haka Lake W Lake Whakamaru Reserve

Waik ato River

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

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Mangakino 12km

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Ātiamuri

26km

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Cycling Waikato River Trails © waikatorivertrails.com

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This remote, fun section undulates in a generally uphill direction, with the occasional steep section giving it its Grade 4 rating. The trail follows custom-built singletrack and flowing forestry trails through a mix of exotic and regenerating native bush. Note that once on the trail, there’s no way off, except at Maraetai Dam where it joins the road for the last 3.5km to the pleasant lakefront reserve.

MARAETAI (MANGAKINO LAKEFRONT TO WHAKAMARU DAM),12KM

© AA Traveller 2019

Waipapa Dam

From the Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park the first half of the trail follows an easy path beside the road, before winding beside Lake Karāpiro for the rest of the way to Arapuni. As the trail nears the village it crosses the Huihuitaha Wetland via 500m of boardwalk. This allows riders to pass through the area without damaging this special riparian habitat. Even if you’re not heading to Arapuni’s Rhubarb Café (highly recommended), it’s essential to experience the knee-wobbling crossing of the Arapuni Suspension Bridge. At 152m long and over 50m high, it’s one of New Zealand’s longest pedestrian (and cycling) bridges.

This moderately technical leg is mostly an easy ride, but the occasional steep section ramps it up to Grade 3. It starts by climbing gently towards Whakamaru Dam with lovely views along Lake Maraetai. Around the midway point is a graceful 70m-long suspension bridge crossing the Mangakino Stream. This leafy part of the trail has been beautified even further by the thousands of trees planted as part of the Waikato River restoration project.

WHAKAMARU DAM TO ĀTIAMURI, 26KM

The southernmost section starts at Whakamaru Dam, although many riders actually start at the nearby Dam Café. The trail follows the lake edge, initially passing through Lake Whakamaru Reserve. Around midway, bluffs rise dramatically from the lake providing a stunning backdrop, while just shy of Ātiamuri is the magnificent and culturally significant Pōhaturoa Rock, lifted by volcanic forces and weathered by the elements over the millennia. The trail ends at a parking area in Ātiamuri Village, a common pick-up or drop-off point for shuttles.


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Heart of the Waikato

aikato’s main metropolitan hub, with its vibrant centre and rich cultural mix, is an essential stop en route to the bike trail. Hamilton is home to exciting eateries, a thriving cultural precinct, great shops and galleries, and a colourful entertainment hub of lively wine bars, clubs and pubs, as well as a modern casino. If you’re here in late March, check out the incredible Balloons Over Waikato festival.

Charming towns, lush pastures and movie magic... Putāruru

to appear in the manner of a ruru (owl) • 40km SE of Cambridge

Hamilton Gardens © Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Further south, charming Cambridge is known as the ‘town of trees and champions’ because of its quaint, leafy streets, village green and thoroughbred horse studs and stables. Browse the antique and craft shops and take a tour of the Avantidrome, a world-class sport and leisure facility centred around a purpose-built 250m wooden cycling velodrome.

EXPERIENCE NEW ZEALAND’S LONGEST RIVER, THE MIGHTY WAIKATO

TAKE IN THE STUNNING SCENERY ON A RELAXED DAY TRIP OR OVERNIGHT ADVENTURE LET US HELP YOU PLAN YOUR VISIT – ASK US ABOUT SPECIAL E.BIKE DEALS OUR FRIENDLY EXPERT TEAM HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED Ph 0800 874 978 | www.waikatorivertrails.com |

WaikatoRiverTrails1 |

waikatorivertrails 37

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

Stroll around the city’s most visited attraction, Hamilton Gardens, take the kids to a Face 2 Face encounter at the Hamilton Zoo, or explore exhibitions that tell the region’s stories and view more than 38,000 treasures (taonga) at the Waikato Museum.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Kayak, jet boat or cruise the Waikato River The deep flowing Waikato, New Zealand’s longest river, winds through the beating heart of the North Island. Hamilton City 125km S of Auckland

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

Waikato Tracks & Trails

Waikato River from Taupiri

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he river’s life force radiates across the region. Historically it was a critical communications and transport route, and always an important treasure (taonga) providing physical and spiritual sustenance for Māori in the region. Take a guided kayaking trip, which range in length from a few hours to multi-day options, to get up close to the river’s best features. Or, a relaxing way to see the river is to

take a river cruise. Various options are available including scenic cruises, wine-tasting cruises, café cruises and a cruise to the base of the mighty Huka Falls, and they all include informative commentary about the river and its importance. A jet-boating trip is an exhilarating way to experience the river. Feel the thrill as you navigate the Aratiatia Rapids, speed through narrow river canyons and zip towards the thundering Huka Falls.

Air-conditioning in executive rooms

With hundreds of kilometers of trail to discover, the Mighty Waikato is the perfect place for your next cycling getaway. ‘Must do’ rides include the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trails, the Timber Trail and Te Awa - The Great NZ River Ride.

waikatonz.com/cycling Cambridge

after the 2nd Duke of Cambridge • 24km SE of Hamilton on SH 1

Colonial Court Motel

37 Vogel St, Cambridge Ph: +64 7 827 5244 Res 0800 525 352

• Located in the heart of Cambridge above shopping precinct • Restaurant and bars on your doorstep • 18 studios and 3 x 2-brm units + 7 dorm-style rooms well suited to school sports groups • Conference facilities also available • Tariff: $85 (dorm style) $110-$165 (18 studios and 3 x 2-brm units)

87-89 Victoria St, Cambridge Ph: 07 823 1467

Quiet, tranquil garden setting. 15 units: Studio, 1-brm, 2-brm, deluxe spa unit. Close to Karapiro, Mystery Creek and Avantidrome. Pool and BBQ facilities. Tariff: $130-$180, extra person $20, minimum unit rates may apply.

www.colonialcourt.co.nz 38

Reservations: 0800 166 842 Email: bookings@no1motels.co.nz

www.no1motels.co.nz


GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

Kerosene Creek © Te Ara Ahi

ROTORUA to WAIKITE VALLEY 2 days

48km

Dubbed ‘Thermal by Bike’, Te Ara Ahi is a leisurely journey through Rotorua’s volcanic wonderland of steaming vents, bubbling mud pools and spectacular geysers.

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tretching between Rotorua and the Waikite Valley, this cycle trail links five significant geothermal parks – Whakarewarewa, Te Puia, Waimangu, Wai-O-Tapu and Waikite Valley Thermal Springs – each with its own unique natural wonders.

A wonderful way to reach these major attractions, Te Ara Ahi is also rich in Māori culture and offers a chance to see other notable sights such as Lake Okaro wetland and Rainbow Mountain. Te Ara Ahi is divided into two sections, best ridden as a two-day

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Five major geothermal parks full of incredible sights, smells and sounds • Vibrant, dynamic Māori culture • Rotorua’s Government Gardens and steamy lakeside pathway • Therapeutic hot springs

adventure. Multiple access points and shuttles, however, make it possible to tailor a trip to suit your abilities, interests and travel schedule. Rotorua is a world-renowned mountain biking mecca, so enthusiastic off-roaders should factor in time to explore further, particularly the trails of the famous Redwood Forest at the world-class Redwoods Mountain Bike Park – accessible from Te Ara Ahi. This grade 2–3 (easy to intermediate) trail follows a mix of concrete cycle paths, gravel and tarmac roads and off-road mountain bike tracks. Although predominantly smooth and gently undulating, some sections feature technical single-track and short but steep climbs, particularly between Waimangu and Waiotapu.

The Redwoods • Trail-side volcanic wonders such as bubbling mud and wafting steam • Detour to the Redwoods MTB Park • Regenerating wetlands, native bush and exotic forest • Cafés and souvenir shops • Rotorua’s resort-town buzz

Don’t miss Whakarewarewa Forest and its area known as ‘The Redwoods’, which is always popular for its towering Californian coastal redwoods and the walking and biking tracks that wind their way beneath them.

TRAIL INFO

2 Days 48km

TRAIL GRADES: ROTORUA TO WAIMANGU VOLCANIC VALLEY GRADES 2-3 (EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) A 30km ride taking 3-4 hours. WAIMANGU VOLCANIC VALLEY TO WAIKITE VALLEY THERMAL POOLS GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) An 18km ride taking 2-3 hours. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good along most of the trail. DRINKING WATER: Fresh drinking water is available at cafés at the Rotorua mountain bike car park in the Waipa Valley, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Waikite Valley Thermal Pools and at Lake Okaro and the Waiotapu Tavern. TYPE OF BIKE: Hybrid bikes will suffice for most of this trail although a mountain bike is better suited to off-road sections and detours into the Redwoods Mountain Bike Park, or up Rainbow Mountain. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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Lake Tarawera © Destination Rotorua

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Lake Okareka

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Whakarewarewa MTB Park Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

MAP LEGEND

Lake Tarawera

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

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Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake)

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© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Waimangu

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ROTORUA TO WAIMANGU VOLCANIC VALLEY, 30KM Using Rotorua i-SITE as a start-point, ride east on Queen St to the official start of the trail at the Princes Gate Archway a few hundred metres away. The trail is well-signposted around the edge of Lake Rotorua. At the 6km mark it reaches Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve & Māori Village, an area inhabited for more than 700 years and home to many surviving families of

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Mt Tarawera’s devastating 1886 eruption. You can learn more on regular guided tours. From the village turn-off, Te Ara Ahi continues south past Te Puia, another notable geothermal park with dramatic bubbling pools and the famous Pohutu Geyser. Te Puia is also a great place to engage with living Māori culture through rousing concert performances and the beautiful work produced by the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute on site.

Todd McClay, MP for Rotorua Valley – one of the world’s youngest thermal areas. Enjoy refreshments in the café here, or pay the admittance fee to take a walk amidst the park’s unique features.

WAIMANGU VOLCANIC VALLEY TO WAIKITE VALLEY THERMAL POOLS, 18KM

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Whirinaki Stream

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“Nowhere else in the world can you get on a pushbike and ride for 48km past four geothermal attractions.”

The trail then leaves Rotorua town via Hemo Gorge. On your left it’s impossible to miss the entrance to the Redwoods Mountain Bike Park down Waipa State Mill Rd; even if you’re not riding, it’s well worth swinging into the ‘Hub’ for a coffee and chat with local riders. Te Ara Ahi turns into a concrete pathway and continues alongside busy SH 5. It’s a smooth and easy ride to Waimangu Rd turn off, which the trail then takes to reach Waimangu Volcanic

From Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the trail continues onward along Waimangu Rd, past Lake Okaro picnic area (where there are campsites available) and on to SH 38. After crossing the highway, the trail follows an off-road cycle path around Rainbow Mountain, passing a roadside picnic area, before dropping down to cross Old Waiotapu Rd. At this point you can turn left to go to Te Ranga (a thermally heated stream locally known as Kerosene Creek) or carry on straight ahead on an off-road trail all the way to Waiotapu. Parts of the trail are steep and some walking may be required. Waiotapu has a hotel with accommodation, petrol station, and a honey factory with a café and shop. Only 2km away is Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, another of the area’s famous volcanic areas featuring brilliantly coloured waters, steam and bubbling mud galore. From Waiotapu, the trail heads along Waikite Valley Rd for 6km to reach Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, a rewarding attraction blending various hot pools with geological sights, camping and a café.


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hat other cycle trail offers you the chance to see boiling mud pools, erupting geysers and colourful crater lakes? Geothermal spots to check out are Te Whakarewarewa Valley, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Paeroa Thermal Bluffs. Experience indigenous culture at a Māori village, including Tāmaki Māori Village and Whakarewarewa,

a living Māori village that relies on geothermal power for everyday living. Here residents provide a tour with a difference – from telling village stories, cooking meals and explaining how they use the landscape for bathing, laundry and predicting the weather, to spinetingling cultural performances. Lakes also feature heavily along the trail, with lakes Rotorua, Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Rotokakahi (Green

Rotorua City

Redwoods Treewalk © Destination Rotorua

Lake), Okaro and Ohakuri all offering a different outlook.

FAMILY FUN

Rainbow Mountain is accessible from the trail, and here you’ll find a steep and technical mountain biking loop trail with incredible views. Head to the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools to experience the ‘living waters’ of the Waikite Valley. A variety of geothermal hot pools and private spas are available. While you’re here, follow the Eco-Trail to the magnificent Te Manaroa Spring.

Visit Skyline Rotorua, one of Rotorua’s most iconic attractions. Here you can take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha to enjoy panoramic views, a café and restaurant and a store dedicated to Jelly Belly jelly beans, among other attractions, before zooming down the hill in a luge, a Rotoruadesigned three-wheeled cart.

second lake • 108km SE of Hamilton on SH 5

Boulevard Motel & LICENSED RESTAURANT

Reservations 0800 348 207

• Central Location • One, Two and Three-bedroom Suites • Spa Pool Suites • Genuine Private Mineral Pools

Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park

Rotorua is home to over 15 beautiful Lakes and Blue Lake TOP 10 is ideally located to take advantage of them! Bike around Lake Tikitapu, before making your way across to Lake Rotokakahi and the Redwood Forest. Finish the day with a dip in the crystal clear waters of Blue Lake or a relaxing hot tub!

0800 808 292 723 Tarawera Road Rotorua

bluelaketop10.co.nz

2019

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • BBQ Area • Children’s Playground • Jumping Pillow • Games Room • WiFi • Bike Storage • Hot Tub

• Heated Swimming Pool • Games Room • Excellent Licensed Restaurant • Free Wireless Internet • 32 TV Channels including Sky Cnr Fenton & Seddon Street, Rotorua Phone: +64 7 348 2074 Email: boulevard@xtra.co.nz

www.boulevardrotorua.co.nz 41

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

Along the trail


Geothermal Hotspots Kuirau Park at sunset © Adrian Hodge / Destination Rotorua LEFT: Mountain biking, Redwoods © Mark Coker / Destination Rotorua

Rotorua is a mountain biking destination par excellence – ranked one of the six pre-eminent Ride Centres in the world by the International Mountain Biking Association.

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sociable Mountain Bike Hub on Waipa State Mill Rd.

otorua’s geothermal hotspots give a fascinating insight into the inner mechanisms of Earth. The smell of hydrogen sulphide in parts of the city is a small price to pay for being in one of the world’s great geothermal zones!

New Zealand’s first year-round gondola-assisted bike park, Skyline Gravity Park takes the grunt out of a 200m vertical rise, giving easy access to a 13km network of world-class, downhill mountain biking. With 12 trails ranging from grade two (easy) to grade five (expert) and an assortment of different terrain, you can soak up the scenery cruising, descend hills effortlessly or consign the trees to a blurred backdrop when you rip into steep, technical terrain. The dedicated gondola cabins can take up to four bikes and riders per journey.

One of the city’s most famous geothermal attractions is the Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia, the living Māori cultural centre just five minutes from central Rotorua. Erupting up to 20 times a day, this geyser reaches heights of more than 30m, displaying Mother Nature’s power with dramatic flair. Te Puia also offers Māori cultural experiences, including carving demonstrations and performances. Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley, which was formed by the Mt Tarawera eruption. The force of the eruption split the mountain in two, creating a 17km rift in the Earth’s crust and seven impressive craters. Explore the colourful lakes, geysers and silica terraces. A short drive out of the city is the colourful landscape of Wai-O-Tapu geothermal park, home to the Lady Knox Geyser and the vivid Champagne Pool.

AD

‘The Redwoods’ in Whakarewarewa Forest is one of the oldest trail networks in the country, with 85 trails spanning 160km in total. Comprising lush native bush, magnificent Californian Redwoods and other exotic trees, the trails here ensure awesome year-round riding. Trail grades range from 1 (easiest) to six (extreme). The most popular access point to The Redwoods is the highly

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Rotorua

• Quiet, friendly atmosphere in a peaceful residential location •s Kitchen Rooms with natural thermal pool available TE NG / Bathroom To CBD AE RD •s Quiet, Non-smoking units friendly atmosphere in s Kitchen / Bathroom To CBD a peaceful residential location •s Kitchen / Bathroom s Quiet, friendly in pool available Rooms with atmosphere natural thermal Marguerita St aNon-smoking peacefulwireless residential s units location •s FREE internet Rooms with natural thermal pool available TE

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MOTEL GIBSON COURT Rotorua MOTEL Lucas Pl Ward Ave Rotorua

Maida Vale St Gibson St

FENTON ST

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FENTON ST

10 Gibson Street, Fenton Park, 10 Gibson Street, ROTORUA 3010 Fenton Park, ROTORUA 3010 07 346 2822 07 346 2822 stay@gibsoncourtmotel.co.nz stay@gibsoncourtmotel.co.nz www.gibsoncourtmotel.co.nz www.gibsoncourtmotel.co.nz

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Thrills & Spills

The city that boasts several claims to fame in the adventure department has an experience for everyone!

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

hether it’s rafting, jet boating, off-roading, luging, soaring through the sky in a giant swing, tumbling downhill in a plastic bubble, tackling high-speed mountain bike trails or parasailing, Rotorua certainly knows how to give you the ultimate rush. Navigate the highest commercially rafted waterfall in New Zealand (7m) on the Kaituna River or skydive over Rotorua’s raw natural beauty – it’s utterly enchanting. Ride a flying fox through ancient treetops on a magical eco-journey, or enjoy the thrill of a bungy jump. Experience the Shweeb Racer, or go flying – literally – at the freefall wind tunnel. For something a little less scary, there’s a treetop walk and horse trekking. The region’s many lakes and rivers are used for a variety of water sports. Adventure-seekers make the most of the awesome rivers that wind their way through the region, with whitewater rafting on the Wairoa, Rangitaikī, Motu, Mohaka, Tongariro and Kaituna rivers. Sledging takes place on the Wairoa River and you can jet boat on both the Waikato River and Lake Rotorua.

Rafting in Rotorua © Destination Rotorua

An eco adventure 1000 years in the making...

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GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

The variety of wildlife in Rotorua impresses both kids and adults alike. Whether you’re checking out our native species, getting close to a lion or watching a live show, there are all kinds of creatures to see and interact with.

Wild at Heart

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itness an outdoor flight show at the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre. You will be spellbound as you watch the New Zealand falcon/ kārearea being trained to hunt and survive in the wild. Flying displays start at noon on Monday, Thursday and Saturday by appointment. At Paradise Valley Springs you can have an up-close and personal

encounter with some exquisite creatures. Trout can be fed in pools among the native bush, while wallabies, llamas, pigs and sheep are also on display. You can even get close to a lion at feeding time! Check out Rainbow Springs Nature Park, home of the world’s largest kiwi hatchery, where you can see kiwi, tuatara and more plus have fun on the Big Splash, a water

ride that showcases New Zealand’s ecological evolution and finishes with an adrenalin rush. At the Agrodome, watch the award-winning sheep show with live sheep-shearing demonstrations, and join the interactive farm tour to hand-feed all sorts of friendly animals. Kiwi © Rainbow Springs

Rotorua’s premier accommodation

Bicycles for guest use

NEW LUXURY SUITES OPENING DECEMBER 2019 44


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xplore the canopy tops of an ancient native forest on a zipline adventure of a lifetime with Rotorua Canopy Tours. During three hours of magic you will be guided through the marvels of Mamaku Forest on a network of ziplines, swing bridges and treetop platforms high in the forest.

Canopy Tours RIGHT: Biscuit at Blue Lake BOTH © Adrian Hodge / Destination Rotorua

Among the Treetops You may well have seen Rotorua’s incredible forests from the seat of your bike, but there are ways to join the birds for an entirely different perspective.

Instead of walking among the giants at Whakarewarewa Forest, a world where towering Californian coastal redwoods reign, you can now see the forest from a different viewpoint – suspended in mid-air. The new Redwoods Treewalk is a walkway made up of 23 suspension bridges up to 12m high among the 117-year-old redwoods. The bird’s-eye view captures the true beauty of the forest like never before. In addition to the day-time treewalk, from dusk onwards the lights are switched on for the enchanting Redwoods Nightlights show that includes 30 lanterns designed by the world-acclaimed sustainability champion, David Trubridge.

Lovable Lakes Taupō may have Australasia’s largest lake, but what the Rotorua region lacks in size it makes up for in numbers, with a staggering 18 freshwater lakes, 14 of which are easily accessible. The lakes are of volcanic origin, filling craters, calderas or valleys blocked by lava flows, and many are ringed by forest and farmland with fantastic walking trails. Lake Rotorua is the largest lake in the region, while the smaller Blue and Green lakes are just as impressive.

Experience pure natural geothermal bathing waters, direct from the magnificent Te Manaroa Spring, the largest single source of boiling water in New Zealand.

Rotorua TOP 10 Holiday Park

The very heart of our culture

0800 223 267 1495 Pukuatua Street, Rotorua

Located in the central city, Rotorua TOP 10 is the perfect place to base yourself and experience all the culture, nature and adventure that this region has to offer. Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Free Mineral Pools • Free Offsite Gym • WiFi • Secure Cycle Storage • Adventure Playground • Modern Facilities • BBQ Areas • TV Room with Sky • Centrally located • Jumping Pillow

648 Waikite Valley Road, Rotorua Phone: +64 7 3331861 Email: info@hotpools.co.nz

www.hotpools.co.nz

• Choice of pools: Settlers Pool, Pergola and Garden pools, or the Sit ‘n Soak pool and tubs (35-40°C) • Private pools • Tog/towel hire • On-site café • Eco-trail leading to the spectacular Te Manaroa Spring • 20-site campground with shower, laundry and kitchen facilities • Close to other attractions in the area – just 6km from Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

Keep an eye and ear out for robins, kererū, tomtit, tūī, bellbirds, whiteheads, kaka and fantails – around 20% of the forest is free from pesky predators and the aim is to return the eco-system to the one Captain James Cook discovered when he first arrived in this country in 1769.


Mt Maunganui beach © Getty Images

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

Before or after your cycle trip, take some time out to breeze down the beautiful Bay of Plenty coast on an exploratory road trip. You’ll journey past rolling surf and beautiful harbours, through small, picturesque fishing villages and over myriad rivers and estuaries.

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egin in Tauranga, the Bay of Plenty’s energetic and sophisticated main centre. It has an eclectic mix of excellent restaurants and cafés as well as museums, galleries, heritage sites and pretty parks and gardens. Jump on board a charter boat and head out to the internationally renowned deep-sea fishing waters. With its surf vibe and relaxed feel, Mt Maunganui has a holiday atmosphere. At the end of Tauranga Harbour, it sits on a

Bay of Plenty Road Trip peninsula with ocean surf at Main Beach on one side and lovely sheltered Pilot Bay on the other. ‘The Mount’ stands proudly above the seaside resort town and a walk around its base or to the summit is a must-do. Reward yourself afterwards by luxuriating in the salt-water hot pools at its base. Down the coast from Mt Maunganui, the less crowded Pāpāmoa Beach is a different holiday experience – tranquillity and the sound of the waves

tumbling onto golden sand. There’s a great range of restaurants and cafés here. From here it’s a short drive to Te Puke, a town that has turned its kiwifruit industry into visitor entertainment – take a tour of an orchard here. Other attractions in the area include golf, the Looking Glass Garden and Experience Comvita, a virtual experience where you can learn about the honey bee and travel to the heart of the hive.

Gravity Park MTB Trails

Zoom Ziplines

Back on the main highway, take the turn-off to Maketū if you’re hankering for one of their famous pies, or head for Whakatāne. Visit New Zealand’s most active volcano – White Island – from here, or visit the museum, an observatory, and the walkway Ngā Tapuwae o Toi for historical Māori sites and gorgeous views. Just south, Ōhope Beach is one of the region’s best, with 11km of unspoilt sand and waves good for swimming and surfing.

Stargazing

Sky Swing

®

Volcanic Hills

OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 9.00 AM Fairy Springs Road Rotorua

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Jelly Belly

Gallery & Store

skyline.co.nz


MOTU Trails

TRAIL INFO

ŌPŌTIKI to MATAWAI

1-3 Days 10-91km

1-3 days

121km

Made up of three wildly different rides, the Motu Trails have something for everyone – from easy rides along the stunning Pacific coast to classic singletrack following a historic byway through bushy backcountry.

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his trio of trails is a wonderful way to get to know this special corner of the North Island, centred on the town of Ōpōtiki. The leisurely Dunes Trail takes in coastal scenery with

opportunities for seaside picnics and swimming. It leads to the Motu Rd, a historic byway venturing inland to the remote settlements of Motu and Matawai. Halfway along the Motu Rd is the start of the Dunes Trail, Motu Trails © Neil Hutton

legendary Pākihi Track, which winds back towards Ōpōtiki on singletrack through fabulous forest and a hidden valley – an absolute New Zealand mountain biking classic. The trail is split into three separate rides that can be completed individually or as a 91km loop. The whole trail can be completed in two-three days or broken up easily into shorter adventures, with local shuttles available for one-way rides. The Dunes Trail can be ridden as an easy there and back up to 20km long, depending on where you turn back. Unless completing the whole loop or overnighting on the trails, the Motu Rd and Pākihi Track are best tackled with transport for drop-offs or pick-ups. A great two-day option for reasonably fit riders is to cycle from Ōpōtiki to Motu (61km) on the first day where you can stay overnight, and then head back up the Motu Rd before riding down the Pākihi Track back to Ōpōtiki (61km).

SEE P 53 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE

The Motu Trails also provide an important link for road tourers heading through Tairāwhiti Gisborne via the tranquil Rere Falls Trail.

TRAIL GRADES: DUNES TRAIL GRADE 2 (EASY) MOTU RD TRAIL GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) PĀKIHI TRACK GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Limited outside of Ōpōtiki, very patchy on the Motu Rd and nonexistent on the Pākihi Track. REFRESHMENTS: Dunes Trail riders will readily find refreshments in Ōpōtiki and a shop midway along the trail. Inland, there’s a shop in Matawai. Motu Rd and Pākihi Track riders should be self-sufficient and carry plenty of water and food. TYPE OF BIKE: Hybrid or touring bikes with knobbly tyres are fine for the Dunes Trail, but a mountain bike is recommended on the rougher Motu and Pākihi trails. E-bikes are welcome, but battery capacity may be an issue on the Motu Rd. You must be able to lift/carry the e-bike on the Pākihi Track. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

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GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

Motu Trails © Mead Norton Photography


Bay of Plenty 2 Whakatāne

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Dunes Trail

35 Tirohanga

© AA Traveller 2019

JACKSON ROAD End of Dunes Trail

ŌPŌTIKI

Waiaua ka Ri ver

W a ioe

Otara Road

2

e ang R ra uma k u a R

Motu Road

Otara River

Motu Road Trail

Hukutaia Domain Meremere Hill

Pākihi Track

Takaputahi Road

Pākihi Road Toatoa

Pākihi Road end Boulders Campsite

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

2

Papamoa Hill (Toatoa) Pākihi Track

Te Waiti Road

Whitikau

Pākihi Stream bridge

Te Waiti Hut

Pākihi Hut

PĀKIHI TRACK / MOTU ROAD JUNCTION Motu Road

Waioeka River

Onukuroa Hill

Motu

MAP LEGEND open section

café/restaurant

start / finish point

toilets

point of interest

camping

i-SITE Visitor Centre

shelter

hill / mountain

Motu River Motu Falls

Motu Falls Road

Motu Road

hut accommodation

bridge

state highway

town

highway section

2

to Ōpōtiki

MATAWAI

Rere Falls Trail

Gisborne

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ōpōtiki 800m 600m 400m

Jackson Rd 20km Return

Jackson Rd

DUNES TRAIL

Toatoa 67km

Pākihi Track Junction

Motu Matawai

Motu Rd

Ōpōtiki 44km

MOTU ROAD TRAIL

PĀKIHI TRACK

200m 0m

look out for... Gateway to the East Cape Ōpōtiki sits at the confluence of two rivers and several long, safe, sandy beaches are nearby. Steep hills, fast rivers and dramatic coastlines surround the town, ripe for adventure and exploration. Down the coast from the town a collection of bays provide good

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Highlights of the trail snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. Just 7km out of Ōpōtiki is the Hukutaia Domain, the home of a 2000-year-old pūriri tree known as Taketakerau. To reach it, there’s a brilliant short walk in a majestic pocket of forest. You can’t ride in the domain, but it’s a nice rural on-road ride to get there.

• Ocean, forest and mountain panoramas • Challenging backcountry singletrack • Māori and early settler history • Swims and picnics on pretty beaches • Fun, family riding on the Dunes Trail • Authentic heartland hospitality • Photogenic Māori pou (markers) • Virgin forest and unique coastal habitats

Motu River © Mead Norton Photography


DUNES TRAIL, 20KM RETURN

This easy trail is great for riders of all ages and abilities with a mostly wide, smooth surface and a total elevation change of only 100m along its entire length (200m when ridden both ways). It starts at the graceful Pākōwhai ki Otutaopuku suspension bridge in Ōpōtiki’s Memorial Park Reserve. From here it undulates gently along for 10km along the sand dunes east of town, with epic ocean and East Cape views and plenty of opportunities for picnicking on empty beaches or going for a dip. Jackson Rd, at the eastern end of the trail, marks the start of the Motu Rd Trail, although riders may wish to turn back at the 9km mark as the final roadside kilometre is largely unremarkable.

MOTU RD TRAIL, 67KM

PĀKIHI TRACK, 44KM

Originally a pack track cut in the early 1900s, the Pākihi Track is now a wonderful 20km-long wilderness trail shared by bikers, runners and walkers. The advanced track is strictly mountain bike territory and should only be attempted by experienced riders. Although not particularly technical,

Pākihi Track © www.studiozag.com

caution is advised – there are many drop-offs beside the track, while gravel, rocks and tree debris on the track can escalate the level of difficulty. The upper track also gets slippery after wet weather. For the safety of other users, it’s a one-way track for cyclists — do not ride up the track from the Pākihi Rd. The first 11km section twists and turns through magical forest dominated by tawa, tōtara, rimu and rewarewa, before reaching the Pākihi Hut around the halfway point. This is a great place to stop for lunch before heading onward. The stunning lower section starts by crossing Pākihi Stream via an impressive 35m suspension bridge, and then follows it all the way to the road end. Along the way keep an eye out for native birds including the kererū (wood pigeon),

tūī and fantails. If you are lucky, you may even see a kārearea (New Zealand falcon) or North Island robin. The cheeky North Island weka may also be heard calling out. At the car park, riders can rest a while at the massive picnic table built by trail volunteers from an old bridge. The last leg back to Ōpōtiki involves 9km on gravel road beside the river, followed by 10km on a country road and 4km along the Ōtara stopbank trail back into town. Note that the Rere Falls Trail (a 103km Heartland Ride) links Matawai with Tairāwhiti Gisborne via quiet, country roads and highway. It is highly recommended that you take a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) when cycling the Pākihi Track. PLBs can be hired for $15 per day from Ōpōtiki and Gisborne i-SITEs.

riding the trail

Extend your journey to our untouched paradise

whakatane.com

Whakatane.nz

Ōhope Harbourside Trail 49

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

The Motu Rd is best suited to fit riders who aren’t afraid of hills. Riding in the direction from Jackson Rd (near the coast) to the settlement of Motu, this route dishes up 1600m of climbing. It can be ridden in the other direction, of course, with the end-point of Matawai already 500m above sea level so there’s more downhill than up. Either way, it’s a pretty big effort that shouldn’t be underestimated. From Jackson Rd, the trail follows a quiet country road, mostly surfaced in gravel, up and over a highpoint of 750m+ above sea level. Traffic is generally very light but riders should always be on the lookout for

cars and the occasional logging truck, especially around corners. Motu Rd formed part of the original coach road between the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Tairāwhiti Gisborne. You are riding through lush farmland and the remote bush country of the Raukumara Ranges. It’s 24km – including a solid 6km climb up Meremere Hill – to the pint-sized settlement of Toatoa where there’s bike-friendly farmstay accommodation. Winding up through magnificent forest for another 14km riders reach the Pākihi Track junction, where the 91km-loop riders leave the Motu Rd. From there the road climbs steadily, with some wellearned views across ridges way back to the coast and Whale Island/Moutohorā, before a satisfyingly long downhill into the pretty Motu Valley. There’s welcoming accommodation here at the Community House and the scenic Motu Falls are a worthy detour 5km away. A further 14km away on a quiet, slightly uphill, sealed road is Matawai, the inland end of this ride, and a popular spot for shuttle drop-offs and pick-ups.


Along the trail Sublime beaches, lush forest and islands on the horizon... GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

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arm and welcoming Whakatāne is an ideal hub for discovering the many cycling and outdoor experiences across the eastern Bay of Plenty and Eastland. Perennially sunny, the township is a short drive from the freedom of the Motu Trails and has a range of accommodation and dining options, but that’s just the start.

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The paved, flat trail stretching 4km beside Whakatāne’s riverbank is a popular out-and-back cycle, walk or run featuring saltmarsh, varied birdlife, a busy wharf and the spectacular Whakatāne river heads. You’ll also find excellent, easy on-road cycling in Ōhope, with magical views of the Pacific Ocean and Ōhiwa Harbour. The historic Burma Rd cycle path links Ōhope with Whakatāne and includes the option of a 10km loop ride. One of the region’s first connections and now closed to motor traffic, Burma Rd twists through forest that is home to

Sunrise © Tourism Eastland

wild kiwi, robin and other birdlife. South of Whakatāne, family-friendly Onepū Mountain Bike Park is only 20 minutes away, while the epic adventure of Whirinaki/Moerangi track is a very achievable drive. Beyond the bike, Ngā Tapuwae o Toi walking trail is a journey through forest and along sublime beaches, passing important pā sites. Shorter walks include the climb to Tauwhare Pā which overlooks Ōhiwa Harbour, and the flat, Whakatāne Gardens. Almost wherever you go along the Whakatāne-Ōpōtiki coast, you’ll see

White Island/Whakaari and Whale Island/Moutohorā on the horizon. Both islands make for spectacular guided trips, one volcanically dramatic, the other a forested bird-paradise. According to tradition, the region was settled over 1000 years ago. Te Koputu a te Whanga a Toi Whakatāne Library & Exhibition Centre takes you on a voyage of discovery. Mataatua Wharenui, ‘The house that came home,’ is an incredible encounter, while NATIV ConnectioNZ shares stories and tastes of the area.


East Cape Lighthouse INSET: Vineyard BOTH © Tourism Eastland

Chardonnay Capital

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his is a real heartland corner of New Zealand, where community ties are strong and visitors are welcome, and a love of the ocean is shared by all. Tractors on the beach, horseback riding and fresh kaimoana for dinner are the scenes of daily life here.

Enjoy Eastland’s spectacular and wild surf beaches. Head to Wainui Beach and The Pipe for top waves. Gisborne is where Captain Cook made his first landfall in 1769. Follow the Gisborne Historical Walk to see where he came to shore. Explore the tranquil walking tracks through the Hackfalls Arboretum

and Eastwoodhill Arboretum. Hackfalls is spectacular in autumn when copper leaves from its vast oak trees flutter to the forest floor. Eastwoodhill, New Zealand’s national arboretum, has a massive collection of northern hemisphere trees over its ambling 131ha.

Ōpotiki

Ōhope Beach

45km E of Whakatāne on SH 2

6km E of Whakatāne

Eastland Pacific Motor Lodge OPOTIKI • NEW ZEALAND

WELCOME • Large units suitable for meetings or training sessions - up to 14 people • 10 units with spa baths, 4 x 2-brm units, 6 x 1-brm, 8 studio units • Wheelchair access units • Sky TV Guest Select • Guest laundry • Continental and cooked breakfasts • Wireless internet access • Warm welcome & friendly service • Tariff: Studio $135, 1-brm $155, 2-brm $175. Cnr Bridge & St John Sts, Opotiki Ph: 07 315 5524 Fax: 07 315 5504 Email: eastlandopotiki@xtra.co.nz www.eastlandpacific.co.nz Reservations: 0800 103 003 Resident Hosts: Lyn & Gary Savage

Magnolia Court Motel

Ohope Beach Resort Relax in Comfort

Opotiki • Penthouse & 2-brm self-serviced luxury apartments with stunning ocean and harbour views • 3 pools, spa pools, sauna, gymnasium, games room and tennis court. Underground car parking, internet access. Sky TV.

PERFECT FOR CYCLISTS

Tariff: $225-$445 (2p) extra person $25 307 Harbour Rd, Ohope P: +64 7 312 4120 E: info@ohopebeachresort.co.nz

www.ohopebeachresort.co.nz

Res: 0800 464 673

Cnr Bridge & Nelson Sts, Opotiki • Ph: +64 7 315 8490 E: magnolia.crt.motel@xtra.co.nz www.magnoliacourtmotel.co.nz

Reservations: 0800 55 62 46

• 13 spacious ground-floor studios, 1 & 2-brm units with queen-size beds • Continental breakfast • Near shops/restaurants, opposite garden & park • Serviced daily • Ample off-street parking for boats, trailers, buses • WiFi access • Tariff: $125-$170 (2 persons), extra $20 • Spacious grounds allows room for cycles & vehicles • Garaging for safe cycle storage • Separate accommodation blocks • Caters for privacy and relaxation

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GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

Eastland: a tranquil paradise

Known as the chardonnay capital of New Zealand, sunny Gisborne is the nation’s third biggest wine region. There are fun, informative tours around the vineyards. If you are visiting in October, don’t miss the annual Food and Wine Festival and the chance to rub shoulders with local foodies and winemakers. Tickets sell out fast so be sure to book in advance.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Take a trip to White Island/Whakaari

Get up close to hissing fumaroles, sizzling sulphur and steaming craters on a visit to White Island/Whakaari. With a weird and wonderful landscape that has to be seen to be believed, this is one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes that has been bubbling away for nearly 200,000 years.

Opotiki Holiday Park

39 Potts Ave, Opotiki Phone: +64 7 315 6050 Email: opotiki.holidays @xtra.co.nz

Accommodation: Relax in a rural setting only 200m walk to Opotiki town centre. Start of the Motu Trail on our doorstep, or we can arrange shuttle services. Secure lock-up for bikes and group rates available. Choice of self-contained units, kitchen cabins, tent sites & motel units.

Features: Communal kitchen, metered showers, laundry, TV lounge, Freeview TV, Zenbu WiFi, swimming pool, playground and dump station. Tariff: 2 persons $50-$120, sites from $20, seasonal rates may apply. Visa, Mastercard, EFTPOS.

www.opotikiholidaypark.co.nz

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aking a journey to this incredible natural wonder is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guided tours are the only way to get there, either via an 80-minute boat ride from Whakatāne or a much quicker helicopter ride. Once you get there, it’s a stunning sight: sulphur creates vivid colours in simmering lakes and collections of crusty crystals; mini geysers spurt, steam hisses and there’s a real sense of adventure as you explore this unique piece of geology. Soak up the tour guide’s tales of the island’s history as you explore, including the stories of the miners who had the dangerous job of extracting the sulphur.

A crater lake has been intermittently present over the site of recent activity: this changes colour depending on the weather and the mood of the mountain, from milky grey to vivid green or azure blue. One thing is for sure, though – you’ll want to take photographs so don’t forget your camera. Relics from an ill-fated sulphur factory can also still be found on the island, with rusted metal telling the sad story of 11 lives lost in a 1914 eruption. While today’s obligatory hard hats and gas masks will also make you feel like an intrepid explorer, the walk to the crater is quick and easy – no mountain climbing required.

Gisborne

after Colonial Secretary William Gisborne • 215km NE of Napier on SH 2

Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp SH 35, Tirohanga Beach, Opotiki Ph/Fax: +64 7 315 7942 Email: tmcamp@xtra.co.nz

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Motu Trails, Gisborne? Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp: the right place to start your Motu Trail Adventure. We have a variety of accommodation & are situated on the Dune Trail to assist you in making this ride something to remember. Don’t rush home; enjoy our beautiful beach & see what Opotiki has to offer. One of the trail’s OFFICIAL PARTNERS. Tariff: from $18 - $100. Seasonal rates apply www.tirohangabeachmotorcamp.co.nz

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Base your trip from Heritage Collection Portside Hotel, Gisborne. On the water’s edge in the heart of Gisborne, studio and suites accommodation. 2 Reads Quay, Gisborne

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

HHM629PHG 06/19

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

Group at fumarole © White Island Tours


MATAWAI to GISBORNE

RERE FALLS Trail

1-3 days

RIGHT: Morning mist over Eastwoodhill Arboretum © Tourism Eastland

2

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his trail is a richly rewarding cycle link from the Motu Trails in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, through to the sunny city of Gisborne.

rider can ride the whole way in a day, and head onto Motu Trails and Ōpōtiki on a second day. For more relaxed riding, split the distance into several days, pedal

Eastwoodhill to Gisborne (35km, all on-sealed road), or simply amble between the arboretum, falls and rockslide.

Meandering along mostly quiet country roads, the trail undulates through hill country to the fertile flats of Tairāwhiti (or vice versa). Highlights include Eastwoodhill Arboretum, stunning Rere Falls and Rere Rockslide, and the wineries around Gisborne.

HEARTLAND RIDE • RERE FALLS TRAIL

Solid hill climbs and a mix of gravel and sealed roads make Rere Falls Trail a comfortable ride for those who want to experience the special sights and scenery of one of New Zealand’s most remote regions.

103km

The Gisborne district has warm summers and mild winters, which means the Rere Falls Trail can be ridden all year round. Rere Falls Trail can be tailored to suit different fitness levels. A fit

Motu Trails

2

MATAWAI

MAP LEGEND

Te Wera Rd

2

open section

town

highway section

café/restaurant

start / finish point

toilets

point of interest

car park

i-SITE Visitor Centre

accommodation

2

state highway

Tahora Rd Rere Rockslide Rere Falls

Waipaoa River Eastwoodhill Arboretum Ngatapa Wharekopae Rd

2

Tiniroto Rd

GISBORNE 2

© AA Traveller 2019

35

Poverty Bay

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 1000m

Matawai

Rere Falls 50km

13km

Eastwoodhill Arboretum 36km

Gisborne

500m

0m

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riding the trail The trail can be ridden in either direction – though you’ll get much more downhill by starting from the historic village of Matawai (linking to the Motu Trails) and ending your ride in Gisborne.

HEARTLAND RIDE • RERE FALLS TRAIL

From Matawai, you have 7km riding on SH 2 before turning off onto a quiet, rolling country road, peaking at an altitude of 600m. After another 7km, the road becomes gravel for the next 27km and features some solid climbs. The spectacular scenery is a mix of high-country farms, forested reserves and peaks. The sealed road resumes soon before you reach Rere Rockslide and Rere Falls. A little further, Eastwoodhill, the National Arboretum of New Zealand, has a stunning display of exotic and native trees. Walking tracks offer an opportunity to see many rare and unique species; accommodation is available. The trail carries on down to the fertile Tairāwhiti plains, home to some of Gisborne’s finest wineries. From there it’s easy going on flat roads to central Gisborne and stunning beaches. Follow the Pacific Coast south to reach Hawke’s Bay and the Hawke’s Bay Trails.

Along the trail

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he Rere Falls Trail starts (or ends) at the historic village of Matawai – a great place to stock up on any supplies you may need for your journey. As you wind your way along this trail through wild landscapes, stunning views and past the Rere Rockslide, Rere Falls and the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, you enter one of New Zealand’s biggest grape-growing regions, mostly dedicated to producing the acclaimed chardonnay. Gisborne, however, is by no means a one-grape wonder and also produces other quality white varieties such as gewürztraminer, viognier and pinot gris. Red grapes of note include merlot and malbec. Gisborne is a prosperous and sunny centre with a port, unspoilt beaches,

a Mediterranean-style climate and city sophistication. Culture is strong and proud in this town where the Māori language is widely spoken and the local polytechnic has the country’s leading contemporary Māori art course. Tairāwhiti Museum & Art Gallery houses a historic collection and showcases art by local, national and international artists. The annual Rhythm & Vines three-day New Year festival injects an entirely different type of culture into the city. Take a tasting-tour of the wineries and complete the day by sampling local seafood at a waterfront restaurant. Some of the best surf beaches in the country surround Gisborne, in particular Wainui Beach, which has consistent top-quality waves.

COOK’S FIRST LANDFALL The Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve on Kaitī Beach Rd in Gisborne marks the place where James Cook first set foot on New Zealand soil. His statue can be found at the end of Waikanae Park and on Kaitī Hill, which is well worth the climb for the incredible views alone.

TRAIL INFO

1-3 Days 103km

TRAIL GRADE: MATAWAI TO GISBORNE GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Cycling by Rere Falls © Mead Norton Photography TOP: Captain James Cook Memorial at Gisborne © Tourism Eastland

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is good around Gisborne and the plains, but patchy or nonexistent inland.

look out for... Rere Rockslide This natural slide is a 60m tract of slick rock, made slippery by the swift, shallow water flowing over it. Throw yourself onto your boogie-board or something

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BE PREPARED: Always pack warm and weatherproof clothing as weather conditions can be unpredictable in the inland parts of the ride. You will be riding between mountainous conditions and a warm coastal breeze. There is accommodation at several key points. It is recommended that you arrange your overnight stays prior to departure.

inflatable at the top of the slide and hang on for a wet and wild ride. You’ll find it on Wharekōpae Rd heading towards Eastwoodhill Arboretum from Matawai. There’s a great swimming hole and picnic

area too. Just don’t mistake the nearby Rere Falls for the rockslide – the falls are better conquered via your camera! NB: you must be able to swim or you could get into difficulty here.

DRINKING WATER: There are limited services on the trail, so you are advised to carry sufficient water and food for the duration of your ride. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


THE TIMBER Trail

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

TRAIL INFO 2 Days 85km

© Studio Zag

TRAIL GRADES:

SEE P 64 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE

PUREORA to ŌNGARUE 2 days

85km

Located in the heart of the North Island, Pureora Forest Park is a magical mix of exotic, regenerating and precious virgin forest saved by environmentalists in the 1970s.

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nce the realm of hardcore trampers and hunters, this deep wilderness can now be explored on an 85km trail that reveals not only its awe-inspiring beauty but also the story of how this special place has changed over the ages.

The Timber Trail follows the path of old logging roads and tramlines, linked with purpose-built singletrack and a series of thrilling suspension bridges. It runs between the tiny settlements of Pureora and Ōngarue, with even smaller Piropiro around

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Huge, ancient trees such as rimu • Eight spectacular suspension bridges, three more than 100m long • Mt Pureora’s mysterious Cloud Forest • Curious logging relics, including the world’s only bikeable railway spiral

the halfway mark. Limited road access, remoteness and memorable accommodation in the middle make a two-day, one-way ride the most rewarding approach, starting in the north at Pureora. Divided into two sections, the trail is best ridden in two days in the order presented on the next page. This makes the most of the topography and efficient transport options, while – most importantly – allowing plenty of time to see the sights and soak up the deep, green atmosphere. The overnight stay at Piropiro will almost certainly prove a highlight, too. The trail passes through a subalpine environment with a highpoint of 971m. Check the forecast and track conditions before you go, and take warm clothes and wet-weather gear regardless of the forecast.

Weekend ride • On-track accommodation from camping to a luxury lodge • Delightful birdlife including the kākā, tūī and North Island robin • Fun, flowing riding with some trickier bits to test your mettle • Excellent info panels along the trail

The Timber Trail is the perfect weekend experience, especially since this hidden gem is doable from practically any North Island town or city on a tank of gas.

PUREORA TO PIROPIRO – GRADE 2-3 (EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) PIROPIRO TO ŌNGARUE – GRADE 2-3 (EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE & SAFETY: Mobile phone coverage is patchy and cannot be relied upon. Service is good near the Mt Pureora summit; signage along the trail indicates other hot spots. Trail lodges also have WiFi. Riders are also encouraged to carry a personal locator beacon, first aid kit; and notify someone of estimated arrival times. DRINKING WATER: Minimal water stops along the trail, which includes drinking water from a stream. Although the water is clean you may choose to carry water purification tablets. TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is essential for the remoteness and terrain. Riders should ideally have basic mechanical skills and carry a tool kit. E-mountain bikes with sufficient battery capacity are also suitable, however, riders should be fit enough to complete the ride in the event of a technical hitch. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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to Te Kuiti

30

MAP LEGEND

30

30 PUREORA

Benneydale

Link Road old bulldozer

Pa Harakeke

open section optional route walking track train ride

ok

ak

ng

Ma

start / finish point

aS

tae

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m

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walking track Mt Pureora 1165m

point of interest bridge hill / mountain

r

ive

eR

ru nga

Ongarue Stream Road

O

Harrisons Creek

café/restaurant

camping

PIROPIRO

1

Maramataha Bridge

state highway

1952 tramway terminus

u uh Ha

No. 10 Camp to Te Kuiti

4 ONGARUE

Bennett Road Car Park

to Taumarunui

Mangatukutuku Bridge

1000m 800m 600m

No. 11 Camp

Ongarue Spiral Ngakonui-Ongarue Road

riding the trail Pureora

First Shelter

8.5km

© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ōngarue

Piropiro 31.5km

45km

400m 200m 0m

PUREORA TO PIROPIRO, 40KM The trail starts at the Department of Conservation campsite and car park, well signposted from SH 30. It winds its way through the bird-filled, virgin forest of Pikiariki Ecological Area. Not far from the start, a short detour leads to a 1920s Caterpillar crawler tractor, long-since abandoned in the bush and now preserved as a rather peculiar memorial to the area’s logging past. After passing through an open area of regenerating native and exotic trees, it’s a gradual climb up the flanks of Mt Pureora into the ethereal Cloud Forest with its verdant moss, gnarled trees and wafting mist. A ‘whoop!’ or two is well deserved at the trail’s highpoint, 971m above sea level. It’s predominantly downhill for the rest of the day as the trail winds down the southern side of

56

ng

Mystery Creek Triangle

Ra

car park

Ongarue-Waimiha Road accommodation

e

shelter

ng ar oa

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

toilets

Mt Pureora and across the western flanks of the Hauhungaroa Ranges. There is the occasional lookout on the descent. Around the 22km mark is the first of the trail’s amazing suspension bridges, the 115m one over Bog Inn Creek. This is quickly followed by another biggie, the 109m-long span over Orauaka Stream. The trail continues downhill to Piropiro Flats where there’s road/shuttle access and accommodation – a DOC campsite, glamping, the Timber Trail Lodge, and Black Fern Lodge a few kilometres away. In the summer months, Piropiro has a particularly special atmosphere as a stream of bikers, walkers and hunters bring this usually quiet area to life.

PIROPIRO TO ŌNGARUE, 45KM The trail heads off on a logging road before re-entering native forest

on a flowing section of mostly uphill singletrack. Around 5km in (at the trail’s 44km mark), the Maramataha Suspension Bridge swings into view. At 141m long and 53m high it’s not only an icon of the entire New Zealand Cycle Trail, but also a thrilling experience with its wobbly crossing over a tumbling gorge. The bridge signals the start of the last major climb – the steady ascent to Ōngarue Tramway terminus. From here the trail follows the old tramway in a generally downhill direction, with the occasional short uphill. In places, the tramway cuts through sheer rock faces shrouded in thick native bush, seldom reached by the sun’s rays. And that means mud, so be prepared for the odd spatter on this section. Scattered along the way you’ll see remnants of the area’s logging past, and cross more bridges including the handsome 89m-long Mangatukutuku Suspension Bridge – a great spot for a

picnic. Around 10km from the end is the Ōngarue Spiral. The finer points of this engineering marvel are explained in the interpretation panel alongside, but suffice to say that it’s pretty loopy with the bonus of a spooky old tunnel. It is also truly unique, being the only bikeable railway spiral in the world. The trail continues to Ōngarue, mostly downhill except for a couple of short pinches along the final section through felled forestry blocks and farmland. The official end of the trail is located in the middle of Ōngarue township. At around the 82km mark you will pass Bennetts Rd car park where you can be collected by prearranged shuttle. The official end of the trail is 3km further away in Ōngarue township where you can get a selfie with the official signage; shuttles can also collect you from here. Fit riders can cycle an extra 26km to Taumarunui via the Ōngarue Back Rd, the undulating and farmy Timber Trail Connection Heartland Ride that forms part of the world-famous Tour Aotearoa. This is a pleasant and possibly essential option for those who haven’t arranged shuttle collection back to town.


look out for... Maramataha suspension bridge: New Zealand’s longest suspension bridge has already become an iconic part of the

© Studio Zag

Timber Trail. A mind-boggling 53m above the Maramataha River, the 141m-long structure is one of eight large suspension bridges among the 35 bridges on the trail.

kahikatea. The reserve takes in 78,000ha of virtually uninhabited land within South Waikato and Waitomo. Take a guided tour to learn more. Birdlife is an integral part of the Timber Trail experience. New Zealand natives abound including bellbird, tūī, kaka (bush parrot), kererū (pigeon), kākāriki (parakeet) and even the rare kārearea (NZ falcon). Guests at Blackfern Lodge may see/hear rare blue ducks, kōkako and kiwi.

Waitomo Lodge For official track status and latest details check

timbertrail.co.nz

For official track status and latest details check

mountainstosea.nz Mountains Mountains to Sea to Ara Sea Nga Tuhono

Te Kuiti

79km S of Hamilton Cnr Carroll & King Sts, SH 3, Te Kuiti Phone: +64 7 878 3448 Email: info@moteltekuiti.co.nz • A short walk from the town centre and a short drive from the world-famous Waitomo Caves. • 12 modern spacious studio and 1-bedroom units. • 8 with kitchens, 4 with tea/ coffee-making facilities. • FREE WIFI. Sky Guest Select 50+ channels. • Tariff: $105-$155, extra $20pp.

www.moteltekuiti.co.nz • Hosts: Mike & Therese

Waitomo District’s highest Qualmarkrated motel. Opened March 2008. 14 studio units, 6 x 1‑bedroom units. Super king‑size beds in all units. Air‑conditioned units available. Spa bath units available. 15min drive to Waitomo Caves attractions. Walk across the road to award‑winning Bosco Café for great food.

62 Te Kumi Road, Te Kuiti Ph: +64 7 878 0003 Fax: +64 7 878 8469 • Email: info@waitomo‑lodge.co.nz www.waitomo‑lodge.co.nz

Waitomo District’s highest Qualmark-rated motel 57

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

T

he Timber Trail is a true wilderness experience winding through ancient podocarp forest as well as regenerating forest in the Pureora Forest Park. The reserve was established in 1979 due to pressure from conservationists alarmed that native species logging was happening in the area. The government stepped in to protect the precious remnants of indigenous forest featuring rimu, tōtara, miro, mataī and


JOURNEYS

Walking Mt Taranaki © Venture Taranaki

OFF THE BIKE

Take a trip to Taranaki

From here, follow the Forgotten World Highway – New Zealand’s oldest touring route – to Stratford. Over 30 points of interest line the route, and it’s worth taking a day or two to explore the 155km journey as it saddles and passes through the Tangarakau Gorge. A highlight is Whangamomona – a characterfilled settlement that declared itself a republic in 1989 – passports can be obtained from the hotel.

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

The heart of Taranaki, Stratford is unique in its Shakespearean theme – its glockenspiel clock tower plays scenes from the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet daily. Explore the Taranaki Pioneer Village while you’re here.

Waitomo Caves 72km S of Hamilton

FREEPHONE RESERVATION 0800 877 8131

CARMEL FARMSTAYS & TOURS

W cowatch the s mi bein lke g d

Take a journey of discovery and explore New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail on the Forgotten World Highway, get to know Taranaki’s seaside city of New Plymouth and follow the Surf Highway alongside a beautiful coast.

A

fter your cycling adventure on the Timber Trail, head for Taumarunui to begin your road trip. Before you go though, take a day or two to explore this friendly town – there’s self-drive rail cart tours, canoe trips on the Whanganui River and alpacas and a lavender farm to visit.

From Stratford it’s just a 20km drive north to Inglewood and the unbridled joy of the Fun Ho! National Toy Museum, before a further 18km north leads you to New Plymouth. This seaside city offers an eclectic mix of culture, contemporary style and hospitality as it spreads along the coast and back towards the mighty Mt Taranaki – the heart of the region. If you decide to take a walk on this mythical mountain, be prepared for rapidly changing weather. The city’s highlights including the Coastal Walkway, the Puke Ariki museum, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre and some of the city’s impressive gardens. Surf Highway 45 traces Taranaki’s coastline from New Plymouth to Hāwera passing dozens of surf breaks, but this coast is home to more than just the surf – there are cosy cafés, art and craft studios and more in handily located towns along the route including Ōakura, Ōkato, Ōpunake and Manaia.

Hāwera

71km SE of New Plymouth on SH 3 • LUXURY rural accommodation on large sheep and cattle station • Short distance to WAITOMO activities • 18-hole golf course and tennis courts adjacent to property • Enjoy the unique lifestyle of a large rural dairy farm and view milkings in our modern rotary shed • Hosts: Leo & Barbara Anselmi • Tariff: $100-$150 (includes continental breakfast)

• Delicious evening meal $40 (popular with our guests) • A fter a short distance to WAITOMO activities: On Main Highway (State High 3) CLOSE TO TIMBER TRAIL WAITOMO CAVES

C ARM EL

Farmstays & Tours Golf Course

PIOPIO

To Otorohanga

HONGATIKI TE KUITI To R otoru a&T PUKERIMA RD aupo

To New Plymouth

To Taumarunui

Waitomo District, SH 3, South of Te Kuiti P/F: +64 7 877 8130 • E: carmelfarms@xtra

www.carmelfarms.co.nz

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With nine tourism awards to its credit, Tawhiti is now considered one of New Zealand’s most innovative historical presentations. Its lifesize figures, smaller scale dioramas and vast collection of artifacts is simply like no other.

•Opening hours on

401 Ohangai Rd, Hawera. Phone +64 6 278 6837 or website Email: info@tawhitimuseum.co.nz •Cafe on site Museum website: www.tawhitimuseum.co.nz Traders & Whalers website: www.tradersandwhalers.co.nz


GREAT RIDE • GREAT LAKE TRAIL

WAIHAHA to WHAKAIPO BAY 1-3 days

T

71km

Winding around the northwestern corner of New Zealand’s largest lake, this intermediate, all-seasons trail features lush forest and wetlands, waterfalls, beaches, a volcanic gorge and ever-changing views from elevated lookouts.

his trail threads around the edge of Lake Taupō – the massive crater formed through one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history. It’s a landscape of spectacular gorges and waterfalls, lush native forest and strange rock gardens. Headlands and outcrops afford amazing

views over the lake and Tongariro National Park’s volcanoes, while beautiful bays offer picture-perfect picnics and swimming. The trail is divided into three sections, all easily accessible from the pretty lakeside settlement of Kinloch, a short drive from Taupō.

look out for...

• Epic views of Lake Taupō and Tongariro National Park

The westernmost section, Waihaha, requires both a shuttle drop-off and boat pick-up. The other two sections – the Kawakawa and W2K – can be combined for a 33km end-to-end ride, with the option of adding in the awesome 9.5km Headland Loop. Kinloch is the main transport hub for adventures on the trail. Transport logistics may seem tricky but do not be deterred. This trail offers some spectacular riding and is well worth the effort and outlay.

Lake Taupō Beautiful, vast Lake Taupō:

Highlights of the trail • Spectacular gorges, ravines and tumbling waterfalls

Ride all three over two or three days or pick individual rides according to your fitness, experience and available time. Shuttles and a boat taxi can help you piece it together. Full trail riders commonly ride it from west to east.

• Native forest, wetlands and strange rock gardens • Swimming and picnic spots • Water taxi ride on the big blue lake

• Flowing singletrack on freedraining, all-seasons terrain

• Pretty Kinloch’s cafés and park

• Beautiful, tranquil bays

• Fun family options

• Colourful, all-seasons riding

adventure playground, troutfishing utopia and the largest lake in Australasia. It’s a fantastic spot for all types of fun on the water. Kayak, go on a scenic cruise, visit the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine

Bay or try parasailing.

IMAGE: Great Lake Trail © Cam Mackenzie Photography

TRAIL INFO 2-3 Days 71km

TRAIL GRADES: WAIHAHA SECTION GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) KAWAKAWA SECTION GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) W2K SECTION GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good coverage close to Kinloch on the W2K and Headland Loop; but be prepared for areas of no coverage at times. DRINKING WATER: Be selfsufficient and carry enough drinking water for the entire trip. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is recommended. E-bikes are also welcomed. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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WHANGAMATA ROAD CAR PARK

1

pu Roa

K2K Track KINLOCH

TAUPO

ay

Te Poroporo Point

5 1

ua

eha

ip o B

Headland Loop

aka

ng

Wh

ha

Acacia Bay

ruru

Ba

a ta am W

Bay

WHAKAIPO BAY

y

KAWAKAWA BAY

WAIHORA BAY Waihaha Track

Nukuhau

W2K Track

d

Western Bay Road

Ngangautu 794m

Airport

Ta p

Puketa

32

Orakau (Chinamans) Track

Waikato River

Whangamata Road

Lake Taupo (Taupo-nui-a-Tia)

WAIHAHA BRIDGE

GREAT RIDE • GREAT LAKE TRAIL

MAP LEGEND

Waihaha Waihaha River

riding the trail Waihaha Bridge

open section

hill / mountain

camping

boat / water taxi route

café/restaurant

accommodation

start / finish point

toilets

bridge

car park

1

state highway

1

© AA Traveller 2019

greatlaketrail.com for more Trail Detail... Waihora Bay

30km

Whangamata Rd car park 9.8km

Kawakawa Bay 9.2km

Kinloch

Whakaipo Bay 13-22.5km

600m 400m

Waihaha Section

0m

WAIHAHA The start of the Waihaha section is a 40min drive from Kinloch at the Waihaha River car park off SH 32. It ends at remote Waihora Bay, requiring a water taxi to rejoin the Great Lake Trail at Kawakawa Bay or return to Kinloch. If you have your own transport, the best way to tackle this section is to park in Kinloch and organise for a shuttle to drop you off at the track start; the boat taxi will then drop you off back at Kinloch. Riders without transport should ask a local bike tour operator to sort their shuttle and the boat. Whatever you do, don’t let the logistics deter you – this is considered by many riders to be the best day out on the trails. Seriously fit and eager riders can make the logistics easier by self-driving and riding the trail as a 60km return trip. Another option is to cut the ride short after 13km by cycling up a farm track (Waihaha Rd) back to Western Bays Rd. The first half of this ride follows the Waihaha River high above a pretty gorge cloaked in native bush. Rocky outcrops command grand views over the volcanic landscape, with the spectacular Tīeke Falls a major highlight. The second half of the ride is equally scenic as it meanders around the lake edge. Highlights include rocky ravines, cliff-top lookouts across the

60

lake to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, the mysterious Echo Rock, and the trail’s descent alongside Kōtukutuku Stream with its gushes and waterfalls. The trail ends at Kōtukutuku Landing in tranquil Waihora Bay where you can go for a dip while you wait for your boat. Note that a popular option from here is to get dropped off by the boat at Kawakawa Bay, for the lovely 10km ride through to Kinloch.

KAWAKAWA TO KINLOCH The start of the Kawakawa to Kinloch section is at the Ōrākau car park off Whangamata Rd, a 20min drive from Kinloch. Self-drivers are advised to park at Kinloch and get dropped off. The first 10km to Kawakawa Bay also makes a nice short ride, suitable for family groups and inexperienced riders, ending in a fun water taxi trip back to Kinloch. It’s also worth noting that combining this K2K section with W2K sections gives the longest continuous ride on the Great Lake Trail – 33km of awesome riding with an optional 9.5km on the Headland Loop to take it to the next level. From the car park, the trail winds virtually downhill all the way to the lake on flowing single track, passing through wetlands and regenerating forest and over boardwalk and ravines. Beautiful Kawakawa Bay marks the halfway point and is a great place to

Kawakawa Section stop for a snack and a dip in the lake’s clear waters. There’s also a shelter and campsite here, which makes bikepacking an option for riders prepared to carry their tents and equipment. It’s a 3km climb via switchbacks to get out of the Bay. Then it’s a long, flowing descent towards Kinloch with plenty of eye-popping views across the lake to the western bays. The Kinloch Store is a good place to refuel with ice cream, snacks and wood-fired pizza in summer; the Tipsy Trout next door also serves meals and cold beer.

WHAKAIPO TO KINLOCH (W2K) The popular W2K section can be ridden in either direction but – despite its name – is most commonly started in Kinloch. From there the options are either to ride to Whakaipo Bay (13km) and return to Kinloch via water taxi or shuttle (Whakaipo Bay has a basic DOC campground for self-contained campers only and is accessible by road); ride as far as the top of the headland and circuit the popular Headland Loop (20km in all); or ride to Whakaipo Bay and back (26km) with the option of adding in the Loop (9.5km). From the Kinloch marina, the track climbs steadily through native bush onto the headland to meet the aptly named Headland Loop. This 9.5km trail is optional but, with stunning views out to Tongariro National Park and

W2K Section the Kaimanawa Ranges, it would be a shame to miss it! Where the Headland Loop track rejoins the main trail it’s a fast and flowing descent to pretty Whakaipo Bay, popular with swimmers, picnickers and boaties. Return the same way or await your water taxi. Once again, this ride sees you finish in Kinloch where you can enjoy an ice cream or a meal, and watch the comings and goings in the marina.

Otaketake Loop

(under construction) 40km, Grade 3/Intermediate, 4.5-5hr cycling/9hr walking This new section of the Great Lake Trails is due for completion in December 2019. This loop starts and finishes in Kinloch and will take riders up towards Whangamata Rd before returning back down to Kinloch. It will also provide a useful off-road link to the Orakau car park at the start of the Kawakawa section of the Great Lake Trails meaning riders will no longer need to cycle along Whangamata Rd to get to the start of the Kawakawa section from Kinloch.


MOUNTAINS TO SEA Trail TRAIL INFO

SEE P 64 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE

TŪROA, ŌHAKUNE to WHANGANUI 1-6 days

231km

(32km river)

Starting on the slopes of a live volcano, this is an epic journey through two national parks, rolling hill country and remote river gorges. It reaches a fitting finale at the deep, blue Tasman Sea.

R

ich in natural and cultural heritage, this trail takes in a staggering array of scenery and sights – from historic railway viaducts, the abandoned Bridge to Nowhere and old-town architecture of arty Whanganui city to the volcanic and forest wonders of Tongariro and Whanganui national parks. A jet-boat trip, kayaking and waterfall walks are just some of the extras that can be added to the mix.

Completing the entire trail is a challenging and often remote adventure for keen riders, but its varied sections, shuttles and other services make day rides easy to organise and enjoy. The Mountains to Sea is divided into six main sections forming a continuous 199km route, with the exception of an unrideable stretch of the Whanganui River. This gap is bridged by a 32km scenic jet-boat

look out for... Highlights of the trail • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park • Whanganui National Park’s river, deep forest and remote valleys • Rich Māori and Pākehā heritage in marae, little churches, abandoned farms, an historic flour mill and more

1-6 Days 231km (32km river)

ride between the Mangapūrua Track and Pīpīriki, the northern end of the Whanganui River Rd. The six sections are described on the following page in the most popular order, from Ōhakune, on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu, to Whanganui on the shores of the Tasman Sea. There are a couple of alternative sections, the Fishers and Kaiwhakauka tracks. Not officially part of the trail, they are best suited to mountain bikers looking for bonus rides, although both also happily link in to a multi-day Mountains to Sea journey. The full trail is typically ridden in four to six days, but fit riders can whip through it in two to three; and while the ultimate experience is to ride literally from mountains to sea, a variety of day rides can be enjoyed along its length.

Tongariro National Park • Viaducts and other curious relics along Ōhakune’s Old Coach Rd • Whanganui River jet-boat ride • Whanganui city’s art, culture, cafés and restaurants • Thrilling 1000m descent down the slopes of Mt Ruapehu • Sweet riding on some classic backcountry singletrack

The other-worldly Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring one of New Zealand’s most popular walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – 19.4km of pure rugged beauty.

TRAIL GRADES:

ŌHAKUNE MOUNTAIN RD GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ŌHAKUNE OLD COACH RD GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) RUATITI RD & MIDDLE RD GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MANGAPŪRUA TRACK GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) MANGAPŪRUA LANDING TO PĪPĪRIKI (32KM RIVER RIDE) WHANGANUI RIVER RD GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ŪPOKONGARO TO TASMAN SEA GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good around Ōhakune, National Park and Whanganui. Cannot be relied upon in outlying areas and is virtually nonexistent in the wilds of Whanganui National Park. DRINKING WATER: Available in towns and settlements along the trail; water sources on the backcountry sections but boiling or treating is recommended. Taking sufficient supplies for the full day is preferable to filling up en route. TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is essential for all but the most urban of rides. E-bikes are permitted on sections up to Grade 3, although consider sufficient battery charge. Note e-bikes are not permitted in national parks so this includes the Mangapūrua Track. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

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GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAIL

Bridge to Nowhere © www.bennettandslater.co.nz


© AA Traveller 2019

Oio Road

4

Fishers Track

Whakahoro

Taumarunui

Oio Road

National Park Kaiwhakauka Track MANGAPURUA TRACK STARTS Mangapurua Trig 661m Ruatiti Johnson’s Clearing

ve r Ri ui an ng ha W

BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

Tongariro National Park Mt Ruapehu 2797m

HOROPITO

GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAIL

Whanganui National Park

MANGAPŪRUA LANDING TO PĪPĪRIKI, 32KM RIVER RIDE

4

Ruatiti Domain

OHAKUNE

Raetihi Pipiriki-Raetihi Road

Turoa Ski Field

1

Hapuawhenua Viaduct

PIPIRIKI

Mangapūrua Trig, a great spot to stop and take in the views. It’s downhill virtually all the way from the trig, the trail wending through the remote and rather beautiful Mangapūrua Valley in which a series of old farm sites are signposted. You will pass remains of original settlements and the iconic Bridge to Nowhere. From the bridge, it’s only 3km to the Mangapūrua Landing, where you will start your jet boat/kayak journey down the Whanganui River.

47

4

49

Waiouru

Ranana Kawana Flour Mill MAP LEGEND trail section

bridge

alternative route

hill / mountain

boat / water taxi route

café/restaurant

highway section

4

3

AA Centre

Aramoana Upokongaro

WHANGANUI

point of interest

Tūroa Ōhakune Mangapūrua Track Horopito 16km 48km

ŌHAKUNE MOUNTAIN RD, 16KM

From Ōhakune town, local shuttles ferry you up to Tūroa skifield, 1700m above sea level on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. It’s an exhilarating 1000m descent back to Ōhakune along 17km of sealed road.

ŌHAKUNE OLD COACH RD, 15KM One of New Zealand’s best half-day rides, following an historic byway. From the Ōhakune Rail Station, the first few kilometres follow Old Station Rd and Marshalls Rd before reaching the trailhead where a series of info panels retell the Coach Rd’s fascinating story. Wind up along the old cobbled road into Tongariro National Park passing

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toilets camping shelter hut accommodation 1 state highway

3

riding the trail 15km

start / finish point

4

CASTLECLIFF North Mole

1200m 1000m 800m 600m 400m 200m

i-SITE Visitor Centre

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Bridge to Nowhere 36km

Pīpīriki

North Mole Whanganui

boat

32km

through ancient forest with giant rimu and tōtara, spiky mountain cabbage trees, ferns and feathery toe-toe. A highlight is the beautifully restored 284m Hapuawhenua railway viaduct. The trail then reaches Taonui Viaduct, smaller and in a state of rusty repair. The trail emerges from a patch of forest into a pretty meadow near the trail’s end at Horopito.

RUATITI RD & MIDDLE RD, 45KM

Ruatiti Rd and Middle Rd link the Old Coach Rd section with the start of the Mangapūrua Track. Overall, the ride is downhill, losing around 400m in elevation over 45km. However, some steep climbs make it best suited to fit

WHANGANUI RIVER RD, 67KM While not a technical ride, the fully sealed road is gently undulating and therefore involves a fair bit of climbing – approximately 600m over 67km. The river road ends with the fairly hefty climb over Aramoana Hill and a well-deserved 3km swoop down to the junction of SH 4. It’s another 3km again to Ūpokongaro village.

Jerusalem

Koriniti

There are two ways of getting to Pīpīriki, neither of which is on a bike! The easiest and most common is to be collected by the pre-booked jet boat for the invigorating 32km buzz down the river (bikes stowed on board).

86km

cyclists. From Horopito, Middle Rd is signposted 1km south along busy SH 4; road-sense is required along this short section. From the turn-off it’s approx 14km to Ruatiti Rd, which meanders beside the scenic Manganui o te Ao River for part of the way. Halfway along Ruatiti Rd (15km from the junction) is Ruatiti Domain, where there are toilets and basic camping. The road turns to gravel for the final 15km to the start of the Mangapūrua Track.

MANGAPŪRUA TRACK, 36KM From the trailhead at the end of Ruatiti Rd, the trail climbs through farmland and regenerating native bush to the junction with the Kaiwhakauka Track. It’s a little more climbing to reach

ŪPOKONGARO TO TASMAN SEA, 19KM From Ūpokongaro, the trail follows SH 4 for a short distance then crosses the new bridge (opening to be advised). It then follows the new cycle trail by the river into the city. The riverside boardwalk detours into backstreets before returning to trace the river to the Tasman Sea. Follow your nose, or keep an eye out for the cycle trail signage to keep on track. The trail ends at North Mole, a moody, driftwood-strewn beach on the northern side of the Whanganui River breakwater. Head back to the city along the same route or explore the bohemian suburb of Castlecliff with its café and galleries. A day or so in Whanganui is a great way to bookend your journey. Please see mountainstosea.nz for official track status updates.

ALTERNATIVE START: NATIONAL PARK VILLAGE TO MANGAPŪRUA TRIG, 68KM From National Park Railway Station follow Fishers Track (Grade 2) down through bush into the Retaruke Valley and along gravel roads to the War Memorial Monument at the junction of Upper Retaruke and Oio Rd. Continue along Oio Rd to Whakahoro and the Kaiwhakauka Track (Grade 4). Travel through farmland before joining the official trail at Mangapūrua Track. This route is slightly shorter but does include a Grade 4 section.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Journey on the Whanganui River

The river – Te Awa o Whanganui – forms the heart and history of Whanganui. As the longest navigable river in New Zealand, the Whanganui River is popular for aquatic adventures of all kinds, whether you’re travelling by canoe, kayak, paddle steamer or high-speed jet boat.

B

Once an important transport route for Māori and early European settlers, the river is still a great transport option, albeit for recreational purposes. It can be canoed or kayaked relatively easily for over 200km, but with 239 listed rapids, you’ll still get an adrenalin buzz if you’re looking for one. Guided canoe or kayak trips are available, and range in length from a few hours to five days. To experience the scenery and history of this mighty awa (river) in

a genuine and relaxed way, take a cruise aboard the Waimarie Paddle Steamer. After revolutionising river transport in 1899, this river queen sank at her mooring in 1952. Thankfully, in 2000 she was salvaged and restored. With a shrill whistle and billowing puff of steam, the Waimarie leaves her moorings in central Whanganui and paddles up-river in the warmer months, from October to April. Jet boats operate from both ends of the river, providing visitors with rewarding day trips into the heart of the park. Jet boat is the easiest way to access the famous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ – a haunting relic from the past, and jet-boating trips also follow the river through Whanganui city and upstream to Hipango Park, and to the beautiful Atene Bush Scenic Reserve.

Ōhakune

36km S of National Park

Durie Hill War Memorial Tower © visitwhanganui.nz LEFT: Whanganui River © Tourism NZ

Ohakune TOP 10 Holiday Park

A beautiful bush setting with the mountain stream flowing freely along the Park offering a truly tranquil camping experience.

0800 521 003 5 Moore Street, Ohakune top10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites BBQ Area • Playground • WiFi • Spa Bath • Spa Pool • Games room • Close to the Ohakune Old Coach Rd & Mountains to the Sea cycle trails

Whanganui National Park 80km N of Whanganui

In Whanganui, don’t miss the New Zealand Glassworks, the Sarjeant Gallery, the Whanganui Regional Museum, Bushy Park Sanctuary’s rare native birds and the Durie Hill War Memorial Tower. The versatile après-ski town of Ōhakune is a skiing base in snow season, and a hub for summer activities in warmer weather including hiking in the Whanganui and Tongariro national parks, horseback rides and fishing.

Whanganui

big harbour • 160km SE of New Plymouth

Jet Boat Tours | The Lodge | Canoeing | Mountain Biking | Tramping

Freephone 0800 480 308 or 06 385 4622 Bookings are essential | Tours depart from Pipiriki | info@bridgetonowhere.co.nz | www.bridgetonowhere.co.nz

Whanganui River TOP 10 Holiday Park

Located right on the banks of the Whanganui River, on the Mountains To Sea Cycle Trail, allowing you to relax and enjoy all Whanganui has to offer.

0800 521 102 460 Somme Parade Aramoho, Whanganui wrivertop10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Heated Pool & Spa • Secure Bike Storage • Bike Maintenance Area • Sky TV • Free WiFi • Games Room • BBQs • Jumping Pillow • Netflix • Playgrounds • Kayaks and Trikes for hire

63

GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAIL

eginning on the slopes of Mt Tongariro, the Whanganui River flows to Taumarunui and on through the Whanganui National Park and the city before joining the sea at Castlecliff. As it flows it snakes its way past gorges, sheer clay cliffs, waterfalls and native lowland forest.


HEARTLAND RIDE • FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY CYCLE ROUTE

FORGOTTEN WORLD TAUMARUNUI HIGHWAY to NEW PLYMOUTH Cycle Route

2-3 days

The history-rich Forgotten World Highway features hilltop views, ocean vistas, a river gorge and the remote republic of Whangamomona with its old-world hotel.

T

he road is long and winding, stretching between the Ruapehu adventure town of Taumarunui and New Plymouth

180km

allow sufficient time to soak up the scenery and heritage sites off the bike. The highway’s major town is wee Whangamomona, which declared itself a republic in 1989 and sells its own passports.

both accessible via other Heartland Rides, the Timber Trail Connection and MTS Connection. The Forgotten World Highway (SH 43) is the quietest state highway in New Zealand. It is, however, a decidedly challenging ride, with hilly topography and some narrow stretches of road that push the entire route to Grade 4 (advanced).

The Taumarunui end of this trail provides access to two Central North Island Great Rides, the Timber Trail and Mountains to Sea,

on the black-sand Taranaki coast. The distance and terrain mean this journey is best completed over two to three days, which will

Timber Trail Connection

North Taranaki Bight TAUMARUNUI

Ohura State Prison Waitara

BELL BLOCK

Otaraoa Rd

3a

NEW PLYMOUTH

3

Tarata Saddle

Inglewood

45

Tarata Rd

Purangi

Whanganui River

Moki Tunnel

Tahora Saddle

WHANGAMOMONA

3 Okato

Te Maire Paparata Saddle Mountains to Sea Connection

Tangarakau Gorge

Junction Rd

43

Whanganui National Park

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail

MAP LEGEND open section

town

AA Centre

café/restaurant

start / finish point

toilets

Eltham

point of interest

car park

3

hill / mountain

accommodation

i-SITE Visitor Centre

state highway

Mt Taranaki

Egmont National Park Opunake

Stratford

45

4

tunnel

Hawera

© AA Traveller 2018

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 400m 300m 200m 100m 0m

64

Taumarunui

87km

Whangamomona

93km

New Plymouth


Mt Taranaki © AATP

riding the trail From Taumarunui, SH 43 heads over hilly farmland for 30km or so before climbing over Paparata Saddle. It then drops down into the beautiful Tāngarākau Gorge, cloaked in native forest. This is followed by 12km of gravel road. Although this is relatively smooth, it’s not always an easy ride on road bike tyres, especially when the road has just been graded. Beyond the gorge there is a moderate climb to the Moki Tunnel (known locally as the Hobbit’s Hole) and over Tahora Saddle.

TAHORA SADDLE TO PŪRANGI, 45KM It’s a long and gentle downhill ride to the settlement of Whangamomona. Not only charming and full of rural history, it stakes a claim as New Zealand’s only independent republic, and celebrates that fact every second January. Heading south from the ‘republic’, the route turns off the state highway and heads west on Junction Rd. The first 16km of Junction Rd is gravel, and requires wide road tyres or mountain-bike tyres. Junction Rd passes through several original settlements, including Pūrangi,

where accommodation is available in the original schoolhouse. The road is narrow, quiet and scenic. You will need to watch out for goats, sheep and cattle wandering along the verge.

PŪRANGI TO NEW PLYMOUTH, 63KM The route continues over Tarata Saddle, through another picturesque tunnel, and down to a historic suspension bridge across the Waitara River. The ride leaves the very best for last, as the route now becomes a shared path through Bell Block and around the coast where you will enjoy some spectacular views as you head into New Plymouth. Known as the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, this award-winning 12.7km pathway winds along the edge of the Tasman Sea, past epic surf breaks and dynamic kinetic art. You can take a 15-minute stroll from the central city to Breakwater Bay, a bustling coastal precinct alongside Ngāmotu Beach. New Plymouth has plenty to offer the visitor, including Egmont National Park, surfing, a boat cruise out to the Sugar Loaf Islands, plus dining and shopping in the bustling urban centre. Breakwater Bay is also a great spot to see a stunning west coast sunset.

Along the trail

K

iwi back-country at its finest, Taumarunui is located at the convergence of the Whanganui and Ōngarue rivers and has cemented its reputation as a base for adventure pursuits. In winter it’s a ski town and throughout the year it’s a place for exploring the great outdoors: fishing, horse riding, hunting, golfing, tramping, rail carting and the launching point for canoe trips into the Whanganui National Park. The charming town of Whangamomona is so remote that it declared itself a republic in 1989, complete with its own presidential election and passport. The famous biennial Republic Day, when the new president is elected, is enjoyed by thousands of visitors (held next in January 2021).

Forgotten World Highway © AATP

look out for... New Plymouth Coastal Walkway The Coastal Walkway is a 12.7km promenade par excellence that hugs the sea and grabs your senses all the way from Bell Block to the centre of New Plymouth and beyond, past world-class surf breaks and dynamic kinetic art. The beginning alone

HEARTLAND RIDE • FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY CYCLE ROUTE

TAUMARUNUI TO TAHORA SADDLE, 77KM

is a gentle but rewarding stroll or ride through classic Kiwi farmland before you hit that rugged coastline and make your way west. Stroll the stunning structure that is Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, and look up to see Mt Taranaki framed as you could never quite imagine.

The seaside city of New Plymouth incorporates cultural diversity, a modern style and innovative treasures. The 12.7km Coastal Walkway is a fantastic attraction. At the city’s hub is one of New Zealand’s contemporary treasures, Puke Ariki, a museum-libraryinformation centre complex adjacent to the sea. The city’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is one of the world’s most prestigious galleries, while the Len Lye Centre is an international destination for experimental film and kinetic art.

TRAIL INFO

2-3 Days 180km

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) TAUMARUNUI TO TAHORA SADDLE, 77KM TAHORA SADDLE TO PŪRANGI, 45KM PŪRANGI TO NEW PLYMOUTH, 63KM MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is very limited along most of the route. DRINKING WATER: Whangamomona offers the only easily accessed water once en route. TYPE OF BIKE: Although the route mainly follows sealed roads, the rougher gravel sections mean a touring bike or mountain bike with wide road tyres or knobbly tyres are most suitable. E-bikes, with sufficient battery capacity, are also acceptable. GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

65


HAWKE’S BAY

Trails

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trail © Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trail

WINERIES RIDE, WATER RIDE and LANDSCAPES RIDE 1-4 days

200km

Following dedicated cycle paths and the occasional country road, this delightful trail network traces the coast from Bay View in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south, and ventures inland through idyllic rural and riverside scenery.

W

ith mostly flat terrain, fantastic attractions, great food and gorgeous weather, Hawke’s Bay is brilliant for biking at any time of year. These trails are the perfect

way to explore the region and offer something for everyone – from world-class wineries and wildlife to art deco architecture, art galleries and ice cream.

look out for... • Riverside picnics and swimming

• Beautiful coastal and country scenery

• Bird-filled wetlands

• Art deco architecture

• Winery tastings and dining at cellar-door restaurants

• Te Mata Peak lookout and walks • Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market

66

Well-located bike tour and hire depots and an excellent map with themed rides – Wineries, Water and Landscapes – make it easy to plan the perfect sightseeing tour from an hour to all day, with nearly 200km of trails to choose from. The Hawke’s Bay Trails have been created with day rides in mind, all of which are easy to reach from destinations throughout the region. They’re also easy to adapt, link or ride consecutively staying overnight in accommodation along the way. Here are three of the most popular day rides: the Napier City Loop, up to 39km (Easy-Intermediate); the Marine Parade Explorer, up to 30km return (Easy); and the Havelock North to Clive ride, 37km (Easy).

Hawke’s Bay wineries

Highlights of the trail

• Cape Kidnappers gannet colony

TRAIL INFO

• Cafés, pubs, breweries, ice cream shops and more • The Big Easy, a relaxed cycling event

The sunny Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s oldest wine regions and home to a multitude of vineyards. The wine region produces numerous grape varieties, with chardonnay being the most planted.

1-4 Days 200km

TRAIL GRADES: WINERIES RIDE, 36-47KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) PUKETAPU LOOP, 18KM GRADE 1-2 (EASIEST-EASY) WATER RIDE, 35KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) CLIVE TO CLIFTON (SECTION OF LANDSCAPES RIDE), 15KM GRADE 1-2 (EASIEST-EASY) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Available on whole trail network. DRINKING WATER: Water bottles can be filled at various settlements along the way. TYPE OF BIKE: Suitable for everything from children’s bikes and uprights, to tourers, mountain bikes and e-bikes. Trikes, tandems and wheelchairs are also suitable for many sections, especially the 20km waterfront stretch from Bay View to Waitangi Regional Park. GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


to Taupo, Wairoa

2

Bay View

Rorookuri

MAP LEGEND

Water Ride

open section

Westshore Port Ahuriri

ri uri Ah

Napier Airport E s tu ary

section temporarily closed busy road section start / finish point

NAPIER

2b 50

Puketapu

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2

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Sw

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town café/restaurant

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FLAXMERE Clive River

HASTINGS

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50a

Runanga Lake Roys Hill Reserve

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

r ive ri R

am

to Taihape

Landscapes Ride BLACK BRIDGE Haumoana

car park accommodation 1

state highway

Te Awanga Moore Road

CLIFTON

50 2

Maraekakaho Road

50a

HASTINGS GOLF CLUB

rs

Tukituki Loop

HAVELOCK NORTH

Tukituki Road

Te Mata Road

Cape

Waimarama Road

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Red Bridge

© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Napier i-SITE 200m

LANDSCAPES RIDE Clifton Black Bridge

27km

Havelock North 13km

WATER RIDE Napier i-SITE

TUKITUKI RIVER

100m

WINERIES RIDE

Napier i-SITE Taradale Taradale 33km 18km

Hastings Golf Club

Hastings Golf Club

33-45km

PUKETAPU LOOP

0m

riding the trail WINERIES RIDE, 36-47KM This 36km loop around the Gimblett Gravels, Ngatarawa Triangle and Bridge Pā is a great way to get a taste of some of the Bay’s world-class chardonnays, Bordeaux-style reds and syrah. Around a dozen wineries line the route; some have cellar-door dining. The 11km return option to Sileni Estate is worth the extra effort. Refreshing craft beer is also available at Roosters Brewery on Omahu Rd just off the trail. Roys Hill Reserve or Hastings Golf Club are good places to start, or access the ride from Hastings via the iWay city cycling route, or Clive by riding along the Ngaruroro River trail.

PUKETAPU LOOP, 18KM The Puketapu pub is a major feature of this excellent short loop from Taradale on the outskirts of Napier. The trail follows the banks of the pretty Tutaekuri River (with some short on-road sections), with attractions including a historic church, pā (Māori fortified village), gallery and chocolate factory, plus plenty of spots for picnics and swimming. Around the halfway point, Puketapu village is a rewarding pit-stop with its popular country pub, and a store next door serving ice creams. On the way back to Taradale the ride passes elegant Ormlie Lodge with a restaurant

and accommodation. Riders wanting a longer outing can start at Awatoto on the coast and cycle upstream for 10km beside the Tutaekuri River to Taradale.

WATER RIDE, 35KM This section starts from Ahuriri in Napier and runs along the coast towards Bayview, before heading into the wetlands. It returns past the airport with an optional loop extension to the base of the Poraiti foothills. Explore the Ahuriri fishing precinct, cafés, restaurants, playgrounds, coffee houses and bird hides. The popular trail from Ahuriri to Bay View is concrete, about 7km in length and suitable for all recreational users including wheelchairs. After the concrete, the trail is only suitable for standard bikes, due to gates on the lime

sand section as it crosses a working farm. At Bay View, an intersection means you can stay on Ferguson Rd to the end and ride through the campground to Snapper Café or cross at the railway crossing, and over the main road to head down Onehunga Rd. This is where the trail leads to wetlands and the marked Whakamaharatanga Walkway – previously an island of Ahuriri estuary. The trail buffers conservation land teeming with birdlife and crosses a working farm. Once past the airport, there is an underpass crossing at the expressway/railway bridges where the trail continues to natural wetlands of the upper harbour. The trail then exits across and beside Prebensen Dr, returning to the bridges, creating a loop and connecting back to Ahuriri. continued on p.68

67


ls

continued from p.67

CLIVE TO CLIFTON (SECTION OF LANDSCAPES RIDE), 15KM

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

Starting at the township of Clive, this short but intensely picturesque section of the Landscapes Ride hugs the Pacific Ocean, passing through coastal communities along the way. Highlights of the trail include wetlands, informative local heritage art installations, wineries, burger bars, dairies, cafés, a museum, a popular surfing spot and even a farmyard zoo. Arguably the ride’s best feature, however, is accessed from the seaside hamlet of Clifton – gateway to Cape Kidnappers. The gannet colony, with the birds in residence from October to March, is viewable on either a 3–4hr guided tour; or by hiring fat bikes from a depot at Clifton. Gannets at Cape Kidnappers RIGHT: Art Deco Festival © Hawke’s Bay Tourism

Slow Slow down down & savour ptions 200kms off-road& trailsavour Puketapu Village

Stop for a break in this quaint little settlement. It’s home to The Puketapu, a traditional country pub with excellent meals, a general store with yummy scoop ice cream and a park with a great kids’ playground.

Don’t Miss...

Gannets!

Cape Kidnappers peninsula is home to the largest gannet colony in the world (gannets can be seen from Sept to early April). Visit at your own risk and check warning signs.

theSlow theHawke Hawke s Bay s Bay Trails Trails down & savour

tions

The Big Easy

The Big Easy on the Hawke’s Bay Trails at Easter is the ultimate antidote to all those serious lycra-laden cycling events held across the country. The

200kms off-road trail

Big Easy ride is approximately 42km and riders are encouraged to take all day to enjoy the many tasty Hawke’s Bay distractions along the way. See www.thebigeasy.co.nz for more information.

off-road trail

Slow down & savour

the Hawke s Bay Trails

e Tours Hawke’s Bay

the Hawke’s Cycle Tours Hawke’s Cycle ToursBayHawke’s Bay Bay Trails

Winery day Winery toursday tours Three and Three five day and tours five day Self-guided tours Self-guided & guided&options guided option 200k All newWinery Luxury All new programme Luxury programme MountainMountain biking packages biking packages day tours Three and five day tours Self-guided & guided options 200kms off-road trail All new Luxury programme

Mountain biking packages

Slow down & savour

P 06 835PP9030 06 835 9030 06 835 9030 www.takarotrails.co.nz www.takarotrails.co.nz www.takarotrails.co.nz 68

just just for thefor fun of itforfuntheof fun justthe it ofCycle Toursit Hawke’s Bay

the Hawke s Bay Trails


Soak up the sunshine at the Sunken Gardens or Marine Parade Gardens, and remember to touch the statue of Pania of the Reef for good luck. Enjoy outdoor entertainment at the art deco Soundshell.

Napier on parade

Napier is right in the heart of Hawke’s Bay’s food scene; there is exceptional fresh produce at Napier’s bustling farmers’ market. It’s held every Saturday from 9am1pm in Clive Square.

H

ere you will find the largest concentration of art deco architecture in the southern hemisphere.

Charismatic Napier stands out from the rest with its striking art deco architecture, turquoise waters framed by mighty Norfolk pines and a host of family-friendly attractions. Take a few days or more to really explore this pretty city.

Devastated by an earthquake in 1931, it was rebuilt in elegant fashion. Take a guided walk, or a vintage car, bus or bike tour and be captivated by the buildings of pretty pastel colours with intricate decoration and sleek lines.

Napier

after British soldier Sir Charles Napier • 21km NE of Hastings

The thriving artistic community can be explored with the local art guide map which takes you from city galleries to home studios. But for a tour with a difference, go to Napier Prison for a peak into the region’s criminal past. And don’t forget to take a drive up Bluff Hill and enjoy the commanding views. After a long day of cycling, the open-air hot pools at Ocean Spa on Marine Parade are ideal for soaking those aching legs.

SECURE BIKE STORAGE

Relax and Enjoy... Uninterrupted views over marina/harbour • Spacious, self-contained studios • 1 & 2-bedroom suites • 32-inch LCD TVs • Large corner spa baths • Queen & king-size beds • Heat pumps in all rooms • Prime location for business or pleasure • Easy walking distance to cafés, bars & restaurants • Lift access • Ample parking • Handy to airport • All units and conference facilities air-conditioned • 8 waterfront restaurants within 2min walk

SPEIGHTS ALE HOUSE

: CAFE DE LAOS

26 West Quay, Ahuriri, Napier Phone: +64 6 834 4318 • Reservations: 0800 42 22 66 Email: anchor@xtra.co.nz • Book online @ www.anchorage.net.nz

22 Marine Parade, Napier Ph: +64 6 833 6979 brian@fishbike.co.nz www.fishbike.co.nz

Reservations 0800 131 600

69

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

Explore the National Aquarium of New Zealand, with the country’s largest display of aquatic life. Be transfixed in the Oceanarium as you ride the underwater travelator.


Hastings

Hastings © AATP

At the heart of Hawke’s Bay, Hastings is the ideal base to explore the region, from markets, art trails, vineyards and shopping to some of the country’s most beautiful bike trails, walking tracks and white-sand beaches.

Enjoy the unique Spanish mission and art deco architecture as you absorb the city’s art and stop for coffee and a bite to eat in one of the eateries nestled around Hastings

city square and the landmark art deco clock tower. Join a half-day 4WD tour and traverse beautiful coastline, riverbeds and native bush before taking in panoramic views and 20,000 gannets at Cape Kidnappers. Visit the 98ha Pekapeka Wetlands to check out the diverse wildlife, or enjoy family entertainment at the water theme park, Splash Planet, or the Hawke’s Bay Farmyard Zoo. The chic village of Havelock North is loaded with appealing eateries, bars

and boutique shops. The Pipi Café is a standout for its delicious pizza and ambience. Don’t miss Birdwoods, where the gallery, café and sculpture garden is a charming little haven. The real jewel, however, is the oldfashioned sweet shop, where rows of lolly jars stretch to the ceiling. Learn about bees at the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre or taste wines at world-class vineyards, including Black Barn, Craggy Range and Te Mata Estate. Keirunga Gardens, with 17ha of pretty formal gardens and

parkland, features a playground, an 846m-long miniature railway that winds around the park, the Keirunga Homestead and the Keirunga Arts and Crafts Society. The giant among us, Te Mata Peak, is an essential photo stop near Havelock North. The reward for the ascent to the 399m-high summit is immense full-circle views. The grove of California redwoods nestled underneath the mountain is worth exploring on foot.

stay, play, celebrate Choose from a vast range of accommodation; Modern villas Holiday units Camp sites

Motel units Cabins

…+ onsite restaurant & bar!

Fun is on your doorstep: Fantastic playground Heated swimming pool Jumping pillow Gym FREE WIFI… and more! 70

11 Storkey St, Napier P +64 6 843 9126 Freephone 0800 457 275 E info@kennedypark.co.nz

kennedypark.co.nz

No9–6941

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

S

teeped in history and diverse culture, Hastings is the perfect place to relax, take in the sights and smell the roses. You can explore the city on foot or by bike, drink fine wine and sample delicious artisan produce. The Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market, held every Sunday at the Showgrounds, is a great place to start.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Cruise Winery the Tour Bay of Islands

Hawke’s Bay certainly knows how to showcase its famous wine. The region is home to an outstanding wine tourism culture and offers a plethora of ways to experience the highly regarded wines of the region, aside from on two wheels!

T

his glowing region basks in around 2200 hours of sunshine a year, providing the perfect climate for growing bountiful grapes in a range of varieties. The diversity of wine styles is matched by the diversity in landscape, as the region’s wineries and tasting rooms are scattered throughout its plains, mountain peaks, valleys and coastal cliffs.

The region ensures the bulk of its wineries offer multiple reasons to visit – tasting trays, platters

View to Te Mata Peak from the Cellar Door © Craggy Range

RESERVATIONS: 0800 WESTSHORE The friendly & relaxed place to stay for your holiday

To Taupo/Airport

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Affordable Westshore Holiday Park

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Individually appointed tent sites Large recreational area Campervan drive on strips

CYCLE TRAIL passes the property • BIKE WASH BAY and BIKE LOCKER l Centrally located l FREE WiFi

Experiences on offer range from chauffeured tasting tours by shuttle and guided tours by bike to vineyard-hopping by helicopter, as well as premium food and wine festivals. A popular option is to take a chauffeured vineyardhopping tour in a genuine vintage car – you’ll feel like a movie star for the day! • Half and full-day Bike Hire from $45 – detailed maps provided • 10-plus cycle trails to choose from,­coach transfers to and from designated points • Predominantly flat terrain, ­ 200-plus kms of pathways • Close by Mission & Church Road Wineries • 1 to 5-day cycle holidays, custom-designed to your specific requirements • On-site boutique accom at Greenmeadows on Gloucester

88 Meeanee Quay, Westshore, Napier P/F: 06 835 9456 E: westshoreholiday@xtra.co.nz www.westshoreholidaypark.co.nz

Park motels • Great cabins Spacious self-contained units Popular with families

To make sure you don’t miss the best bits, a guided tour is undoubtedly the best idea – you can’t beat insider knowledge. Take the hassle out of planning and leave it up to the experts for an experience you won’t forget.

47 Gloucester St, Greenmeadows, Napier • Phone: 06 845 4836

Email: leedes@xtra.co.nz • www.bikeabouttours.co.nz

Hastings

20km SW of Napier on SH 2

­­• 35 units • Pool • Spa • 200m to beach • LCD TVs, 50+ Sky channels • FREE WiFi • Walk to Ahuriri bars & restaurants • Overlooking estuary

• Recommended on Target TV show 9.5/10 • Secure bike storage • Cycleways • Cycleway metres from the motel • Friendly service guaranteed

56 Meeanee Quay, Westshore, Napier • Phone: +64 6 835 5991 Email: info@albatrossmotel.co.nz • RESERVATIONS: 0800 25 22 87 Always book direct for Best Rates www.albatrossmotel.co.nz

Hastings TOP 10 Holiday Park

Our beautiful, tranquil parklike setting will ensure a relaxing stay.

0800 521 074 610 Windsor Avenue Parkvale, Hastings hastingstop10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Heated outdoor pool • Spa Pools • BBQ Area • WiFi • Playground • Tennis/Basketball court

71

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

The numerous wineries and vineyards encompass both large multi-regional entities and tiny family-owned boutique producers; all share a commitment to making great wine. And they consistently succeed, with Hawke’s Bay enjoying a significant international reputation for producing some of the country’s best wines, both red and white.

of fine local food, vineyard accommodation and live music in the summer and on the weekends. Some offer barrel-room visits, and many have really explored their quite impressive histories, adding texture and context to that glass nestled in your hand.


MANGAWEKA to PALMERSTON NORTH

MANAWATU Cycleway

2-3 days

© AA Traveller 2019

1 MAP LEGEND

MANGAWEKA

open section

Te Parapara Rd

AA Centre

Mangahuia Wetlands

start / finish point point of interest hill / mountain

1

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Rangiwahia

Rangitikei River

Main South Rd

Table Flat

town café/restaurant

APITI

toilets camping

Pohangina Valley East Rd

54

car park

state highway

Totara Reserve

nge

1

accommodation

Ra

Marton

hi

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Pohangina

ua

HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

Following the official Manawatū Scenic Route between Mangaweka (on SH 1) and Palmerston North, this is a scenic and often surprising journey full of natural wonders, local history and country hospitality.

R

Rangitikei River

Feilding

Raumai Reserve to Napier

Pohangina River

3

1

2

ASHHURST 3 Manawatu Gorge Closed

PALMERSTON NORTH

Tararua Traverse

Manawatu River

Woodville

2

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 600m 400m 200m 0m

72

Apiti

Mangaweka 45km

Ashhurst 55km

Palmerston North 20km

115km

I

t is recommended that riders take two days to enjoy this trip through rural Manawatū. There’s certainly plenty of great scenery to savour, including soaring cliffs near Mangaweka, the dramatic backdrop of the Ruahine Ranges and lush farmland along the Pōhāngina Valley terraces. There are plenty of interesting places to stop off along the way, from country cafés and pubs, galleries, gardens and scenic reserves to swimming holes, glowworm caves, picnic areas and camping spots. This trail provides a route touring link to other adjacent or nearby Heartland Rides, including Gentle Annie to Hawke’s Bay, the OTT to Ōhakune and the Tararua Traverse which heads over to northern Wairarapa. The surface of this trail is a 100% sealed road, and includes a couple of good climbs. It is grade 3 (intermediate) and best suited to reasonably fit riders with some cycle touring experience. Riders should have good road sense and be prepared to encounter traffic at any time. It is possible to ride this route all year round. However, heavy rain and high winds can occur at any time of the year, and it can be frosty in the mornings in winter, especially close to the Ruahine Ranges.


riding the trail MANGAWEKA TO APITI, 45KM Ride past the Mangaweka Campground and over the bridge where you will be greeted with the impressive sight of soaring white papa (mudstone) cliffs and magnificent cobbled river terraces. Just 12km from the start of Ruahine Rd, you will find Mairenui Rural Retreat.

Rangiwāhia is only 10km from Mairenui. It has public toilets, campsites, free WiFi and interesting stories to tell. Get back on the road and head down Te Parapara Rd. Be sure to savour the views along this particularly scenic stretch. Lush farmland with the Ruahine Ranges as a backdrop greets you as you enter Main South Rd. Stop for a break at Mangahuia Wetlands, a series of ponds that are home to native birdlife and trout. Heading along Main South Rd, you’ll travel through the dramatic Mangoira Gorge. After the Gorge, you can take a detour by turning into Table Flat Rd (gravel) for some great panoramas alongside Table Flat Farmstay and the limestone glowworm caves. Back on Main South Rd, continue down and detour onwards into Apiti for artist studios, the Apiti Tavern and Eatery for a hearty meal or coffee, and camping at the Apiti Domain.

APITI TO ASHHURST, 55KM On from Apiti, head back up Ōroua Valley Rd and into Pōhāngina Valley East Rd. There are some amazing photo opportunities as you wind your way down into the Pōhāngina Valley, especially in autumn when the foliage turns gold. In summer, look out for blueberry picking and swimming spots in the river.

Ian McKean Pinetum, on Manawatū Cycleway © ManawatūNZ.co.nz

From the Valley Rd junction, it’s 26km to the small, basic Piripiri Campsite run by the Department of Conservation. Just down the road is Springvale Gardens & Accommodation. This area is rich in native bush and has a good range of bush walks for all abilities. Head down past the historic Komako Church and you will find Totara Reserve, a playground of native bush, glowworm caves, swimming holes and campsites with great facilities. Another 12km on from here is Raumai Reserve, a great place to cool off in the river; there are also restrooms here. Ride the trail down the road and turn left onto Pōhāngina Rd (on weekends, a 5km detour into Pōhāngina Village is worthwhile to visit County Fayre, a community-run tea room and heritage display site, and the nearby Cartwheel Creamery, award-winning makers of artisan cheese). You will pass by Valley Rd, which is home to Pōhāngina Valley Estate winery. Continue down Pōhāngina Rd for 8km to reach Ashhurst. Stop for coffee and baked goods from the local café or grocery shop, picnic on the village green, or explore Ashhurst Domain where there is camping. Ashhurst Inn offers all day dining and good accommodation.

From Cambridge Ave, turn left onto SH 3 (Napier Rd). Continue down and pull off to the left before the bridge, then ride down under the bridge and onto the first section of the Manawatū River Pathway. You’ll ride along for 3km before turning right onto Raukawa Rd, bringing you back out onto SH 3. Turn right and head along SH 3, keeping to the shoulder for 2.6km then turn left onto Te Matai Rd. Follow Te Matai Rd until Riverside Dr. Turn left down Riverside Dr and at the end of this road is the second section of the Manawatū River Pathway. You’ll follow a gentle, undulating path that follows the Manawatū River into Palmerston North city for 6km. At the Fitzherbert Ave Bridge, take the path under and around the bridge to the right (where you can detour into the stunning Victoria Esplanade gardens and café) and head up Fitzherbert Ave. It’s just 2km to The Square. Palmerston North City i-SITE has luggage lockers and showers and can arrange your bookings while providing you information on your next stop. ‘Palmy’ has plenty to offer the visiting cycle-tourer, including street art and a

Ruahine Dress Circle Scenic Reserve

look out for... Pōhāngina Valley

Pōhāngina Valley © ManawatūNZ.co.nz

ASHHURST TO PALMERSTON NORTH, 20KM

As you wind your way down through lush green terraces and valleys of native bush along Pōhāngina Valley East Rd, be prepared for some amazing photo opportunities. The gorgeous views are particularly spectacular during the autumn months when the leaves turn golden, and in summer there is blueberry picking and plenty of suitable spots to swim in the river.

Be sure to check out the Ruahine Dress Circle Scenic Reserve. This swimming and picnic spot off Lagoon Rd sits on a river bend and is surrounded by cliffs and dotted with waterfalls. Early settlers named the spot the dress circle because the cliffs reminded them of an opera house. The turn-off is 11km south of the Mangaweka Bridge.

sculpture trail, plus Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & History and the New Zealand Rugby Museum. It’s also great for dining, with all sorts of cafés, restaurants and pubs dotted throughout the central city centre.

TRAIL INFO 2-3 Days 115km One-Way

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MANGAWEKA TO APITI, 45KM APITI TO ASHHURST, 55KM ASHHURST TO PALMERSTON NORTH, 20KM MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is available in most places but not along the whole route. DRINKING WATER: There are a number of settlements where you can fill your water bottle. River water should be boiled or treated. TYPE OF BIKE: Road bikes and touring bikes are best suited for the terrain. E-bikes are also suitable. Riders should ideally have basic mechanical skills and carry a tool kit and spares. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

Be sure to check out the Ruahine Dress Circle Scenic Reserve. This swimming and picnic spot off Lagoon Rd sits on a river bend and is surrounded by cliffs and dotted with waterfalls. Early settlers named the spot the dress circle because the cliffs reminded them of an opera house. The turn-off is 11km south of the Mangaweka Bridge.


Palmerston North

HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

The ‘big smoke’ on the trail, Palmerston North is a culturally rich city with something for everyone.

Ave is home to international eateries, while George St and Coleman Mall have boutique stores and popular restaurants and cafés.

For the adventurous, the city is a great base for exploring back-country tracks through forest parks and the Manawatū Gorge. If you’re eager for more saddle time, the 67km Tararua Traverse cycle route from Palmerston North to Masterton takes in sweeping views from the top of the Tararua Ranges.

The city’s vibrant art scene is one of its best assets. Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History is a must-do, with engaging exhibits that reflect the history in a way that’s meaningful to all ages. Right next door is the New Zealand Rugby Museum – well worth a visit, whether you’re a fan of the oval ball or not. It contains some of the world’s rarest rugby artefacts.

For the more sedentary, the city has a seriously good cuisine scene. Broadway

154 Park Road Palmerston North phone - +64 6 356 7077 fax - +64 6 356 7030 WATCH VIDEO

3 Safe bike storage 3 Close to Manawatu River Bridle Track 3 Adjacent sports grounds & Esplanade Park 3 Quiet location off main street 3 High-speed wireless and cable broadband 3 New 32” HD LCD TVs, SKY & DVD players 3 Breakfasts and dinners by arrangement 3 Walking distance (800m) to most civic amenities & CBD 3 Tariff: $115 - $309 (1-2 persons) Phone Peak rates may apply

Direct for Best Prices

stay@bigfivemotel.co.nz • www.bigfivemotel.co.nz

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The Square, Palmerston North © Destination Manawatū

Along the trail

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t Mangaweka, the Mangaweka Adventure Company and campgrounds are the gateway to the playground of the Rangitīkei River, which is popular for river rafting and kayaking. In summer (and by special arrangement in winter) the fully licensed Awastone Café offers relaxed riverside dining with impressive views. Offering top-notch food and a warm welcome, the Apiti Tavern is a great place to rest and refuel before the next leg. The Totara Reserve between Apiti and Ashhurst has good camping

facilities surrounded by a large native forest. Bush walks, nature trails with glowworm caves and great swimming spots are all good reasons to spend some time here. In Ashhurst, make sure you stop off at The Herb Farm, with its family-friendly gardens, day spa and great café. In summer, pop into the Ashhurst Domain for a swim in the Manawatū River. Te Apiti Wind Farm is always worth a look, affording a great view of the Manawatū and Wairarapa beneath the massive wind turbines.


REMUTAKA Cycle Trail

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO Cycle the Hutt River Trail © Jay French

2-3 Days 114km

PETONE to ŌRONGORONGO 2-3 days

114km

Starting on the edge of Wellington Harbour, this diverse trail winds up the leafy Hutt Valley before climbing gently over the forested Remutaka Ranges and skirting around the rugged coast back towards the capital.

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ultiple access points and a variety of terrain means there’s something for everyone – from short and sweet outings to more challenging multi-

day rides. There’s plenty to see and do along the way too, whether you’re into scenery, history, galleries and cafés, or fancy a detour into Wairarapa wine country.

look out for... Over & under: the trail’s bridges & tunnels Take your torch – tunnels are a trail highlight: they include the Mangaroa Tunnel, a 253m tunnel that was part of the original Wellington to Wairarapa rail link; the 576m-long Summit Tunnel, which has a 1:15 gradient starting halfway through; and the

TRAIL GRADES:

The trail traverses Petone, Lower Hutt city, Upper Hutt city, Remutaka Ranges, South Wairarapa and the south-east coast. It can be completed pleasurably in two to three days. Petone is the natural starting point, although Maymorn in Upper Hutt and Featherston in the Wairarapa are also popular. All can be reached on the Wellington to Wairarapa train service that stops at various other stations close the trail. Shuttle pick-ups are available from the Ōrongorongo end, but it is also possible to close the loop with some extra riding.

Highlights of the trail

98m Price’s Tunnel, which has an ‘S’ curve. Bridges along the way include the 28m-long Pakuratahi Truss Bridge and the 70m-long Ladle Bend Bridge which features stone abutments and a central pier. These can all be found on the Maymorn to Cross Creek section.

• World-class wineries • Leisurely Hutt River Trail • Remote, wild coastline • Geological landforms • Petone’s beach and boutique Jackson St • Native forest and wetlands • Hutt Valley – Wellington’s big backyard

PETONE TO MAYMORN, 35M GRADE 2 (EASY) MAYMORN TO CROSS CREEK, 25KM GRADE 2-3 (EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) CROSS CREEK TO OCEAN BEACH, 36KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) OCEAN BEACH TO ŌRONGORONGO RIVER, 18KM GRADE 3-4 (INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is reliable throughout the Hutt Valley and in Wairarapa towns. There is some coverage beyond that – including around the coastal section – but it is patchy and should not be relied upon. DRINKING WATER: Carry enough water for your trip, as after the first section there are no shops. TYPE OF BIKE: A hybrid or touring bike will suffice on the Hutt River, Remutaka Rail Trail (Hutt side) and Western Lake Rd. A mountain bike is required for the Wairarapa side of the Rail Trail and the ride around the coast. E-bikes are welcome on all the trails. GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

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1 Harcourt Park

58 Porirua

PETONE

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Remutaka Rail Trail

Wainuiomata

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Eastbourne

2

Featherston

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Lake Wairarapa

point of interest

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2

CROSS CREEK

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CORNER CREEK

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riding the trail Petone

35km

camping

Lake Ferry

Palliser Bay

ORONGORONGO Turakirae Head

400m

Lake Onoke

Maymorn

shelter 1

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 25km

Cross Creek

Ocean Beach 36km

Ōrongorongo 18km

200m 0m

PETONE TO MAYMORN, 35KM The first section of the Remutaka Cycle Trail follows the popular Hutt River Trail, winding its way from the Petone wharf through riverside parkland all the way to Maymorn. You’ll pass by some of New Zealand’s most important cultural history along the way, including Māori pā (fortified villages) and early European settlements. Take your time to visit the Petone Settlers Museum and Boulcott’s Farm Incident site on your travels. When you eventually reach Te Marua, you’ll leave the riverbank and follow a short 2km section of road

to the end of the trail at Maymorn (the start of section two).

MAYMORN TO CROSS CREEK, 25KM The second section of the Remutaka Cycle Trail follows an old railway route, established in 1878 as a connection between Wellington and the Wairarapa. The trail weaves through the Remutaka Ranges taking in historical sights along the way. You’ll plunge through restored rail tunnels, cross the historic ‘Howe’ truss bridge (1876) spanning the Pakuratahi River, and pass through old

railyards before climbing up through native bush and plantation forest to the summit of the Ranges. Then, it’s a downhill ride along the historic Fell Locomotive Incline with an exciting half-kilometre journey through Summit Tunnel (1877). At the bottom of the hill you’ll emerge at Cross Creek, where you’ll enter the wide-open expanse of the Wairarapa Valley (the start of section three). At Cross Creek you can choose to turn north-east on Western Lake Rd and continue to Featherston (12km), or carry on to section three of the Remutaka Cycle Trail.

Locomotive ruins at summit, Pakuratahi Forest © Caleb Smith

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state highway

© AA Traveller 2018

CROSS CREEK TO OCEAN BEACH, 36KM The third section of the Remutaka Cycle Trail starts at Cross Creek and continues through to Ocean Beach (36km), a small village perched on the south coast of the Wairarapa. On your journey you’ll head south-west and ride along the shores of Lake Wairarapa through ‘big sky country’, where sheep and cattle graze on local farmland. You’ll then pass Lake Ōnoke, part of the Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park, where indigenous and migratory waterbirds flock and have been hunted by Māori for centuries. Finally, you’ll arrive on the South Coast amongst rows of iconic Kiwi baches on Ocean Beach (the start of section four).

OCEAN BEACH TO ŌRONGORONGO RIVER, 18KM The final section of the Remutaka Cycle Trail takes in the rugged beauty of the wild south coast. The trail works its way through Ōrongorongo Station, one of the longest running farm operations in New Zealand, and on a clear day, you’ll take in views all the way to the snow-capped peaks of the Kaikōura Ranges. You’ll pass by Turakirae Head and see raised beaches formed by a series of tectonic uplifts over the past 7,000 years. If you’re lucky, you might also meet some of the 500 fur seals that make their home on the headlands each winter. The final part of the trail runs north to the mouth of the Ōrongorongo River where the Wainuiomata Coast Rd provides a link back to Wellington. A shuttle service is available from the end of the trail and details are available online.


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Cool Little Capital

When you’re ready to hit the trail head to Petone by either taking your bike on the East by West Ferry across Wellington Harbour to Days Bay and riding around the eastern beach suburbs to Petone, catching the train to Petone or driving there.

Cycling Mākara Peak © WellingtonNZ.com ABOVE: Wellington waterfront © Positively Wellington Tourism

Wellington: Made for Mountain Biking

You can bring the whole family for a cruise around easy-grade Koru and Lazy Fern, get some berm action and spectacular summit views on the intermediate trails, or tear into the gnarly, technical trails if you’re an expert. A great sampling of Mākara Peak’s intermediate and advanced tracks, the Grand Loop is a popular circuit. Built and maintained by dedicated

volunteers, the 12km loop takes in the summit and plenty of sweet single tracks with challenges for the more experienced rider. The summit of the 412m-high peak is reached on a single-track climb that’s not too taxing. After taking in the sweeping views of city and sea, you have the choice of trails graded between 3 and 6 for the start of the homeward run. The wide Peak Flow is designed to be the easiest descent from the summit, while Trickle Falls (Tricky Falls) is one of the most technical. If you can’t make the first drop-off with confidence, turn back as it only gets worse. Mākara Peak can get busy at weekends and during public holidays, so if you like some space, an early, late or weekday ride is your best bet. The Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park’s main car park is 1km down South Karori Rd.

Wellington City

after Duke of Wellington, British military hero • on SH 1

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Remutaka Cycle Trail?

Base your trip from CityLife Wellington. In the heart of Wellington on Lambton Quay with spacious studios, one & two bedroom suites. 300 Lambton Quay, Wellington Vehicle entrance from 14 Gilmer Terrace

HHM629WLG 06/19

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he hub of Wellington’s vast mountain biking network, Mākara Peak’s tracks range from flow to whoa! A massive hill around 15 minutes’ drive from Wellington, the purpose-built Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park was established in 1998 and is now a first-rate attraction. With over 40km of tracks in 250ha of regenerating native bush, the park offers great variety for such an easily accessible location.

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

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GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

he Remutaka Cycle Trail is right on Wellington’s doorstep, our cosmopolitan capital city that embodies all the warmth and personality of a village with the energy and sophistication of the world’s biggest cities. Famous for its vibrant art and cultural scene, legendary cuisine and charming boutiques, Wellington city’s compact geography means you can easily walk from one side to the other. Take a parliament or movie tour, then visit our national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, and the ZEALANDIA sanctuary, a worldclass conservation project.


Along the trail

Wainuiomata is adjacent to Catchpool Valley, part of the Remutaka Forest Park, where there are tramping tracks and huts next to the Orongorongo River. The gravel track around the foreshore to Pencarrow Light – the first permanent lighthouse in New Zealand – is an easy and attractive day-walk or cycle.

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Dowse Art Museum © huttvalleynz.com

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he trail’s kicking off point, Petone sits at the head of the Wellington Harbour in Lower Hutt. Known for its coffee roasters, food producers, artisan products and designer fashion labels, it’s a great place for a bite to eat and a spot of retail therapy. Petone’s Jackson Street is a popular and picturesque boulevard of boutiques, cafés, bars and restaurants, so it’s the best place

to start. Take a Walk In Style guided tour to local fashion designers for a taste of the new amongst stories of yesteryear in this historic shopping precinct. Don’t miss The Dowse Art Museum, where multimedia, fashion and painting combine in a creative hub. Lord of the Rings fans will want to take a short detour to Harcourt Park, the filming location for the ‘Gardens of Isengard’ scene where Middle-earth’s two most

powerful wizards walked and talked. As with most of Wellington, Lower Hutt’s proximity to the splendours of nature makes it perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities. The beach at Petone is a very popular place for jogging, walking and dog-walking, and the pier at the western end is used for fishing. The banks of the Hutt River have been developed for both walking and cycling.

Upper Hutt is the gateway to the great outdoors with stunning vistas, world-class walks and cycleways and family-friendly attractions. Stroll through the bustling boutique stores in the city centre before getting active and heading off into the wilderness of the Remutaka Forest Park or taking a kayak or rafting trip down the Hutt River. Visit Kaitoke Regional Park, home to Rivendell where scenes from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy were shot. From Upper Hutt, take a drive into the Akatarawa Valley to visit Staglands, a 25-acre wildlife park, and interact with the wildlife. Winding down from your outdoor excursions, visit the Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre or the pool complex H2O Xtream. UPPER HUTT

WELLINGTON’S KIWI HOLIDAY PARK

Gateway to the south... Features all-weather and grass power sites

Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park 0800 521 099 95 Hutt Park Road Gracefield, Lower Hutt wellingtontop10.co.nz

Located in the heart of New Zealand, Wellington TOP 10 is the perfect location to base your next break away and explore our stunning scenery by bike. Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • 12km from Ferry Terminal • Playground • WiFi • BBQ Area • Air Cushion • TV Room with SKY

TARIFF: • Tent sites $18 adult, $10 child (unmetered showers) • Power sites $28 (single), $45 (double), extra $18, child $10 • Standard Cabins $50 (double), extra $15, child $10 • Family Cabins $75 (double), extra $15, child $10 • ECO Cabins $80 (double), extra $15, child $10 • Kitchen Cabins $90 (double), extra $15, child $10 • Tourist flats $120 (double), extra $15, child $10 • Motels $145 (double), extra $15, child $10

WELLINGTON’S KIWI HOLIDAY PARK

45 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt P +64 4 526 7400 • 027 243 2133 E harcourtholidaypark@xtra.co.nz Proprietors: Giles Family

Easy access to Remutaka Cycle Trail, Forest Park and Orongorongo Track Secure Bike Storage and Bike Cleaning Facilities WELLINGTON’S KIWI HOLIDAY PARK Suitable for large buses and campervans. Approximately 25 minutes from Wellington and ferry terminals. Connecting bus and train service to Wellington City from holiday park. Seasonal rates.

Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park

Phone for reservations: +64 4 526 7400 www.harcourtholidaypark.co.nz

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JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

The Northern Explorer train journey

The Northern Explorer click-clacks through the heart of the North Island over one epic day of train travel. Covering 680km of some of the North Island’s most beautiful scenery, this is the most relaxing way to travel between Wellington and Auckland.

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fter finishing the Remutaka Cycle Trail, take an East by West ferry from Eastbourne to Wellington City. Take some time out in Wellington and explore our cool little capital – with its vibrant art and cultural scene and legendary cuisine – before boarding the Northern Explorer for a train journey you won’t forget in a hurry.

JUST OFF THE TRAIL... After crossing the Remutaka Range into the Wairarapa, many riders turn off the trail to finish their day’s ride in Featherston. If you’re in need of nourishment, C’est Cheese delicatessen has the makings of a delicious antipasto platter. Featherston’s Fell Locomotive Museum provides a fascinating background to the Remutaka Incline rail system, which the cycle trail now follows. Masterton is the Wairarapa’s largest town. It’s a great family destination, with the Queen

Elizabeth Park providing a playground, flying fox, minigolf, pedal boats, skate park, swing bridge and deer park. The Castlepoint lighthouse, 70km east of the town, was one of New Zealand’s last manned lighthouses. Martinborough Village is the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Spend a glorious day cycling between the vineyards and olive groves, most of which are within walking/cycling distance of the town centre. Antique shopping should also be on your to-do list here.

Although bound for Auckland, there are plenty of stops along the way where you can break up your journey and spend some time if you wish: Palmerston North, Ōhakune, National Park, Ōtorohanga and Hamilton. Everything is geared up to make the most of your sightseeing adventure. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving you uninterrupted views of New Zealand in all its natural glory. See rolling farmland, the harsh landscapes of the volcanic plateau, Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu, stunning river gorges and the world-famous Raurimu Spiral – a single-track railway corkscrew and engineering masterpiece. Sometimes the train squeezes through tight crevices and the banks either side seem close enough to touch, then suddenly the land bursts wide open, offering boundless views over valleys and pine forests. See it all in one day, or hop off along the way for a night. Take in some fresh air on the open-air viewing decks, or mooch about in the loungestyle seating at the rear of the glass-backed carriage. It’s a positively stress-free way to travel the long-haul route from the Beehive to the Big Smoke. No traffic jams, no back-seat drivers, no worries!

Upper Hutt

after the Hutt River • 33km NE of Wellington on SH 2 136 Akatarawa Rd, Birchville, Upper Hutt PH: +64 4 526 6948 E: tranquilityhomestaybnb@gmail.com

www.tranquilityhomestay.co.nz Secure storage for bicycles. Bed & Breakfast nestled on 0.4ha among native trees, lawn and garden. Wellington CBD 25min. Upper Hutt CBD 3min. Close to The Lord of the Rings locations. Ferry and airport pick-up for a small cost. 4 bedrooms: single/twin shared facilities, queen with ensuite & spa bath, double with ensuite. Pets by arrangement. Tariff: B&B $80-$155 (single/double). On the Cycle Trail.

RESERVATIONS: 0800 27 07 87

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GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Hapuawhenua Viaduct, Northern Explorer LEFT: Waiteti Viaduct BOTH© KiwiRail


GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Join us in our big backyard on the Remutaka Cycle Trail ...and discover how riders #lovethehutt on their adventures in the Hutt Valley.

Explore our neighbourhood Take a short break from your ride at Brewtown, a beer-lovers dream with award-winning craft breweries Panhead, Kererū, Te Aro, and Boneface. Enjoy tours, tastings, and delicious food matches — all within walking distance from Upper Hutt city.

Dip your toes along the trail with plenty of options to cool off. Plunge into one of the many swimming spots along the Hutt River, loved by locals and visitors alike. Detour to the Wainuiomata Summer Pool for poolside miniputt, water slides, and BBQs in the sun. Swap your cycling shoes for golf shoes and test your handicap on courses that have hosted international championships with some of the world’s greatest golfers. Play a round along the trail at riverside courses including the Royal Wellington, Manor Park, Boulcott’s Farm and Te Marua Golf Clubs.

huttvalleynz 80


Explore the bays by pedal power along the Pencarrow Coast to visit New Zealand’s first lighthouse, lit in 1859. Venture to the stunning Pencarrow Lakes, Kohangapiripiri and Kohangatera, and surrounding wetlands with views to the South Island.

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Rediscover the past

Get wild Visit magical Middle-earth along the trail with sights from The Lord of the Rings and put yourself in the scene at Rivendell in Kaitoke Regional Park. Stop in at Stansborough Mill to see the makers of the movies’ unique costumes and woven eco-textiles.

Get muddy in Waiu Park— Lower Hutt’s free mountain bike park with 20km of tracks ranging from easy to techincal which climb to the top of Wainuiomata Hill.

Truly go back in time and relive our rail heritage at the Silver Stream Railway. Just minutes from the trail you will find the steam locomotives and museum.

Ride from the Hutt River up the Te Whiti Riser for a MTB detour with stunning harbour views.

Watch, or even ride along in operational steam locomotives, diesel locomotives and railcars. Encounter the unique history at the Petone Settlers Museum, Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one which sits right beside the trail. With stories of local iwi Te Atiawa and early European settlers, visitors are welcome to climb aboard and peer into the past.

Take the afternoon off and have animals eating out of your hand at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, a unique interactive wildlife park. Nestled in the picturesque Akatarawa Valley, there are no barriers between you and the animals.

huttvalleynz.com/ridethetrail 81


QUEEN CHARLOTTE

Track

Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough © Richard Briggs

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

TRAIL INFO 2-3 Days 70km

TRAIL GRADE: MERETOTO/SHIP COVE TO CAMP BAY, 26.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) to GRADE 4 (ADVANCED). Ship Cove to the Saddle is GRADE 5 (EXPERT)

SHIP COVE to ANAKIWA 2-3 days

70km

Incredibly beautiful and rich in human history, the Marlborough Sounds is a magical place of deep blue bays, beaches, forest and viewfilled ridgelines. The Queen Charlotte Track takes visitors deep into its reaches.

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tarting in a remote, historic cove in the outer Sounds, the track is also accessible from many of Queen Charlotte’s most popular bays. Sprinkled along them are many memorable campsites, lodges and resorts, breaking this back-to-nature ride up in comfort and style. But there’s so much more

to this journey than just biking, with swimming, kayaking, walking and wildlife cruises just some of the memorable activities in the mix. Excellent transport and a variety of tour options means there’s an adventure for almost everyone. For seasoned riders, the full 70km trail is best ridden over two to

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Magnificent views of the Sound • Lovely stretches of sweeping trail • Sweet-smelling coastal forest • Overnight stays in memorable, welcoming locations

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three days, taking advantage of atmospheric accommodation and the occasional resort café and bar. Luggage transfers allow riders to cycle light. The trail begins with the scenic boat cruise from Picton to Meretoto in the far reaches of Queen Charlotte Sound. From there, boat operators cruise all the way back to Picton, stopping at various bays including Anakiwa (where the trail ends) and returning back to Picton, enabling day-riders to choose sections to suit. The Ship Cove to Camp Bay section is closed in peak season (1 Dec–28 Feb) when the boat operators drop riders to Camp Bay. Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Passes can be purchased from selected operators or directly from the Queen Charlotte Track Landowners Co-operative.

QCTLC Pass • Swimming, sunshine, relaxation • Waterside resorts and dining • Bike–cruise–kayak options • Wildlife tours – see birds, dolphins, stingrays and more • Māori and European history

Sections of the track cross private land. All users are required to have a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass.

CAMP BAY TO TŌREA SADDLE, 24.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) to GRADE 4 (ADVANCED). Kenepuru Saddle to the Bay of Many Coves Campsite is GRADE 5 (EXPERT) TŌREA SADDLE TO ANAKIWA, 20.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) to GRADE 4 (ADVANCED). Climb from Torea Saddle is GRADE 5 (EXPERT) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Patchy along the first section of trail, from Meretoto to Camp Bay. From Camp Bay to Anakiwa there is reasonable signal most of the way. DRINKING WATER: Water supplies are limited, particularly in the peak season due to dry conditions. It is advised that you fill up your bottles from reliable sources before you set off each day. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential. In accordance with New Zealand Cycle Trail policy, e-bikes are not permitted on trails graded 4 and above. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GRADE 5 (EXPERT)


Endeav o ur I nlet

MAP LEGEND open section

Crail Bay

optional section boat / water taxi route

café / restaurant

Camp Bay

toilets car park

camping

point of interest

shelter

i-SITE Visitor Centre

state highway

1

town

y Coves

of M a n

i

Bay

kaka Bay Rua

Kumutot o Ba

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rm

Grove A

ANAKIWA

ay ea B Tor

hau Bay Ona

Davies Bay

Lochmara Bay

Mistletoe Bay

Blackwood Ba

ia Bay ah M

TOREA SADDLE

TE MAHIA SADDLE ound au S h a M

y

Portage

Te

Blumine Island

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

Eatwell’s Lookout Black Rock

nd Kenepu u Sou r

SCHOOLHOUSE BAY Resolution Bay

KENEPURU SADDLE

accommodation

start / finish point

MERETOTO/ SHIP COVE

ranu

a / Tōt d n ou tte S o l r a n Ch Quee

nd Isla aoa p a Ar l nne Tory C ha

Ngakuta Bay The Grove

Momorangi Bay

Aussie Bay

PICTON 1

© AA Traveller 2019

riding the trail Ship Cove 600m

Kenepuru Saddle

Schoolhouse Bay

4km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

22.5km

24.5km

Tōrea Saddle & Portage 8km

Te Mahia Anakiwa Saddle 12.5km

400m 200m 0m

MERETOTO/SHIP COVE TO CAMP BAY, 26.5KM The first section from Ship Cove to Camp Bay is closed for biking between 1 Dec and 28 Feb. The trail starts with a fairly hefty climb out of the cove, with sweet-smelling beech forest lining a good part of the trail. A grand lookout point offers a chance to rest before a reasonably gnarly descent down to Resolution Bay. (Note that riders can start the trail at Resolution Bay to avoid this taxing start.) This section of the track is currently being upgraded and re-routed which will enhance the experience and reduce the difficulty. It’s a reasonably gentle climb out of Resolution Bay to reach Tawa Saddle.

From there the trail takes in views all the way around Endeavour Inlet. The track is mainly flat and wide, allowing riders to enjoy the forest and birdlife along with various salty seaside scenes and a couple of holiday resorts offering refreshments.

CAMP BAY TO TŌREA SADDLE, 24.5KM The QCTLC Pass is required for this section. Sidling around ridgelines for much of the way, this section certainly has its ups and downs but rewards riders with magnificent new panoramas at every turn. The climb from Camp Bay to Kenepuru Saddle is the first of many – totalling 900m in all – and ushers riders on to the ridgeline

separating Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru sounds. Eatwell’s Lookout is particularly impressive, but it is just one of many on this awesome section. Onward it goes, passing two DOC campsites and endless other spots to stop and absorb the grandeur. It’s a bit of a bumpy final run to Tōrea Saddle where the track meets the short, steep road linking the two Sounds. The right turn leads to Portage where there’s a campsite and other accommodation options. On-road alternative: riders looking for an easier route can ride the sealed road from Kenepuru Saddle to Portage. The road is quiet and undulating with pretty views.

TŌREA TO ANAKIWA, 20.5KM

The QCTLC Pass is required for this

section. A decent whack of the day’s 600m of climbing is delivered in the fairly brutal first few kilometres; many riders will have to get off and push. This slog will soon be forgotten once back on the view-filled tops. Along this section the landscape is a patchy but pleasant mix of old farmland and regenerating native bush. The trail eventually dips down and sidles around the top of Lochmara Bay before hitting the final climb over Te Mahia Saddle. Riders with time and gas in the tank should head down to superpretty Mistletoe Bay, a great place for a picnic (or indeed an overnight stop). From Te Mahia Saddle, it’s a relatively easy cruise around Ōnahau Bay and the Grove Arm, with the trail continued on p.84

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continued from p.83

Boat cruise on Wairau Sound © Destination Marlborough

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

hugging the shoreline for the last few kilometres – handy if you’re keeping an eye out for your boat. If you have time, linger a while at Davies/ Umungata Bay just shy of the end of the trail. Then again, the ice cream stall at Anakiwa may well be open, and you’ll certainly have earned yourself a refreshing treat. In the past, most riders have finished their ride with the boat trip back to Picton, but the creation of the Link Pathway between Picton and Havelock means it’s also now possible to bike back to Picton via the picturesque Queen Charlotte Drive and Link Pathway which, once completed in 2020, will ‘link’ the Queen Charlotte Track with Picton and Havelock.

The Marlborough Sounds are a maze of mirror-calm channels, deep coves and secluded bays with songbird-filled forest that dives down to the water’s edge.

Marlborough Sounds

Blenheim

after Duke of Marlborough’s victory at Blenheim • 310km N of Christchurch on SH 1

Hiding in plain sight. Discover our award winning range of beautifully handcrafted wines. Relax and take in breath-taking views while enjoying local produce platters al fresco or in our stylish tasting room.

Tasting Room and Winery 37 Lake Timara Road, Waihopai Valley 03 572 6207 // spyvalleywine.co.nz Family owned // Sustainably crafted // For wine lovers // #seekspy

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his is an awe-inspiring feast for the eyes, a playground of abundant wilderness and home to over 50 nature reserves and several wildlife sanctuaries. Made up of four main waterways – Queen Charlotte, Pelorus, Kenepuru and Mahau sounds, together they total one-fifth of New Zealand’s total coastline – which gives some indication of how much there is to explore here. The opportunities for maritime pursuits here are many, from sea kayaking and sailing to fishing, diving and marine life watching.

You can opt for a cruise to one of the mussel or salmon farms and see how they’re grown, then dine on fresh seafood straight from ocean to plate.

Picton: home base Sitting in a horseshoe curve along a pretty harbour, Picton is radiant as a base for exploring the Sounds. Take a cruise, learn the history, check out the arts and crafts or relax with a glass of locally produced wine.


Pelorus Sound © Destination Marlborough BELOW: Kayaking, Picton marina © Richard Briggs

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Jump on board the mail boat

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hey are also host to a community with a unique history and flavour. The people who live here are hardy, resourceful and appreciative of the beautiful spot they’re lucky enough to enjoy. With no road access to many homes in the Sounds, locals depend on the mail boat’s visits for supplies and socialising – and for tourists, this presents an opportunity to get off the beaten track and catch a glimpse of life in this isolated yet stunning environment. A classic way to see the Pelorus Sound is on the Pelorus Mail Boat Run, one of the last genuine delivery boats in the world. From the fishing

village of Havelock, the service has been bringing groceries, passengers, and mail to isolated Sounds people for nearly 100 years, and now adds tourism to its repertoire. Since 1922, the boat has carried freight, stock and fare-paying tourists who make it viable for the contractors who run the route. You can also take a half-day Mail Boat Cruise on the Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton. No one day is the same, with the route changing daily to cover different areas, but one thing is the same – you’ll share in the excitement of mail day with the residents of this unique place.

Along the trail Captain Cook and his crew took shelter at Ship Cove/Meretoto five times. The English explorer spent more time here than anywhere else in New Zealand during his expeditions. Look out for the monument commemorating his incredible voyages. Anakiwa is the home of Outward Bound, the leading outdoor challengeeducation organisation. Break for a

coffee or ice cream. There are toilets, a shelter, car parking, public phone, jetty and accommodation nearby. The Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre at Lochmara Bay has an art shop, sculpture trail and café, plus captive kākāriki and gecko breeding programmes and a rehabilitation facility for wildlife, and self-guided walks. There’s a

new underwater observatory where you can see the Sounds from a new perspective, as well as feed stingrays and explore a seaside ‘touch tank’. Take an eco cruise from Picton to remote Motuara and Blumine islands to see some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, including the King Shag and Mohua and Orange Fronted Parakeets. Blumine has impressive gun

placements left behind from WWII. As you follow the track you may spot dolphins, stingrays and seals, or catch a glimpse of fantails, tomtits, kererū (native wood pigeon), and ground-dwelling weka. For a close encounter with the wildlife, take a guided eco tour and sail to the outer bays. Dolphin swimming trips are also available.

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GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

The Marlborough Sounds are a holiday-maker’s paradise; river valleys drowned by the deep workings of a fault line, with dark green bush-clad peaks rising above gentle, clear blue waters which are often home to dolphins and orca.


COPPERMINE Trail GREAT RIDE • COPPERMINE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

4-6 Hours 43km Cycling Coppermine Trail © Coppermine Trail

BROOK STREET, NELSON ROUND TRIP 4-6 hours

43km

The Coppermine Trail is one of New Zealand’s most accessible alpine mountain bike rides, all the more memorable for its relatively easy up, exhilarating down, amazing rocky tops, sweetsmelling beech forest and meandering river trail.

S

tarting amidst Nelson’s cafés and pubs, this amazing day ride heads directly into spectacular hill country via Codger’s Mountain Bike Park and the historic Dun Mountain Railway. Broad panoramas of Tasman Bay and the rocky tops of Coppermine Saddle

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are just some of the rewards. Others are the brilliant 10km downhill through rock gardens and bush, and the leisurely pedal back to Nelson via the pretty Maitai Valley. The technical Grade 4 downhill section makes the full loop best

TRAIL GRADES: BROOK ST TO THIRD HOUSE, 11.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

suited to fit, experienced singletrack riders, but intermediate-grade riders can enjoy a loop around the lower Codgers tracks or a return-ride via the Dun Mountain Railway to Third House or Coppermine Saddle. From Nelson i-SITE the full loop is 43km, shortened to 38km if you start and finish at the Brook St trailhead (as described on the following page), around 15 minutes’ ride from the centre of town. Allow four to six hours, or a full day if you’re the sort of person who likes to linger over their lunch or photograph the odd rock. Although the ride time may only be 4-6 hours, it is recommended you allow a full day to enjoy this unique environment. It requires a good fitness level and all riders should be competent mountain bikers.

THIRD HOUSE TO COPPERMINE SADDLE, 6KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) COPPERMINE SADDLE TO MAITAI DAM, 9.6KM GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) MAITAI DAM TO BROOK ST, 11KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good coverage close to the city, and at points on the climb to Coppermine Saddle, Third House being one point. Once past Third House coverage is very poor. DRINKING WATER: Sufficient water should be carried to last the entire day. Supplies are readily available in Nelson city. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for this trail. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)


“When you mix spectacular scenery with a pristine mountain trail you get an unforgettable experience. Go see for yourself why more than 10,000 people per annum enjoy the trail, making it one of New Zealand’s hottest spots for mountain biking.” Nelson City Council Mayor, Rachel Reese

MAP LEGEND

© AA Traveller 2019

BROOK ST TO THIRD HOUSE, 11.5KM

Ha

ven

The trail begins in the lower reaches of Codgers MTB Park, a fun place to ride with trails to suit most abilities.

o els

n

The trail soon joins the old railway, a narrow gauge, horse-drawn operation that is considered New Zealand’s very first railway. It was used to transport chromium copper from hillside mines – hence the name ‘Coppermine’.

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Around three quarters of the way down, the gradient eases and the track undulates towards Maitai Dam. Open stretches of flowing track offer a chance to open up the throttle a bit but be aware that this is a dual-use track. After crossing the Maitai South Branch Bridge, note a left turn onto a walking track signposted to the Maitai Caves. This is a worthwhile side trip if you don’t mind locking your bike to a tree

start / finish point

car park

point of interest

camping

AA Centre

shelter

i-SITE Visitor Centre

accommodation

Maitai Valley Road

NELSON

1

6

state highway

Hira Forest

Sunday Hole (swimming)

Brook Street

Maitai Valley Motor Camp Tantragee Saddle

MAITAI DAM

ur

SMITHS FORD

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As the trail undulates upwards, the landscape begins its drastic transformation from bushy to bald, before long ushering riders on to an exposed ridge with stunted mānuka and other hardy plant life. Welcome to the so-called mineral belt, studded with strikingly coloured rocks.

Yes, it sure is rugged, but if you’re a solid intermediate rider who’s starting to tick over into advanced, this should be achievable for you. There are a few seriously gnarly surprises, so you can always dismount and walk when the going gets too tough.

toilets

Four Corners

R B a r nico a t

an

Cu m m

in s

Wooded Peak Third House

ge Windy Point

riding the trail Nelson 1000m

4km

Dun Mountain 1129m

Brook Street

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Third House 11.5km

COPPERMINE SADDLE 878m

6km

Coppermine Saddle

Maitai Dam

9.6km

Smiths Ford 3.8km

Nelson 3.1km

800m 600m 400m 200m 0m

or walking with it for the half an hour each way. The stunning caves are well worth the side-trip.

MAITAI DAM TO BROOK ST, 11KM The final section of the Coppermine Trail parallels Nelson’s water pipeline on a cruisy, bush-lined trail on a ledge above the river. After around 4km, at Smiths Ford, the trail joins the quiet Maitai Valley Rd. Tired riders can simply follow the road back to Nelson, while those with gas left in the tank can follow the only marginally harder Maitai Valley Walkway – you can follow this all the way back to the i-SITE, or detour into the backstreets to close the loop back to the Brook St trailhead. A map or Google will get you there.

Nelson after Admiral Lord Nelson • 134km W of Picton

Maitai Valley Motor Camp • Spacious, affordable camping • Mountain biking/walks • Dun Mountain Trail • Maitai Caves • Centre of NZ • Walk in the Maitai Valley • Swim in the Maitai • 6min by vehicle to banks, cafés • Pet-friendly Tariff: Power $16pp Non-powered $10pp Cabins/Caravans from $50pp

472 Maitai Valley Rd, Nelson • P: +64 3 548 7729 Email: maitaivalleymc@xtra.co.nz www.maitaivalleymotorcamp.co.nz

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GREAT RIDE • COPPERMINE TRAIL

6

THIRD HOUSE TO COPPERMINE SADDLE, 6KM

Get ready to rumble, because this is a wild ride of fast-forward, big corners and rock-dodging. Expect watery eyes, white knuckles and an ear-to-ear grin.

optional route

hill / mountain

Third House, the basic shelter at 660m above sea level, is an atmospheric place to rest with the possibility of a weka wandering in.

COPPERMINE SADDLE TO MAITAI DAM, 9.6KM

café/restaurant

town

The old railway line makes for a steady but gentle climb around the flanks of Wooded Peak, aptly named for its cloak of regenerating and mature beech forest. The views back towards Nelson, Tasman Bay and faraway ranges become evermore impressive as you progress.

At Windy Point – which probably will be – the trail continues as singletrack for a couple of kilometres before reaching the trail’s highpoint, Coppermine Saddle (878m). New views of the Maitai Valley and Richmond Ranges are revealed around these parts, which combined with its rugged beauty make it a pretty awesome spot to stop for lunch.

6

open section


GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Biking the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail © Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

TRAIL INFO

NELSON ROUND TRIP 1-4 days

174km

Starting in Nelson City and looping through the Tasman towns of Richmond, Māpua, Motueka, Kaiteriteri and Wakefield, the Great Taste Trail is a terrific way to tour the attractions of this popular holiday destination.

I

ts mix of rural, urban, coastal and riverside scenery is a fabulous feast for the eyes. Natural beauty, however, is only part of the appeal, with this trail serving up a tantalising array of

tasty attractions – from art galleries and boutique shopping to fruit stalls, cafés, craft beer pubs and winery restaurants. Forming a big loop around the Nelson Tasman region, the trail can

• Beaches including the glittering Kaiteriteri • Fruit stalls, fish and chips, pie shops, ice cream • Pretty vineyards and wine tasting • Artist studios – glass-blowing, ceramics, painters and more

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174km

be enjoyed in full over several days or dipped into on short hops or day rides. Base yourself in one place or overnight along the way – either way you’re set for a super-sweet sightseeing tour with flavours to suit almost anyone. Note that this trail is continually improving as a dedicated offroad pathway is built to replace temporary sections, mostly along quiet country roads. On-trail signage ensures finding the way is clear, while the trail website (and Facebook page) detail the latest updates. On the following page, the trail is described effectively in its two ‘branches’ – the coastal section (more or less) from Nelson to Kaiteriteri; and from Wakefield through to Riwaka via the inland foothills and Motueka Valley.

TRAIL GRADES: NELSON TO MĀPUA, 35KM GRADE 2 (EASY) MĀPUA TO MOTUEKA, 26KM GRADE 2 (EASY) MOTUEKA TO KAITERITERI, 16KM GRADE 2 (EASY) RICHMOND TO WAKEFIELD, 15KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) WAKEFIELD TO KOHATU, 25KM GRADE 2 (EASY) KOHATU TO RIWAKA, 57KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good across the coastal section. Gaps in reception on some of the inland sections south of Wakefield and Motueka. DRINKING WATER: Water bottles can be filled at various settlements; be sure to carry plenty on hot summer days. TYPE OF BIKE: A hybrid bike is suitable unless you plan on tackling the Kaiteriteri MTB park.

look out for... Highlights of the trail

1-4 Days

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park • Native and migratory seabirds • Māpua’s riverside village precinct • Historic (and spooky!) Spooners railway tunnel • Vibrant Nelson city • Motueka – gateway to Abel Tasman • Craft beer made here – ‘the home of hops’

This purpose-built 180ha off-road park is maintained by enthusiastic volunteers who have helped shape the park into a mountain biking mecca. The park has trails for all skill levels and is a hit with both locals and visitors.

MĀPUA FERRY: The 200m, 7min ferry journey across Māpua Inlet will take you between Rabbit Island and Māpua Wharf and back again. This is the only way to make the crossing; the alternative route is a hilly 15km via busy SH 60 and not recommended. Check the timetable ahead of time as sailings are infrequent. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


© AA Traveller 2019

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MAP LEGEND

KAITERITERI

Riwaka

town

section under construction

café/restaurant toilets

start / finish point

MOTUEKA

camping

point of interest

Riv er

e ng Ra

ad Ro ka k n t Mo st We

shelter

AA Service

ue

Ba

Ar thu r

Brooklyn

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i-SITE Visitor Centre

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1

tunnel

Tasman

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Ruby Bay WOODSTOCK

MAPUA

Tasman Bay

ferry

NELSON

Thorpe Dovedale

Airport

Dov eda

Road

le

Stanley Brook

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Rabbit Island

Waimea Estuary Stoke

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Dovedale Hill Summit 326m

Mot ueka

Richmond

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r

Rive

Pigeon Valley Road

Tapawera

Brightwater

WAKEFIELD Wai-iti

Kohatu

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Norris Gully

Belgrove

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ge an R on ord

6 Spooners Tunnel

riding the trail Nelson

400m

Wakefield

30km

30km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Woodstock

Motueka

38km

26km

Māpua

Nelson 35km

200m 0m

NELSON TO MĀPUA, 35KM This section starts at Nelson i-SITE and heads in the direction of adjacent Richmond town via the railway reserve cycleway. After a gentle up-and-over, it exits the central city and follows a waterside pathway between Nelson’s major highway and light industrial area, and the bird-filled Waimea Inlet. As the trail nears Richmond it splits in two, with the right fork leading towards Māpua on a mix of quiet lanes and a stopbank track. It then crosses the Waimea River via a purpose-built suspension bridge. (At Richmond, the straight-ahead option leads to the town centre and further inland via the Wakefield section.) The trail then crosses a causeway to Rabbit Island/ Moturoa, a popular recreation area. It’s a pleasant cruise across the island to reach the ferry landing, then it’s just a 200m boat hop to Māpua Wharf.

MĀPUA TO MOTUEKA, 26KM Having left Māpua via quiet streets, the trail rejoins the shore along Ruby Bay but soon leaves it again to head into rolling hill country. Most folks will find it a comfortable granny-gear climb to a highpoint where there are panoramic views across to the western ranges and big blue of Tasman Bay. There’s plenty of time to take it all in as the trail gradually descends via the aptly named Tasman View Rd. After a few turns left and right along more country roads you’ll arrive at Motueka.

MOTUEKA TO KAITERITERI, 16KM This section starts with the salt-licked sights of Motueka’s seafront then crosses the impressive Motueka River. The trail then follows pretty country lanes to reach Riwaka where you should keep

your eyes peeled for a pie shop, café, brewery and fruit stalls. Be warned that if you ate before setting off from Motueka, you could still be too full for a Ginger Dynamite pie… (Riwaka is the junction of the inland trail heading up the Motueka Valley towards Norris Gully.) The trail continues through fruity country to meet a lovely stretch of coastal pathway, at first winding over bridges and boardwalk. A gentle climb reveals stupendous views right across Tasman Bay. An underpass provides safe access to Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. Even riders without much ‘mountain biking’ experience should enjoy the gently rolling and sweeping route through to Kaiteriteri village. Kaiteriteri Beach’s glorious golden sands teem with holidaymakers in summer. The waterfront café is a good spot to take it all in. Various Abel Tasman National Park adventures also start from here.

RICHMOND TO WAKEFIELD, 15KM This section heads off on an inland tangent, taking in the country settlements of Brightwater and Wakefield. If you are prepared to explore off the trail there are several wine tasting opportunities here. Rich in history and home to 2000 people, Wakefield is a pleasant place to rest a while or break your journey overnight. Leaving Richmond (bottom Queen St), the trail passes through vineyards to reach Ranzau Rd, then turns a couple of corners to meet Pugh Rd and eventually the Waimea River. An impressive suspension bridge takes you to the other side. Off the bridge, it’s a left turn towards Brightwater, a welcoming place to stop for refreshments before heading onwards. Charlotte Lane then leads riders out of Brightwater, through an underpass, on to Lord Rutherford and Higgins roads and into the heart of Wakefield village via Edward St.

WAKEFIELD TO KOHATU, 25KM The section south from Wakefield to Wai-iti Domain requires 5km of Continued on p.90

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GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Ngatimoti


Continued from p.89

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

on-road riding (with the construction of an off-road trail currently underway), before the trail returns to a dedicated cycle path to reach Belgrove. Check out the Belgrove Railway Windmill (built 1897) as you pass through town. The trail shadows the road for a while then joins the old Nelson Railway route through pastoral countryside and past historic tobacco kilns until it reaches the seriously spectacular Spooners Tunnel. The railway line was in use up until 1955, when its closure was met by major protests. The 1400m-long Spooners Tunnel is now New Zealand’s longest decommissioned rail tunnel. It’s also the sixth-longest pedestrian and cycle tunnel in the world, and the longest in the southern hemisphere. Suffice to say, it’s pretty dark in there, so you’ll need to carry a torch if you want to survey the interior and avoid getting spooked, although we think a spot of spookiness is all part of its charm. A warm layer is also needed as it gets quite cold, particularly in the middle and obviously more so in winter. Another 7km takes you down to Kohatu Junction (passing the Norris Gully car park along the way) where the trail meets the road down the Motueka Valley. This is a good place for refreshments at the Flat Rock Café

and to get a pick-up if you want to avoid the next section of road riding through to Riwaka.

KOHATU TO RIWAKA, 57KM Kohatu marks the end of purpose-built trail; this road section is temporary while fundraising and construction continues for the completion of the off-road trail. At Kohatu it’s a right turn towards the small settlement of Tapawera, 7km away, where there’s a café, pub, shops and tiny Tapawera Museum located in the old railway station. It’s another 17km over Stanley Brook Hill (an 80m climb) to reach the Motueka Valley and the small settlement of Woodstock. A left turn over a bridge leads to a right turn onto West Bank Rd, and down the valley you go. (You can also head back to Wakefield by turning right from Woodstock onto Dovedale then Pigeon Valley Rds, a journey of 30km.) From the Woodstock Bridge, it’s 27km along the West Bank Rd to Brooklyn. The road is relatively narrow but has light traffic volumes. At Brooklyn, it’s a right turn onto Old Mill Rd, left onto Anderson Rd, straight across Umukuri Rd, on Swamp Rd, and then right into Factory Rd to reach the junction with SH 60 at Riwaka. The cycle trail’s ‘Kaiteriteri to Motueka’ section is across the road.

Nelson

Nelson City

F

amous for its seafood, horticulture, fruit and hopgrowing and wine production, Nelson is the complete package for wining and dining. Don’t miss the chance to eat out here, whether it’s at a fine-dining restaurant, local winery or farmers’ market. Creativity is in the air here; Nelson has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. Discover it at the studios of sculptors, painters, glass blowers, fashion designers and jewellery makers. Or, head for one of its cultural stand-outs – there’s The Suter Art Gallery, the World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum where you will see fabric, art and the human form combined with awe-inspiring results and a fleet of prestige cars. You can also learn about the lives of Nelson’s first European settlers at Broadgreen Historic House and Founders Heritage Park, tour the world in six acres at Gardens of the

Nelson Market © Nelson Tasman Tourism

World, browse the stalls at the Nelson Market held every Saturday, where you can pick up arts and crafts, artisan produce and fantastic coffee, and take a fun tour of a peanut butter factory at Pic’s Peanut Butter World. If you’re seeking some fun, thrilling activities, visit Cable Bay Adventure Park. As well as being home to the world’s longest flying fox, the Skywire, they also offer paintball, archery, quad biking, horse treks and Argo rides. They have now also opened the first of their mountain biking trails; e-bike and mountain bike rentals are available.

after Admiral Lord Nelson • 134km W of Picton

TAHUNA TAHUNA BEACH BEACH KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL NELSON KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL TAHUNA BEACH New Zealand’s best remembered NELSON

KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL NELSON holiday destination since 1926 New Zealand’s best remembered New Zealand’s best remembered holiday destination since 1926 holiday destination since 1926 COME AND SAY HI!

And see how Pic's Peanut Butter makers expertly craft New Zealand's best loved peanut butter.

Free factory tours: 9am, 10am, 11:45am & 1:30pm. Monday-Friday.

70 Beach Road, Tahunanui, Nelson P 03 548 5159 E tahuna@tahunabeach.co.nz Freecall reservations: 0800 500 501 www.tahunabeach.co.nz

Bookings essential via website. 49 Saxton Road, Nelson Phone: +64 3 544 8402 Email: tours@picspeanutbutter.com

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www.picspeanutbutter.com

70 Beach Road, Tahunanui, Nelson P 03 548 5159 E tahuna@tahunabeach.co.nz Freecall reservations: 0800 500 501 www.tahunabeach.co.nz


From coastal splendour and picturesque locales to enterprising towns and the appealing city of Nelson, there’s plenty to grab your attention.

Māpua Wharf © NelsonNZ.com LEFT: Cycling next to the beach, Kaiteriteri © Tourism NZ, Dean McKenzie

Along the trail

Wakefield is a pretty frontier town and home of Wakefield Bakery, rated as making some of the best pies in New Zealand. Some of the architecture dates back to the 1840s – the Anglican Church and the former Post Office, for example.

Beautifully secluded, with plenty of sunshine and three unforgettable beaches, Kaiteriteri is a favourite Kiwi holiday spot. Water activities dominate here – spend the day swimming, kayaking or boating before dining at one of the waterfront restaurants.

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

N

ot far from Nelson, Richmond boasts a collection of vineyards, most of which are within a 20km radius. The area is home to potters, glass blowers, wood turners, metal smiths and producers of fleece garments. There’s a large mall with plenty of cafés, big-box shopping stores and a busy downtown. The Aniseed Valley, heading south out of town, is home to walking tracks and swimming and BBQ spots.

Known for its aromatic smoked seafood, Māpua is an essential stop for any food-lover. The refurbished waterfront is home to cafés and fine-dining restaurants, with superb views to complement the great cuisine. The wharf also has a range of shops and galleries. If you’re feeling energetic, pick up bikes here and take the ferry over to the trails of Rabbit Island.

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail?

You can relax in style in the heart of Nelson, after a day of tasting all that the region has to offer. Trafalgar Square, Nelson

HHM629NEL 06/19

Base your trip from Rutherford Hotel Nelson, a Heritage Hotel.

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

Māpua

abundant • 33km W of Nelson on SH 60 • Great Taste Trail specialists • Bespoke itineraries • Specialising in premium and luxury tours • Discover hidden gems, wineries and artisans • Abel Tasman National Park and other activities can be included

Local People + Local Knowledge = Great Experiences

www.wheeliefantastic.co.nz Tel: +64 3 543 2245 or 0800 2 CYCLE 91


Motueka

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Kayak the Abel Tasman National Park Motueka waterfront © AbelTasman.com

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

T

here is a wealth of artists and craftspeople here, great galleries and shops and an excellent museum. Motueka is important for its fishing, hops, pip fruit, kiwifruit and vineyards. You’ll find your caffeine fix at the marina or enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries. A local icon, the wreck of the historic Janie Seddon can be seen rusting away on the foreshore. Motueka is an excellent place to base yourself for canyoning, skydiving, scenic flights, winery tours, horse trekking and excursions into the impressive surrounding national parks, Kahurangi and Abel Tasman. It’s also a short drive from a number of idyllic beaches, including Kaiteriteri, Mārahau and the beautiful bays of Abel Tasman National Park. On rainy days, try the climbing wall, or the Gecko Theatre, a quirky independent theatre with cushions, couches, popcorn served in bowls and arthouse films as well as Hollywood releases. The Saltwater Baths on the foreshore, filled by the incoming tide, is another local favourite.

Motueka

With calm, pristine waters and caressing summer sea breezes, cruising the waters of the Abel Tasman National Park in a kayak is an ideal way to explore.

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his 22,530ha waterfringed playground must be one of the most easily recognised locations in the country. Who hasn’t seen the picture-perfect images of kayaks gliding in turquoise-coloured bays cradled by golden beaches? With over 50km of coastline, it’s no wonder that this stretch of New Zealand is a worldrenowned kayaking location: not just because of the natural beauty of its secluded coves and

lagoons, granite cliffs, unspoiled beaches and Split Apple Rock – a whopping great granite boulder – but also because of the marine life in these waters. You can thank Tonga Island Marine Reserve for providing a predator-free space for seal colonies to call home. These interesting creatures are known to invite themselves along for the ride as you paddle along the coastline. Dolphins and penguins are also regular spectators.

Kaiteriteri

misspelling of Kaiteretere (eat on the run) • 13km N of Motueka

clump of trees with weka (native woodhen) • 46km NW of Nelson on SH 60

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park sits on forested slopes behind our iconic golden beach. All year round riding and situated a stone’s throw from our accommodation and many delicious food and beverage options.

• With approx 30km of track network, the park offers trails to skill levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced. • The grade 2 EASY RIDER forms part of the Tasman Great Taste Trail cycleway, connecting Kaiteriteri, via Martin Farm Rd, to the Kaiteriteri-Riwaka Rd. • Visit our website for more detailed information and maps.

www.experiencekaiteriteri.co.nz

Abel Tasman National Park after Dutch navigator Abel Tasman

Motueka TOP 10 Holiday Park 0800 521 028 10 Fearon Street, Motueka

motuekatop10.co.nz

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The perfect place to stop when riding Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Heated Swimming Pool • Spa • Free WiFi • Jumping Pillow • Conference Facilities • Playground • Ticketing agent for all local activities & Abel Tasman • Walking distance to town • Gateway to Abel Tasman • 12km from Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park


THE OLD GHOST ROAD Trail

Old Ghost Road Trail © Phil Rossiter

TRAIL INFO

2-4 Days

TRAIL GRADE: LYELL CAR PARK TO LYELL SADDLE HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) LYELL SADDLE HUT TO GHOST LAKE HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED), with one short section of GRADE 5 (EXPERT)

LYELL to SEDDONVILLE 2-4 days

GHOST LAKE HUT TO STERN VALLEY HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED), with some GRADE 5 (EXPERT) sections of the trail

85km

A legendary feat of trail-building has resurrected an old gold miners’ route between the ghost town of Lyell and sleepy Seddonville on the West Coast, passing through a series of remote landscapes bursting with strange and beautiful sights.

trailheads are Lyell Historic Reserve on the Buller Gorge (SH 6), and the Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge, 4km inland from the tiny town of Seddonville on the northern West Coast. Due to the trail’s gradient, a south to north route from Lyell to Seddonville is strongly recommended. Allow 2–4 days depending on your fitness.

ee sheer-sided valleys cloaked in forest and strewn with earthquake debris. Admire alpine tarns, tumbling rivers and waterfalls. Take in vast panoramas from rocky tops. And all on predominantly purposebuilt tracks ranging from fast and flowing to tight and technical. This may well be the ride of your life.

It’s also possible to do an ‘in-andout’ overnight ride from either end, which simplifies transport logistics. Day rides (including heli-trips) are also possible.

S

Staying overnight is a big part of the Old Ghost Road experience. The trail’s huts and tent sites are set in spectacular locations, from mountain high to valley low, with sunsets, starry skies and birdlife just some of the special sights to admire. Separated by mighty mountain ranges, the Old Ghost Road’s

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Remote, untouched backcountry • Rivers, waterfalls, misty magic • Awe-inspiring rock forms • Huts and tent sites in stunning locations • Rusty relics with stories to tell

Before you go, read the rollicking tale of the trail’s history and unlikely construction, Spirit to the Stone, available from the website www.oldghostroad.org.nz

A room with a view • Lots of bridges, rocky ridges and epic steps • Plenty of jaw-dropping top-ofthe-world views • Varied, exciting singletrack • Native birds and unique plant-life

The trail’s huts include the Lyell Saddle Hut, 875m above sea level with brilliant views of the Glasgow Range, and the Ghost Lake Hut – 1200m up with breathtaking views of Murchison and surrounds.

STERN VALLEY HUT TO GOAT CREEK HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GOAT CREEK HUT TO SPECIMEN POINT HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) SPECIMEN POINT HUT TO NORTHERN TRAILHEAD GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: There is no cellphone coverage other than some patchy spots between Lyell and Ghost Lake. DRINKING WATER: Water is available at the huts as well as various streams. BE PREPARED: The Old Ghost Road is a remote wilderness experience and you will need to plan and prepare thoroughly to get the most out of your ride. There are no towns or shops along the trail so you will need to take all necessary provisions, including a first aid kit and an emergency communication device. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is absolutely essential, as are tools and good mechanical skills. In accordance with New Zealand Cycle Trail policy, e-bikes are not recommended on trails graded 4 and above. Responsibility for e-bike use remains with the individual rider. GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GRADE 5 (EXPERT)

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GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

85km


Mokihinui River Mokihinui River North Seddonville

SPECIMEN POINT HUT

END

Mokihinui Forks Hut

MAP LEGEND

GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

open section

café/restaurant

start / finish point

hut

point of interest

accommodation

Chair of New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. Richard Leggat

bridge Goat Creek

GHOST LAKE HUT TO STERN VALLEY HUT, 13KM

1 state highway

hill / mountain

Many riders may find themselves somewhat psyched out by the descent etched out below the hut. It’s a 4km cluster-ruck of rock gardens, tight turns, slippery bits and an energy-sapping pinch to reach the spectacular Skyline Ridge. Just when you think you’re going to fall off the edge of a cliff, you encounter the Skyline Steps – the engineering marvel down which you carry your bike. The run into Stern Valley is a fun, snaking and gravity-assisted affair.

Twin Lakes

bridge

Stern Creek STERN VALLEY HUT

Mokihinui River South

GHOST LAKE HUT Mt Montgomery 1332m Rocky Tor 1456m LYELL SADDLE HUT

STERN VALLEY HUT TO GOAT CREEK HUT, 14KM

ng

e

Bald Hill 1385m

Ly

R e ll

a

Mt Lyell 1092m

1200m

6

er Riv

Bu

ll C Lye

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6 to Reefton & Westport

riding the trail 1600m

ller

ree

k © AA Traveller 2019

START

to Murchison

6

Eight Mile Creek

Lyell

Start

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ghost Lake

12km

13km

18km

Stern Valley

Specimen Point 25km

End 17km

800m 400m 0m

LYELL CAR PARK TO LYELL SADDLE HUT, 18KM It’s hard to believe it now, but during its 1870–80s heyday Lyell was a thriving gold town lined with shops and pubs. It was then that the building of a road between Lyell and Mōkihinui (near Seddonville) began, with construction starting at both ends. The end of the gold rushes and seemingly impassable terrain spelled the end of the effort, and so the story begins… The trail climbs gently into

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the thickly forested Lyell Valley via the original dray road, passing relics of the olden days along the way. It crosses two massive earthquake slips, scrambles through rocky fords, and offers increasingly impressive views as it winds up a total of 765m to Lyell Saddle Hut – 875m above sea level.

LYELL SADDLE HUT TO GHOST LAKE HUT, 12KM As the trail continues upwards it passes a broken anvil where the original old road builders gave up the

The trail soon enters the Earnest Valley, quite the sight with its soaring peaks, alpine gardens and tarns. Arguably the valley’s most spectacular sight, however, is the Boneyard – a massive field of rocks crushed and scattered by seismic forces. Undeterred, the Old Ghost Road cuts a zigzag track right through the heart of it. Having climbed through the rock garden to Solemn Saddle, the trail now breaks into the headwaters of the Goat Creek catchment, and flows downhill to the Mōkihinui River’s South Branch and Goat Creek Hut.

GOAT CREEK HUT TO SPECIMEN POINT HUT, 11KM

to Lewis Pass

Lyell Saddle

“In my mind this is a very, very special trail. Due to its remoteness and grade, it’s not for everyone and you need to pick the weather, but the visionaries behind this trail have given New Zealand a world-class tourism asset.”

ghost. Little did they know that more than a century later a local crew would pick up the gauntlet and cut the track all the way up to the exposed Lyell Range tops. It’s a bit of a slog through the forest to reach the bush line, but beyond it the world seems to open up to infinity. The trail cuts across the face of Mt Montgomery and a highpoint (1280m), all the while affording truly incredible views. Eyes popped, mind blown, it’s time to descend back through stunted alpine forest to reach Ghost Lake Hut.

This section weaves through towering podocarp forest with a fern-covered floor and birds twittering here and there. At Mōkihinui Forks – where two branches of the Mōkihinui River meet in a turbulent swirl – a hut provides respite from the sand flies should you wish to take a break. From here, though, it’s only 3km to Specimen Point Hut – a terrific spot for an overnight stop with its grandstand views over the Mōkihinui’s surging white waters.

SPECIMEN POINT HUT TO NORTHERN TRAILHEAD, 17KM Following the old-timer’s trail, this last leg hugs the side of an impressive gorge, crossing bridged streams and the unsettlingly named Suicide Slips, and passing the occasional gold mining relic. The finish line is at the Rough & Tumble Bush Lodge where the kitchen and bar may well be open.


This longabandoned mining route opens up access to remote West Coast terrain and forgotten settlements.

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he deserted settlements encountered on the trail offer a glimpse into the life endured by our pioneering miners. Look out for Zalatown, Gibbstown, Eight Mile and Seatonville and the information panels that bring the history to life.

Westport

Lyell, at the beginning of the trail, is the site where a gold-mining town once existed. All that remains now is a cemetery and an old stamping battery, both easily accessible via a short walk. The Lyell Range rewards your biking efforts with breathtaking scenery encompassing native forest, valleys and the picturesque Mōkihinui River.

Seddonville, just 4km beyond the northern end of the trail, was once an important through-point for rail to a gold-mining battery at Mōkihinui. You can access the popular Charming Creek Walkway from here, a 10.5km walk featuring mining relics, tunnels, the impressive Mangatini Falls and the abandoned Charming Creek mine.

Mountain biker, Anka Martin, on Old Ghost Road Trail © Sven Martin

after Westport, Ireland • 104km NE of Greymouth on SH 67

27 Motels Nationwide

WESTPORT

314 Palmerston Street

0800 235 528 | www.bellavista.co.nz Reservation Freephone: 0800

500 209

Carters Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park

Enjoy the relaxing seaside setting at Carters Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park.

0800 521 047 57 Marine Parade Carters Beach, Westport top10westport.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • 5mins from Westport • Relaxing beach Park • Playground • Games/TV room • WiFi • BBQ area • Bouncy Cushion • Fun Bikes

$10 Special: Use of bike wash, hot shower & ice cold pint of beer

Northern gateway to the scenic West Coast • Quiet, Clean and Spacious • Bike Cleaning Station • Lockable Bike Storage • Shuttle by Arrangement Only • Group Booking Discount • Undercover BBQ Area • FREE WiFi Tariff: from $135 (2 persons, extra $20)

The Esplanade, Westport Ph: +64 3 789 7519 • Email: bullerbridgemotel@xtra.co.nz BOOK DIRECT: www.bullerbridgemotel.co.nz

• 3km from the start of the Old Ghost Road Trail • Excellent hotel and motel facilities • Restaurant offers the “meanest rare ribeye steak” on the Coast

• Free WiFi available • Trails users parking, secure bike storage and bike washing area • Near Charming Creek and Chasm Creek walkways

Rated 5 out of 5

1 Queen St, Seddonville • Phone: +64 3 782 1828 • E-mail: info@seddonvillehotel.co.nz

www.seddonvillehotel.co.nz 95

GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

Along the trail


W

hether you’re an adventure junkie after a week-long rafting trip, an amateur wanting a quick, thrilling ride on short rapids, or a family after an activity that everyone can enjoy, there’s a white-water rafting option on the Buller River for you.

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Buller Gorge rafting © Ultimate Descents

White-water raft the Buller Gorge

The Buller Gorge is a sight to behold: meandering and bush-clad, it’s both wild and incredibly picturesque. The Coast’s largest river, the Buller winds its way between Westport and Murchison,

Reefton’s Heart of Gold To walk down Reefton’s main street is to traverse 150 years of New Zealand architecture. The town’s past lives on in its buildings, owed to its days as a gold-rush hub. There are pretty wooden awnings with hanging baskets, weatherboard facades reaching high above the roofline and wooden floors worn smooth by 100 years of shuffling feet.

Stop at the Bearded Miners for a cup of billy tea and a yarn about how a miner lived in the 19th century, or follow the heritage trail past the School of Mines, the courthouse, Oddfellows Hall and St Xavier’s Convent to get a good feel of the place. The Visitor Centre houses an impressive Quartzopolis mine, a winding engine and a gold-mine tunnel.

the latter of which is the self-proclaimed ‘white-water capital of New Zealand’.

As well as rafting, there’s plenty of adventure to be had in Murchison: a flying fox over the Buller River, jetboating, kayaking tours, mountain biking, hiking and a tour to see natural flames rising from the forest floor. Don’t miss crossing the Buller Gorge Swingbridge – New Zealand’s longest at 110m. Stop halfway (if you dare) to take in fantastic views of the gorge.

Reefton

after gold-bearing quartz reefs • 81km SE of Westport on SH 7

LANTERN COURT MOTELS

REEFTON

S FO TO R RA BI G KE E S

GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

The river’s rapids range from grade two to grade four. The whole family will have fun on the grade two options, which involve a few rapids but nothing extreme. For those with a bit more of a thirst for adventure, opt for a grade three or four trip and make the most of the river’s powerful flow and swift rapids with an exhilarating ride. You may even get to raft down the Ariki Falls – yes that’s right, a waterfall – which can be up to five metres high!

• F ully self-contained units with options to suit singles to families & all budgets • Beautiful region for mountain biking, walks, tramping & fishing • Central location • Bike storage • FREE WIFI • Tariff: $120-$195

63 Broadway St, REEFTON • Ph: +64 3 732 8574 | info@lanterncourtmotel.co.nz

Greymouth

at the mouth of Grey River • 250km NW of Christchurch on SH 6

WESTPORT KIWI

WESTPORT

WEST COAST i-SITES

HOLIDAY PARK & MOTELS

A tranquil haven set in West Coast native bush • Motels • Self-contained units • Ensuite chalets • Std chalets/cabins • Tent/power sites • TV lounge • Playground • Internet facilities available • 18 hole mini-golf course on site • Kitchen/dining area • Covered BBQ area • 5ha of native bush • Dump station • 10-15min walk to town centre 31-37 Domett Street (PO Box 294), Westport • F +64 3 789 7199 E westportholidaypark@xtra.co.nz

Greymouth i-SITE Visitor Centre

Westport Kiwi Holiday Park

For reservations: +64 3 789 7043 www.westportholidayparks.com

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Ask the local experts! Centrally located at the start/end of the West Coast Wilderness Trail our visitor centre can make all your arrangements. • Free Booking Service • Accommodation • Shuttle Transfers • Bike Hire

• Tailored Packages • Retail Trail Souvenirs • Rest Rooms • General Information

Contact the team today to enquire, 0800 GREYMOUTH or email info@westcoasttravel.co.nz or visit our website www.westcoasttravel.co.nz

Westport i-SITE & Coaltown Museum • 40min from start and finish of the Old Ghost Trail • Entrance to the Coaltown Museum, West Coast Heritage Experience • 20min north to the beautiful historic Charming Creek walkway • Excellent variety of retail on site • Free bookings for accommodation, activities and travel • Exceptional local knowledge 123 Palmerston St, Westport 7866 P: +64 3 789 6658 E: westport.info@coaltown.co.nz www.westport.nz


WEST COAST WILDERNESS Trail

TRAIL INFO

GREYMOUTH

ROSS 4-5 Days 133km

4-5 days

133km delve deep into the region’s fascinating history.

Stretching from Greymouth’s historic port to the neat old gold town of Ross, this easy trail takes riders on a journey through the Coast’s incredible natural landscapes, and back in time to Māori pounamu (greenstone) gathering and the glittering gold rush era.

T

here’s no better way to get up close to the West Coast’s lush rainforest, pristine rivers, tranquil lakes and rugged beaches, with the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps a truly sublime backdrop – especially in winter, a fabulous time to ride.

Easy to reach and to ride, the spectacular multi-day trail retraces old packhorse tracks, tramlines, railways, water races and historic bridges, linked by flowing singletrack. Many natural wonders are revealed along the way, while small towns and heritage sites offer a chance to

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Scenic reserves and wetlands • Views of snow-capped Southern Alps • Rainforest, ancient trees and birdlife • Pristine lakes and rivers • Heritage NZ-listed historic bridges • Pounamu, glass and other art studios • Mahināpua tramway and boat cruise • Characterful pubs, cafés, restaurants

Divided up into four roughly equal sections, this trail runs between Greymouth (the West Coast’s ‘big smoke’) and the small old gold town of Ross. We describe it on the following page in that north-to-south direction, but note that it’s equally enjoyable ridden in either direction. With each leg taking around three to five hours, there’s plenty of time to check out attractions and linger in scenic spots along the way; factor in an extra day to dawdle and detour if your itinerary allows. Accommodation, shuttles and luggage transfers make it easy to ride the whole trail, or experience it on a range of different day trips.

Lake Kaniere • Shantytown heritage museum • Interesting swing bridges over beautiful waterways • Treetop walk, eco-rafting and other must-do activities • Pioneer stories of gold mining, timber milling and more • Photoframe overlooking the lake behind the visitor centre at Ross

A West Coast beauty, Lake Kaniere is surrounded by snowcapped mountains and offers opportunities for water sports, picnics and short walks.

TRAIL GRADES: GREYMOUTH TO KUMARA, 31KM GRADE 2 (EASY) KUMARA TO COWBOY PARADISE, 36KM GRADE 2 (EASY) to GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) COWBOY PARADISE TO HOKITIKA, 36KM GRADE 2 (EASY) to GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) HOKITIKA TO ROSS, 33KM GRADE 2 (EASY) to GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Good in towns and on much of the coastal sections of the trail. Virtually no coverage south of Kumara to Kaniere township. DRINKING WATER: Water is readily available in towns and tourist stops along the way. TYPE OF BIKE: A hybrid bike is sufficient for the terrain. E-bikes are also permitted. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

West Coast Wilderness Trail © Jason Blair / katabatic.co.nz


6

Tasman Sea

MAP LEGEND open section

G r e y Riv e r 7

GREYMOUTH

highway section

6

start / finish point point of interest

Paroa

i-SITE Visitor Centre bridge

Shantytown

town

Taramakau Bridge

toilets

Kumara Junction 73

er Riv

car park

Nemona Forest

ka u ma Tara

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

café/restaurant

accommodation

6

camping

West Coast Wilderness sign © Birte Becker-Steel / Wilderness Trail Shuttle

KUMARA

shelter 1

73

state highway

6 Ar

HOKITIKA Ho

ah

ura

to reach a suspension bridge stretching across a stunning gorge. The home run continues through more native bush, before arriving at the replica Wild West town, Cowboy Paradise.

Kapitea Reservoir Kumara Reservoir

Riv er

COWBOY PARADISE TO HOKITIKA, 36KM

73

Kaniere

ka Riv e r kiti

West Coast Scenic Waterways

Waimea Forest

Kawhaka Forest

Hurunui Jacks

6 Lake Mahinapua

Hans Bay

Treetop Walkway

6

i itik a R Hok

Milltown

COWBOY PARADISE

Lake Kaniere

v

er

Ruatapu

HOKITIKA TO ROSS, 33KM

K ok

atahi

ROSS

River © AA Traveller 2018

riding the trail Greymouth 31km

Kumara

36km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Cowboy Paradise 36km

Hokitika

33km

Ross

400m 200m 0m

GREYMOUTH TO KUMARA, 31KM

Setting off from Greymouth’s historic railway station, the trail heads out along the Grey River flood wall where a photo stop is obligatory at the flood wall official start/finish gate. The river-mouth breakwater is a dramatic spot to reflect on the perilous river mouth and shipwrecks, and enjoy the rugged coastline. From here the trail follows the coast south, tucked behind flax-lined sand dunes and beside tidal lagoons. A signposted detour at Paroa leads to Shantytown Heritage Park

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It’s time for the largely effortless sweep down towards the Arahura River. Emerging from bush into farmland after a few kilometres, the views of the Arahura Valley are quite the reveal. Across the river, the trail follows Milltown Rd for the gentle climb over Pyramid Hill to Lake Kaniere. Heading onward to Hokitika, the historic Kaniere Water Race is a pretty and fun section of trail. It connects with Lake Kaniere Rd, a quiet byway leading to Hokitika. If the skies are clear late in the day, don’t miss an evening ride (or stroll) along the beachfront to Sunset Point.

(6.5km return), a major West Coast attraction and a must-visit for the history buff. The trail crosses its first notable river, the Taramakau, then hops onto the historic Kumara Bush Tramway for a delightful wind through regenerating forest and farmland with some terrific views out over the river. This leg finishes at Kumara’s splendidly restored Theatre Royal Hotel, a fine place for a pub lunch or a memorable overnight stay.

KUMARA TO COWBOY PARADISE, 36KM

Smooth terrain with a gentle gradient

makes easy work of the 317m climb to Kawhaka Pass, which starts by winding through Kumara’s back blocks up to Kapitea Reservoir. Carrying onward, the subsequent Loopline Reservoir features a stone-face dam hand-laid in 1883 by gold miners. A sweeping boardwalk leads to a predominantly bush-lined gravel road section before the trail picks up old water races, logging trams and pack tracks up the valley, passing man-made dams and weirs. The Southern Alps are well and truly in view as you reach Kawhaka Pass and begin the descent through virgin rainforest

An excellent option for beginners and families, this particularly flat section of trail starts by crossing Hokitika Bridge, with the Southern Alps in full view up front. A few kilometres in, a signpost indicates West Coast Scenic Waterways where a boat cruise or kayak trip on Mahināpua Creek can be factored in before continuing onward through impressive forest to meet the intriguing Mananui Tramline that cuts through bush and a historic pocket of exotic forest. Excellent information panels relay stories of Mahināpua’s rich past. From the end of the tramline, the trail follows a rural road to reach the West Coast Treetop Walkway where there’s a canopy tour and café. Beyond that, the trail soon reaches the main highway and follows it a short way to meet the historic Ross rail route. The old railway line is a long and straight haul, broken up with information panels and bridged creeks. It offers ever-changing views of wetlands and farmland backed by the mighty Southern Alps. The restored Totara Bridge (1908) is also a scenic highlight. From there it is a leisurely cruise into Ross, an old goldfields town with an information centre and small museum (where you can try your hand at gold-panning).


Picnic, Lake Brunner © Tourism West Coast LEFT: Pancake Rocks © AATP

PANCAKES, ANYONE?

Heart of the Coast Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast and its still-present pioneering spirit adds much to its appeal. The town has numerous greenstone galleries showcasing sculptures and jewellery, and there’s the

chance to view carvers hard at work. The town is an ideal base to explore the Central West Coast district – the fabulous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakāiki, the authentic 1860s goldrush town at Shantytown and some of the South Island’s best trout fishing at Lake Brunner are all just a short distance away.

WEST COAST i-SITES Greymouth i-SITE Visitor Centre

Ask the local experts! Centrally located at the start/end of the West Coast Wilderness Trail our visitor centre can make all your arrangements. • Free Booking Service • Accommodation • Shuttle Transfers • Bike Hire

• Tailored Packages • Retail Trail Souvenirs • Rest Rooms • General Information

Contact the team today to enquire, 0800 GREYMOUTH or email info@westcoasttravel.co.nz or visit our website www.westcoasttravel.co.nz

Greymouth

Westport i-SITE & Coaltown Museum • 40min from start and finish of the Old Ghost Trail • Entrance to the Coaltown Museum, West Coast Heritage Experience • 20min north to the beautiful historic Charming Creek walkway • Excellent variety of retail on site • Free bookings for accommodation, activities and travel • Exceptional local knowledge 123 Palmerston St, Westport 7866 P: +64 3 789 6658 E: westport.info@coaltown.co.nz www.westport.nz

at the mouth of the Grey River • 100km S of Westport on SH 6

Greymouth Seaside TOP 10 Holiday Park

Easy access to the West Coast Wilderness Trail and the Paparoa Track which includes the Pike29 Memorial Track.

0800 867 104 2 Chesterfield Street, Greymouth top10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Seaview Apartments • Vehicle Storage • Bike Hire • Spa • Shuttle Advice • WiFi • BBQ area

• 5 executive studios & suites • 9 spacious 1 & 2-bedroom units • Sky Guest Select - 50+ channels • Corporate / Family / Group bookings BOOKINGS • Short walk to hospital, supermarket, 108-110 High St, Greymouth aquatic centre, restaurants Tel: +64 3 768 5100 • Guest laundry Email: sceniclands@xtra.co.nz • FREE pick-up and drop to train/bus • Close to West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail www.sceniclandmotel.co.nz

0800 768 510

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GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

A natural phenomenon 30 million years in the making, the Punakāiki Pancake Rocks is the West Coast’s most visited natural attraction. These rocks have undergone a weathering process that has formed them, over time, into what truly look like great, thick pancakes. Depending on the tide – just ask at the info centre nearby – the water surges through blowholes beneath the rocks and the noise is incredible. The well-formed stone steps and boardwalks lead you to the best viewing spots. The blowholes perform at their best around high tide with a strong sea swell.


SHANTYTOWN:

Lake Brunner BELOW: Shantytown, West Coast BOTH © Tourism West Coast

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

You’ve been discovering the Coast’s golden history – now it’s time to play the part. Shantytown is a replica of an 1860s gold-mining town. Let your imagination run wild as you wander around buildings from the goldrush era, including the fire station, post office and pub. Stories from yesteryear are told and you can pan for gold and dress in period costume. Admission includes a 20-minute steam-train journey through rainforest.

Golden town

K

umara is situated on the renowned Great Alpine Highway (SH 73) that links the West Coast with Christchurch. The village has a proud history; it was the site of New Zealand’s last great gold rush in 1876. Walking tracks leave the centre in all directions – overlooking the Taramakau River, through bush and past gold tailings, water races and lakes. Nearby Lake Brunner is the water playground of the Central West Coast. As well as the usual watersports; beach and forest walks, caving, wetlands and rainforest eco-systems will impress. The village of Moana is nestled on its shores.

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Pounamu country

Hokitika Gorge © Fraser Clements / Tourism NZ

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Crayfish/kōura © National Kiwi Centre

Sundowner Motel Greymouth

0800 080 859

www.sundowner.co.nz • 100% Kiwi-owned & operated. Set back from the road: 11 modern studio units, 5 family units, serviced daily. • Free WiFi, guest laundry. Free transfers: bus/train. • 2min walk to town, shops, restaurants and bars. Centrally located for all tourist attractions. • Tariff: $125-$160 (2 persons).

a corruption of kohimara (a flower) • 28km NE of Hokitika

First motel at the start of the cycle trail

Hokitika’s coastline is an experience in itself. No visit is complete without a walk along the wild West Coast beach, awash with stories and strewn with driftwood. At the National Kiwi Centre, you can view kiwi rummaging in dimly lit enclosures and see tuatara, native fish and 80- to 100-year-old eels. For panoramic views of the Hokitika Valley and access to displays of the mining heritage of the area, head up to the Rimu Point Lookout at the top of Rimu Hill. The one-hour, 4km loop walk takes you over the Kaniere Bridge. Alternatively, pick up a leaflet from the Hokitika i-SITE and follow the Heritage Trail that loops the perimeter of the township.

Hokitika

to return directly • 40km SW of Greymouth on SH 6 • Seconds to beach and glowworm dell, 900m to town

14 Smith St, Greymouth Phone: +64 3 768 4666 E: sundowner@minidata.co.nz

Reservations:

Kumara

Hokitika is located near a traditional source of pounamu (jade) and there is a range of expertly crafted jewellery and sculptures sold here. The town’s creative spirit

is also evident in its interesting art and craft trail.

252 Revell St, Hokitika Ph: +64 3 755 8773 Fax: +64 3 755 8772 E: info@252beachside.co.nz www.252beachside.co.nz

• Motels, cottages, power sites & standard cabins • Ample parking for vehicles. Secure bike storage. Large group/ family units • Free WiFi • Pet-friendly • Full cooking facilities

RESERVATIONS FREEPHONE:

0508 252 252

• 12 quality ground-floor units • 8 spacious 1 & 2-bedroom units • 4 Studio Spa units with private decks • Full cooking facilities in all units • Quiet residential location off the main road • 50 metres from cycle trail • Secure bike storage on request • Sky Guest Select 50+ channels • Guest laundry • Free unlimited WiFi

Your comfort is our concern Simon & Jill Robinson

Tariff: (2 persons) Cottages and Motels ($100-$170), Standard cabins ($60-$70) Power sites ($35-$45). Seasonal rates apply

RESERVATIONS: 0508 54 94 94 214 Weld Street HOKITIKA 7810 Phone: +64 3 755 8160 Email: info@annabellemotel.co.nz

www.annabellemotel.co.nz 101

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

okitika is a town of many riches. Founded on a gold rush in 1864, it emerged as a bustling town with a roaring nightlife along its ‘golden mile’. Today, Hokitika retains much of that frontier-town countenance with its wild west features. Though quieter now, there’s still plenty of riches to discover – namely, pounamu.


Treetop Walkway, Hokitika © West Coast Wilderness RIGHT: Lake Mahināpua walkway © Birte Becker-Steel / Wilderness Trail Shuttle

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Above the treetops

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ocated 16km south of Hokitika, the Treetop Walk is an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants. A steel platform 20m high and 450m long

provides easy access to life with the birds, high in the ancient rimu and kāmahi tree canopy. If you’ve got a head for heights, you will want to climb to the top of the tower that

stands 40m above the forest floor. The views take in the surrounding bush, Lake Mahināpua, the Southern Alps and Tasman Sea. A café is located on site.

The impressive wetland area of Lake Mahināpua, with its lakes and creeks with swampy margins and surrounding forests, is the perfect habitat for native trees and a rich array of native fish and birds. Explore it on a West Coast Scenic Waterways cruise.

• Official accommodation partner with The West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail • Choose from a variety of different room types to suit your budget: - The Penthouse – magnificent Tasman Sea views with true colours of comfort and luxury - Luxurious and spacious Oceanview Rooms overlooking the rugged Tasman Sea - Elegant Driftwood Rooms • Conveniently located to base yourself in Hokitika and complete each day of the trail with easy driving distance back to your accommodation • Room service • Free parking • Guest laundry service • Restaurant & Bar • Bottle store on site • Secure bike storage on site

111 Revell St, Hokitika Phone: +64 3 755 8344

0800 400 344 www.beachfronthotel.co.nz 102


Lake Kaniere • RIGHT: Kōtuku Both © Birte Becker-Steel / Wilderness Trail Shuttle

Exploring the beauty of this corner of the country is best done by bike, but if you don’t have the time to complete the entire four-day West Coast Wilderness Trail then you don’t need to miss out – shorter rides on offer include: The Big Day Out (6 to 7-hour ride one way) starts at Kawhaka Intake,

near Cowboy Paradise, and ends in Hokitika. Journey through native forest, a mountain-ringed valley and alongside the glacier-fed Arahura River and picturesque Lake Kaniere. Magical Mahināpua (1.5 hours one way) begins at the Hokitika i-SITE and ends at the West Coast

Fitzherbert Court Motel

Spacious, Modern, Ground-Floor Motels

Treetop Walk. The ride traverses pristine wetlands and native forest bordering Mahināpua Creek, host to waterfowl and other birdlife, and a scenic reserve with forest giants that were once ubiquitous on the Coast. Contact the Hokitika i-SITE for details.

BIKE HIRE & SHUTTLE BIKE HIRE SHUTTLE REPAIRS ACCESSORIES

Superior, modern studio, 1 & 2-bedroom units • Spa baths & business facilities available • Central to town centre, airport & beach • Seasonal/corporate rates • FREE WiFi Secure storage for West Coast Wilderness Trail Tariff: from $140 (2 guests)

191 Fitzherbert Street, Hokitika • P: +64 3 755 5342 • E: fitzherbert.court@xtra.co.nz

freephone:

0800 77 55 34 • www.fitzherbertcourt.co.nz

RESERVATIONS: 0800 465 484

HOKITIKA CYCLES &

33 Tancred St Hokitika P: 03 755 8662

www.hokitikasportsworld.co.nz HOKITIKA

Hokitika’s Kiwi HOLIDAY PARK AND MOTELS

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To Greymouth

Freecall reservations: 0800 115 322 www.hokikiwihp.co.nz

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Hokitika's Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels

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12 Fitzherbert St, Hokitika • P: +64 3 755 8098 E: admin@heritagemotel.co.nz • www.heritagemotel.co.nz

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t

Ross and Glaciers

• 15min walk to town • Massive communal area • Motel self-contained units – • Bike  washdown facility studio, 1 & 2-bedroom • Lock-up bike storage • Cabin & Powered Sites with charging facilities for • Modern amenties block & E-Bikes laundry

160 Davie St, Hokitika P +64 3 755 5141 E office@hokikiwihp.co.nz Su Coas per ter ma ’s rke t

Hokitika’s newest Holiday Park & Motels...

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• 14 quality units • Wireless internet in all units • Closest motel to town centre • 42” LCD TVs in all units • Closest motel to Cycle Trail • Free 6-hole mini putt course • Covered/secure cycle storage • Cycle Trail at gate

ber

Heritage Highway Motel

Fitz her

Your hosts: Vicki & Allen Hurley

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GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Shorter cycling options

The peaceful little township of Whataroa can be found between Ross and the Westland/ Tai Poutini National Park. The town is a base for trips to the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve where New Zealand’s only breeding colony of kōtuku (white heron) nest. Climb aboard a guided jet boat tour (October to March) to view the birds from an observation hide. Scenic flights to the glaciers are also available from here.


Gold mining history in Ross © Petr Hlavacek www.nzicescapes.com BELOW: Ross Railway Bridge © Birte Becker-Steel / Wilderness Trail Shuttle

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Gold rush central During the gold rush of the 1860s, tens of thousands of miners swarmed to the West Coast to seek their fortune.

HOTEL

BAR

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he end of the Wilderness Trail, Ross is just over 100km north of the remarkable glaciers. In 1909 the town achieved glory by unearthing New Zealand’s largest gold nugget, the 2.81 kilogram ‘Honourable Roddy’. A replica of this nugget can be seen in the museum in the Ross Goldfield’s Information and

CAFÉ

COFFEE

Heritage Centre. The centre also includes a Miner’s Cottage and the original Ross Gaol, a shop with local art, crafts and souvenirs and you can try your hand at gold panning or take the one-hour loop historic gold trail walk that leaves from the centre.

Visit glacier country

Fox Glacier hike © Tourism West Coast

Not too far from the trail’s end is West Coast’s glacier country – the only place in the world where you can nip out for a glacier walk and be back for lunch. There are 140 glaciers flowing from the Southern Alps, but only the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers reach the lower rainforests. No trip is complete without catching a glimpse – there is a range of guided walks and climbing experiences available.

• Premium Hotel ensuite rooms with kitchenettes Tariff: $160-$190 • Standard Hotel ensuite rooms with tea & coffee-making facilities $140-$170 • Laundry Facilities • Free WiFi Café & Bar open 7am until late Cabinet food and great coffee

Reservations: 0800 788 673

2 Weld Street, Hokitika • Ph: +64 3 755 6154

www.stumpers.co.nz 104

Self-contained House On Site

• 3 showers • 3 toilets • Heat pump in every room • Fully renovated to a high standard • Sleeps 10 • Ideal for groups cycling the West Coast Wilderness trail • Priced from $280-$520

SECURE orage

Bike St

Beachfront Accommodation

• Direct Beach Access • Opposite Glowworm Dell • Small Farmyard with Animals

16 Richards Drive, Hokitika Email: shining@xtra.co.nz

MOTELS & HOLIDAY PARK

0800 744 646

• Apartments, Chalets, Cabins, Powered and Non-Powered Sites • Free WiFi

www.shiningstar.co.nz


TranzAlpine train trip

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Go coast to coast with TranzAlpine, the 4.5-hour train journey that travels the width of New Zealand between Christchurch and Greymouth. It’s the perfect journey to cap off an epic cycling adventure, while giving your legs a break!

the world. The rolling, patchwork quilt-like Canterbury Plains, grassy plateaus, misty mountains, deep river valleys and old mining towns are just some of the breathtaking scenery that’ll roll by as you stare out the window. Be prepared for inspiring feats of engineering – there are a staggering 19 tunnels, including

Ross

after Canterbury treasurer, George Ross • 31km SW of Hokitika on SH 6

Ross Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park 0800 867 024 145 Ross Beach Road, Ross, West Coast rossbeachtop10.co.nz

the 8.5km Otira Tunnel, and four viaducts – the highest being the Staircase, at 73m high! However, one of the definite highlights of this trip is the journey through the Southern Alps. Look out for the braided blues of the Waimakariri River, deep gorges and high viaducts as you pass through here.

TranzAlpine, Crossing Staircase Viaduct © KiwiRail

Twizel

161km W of Timaru

Riding the West Coast Wilderness Trail? Why not stop over in our upcycled shipping containers, we can host your car whilst on the trail, or take a ½ day bike hire for just a taste of the trail. Motels | Units | Sites • 28km South of Hokitika

Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre 4 Aylmer St, Ross, Westland Phone: +64 3 755 4077 Email: rossgold@snap.net.nz

www.rossgoldtown.org • Start/Finish of Wilderness Cycle Trail • Heritage and picnic area with public toilets • Public Gold Panning area with pans available for hire

• History room and audio visual • Gold nugget jewellery/Wilderness Trail souvenirs • Famed Water Race Walkway – 1hour loop

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GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

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ou’ll be treated to incredible views of rolling farmland, snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, serene rivers and lush rainforests, all from the comfort of your train seat with a coffee or wine in hand. With so much spectacular and varied scenery en route, it’s little wonder that this is considered one of the greatest rail journeys in


MOLESWORTH Muster Trail

BLENHEIM TO HANMER SPRINGS

3-5 days

207km BLENHEIM

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Wairau Valley

Mount Richmond Forest Park

Taylor Pass

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Waihopai Valley

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Buller River

Blairich Recreation Reserve

Awatere River

63 St Arnaud

Wairau River

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Molesworth Station Molesworth Cob Cottage

open section optional route

Clarence River

start / finish point

Clarence

point of interest

Acheron River

i-SITE Visitor Centre

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hill / mountain town café/restaurant toilets

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AA Centre

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Mt Lyford Village

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HANMER SPRINGS

accommodation

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© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 1500m 1000m 500m 0m

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Molesworth Station

Blenheim 117km

Hanmer Springs 90km


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he 207km journey from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs follows the Awatere River, then crosses Wards Pass to follow the Acheron River to where it joins the Clarence. It’s a surprising and unforgettable journey through lowland vineyards to landscapes of shifting screes, wide grasslands and steep hillsides.

The historic Molesworth Cob Cottage (1866) and Acheron Accommodation House (1862) were part of a chain of accommodation houses placed to serve early travellers using the stock routes – and as you cycle up the valley, it’s not hard to imagine the isolation and determination they experienced. However, for the leisurely cyclist, there is plenty of opportunity to stop along the way for lunch, a spot of fishing, bird watching, a dip in one of the many swimming holes or to take some photos. There are several interpretation panels along the way too which bring the rich history and biodiversity of the area to life. It’s possible to factor this ride into a ‘top of the south’ tour taking in nearby rides – the St James Cycle Trail, Rainbow Trail and Hurunui Trail.

look out for... Hanmer Springs If you’re after pure relaxation after your ride or yet more adventurous pursuits, the vibrant alpine village of Hanmer Springs provides it all – and more. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa has over 14 gorgeous

mineral pools to lounge in, while adventure activities include bungy jumping, quad biking, jet boating, horse riding, kayaking and rafting. The town also has a good range of shops, cafés, art galleries and restaurants – what more could you need?

riding the trail Starting in Blenheim, head south from the i-SITE to reach the bridge where you can drop down to the shared walking and cycling path running alongside the Taylor River. Crossing any bridge to get on to the ‘town’ side of the riverbank (there are paths both sides and numerous bridges along the way), follow the path for approximately 5km as far as Wither Rd. Turn left on to Wither Rd and then right at the first intersection on to Taylor Pass Rd. Stay on this road, which travels up over Taylor Pass and down into the Awatere Valley. Hang a right on to Awatere Valley Rd and follow your nose past some of Marlborough’s famous vineyards all the way up the valley and then through Molesworth Station. Molesworth Station is a working farm, so please keep to the road. Leave gates as you find them and respect stock and property. Approaching Hanmer Springs you’ll come to a three-way junction at the top of Jacks Pass. If you’re keen for more cycling, you could always hang a right here onto the Rainbow Trail, a 112km cycle trail through to St Arnaud – you’ll want to restock supplies in Hanmer first, no doubt. Heading left down Clarence Valley Rd, you’ll enjoy a long downhill into the Hanmer Springs township and the famous hot thermal springs, which will do much to help your recovery.

TRAIL INFO

3-5 Days 207km

TRAIL GRADE: GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) ACCESS: This cycle route is generally open to public access from Labour Weekend until Easter, subject to weather conditions and fire danger. To request access outside of the open period, please contact the Department of Conservation’s South Marlborough Area Office for an access permit. Cyclists are advised against riding this trail during winter or after heavy rainfall. If you do ride outside the open period, on an access permit, please keep DOC updated if your plans change. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Little reception outside Blenheim and Hanmer Springs areas. DRINKING WATER: Water can be drawn from the river and streams along the route. While it is mostly suitable for drinking, it is recommended that water is boiled (3min), filtered or treated before drinking. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for the remoteness and terrain; e-bikes are permitted. GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

Acheron River, Molesworth Station © Department of Conservation

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HEARTLAND RIDE • MOLESWORTH MUSTER TRAIL

The Molesworth Muster Trail follows the Acheron Rd through Molesworth Station, the iconic high country reserve and the largest working farm in New Zealand.


ST ARNAUD to HANMER SPRINGS

RAINBOW Trail

2-3 days 63

to Wakefield

Golden Down Trail

MAP LEGEND

63

Tophouse

open section

ST ARNAUD

optional route

Rainbow Station Homestead

HEARTLAND RIDE • RAINBOW TRAIL

start / finish point point of interest

Lake Rotoiti Lake Rotoroa

hill / mountain

Wairau River

Rainbow Skifield

i-SITE Visitor Centre town café/restaurant toilets

Nelson Lakes National Park

Old Rainbow Homestead

camping hut

Mount Franklyn

accommodation

to Blenheim Hell’s Gate

Sedgemere Sleepout LakeTennyson Island Saddle (1347m)

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St James Cycle Trail

St James Homestead Waiau River

Hanmer Springs Ski Area Jacks Pass

Hanmer Conservation Park

HANMER SPRINGS

112km This popular touring route offers cyclists a remarkable high country wilderness experience complete with craggy mountains, beech forest, beautiful open tussock lands as well as remote campsites and backcountry huts.

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he trail connects St Arnaud (the main gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park) with Hanmer Springs via the original stock route between Marlborough and Canterbury. It passes through two working farms – Rainbow Station, which is privately owned, and Molesworth Station, managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). This is a remote and fairly challenging ride, with an alpine pass and total lack of services to contend with. The thermal resort of Hanmer Springs is a wonderful way to finish, or at least stop to recharge before tackling the St James Great Ride or head back to Blenheim via the Molesworth Muster. Hanmer Springs also links to both Kaikōura and Christchurch via the Hurunui Trail Heartland Ride.

7a

© AA Traveller 2019

Lake Tennyson nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 1400m 1200m 1000m 800m 600m 400m 200m 0m

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St Arnaud

Hanmer Springs 112km

If isolation beckons, Lake Tennyson is a beautiful spot for it. This scenic high-country lake at the headwaters of the Clarence River on the eastern fringe of the Nelson Lakes National Park is great for camping and fishing.


TRAIL INFO

2-3 Days 112km

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ST ARNAUD TO COLDWATER CREEK, 68KM

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: No mobile coverage on this trail. DRINKING WATER: Drinking water is scarce along the route. Some huts may have water supplies, although this is not assured in spells of dry weather. There are many clear streams along the way. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for the remoteness and terrain; e-bikes are permitted. Rainbow Rage event – tandem riders © NelsonNZ.com

look out for... Nelson Lakes National Park This captivating park lies at the head of the Southern Alps, encompassing its northernmost peaks, and has two beautiful alpine lakes at its heart:

Rotoiti and Rotoroa. The steep mountains that surround ‘Little Lake’ (Rotoiti) and ‘Long Lake’ (Rotoroa) give spectacular views. There are wonderful lakeside tracks, and longer walks of varying descriptions,

as well as safe swimming and boating. In winter, the Rainbow Ski Area hosts skiers and snowboarders and alpine climbing (for experienced climbers) is also available. The gateway to the park is St Arnaud.

IMPORTANT: Access to Rainbow Road is seasonal and can be closed due to heavy rain or fire risk. The best time to ride is when it’s open to public access (from Boxing Day to Easter Monday). For up-to-date road information, check www.rainbowstation.co.nz/ rainbow-access GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

riding the trail ST ARNAUD TO COLDWATER CREEK, 68KM At the turn-off from the main road, the Rainbow experience really begins. The route takes you up a bush-clad valley to the Rainbow Homestead, where the vista changes as the trail fords a number of streams and crosses a bridge over the Wairau River before entering ‘Hell’s Gate’, a scenic narrow gorge. You’ll find Coldwater Creek campsite just above the gorge and the boundary between Rainbow and Molesworth stations is just a little further on from there.

COLDWATER CREEK TO HANMER SPRINGS, 51KM The turn-off to the Sedgemere Sleepout

is located just after the trail recrosses the Wairau River – it’s a few hundred metres down a side road off the trail. A short detour past the sleepout car park will provide you with a spectacular view over several high country lakes.

This scenic high-country glacial lake sits in a beautiful, isolated spot at the headwaters of the Clarence River on the eastern fringe of the Nelson Lakes National Park. You can go camping and fishing here.

The track climbs gently into true alpine country to reach the rustic musterers’ shelter, Island Gully Hutt. From there it’s another 6km or so in granny-gear to reach the highest point on this route – Island Saddle (1372m) – also the boundary between Marlborough and Canterbury.

Approaching Hanmer Springs there is a three-way intersection before Jacks Pass on the northern side. If you’re keen for more cycling, continue left here on to the Molesworth Muster Trail through to Blenheim. You might want to stop in Hanmer to restock supplies first, though.

Not far from Island Saddle, a further detour (3km) will take you to Lake Tennyson, a scenic lake formed by a glacial moraine dam – an ideal spot for a picnic.

Heading right down Clarence Valley Rd, you’ll enjoy a long downhill into the Hanmer Springs township and a soak in the famous hot thermal springs. NOTE - ACCESS & CAUTIONS: Access to Rainbow Rd is seasonal and can be

closed due to heavy rain or fire risk. The best time to ride is when it’s open to public access (from Boxing Day to Easter Monday). While access can be obtained outside of the open period, cyclists are advised against riding this trail during winter or after heavy rainfall. Cycle this route at your own risk – safety is your responsibility. Plan your ride in advance, go well equipped and please respect the rights of the landowner. Access through this land is a privilege, not a right, so please keep to the trail and do not venture on to farmland. Leave gates as you find them and respect stock and property. Be prepared to encounter both livestock and vehicles at any point along the trail.

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HEARTLAND RIDE • RAINBOW TRAIL

COLDWATER CREEK TO HANMER SPRINGS, 51KM


ST JAMES Cycle Trail GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

SEE PP 106 & 108 FOR CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDES

St James Cycle Trail © Bevan Triebels

TRAIL INFO

MALING PASS CAR PARK to ST JAMES HOMESTEAD 1-2 days

59km

An important travel route for early Māori, the remote St James Cycle Trail is a challenging journey through magnificent high country complete with soaring peaks, broad river valleys and rustic farming heritage.

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entred on the vast Clarence and Waiau valleys, the whopping 78,000ha St James Station was one of New Zealand’s largest high country farms, dating back to 1862. When it passed into the care of the Department of Conservation in 2008, it became the setting for one of the country’s finest mountain bike trails. Testament to the farm’s former glories, well-preserved buildings

and fences add a human element to landscapes of overwhelming natural grandeur. Vast valleys flanked by rugged mountain ranges usher riders through golden meadows and sweet beech forest, over crystal clear rivers, into hidden lakes and past a series of rustic huts offering shelter from the elements. While fit riders can complete the trail in one day, an overnight trip is highly recommended as it allows

look out for... • Humbling solitude

• Jaw-dropping mountain vistas

• Hot pools just off the Edwards Valley Track

• Rustic backcountry huts • Golden alpine grasslands • Mirror-like Lake Guyon • Critters of forest and meadow

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It’s a 13km drive from Hanmer Springs to the St James Conservation Area and Homestead, site of the trail’s main car park and the common end-point for what is essentially a loop. While it’s possible to ride the extra 25km from there to the official trailhead at Maling car park, it’s more common to hop on a shuttle. While the trail can be ridden in either direction, the Maling start offers more downhill overall along with favourable prevailing winds. The trail can be linked with the Rainbow and Molesworth Muster rides for a longer and challenging adventure. The ride also connects with the Hurunui Trail Heartland Ride (Kaikōura to Christchurch).

Ride Hanmer Forest

Highlights of the trail • Pastoral high-country history

more time to linger in places like Lake Guyon and enjoy the simple pleasures of camping or rustic huts. Sunset and sunrise are big-time bonuses.

• Wild horses grazing the meadows • Hanmer Springs – the country’s very own alpine sanctuary and home to the world-class Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

For further biking action, the 25km purpose-built Hanmer Forest network is home to an extensive network of mountain biking and walking tracks suitable for the beginner through to the expert. The forest contains a mix of exotic tree species.

1-2 Days 64km

TRAIL GRADES: MALING PASS CAR PARK TO WAIAU 4WD ROAD END, 12KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) to GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) WAIAU 4WD ROAD END TO SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE, 15.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE TO SCOTTIES HUT, 14.5KM GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) to GRADE 5 (EXPERT) SCOTTIES HUT TO ST JAMES HOMESTEAD, 17KM GRADE 2-3 (EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is lost once you go over Jacks Pass from Hanmer Springs. DRINKING WATER: Available at various points along the trail, most easily accessible near the huts; note that boiling or treating it is recommended. Be sure to carry plenty in high summer. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential. E-bikes are not permitted on trails graded 4 and above. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GRADE 5 (EXPERT)


Lake Tennyson MAP LEGEND

Waiau River

Maling Pass 1308m

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open section

MALING PASS CAR PARK

optional route

Clarence River

start / finish point

Tophouse Road

point of interest bridge town café/restaurant

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Ada River

St J ame s Ran

Lake Guyon

toilets

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SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE

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Pool Hut

Edwards River

bridge Cow Stream Hot Spring

Jones Stream

state highway

Clarence River

Waiau River

SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE TO SCOTTIES HUT, 14.5KM

Homestead Run

Peters Valley

bridge

ST JAMES HOMESTEAD

SCOTTIES HUT

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Charlies Saddle 754m

Jacks Pass

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HANMER SPRINGS © AA Traveller 2018

riding the trail 1600m 1200m 800m

Maling Pass car park 12km

Waiau 4WD Road End 15.5km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Saddle Spur Bridge 14.5km

Scotties Camp Hut

17km

St James Homestead

400m 0m

MALING CAR PARK TO WAIAU 4WD ROAD END, 12KM

Those with a sense of adventure will feel pretty excited as they head off on the 4WD track into instantly big-hitting vistas. There are glimpses of Lake Tennyson as the trail winds steadily around the foothills of the St James range, climbing 250m over 6km to reach Maling Pass. A pretty big reveal from the highpoint (1308m) grows ever

down valley over the grassy river flats, passing by Little Lake and Muddy Lakes before arriving at the spectacular Saddle Spur Bridge. A herd of wild horses inhabit this area and can often be seen grazing the river flats.

greater on the descent, which winds down through alpine tussock and beech forest, and passes an 1889 rabbit-proof fence long-since breached by the bunny brigade. On the floor of the valley, the 4WD track levels out and comes to an end along Waiau River’s east bank.

WAIAU 4WD ROAD END TO SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE, 15.5KM This section of trail starts out on a purpose-built cycle track that soon

emerges into wide river terraces near the junction with the sidetrack to Lake Guyon. It’s well worth riding the extra 20min or so each way (5km in all) to Lake Guyon hut, as it takes in different vantages of the incredibly pretty lake and surrounds. The old hut is also a particularly nice spot for a break from the bike with the opportunity for a cooling dip – even if it’s just a toe. Back on the main trail, riders follow the old stock and farm tracks meandering

This is the most challenging section of the trail, with 240m of climbing made all the more testing by some rocky and uneven terrain. Some narrow downhill sections and steep drop-offs require particular care, especially as any uncontrolled dismount may see you plough headlong into thorny matagouri. Having crossed to the river’s western side via the bridge over a stunning rocky gorge, riders are faced with the push over Saddle Spur. Down the other side, the track meanders another 5km or so to Pool Hut – micro-sized and a little bit mousey but well positioned around the middle of the trail. The trail then crosses the McArthur Bridge, and follows an old farm track up a series of terraces before winding steeply to Charlies Saddle. The changing views are to die for; the climb you will survive. An invigorating descent leads to a bridge over the Edwards River and the hunters’ haven, Scotties Hut.

SCOTTIES HUT TO ST JAMES HOMESTEAD, 17KM

A 4WD track leads up the meadowlined Edwards Valley, with the terrain generally smooth save for short stretches of rocky riverbed and four unbridged stream crossings. A worthwhile 10min detour leads to Cow Stream hot springs. The trail makes its final sizeable climb out of the valley to reach Peters Pass, from where an easy downhill run wends down the smaller but no less beautiful Peters Valley. A series of farm fences signals the approach to St James Homestead, which appears straight out of the pages of New Zealand’s high country farming history. Be sure to nosy around the old farm buildings before you leave.

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GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

shelter

Stanley River Saddle Spur 865m

Former Minister of Conservation, Kate Wilkinson

camping

Fowlers Hut

Henry River

“This is a real tourism asset and I have no doubt it will draw thousands of cyclists a year. The landscape is stunning.”


Hot soaks, cool lake dips, potential glimpses of wild horses and historic homesteads all feature.

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long the second section, there’s a short detour to the picturesque Lake Guyon. If you’ve worked up a sweat, it’s a great spot to cool off with a dip.

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

About halfway along the second section on the opposite side of the river, the shelterbelts of the isolated Ada Homestead are visible. Farmed from 1862, this is also the home of the St James wild horses, famous throughout New Zealand and sought-after by recreational riders for their steady and sturdy nature. If your muscles (and behinds) are in need of a nice hot soak, along the fourth section of the trail there’s a 1km side-track that leads to the natural Cow Stream hot pool. It’s worth the detour to take a break before you start the trail’s last climb.

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Along the trail LAKE TENNYSON

Maruia Falls © AATP

This is an isolated and beautiful high-country glacial lake in the headwaters of the Clarence River. The lake perimeter (7.5km) can be walked, and there’s also a secluded campsite.

DETOUR: VISIT MARUIA FALLS A five-minute walk from SH 65, the Maruia Falls are an incredible sight. They were formed following the Murchison earthquake in 1929.


© Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Hanmer Springs

The village’s entrancing mix of activities has granted it a reputation as one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations.

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bars, cafés and boutique shops. Browse the galleries and gift shops and sample some handcrafted fudge from The Decadent Fudge Co located in Hanmer Springs’ retail complex, The Village Shopping Centre. You can also hand-feed farm and exotic animals at the Hanmer Springs Animal Park where you’ll find everything from sheep, goats and wallabies to a Texas longhorn and a Tibetan yak!

www.hanmerscenicviews.co.nz

Recommended... ...by TripAdvisor independent reviews ...by Lonely Planet Travel Guide 2015-2018

Hanmer Springs

after Canterbury pioneer Thomas Hanmer • 135km N of Christchurch

• 10 studio & family apartments (sleeping 2-6), 1 with access facilities • Gas water heating, inverter heat pumps, wifi in all units • Sky Select all channels & flatscreen TV in all units, DVD player & free loan DVD library (750+ titles) • On-site laundry facilities • Private terrace with outside dining facilities, safe on-site parking. • 8 out of 10 units have double-size spa baths • Ideally located for all walking & cycle trails including St James • Secure undercover bicycle storage • Car parking and secure left-luggage facility whilst away on trails • Tariff: $180 - $230 (2 persons) Proudly Kiwi owned and operated by resident proprietors Robert & Rhian Sluggett 121 Argelins Road, Hanmer Springs • Tel: +64 3 315 7211 Email: alpinespringsmotel@xtra.co.nz

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www.alpinespringsmotel.co.nz

• 16 Modern Fully Self Contained Units • Off Street Parking, Classic Cars & Bikes Welcome • Quiet, Sunny & Great Views • Guest Laundry, Free WiFi • Private Spa Pool in Executive Suite • Spend a Night, not a Fortune !

HANMER SPRINGS SCENIC VIEWS MOTEL • 2 Amuri Ave, Hanmer Springs  P/F: +64 3 315 7419 • Reservations: 0800 VIEWS 4 U (0800 843 974)

Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park

A beautiful park next to cycle trails, 5 mins from thermal pools/day spa, cafes/ restaurants and boutique alpine village.

0800 521 037 5 Hanmer Springs Road, Hanmer Springs hanmerspringstop10.co.nz

Motels | Units | Cabins | Sites • Wood fired hot tubs on site • Pizza oven • BBQs • Bike hire

For extensive information and special options visit our website

The Chalets Motel Listen to the birds – not the neighbours

• Completely separate self-contained chalets set amongst spacious green grounds with stunning mountain views

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the St James Cycle Trail, Hanmer Springs?

• 1 & 2-bedroom units with full kitchen • Your own parking for car, trailer & bikes • Spacious play area, BBQ, laundry • Easy stroll to thermal pools and town centre • Rates from $130

56 Jacks Pass Road, Hanmer Springs Ph: + 64 3 315 7097 Email: reservations@chaletsmotel.co.nz www.chaletsmotel.co.nz Freephone: 0800 315 709

Base your trip from Heritage Hanmer Springs. In the centre of town near the thermal pools with a mix of hotel rooms and self contained villa accommodation. 1 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs

HHM629HAN 06/19

• FREE WiFi, 50+ SKY channels & DVDs

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

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GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

his thriving yet tranquil alpine village, nestled 385m above sea level, combines the best of both worlds. Sink into an inviting, soothing hot pool or languish amid snowy mountain views with a wine distilled from nearby vineyards, before hitting the throttle and discovering the myriad range of land, water and air activities, including the adrenalin-pumping, that Hanmer Springs offers. The charm also extends to the excellent restaurants,


Woodland Walk (1 hour return): As well as exotic trees, points of interest include ponds and their aquatic life, wetlands and a stream.

Time on your side Swap the bike for your walking shoes, hit the walking tracks and take in the gorgeous Hanmer Springs scenery from a different perspective.

Conical Hill Walk (1 hour return): Note the exotic plants as you climb to the 550m summit of Conical Hill. The lookout at the summit offers good shelter to view the Hanmer Basin. Forest Journey (1.5 hours return): See pines, poplar and larch on this route, plus foot bridges and a cottage. Waterfall Track (2.5 hours return): Pass through beech forest on the way to the 41m-high Dog Stream Waterfall. Mt Isobel Track (6.5 hours return): The highlight is the view from the summit of Mt Isobel (1324m).

Visit Christchurch

Family walking in Hanmer Springs © Hurunui District Council

Orana Wildlife Park and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. A base for epic adventures or a brilliant place to take in the sights, the Christchurch Adventure Park on the Port Hills caters to all. It features downhill mountain biking tracks, zipline tours, a 1.8km-long chairlift ride to the top of the hill and a fully licensed bar.

Christchurch

after Oxford University College, Christ Church • 453km S of Blenheim on SH 1

A Wheelie Warm Welcome Awaits you at

Lincoln Motel There is so much to enjoy in

Lincoln Village

Mountain bike, city touring biking hire. Free delivery. Open 7 days. Mountain bike package includes ride up in the gondola and cycle down. Helmets, security lock, maps supplied. Little River Trail – bikes can be hired or returned to Little River Garage.

Reservations 0800 001 689 • Lockable covered cycle storage • Cycle hose-down area • High-pressure showers & spa baths • New bars, restaurants & cafés • Boutique shopping & supermarket • Lincoln Farmers’ Market every Saturday H BELT

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CITY CYCLE HIRE/MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURE CO. Ph: +64 3 377 5952 Freephone: 0800 343 848 Email: info@cyclehire‑tours.co.nz

www.cyclehire‑tours.co.nz YOUR NEW ZEALAND CYCLE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE! Whether you’re looking for bike rental or a grand cycle tour of the whole country, we will give you the best possible experience.

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ROBERT

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Lincoln Motel

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GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

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hristchurch, with its beautiful rural hinterland, is as wonderfully innovative, charming and colourful as ever. Explore its many attractions including its many incredible gardens, the Avon River, the International Antarctic Centre, the Christchurch Tram and Gondola, The Arts Centre of Christchurch,

BELT

Contact us for your bike hire, guided and selfguided cycle tour requirements.

Craig & Colleen welcome you before or after cycling the Little River Trail to stay at the Lincoln Motel. 4-6 Maurice St, Lincoln, Christchurch Ph: +64 3 974 1620 • info@lincolnmotel.co.nz

www.lincolnmotel.co.nz

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naturalhigh.co.nz 0800 444 144

10 DEPOTS NATIONWIDE • team@naturalhigh.co.nz


JOURNEYS

Cycling Little River Trail © Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

Little River Trail

Ride through a changing landscape that’s seen a thousand years of human history, a journey along the route of a 19th century railway line between Hornby and the blinkand-you’ll-miss-it township of Little River. CHRISTCHURCH SQUARE TO LINCOLN: The route takes you past a number of Christchurch attractions including the Arts Centre, museum, St Mary’s church and the Agricultural Park. The railway corridor between Marshs Road and Prebbleton contains a section of the original railway track complete with rails and a small bridge. Off the trail in Prebbleton, you can visit the Domain on Tosswill Rd, and the Nature Reserve further along Springs Rd. Lincoln has a number of historical buildings worth visiting. There is an information board in the township. The Liffey Domain is a welcome shady spot in summer. LINCOLN TO AHURIRI Currently there is a mix of on-road and off-road sections

connecting Lincoln to Ahuriri. Riders will get a feel for the flat rural landscape of Canterbury with the mountains as a stunning backdrop in the west. AHURIRI TO LITTLE RIVER From Ahuriri the riding is mostly off-road and through wetland areas that are home to much birdlife. For a taste of railway history, Motukārara Station is worth a stop as is Kaituna Quarry. A side trip to Birdlings Flat is great for some extra fresh ocean air. From here the trail heads into the Banks Peninsula alongside Lake Forsyth, with close-up views of the volcanic hills.

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he trail wanders through the rural hinterland of the Canterbury Plains, skirts past the massive flanks of the ancient volcanoes that make up the beautiful Banks Peninsula, and hugs the shoreline of a vast lagoon, Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora – a wildlife habitat of international significance because of the birdlife – and the smaller Lake Forsyth. You’ll spot plenty of engaging places of interest along the way, including the Motukārara Station, Kaituna Quarry, where there is a short track to the lakeside, and Birdlings Flat, where there is a return side trip of 2km that’s worth it for the incredible ocean views. Birdlings Flat is also popular among rockhounds as the beach is rich in gemstones, particularly agates. The trail is flat and easy (Grade 2), with a variety of surfaces from asphalt (Christchurch to Lincoln) to

hard-packed gravel (Ahuriri to Little River). Most sections are suitable for novice cyclists, families and others seeking a very easy cycling experience. There are a number of car parks along the way making the sections very accessible for shorter rides. Along the trail, 4G mobile coverage is good to south of Lincoln, and 3G coverage is good to south of Lincoln and is also available in Little River. The only drinking water available is at Waihora Park, so it’s wise to take enough bottled water with you for the duration of your ride. PLEASE NOTE: There is a 1.5km temporary on-road section 14km from the beginning of the trail. It involves biking around and through activities involved in the building of the Christchurch Southern Motorway extension. It is not suitable for families with small children. The work is planned to finish early in 2020.

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LITTLE RIVER TRAIL

Cycling Little River Trail © Triebels Photography


GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

ALPS 2 OCEAN

© Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

TRAIL INFO

Cycle Trail AORAKI MT COOK VILLAGE to ŌAMARU 6 days

306km

New Zealand’s highest mountain – Aoraki Mt Cook – is just one unforgettable sight on this epic journey from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

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raided rivers thread through broad, glacier-carved valleys. Turquoise hydro-lakes nestle into the golden tussock of open high country. And bizarre, limestone rock forms litter rolling green farmland. If you’re looking for natural grandeur, this ride will deliver it.

Along the way, small towns and settlements provide atmospheric accommodation, friendly pubs and cafés and easy access to shuttles and other services. There are plenty of off-the-bike activities too, including wine tasting, penguin spotting, glider flights,

look out for... Highlights of the trail • New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook (3754m) • Mackenzie’s turquoise lakes and golden tussock • Aoraki Mt Cook National Park walks • Intriguing hydro-dams and power stations • Craft brews and Waitaki wine country

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6 Days

star gazing and soaking in hot tubs under incredible skies. The Alps 2 Ocean (A2O) is divided into nine sections. A wealth of cycle-friendly visitor services make it possible to ride the whole trail pleasurably in four to six days or tailor a shorter ride to suit all levels of ability. If you’re riding the full trail and wish to avoid the helicopter crossing of the Tasman River, there are several alternative starts: Lake Tekapō or Jollie Car Park. The terrain varies from canal paths, quiet country roads (where stock and vehicles may be present) and an old railway line to smooth gravel bike tracks and a bit of slightly rougher stuff. Those attempting the full trail should be reasonably fit and experienced, but there are plenty of ride options for beginners or rusty riders.

Wines of Waitaki • Limestone wonders including Elephant Rocks • Spectacular night skies • Country towns, pubs, cafés, shops • Ōamaru’s Victorian Precinct and little blue penguins • Alps 2 Ocean Ultra – a 323km adventure race from Aoraki Mt Cook to Ōamaru – 23-29 Feb 2020

The Waitaki area is becoming increasingly famous as a cool climate wine region, so take a break at a local winery to sample superb Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer.

306km

TRAIL GRADES: AORAKI MT COOK TO BRAEMAR RD, 35KM GRADE 2 (EASY) LAKE TEKAPŌ TO TWIZEL, 54KM GRADE 2 (EASY) BRAEMAR RD TO TWIZEL, 42KM GRADE 2 (EASY) TWIZEL TO LAKE OHAU LODGE, 38KM GRADE 2 (EASY) LAKE OHAU LODGE TO ŌMARAMA, 45KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ŌMARAMA TO ŌTEMATATA, 24KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ŌTEMATATA TO KUROW, 40KM GRADE 2 (EASY) KUROW TO DUNTROON, 28KM GRADE 2 (EASY) DUNTROON TO ŌAMARU, 54KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage ranges from perfect to patchy. WiFi at cafés and accommodation. DRINKING WATER: Available in the towns along the trail. There are some long stretches without water, so it will pay to plan ahead. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for the terrain. E-bikes are permitted. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


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© AA Traveller 2019

Aoraki Mount Cook

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ukaki Lake P

PukakiCanal Loch Cameron LAKE OHAU

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre

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Tekapo Canal Road TEKAPO B POWER STATION

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Lake Pukaki

Ohau Weir

Quailburn Woolshed

other route

LAKE TEKAPO TOWNSHIP

Braemar Road

Lake B

Lake Middleton

open section

GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

Ben Ohau Rang e

JOLLIE RIVER CARPARK

LakeTekapo

AORAKI MT COOK VILLAGE

Dobson River

MAP LEGEND

Tw oT hum b Ran

WHITE HORSE HILL CAMPGROUND

camping accommodation 1

OMARAMA

Sailors Cutting

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Lake Waitaki KUROW

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state highway

Lake Aviemore

OTEMATATA 83

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Otematata Saddle

TIMARU

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DUNTROON

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1 Waitak iR

Elephant Rocks

iver

Maerewhenua River

83 Rakis Railway Tunnel Enfield Weston 1

riding the trail 1000m 800m

Aoraki Mt Cook Braemar Rd Village 35km 42km

OAMARU

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Twizel

Lake Ohau Lodge 38km

45km

Ōmarama 24km

Ōtematata

Kurow

40km

28km

Duntroon

Ōamaru 54km

600m 400m 200m 0m

AORAKI MT COOK TO BRAEMAR RD, 35KM The trail starts at White Horse Hill Campground, 2km north of Aoraki Mt Cook Village, offering riders the chance to soak up the stunning mountain scenery before setting off down a glacier-carved valley. It’s just over 7km to Mt Cook airport where a short helicopter-hop transports bikes and riders across the Tasman River to Tasman Point. Please note there is a charge for the helicopter ride and it must be booked in advance. The trail is a little bit lumpy as it winds alongside the Tasman River’s braided waters, which eventually empty into the turquoise blue

of Lake Pūkaki. After 10km of lakeside trail, Jollie Car Park marks the start of a 17km gravel section to Braemar Rd. If you wish to avoid the helicopter crossing there are several alternative starts: Lake Tekapō, Tekapō B Power Station or Jollie Car Park.

LAKE TEKAPŌ TO TWIZEL, 54KM The trail’s alternative start takes in the striking contrasts of the Mackenzie Country’s surreal blue lakes and canals, surrounded by golden tussock plains and bound by majestic mountain ranges. Leaving Tekapō township, the trail heads off on gravel tracks past Tekapō A Power Station, and on to the long but rather lovely Tekapō Canal Rd which is

closed to vehicle traffic. The road passes a salmon farm and reaches Tekapō B Power Station. The trail then drops down to Lake Pūkaki and meets Hayman Rd where riders join the Aoraki Mt Cook section of trail following the shoreline to Pūkaki Dam and across the tussockcovered flats to Twizel.

BRAEMAR RD TO TWIZEL, 42KM The trail follows a quiet country road along the eastern shore of Lake Pūkaki, with notable flora and fauna and Tekapō B Power Station among the highlights. All eyes, however, will likely be latched on to Lake Pūkaki and the Southern Alps, all the way down to the bottom

of Hayman Rd where an off-road trail heads towards Pūkaki Dam. On the other side, riders will have their sights set on the laidback little town of Twizel, an oasis of green streets amidst the desert-like Pūkaki Flats.

TWIZEL TO LAKE OHAU LODGE, 38KM The next leg heads out on a pretty country road to reach Loch Cameron at the 6km mark – a great place for a swim if time and temperature are on your side. Just ahead, across the canal bridge, a straight easy pedal leads to the edge of Lake Ohau. The Ben Ohau Range dwarfs all and sundry as you follow the lake continued on p.118

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Hydro Canal, Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © Rebecca Ryan

GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

continued from p.117

foreshore across Ohau Weir and onward along the lake towards Lake Ohau Village and its lodge. Note: there is no way across Ohau Weir when it is in flood, so be sure to check the Alps2Ocean website for updates if the weather’s been wet.

LAKE OHAU LODGE TO ŌMARAMA, 45KM

It’s a gentle 6km warm up to Freehold of the Good Creek. The Church next section has aShepherd 300m Church of the Good Shepherd climb to conquer over a generous 5km. The trail then winds through golden meadows and past an historic woolshed before joining the quintessentially rural Quailburn Rd with its optional detour to Clay Cliffs (14km return). From the SH 8 junction, Ōmarama (with its soothing outdoor hot tubs) is just a few kilometres away.

Christchurch

after Oxford University College, Christ Church • 312km S of Blenheim on SH 1

ŌMARAMA TO ŌTEMATATA, Discover Discover Lake Lake 24KM

KUROW TO DUNTROON, Tekapo Tekapo 28KM

It’sLake a whole new world three after hours Ōmarama. Tekapo is about drive south-west of Christchurch the Mackenzie This section follows ain Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch insmooth the Mackenzie Basin. TheHills, township north across the shingle remarkable coloured to Over Chain it’s a faces big Welcome pathturquoise down the Waitakilake Valley, Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milkytothe themountainous Waitaki Valley withofitsthe bigSouthern blue drama Alps. Lake Tekapo getsalluvial its intense milkytraversing ancient plains and turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in turquoise fromcountry the fine towns. rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in hydro lakescolour and little crossing three side rivers. This is the the water. the water. This short leg takes riders down to heart of Waitaki wine country – taste it Lake Benmore, along its edge past where youMonday can. The trail then hugs the Open Sunday Open -- Sunday Pumpkin Point and on to Sailors highway asMonday it 10am gets closer to Duntroon, from till late from 10am till late Cutting Scenic Reserve – a popular taking aTekapo minor detour to Centre. Takiroa Māori Lake Village Lake Tekapo Village Centre. boating, fishing and camping spot. rock artPhone site along the way. 03 680 6886 Phone 03 680 6886 The trail then follows SH 83 for the DUNTROON TOmeals ŌAMARU, Proud to serve short climb to Ōtematata Saddle from Proud to serve meals 54KMprepared with locally sourced prepared with locally sourced where there are views of the next lake, Wines, to one of It’s justingredients. 7km from NZ Duntroon ingredients. NZ Wines, Aviemore. It’s all downhill to Ōtematata Monteith’s Craft Beers Monteith’s Craftsights Beers–-the huge the trail’s strangest from there. Allpress Espresso. Enjoy Allpress Espresso. Enjoy across a limestone scattered greatboulders food and spectacular ŌTEMATATA TO KUROW, food and spectacular grassygreat paddock, aptly named Elephant views in a beautiful views in a beautiful 40KM Rocksenvironment. although mammoths and even Dine alfresco environment. Dine alfresco Stopping for coffee is highly summer. hipposover may well be imagined. More over summer. recommended before heading off limestone oddities crop up as the trail towards Hydroadvises Dam –that thethe roadsleads onward on- andinoff-road through TekapoBenmore Auto Services can get very slippery the winter with Tekapo Auto Services advises that the roads can get very slippery in the winter with black ice.to Sothe be top prepared include kit as follows. last 800m of theand dam is a a safetybucolic farmland to Rakis Railway black ice. So be prepared and include a safety kit as follows. bit• Snow of a grind. Even those without a Tunnel. The trail then hops on and off chains • Snow chains • A working (and spare batteries) keen interesttorch in mid-century industrial the railway line through the dots of • A working torch (and spare batteries) • A radio andshould mobile phone architecture the dam pretty • A radio and mobilefind phone Windsor, Enfield and Weston, and on • Drive with your headlights on, day or night • Drive with your headlights on, day oranight to Ōamaru. The town’s magnificent damn interesting, and perhaps even • Update yourself on weather and road conditions regularly. Members can call 0800 • Updateofyourself on weather and the road conditions regularly. Members can call 0800 highlight this leg which follows are a fine prelude to 500 222. Non Members can phone 0900 33 public 222 at gardens a cost of $1.30 per minute. 500 222. Non Members can phone 0900 33 222 at a cost of $1.30 per minute. road along Lake Aviemore (swimming the grand finale of gargantuan Victoria There are plenty of options for There are plenty of options for possible) Dam. warehouses overlooking Ōamaru transporttoif the you Aviemore would prefer not Across transport if you would prefer not this trail then you off to dam, drive. the Choose from takes shuttles, Harbour and the Pacific Ocean. to drive. Choose from shuttles, buses trains; many road pastand Lake Waitaki andhave the Waitaki buses and trains; many have flexible itineraries and take in Dam, anditineraries on to Kurow. flexible and take in some great winter sights and some great winter sights and activities activities

Lake Tekapō

corruption of takapo ‘sleeping mat’ • 105km NW of Timaru on SH 8

Relax and enjoy the comfort and convenience of a fully self-contained holiday home, your ideal cycle tour base. 853 853 or 03Lake 680 6825 0800 853 853 (NZ only) or 03 680 6825 • 0800 2 Lakeside Drive, Tekapo

853 (NZ only) or 03 680 6825 •22Lakeside LakesideDrive, Drive,Lake LakeTekapo Tekapo Ph 03 6806607 or visit our website for0800 full853 list andinfo@laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz easy info@laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz info@laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz www.laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz online reservations: www.tekapoholidayhomes.co.nz www.laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz www.laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz

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Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park and Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park and the Lakefront Lodge Backpackers the Lakefront Lodge Backpackers are set amongst mature trees on the are set amongst mature trees on the shores of Lake Tekapo. shores of Lake Tekapo. Our alpine holiday park offers endless Our alpine holiday park offers endless stunning views across the turquoise lake to stunning views across the turquoise lake to the surrounding mountains. If you’re the surrounding mountains. If you’re looking for accommodation in Lake Tekapo looking for accommodation in Lake Tekapo then our holiday park is the perfect choice then our holiday park is the perfect choice for an adventure getaway, a family holiday for an adventure getaway, a family holiday or a nights stopover with accommodation or a nights stopover with accommodation to suit everyone’s budget. to suit everyone’s budget. Our accommodation consists of: Our accommodation consists of: Motels, Kiwi Baches, Ensuite units, Motels, Kiwi Baches, Ensuite units, Standard cabins, Backpackers lodge, Standard cabins, Backpackers lodge, Power Sites and Tent Sites. Page 6 Power Sites and Tent Sites. Page 6


A

oraki Mt Cook Village takes advantage of some of the country’s most stunning scenery, with big mountains meeting big skies, turquoise lakes and braided blue rivers. Explore the mountains on a walk or hike, take a scenic flight, go skiing or snowboarding, take a guided boat tour and experience the Tasman Glacier or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at the Hermitage Hotel.

Twizel, glorious in all seasons but especially in autumn colours, is a great base for exploring Aoraki Mt Cook with eccentric baches to choose from and some great cafés. Skiers have the choice of four nearby ski fields, while in summer there is tramping, extreme mountain biking, boating on Lake Ruataniwha and black stilt tours. Ōmarama is Māori for ‘place of light’, an apt name for an area with clear skies and rich dawn and dusk colours. Soak under the big sky in a private hot tub. The nearby giant fluted

Twizel

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Tarnbrae high point © Rebecca Ryan

Kurow is surrounded by three pretty hydro lakes – Waitaki, Aviemore and Benmore – prime picnicking and water sports spots. The Waitaki River, from Kurow to sea, is one of the country’s best jet-boating rivers.

Around every bend is beautiful scenery, a geological wonder or a welcoming township.

The little village of Duntroon is situated at the end of the Vanished World driving trail, which winds through the North Otago hills to some spectacular fossil and geological sites including the popular ‘Elephant Rocks’. There are many reasons to fall in love with the curious seaside town of Ōamaru. Explore its intact Victorian precinct and elegant streets featuring antiquarian bookshops, vintage clothes shops, galleries, gift stores, alternative healers and herbalists and artist studios. Don’t miss Whitestone City, the heritage hub that’s fit out in the style of a colonial town, period costumes and all. The town’s favourite residents are its colony of blue penguins – see them waddle ashore en masse every night just after dark.

named after Twizel Bridge in Northumberland • 161km W of Timaru on SH 8

GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

Lake Tekapō is phenomenal, with its turquoise lake reflecting the peaks. At night the star-filled sky is dazzling thanks to the clearest air in the southern hemisphere; check it out at the renowned Mt John University Observatory.

Clay Cliffs are one of New Zealand’s best-kept natural secrets. Ōmarama has some of the best conditions in the world for gliding, where you can experience riding thermals above the Southern Alps in silent flight.

Lake Ohau

place of hau (wind) • 175km NW of Ōamaru High country lodge on shores of Lake Ohau at base of Ohau Snow Fields & on Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. • Aoraki Mt Cook, lake views. • Cycling/fishing/skiing/walking. • 72 rooms including 30 studios. • Restaurant/bar. Weddings/groups. Free WiFi. • Tariff: $244-$370 (2 persons), incl dinner, bed and breakfast.

WWW.OHAU.CO.NZ

Lake Ohau, North Otago • Ph/Fax: +64 3 438 9885 • Email: reservations@ohau.co.nz

Ōmarama

place of moonlight • 119km NW of Ōamaru

AHURIRI MOTELS

0800 438 945

• 14 motel units, studio, 1, 2 & 3-bedroom • Alps 2 Ocean Cycleway at gate • FREE WiFi • Laundry facilities • Guest BBQ • Central to shops, restaurants and airfield • On-site beautician for guests

The friendly place to stay State Highway 83, Omarama, Otago, New Zealand P: +64 3 438 9451 • F: +64 3 438 9461

BOOK DIRECT FOR THE BEST DEAL

E: ahuririmotels@xtra.co.nz

www.ahuririmotels.co.nz

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JOURNEYS

Inland Scenic Route 72

T

In the heart of the South Island, the Inland Scenic Route 72 crosses an area rich in awe-inspiring landscapes and outdoor adventures. A loop from Christchurch, it’s an easy road trip to explore the Canterbury region before or after your cycling adventure.

OFF THE BIKE

GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

he trip heads from Christchurch to Oxford, Methven, Geraldine, Ashburton and Akaroa before heading back to Christchurch. On one side of the route the spectacular Southern Alps line the horizon while on the other side the Canterbury Plains spread out beside you in a patchwork quilt of agricultural and horticultural endeavour. The Rakaia and Rangitata rivers are great for fishing – salmon and trout are likely to be the catches of the day – while both offer white-water rafting. Plus, there is great skiing available at the Mt Hutt ski field, and the nearby town of Methven is a vibrant ski town catering for visitors of all aspirations. At Rangiora you can take an impressive bush or wetland walk near town, and the town of Oxford is popular for golf, wine trailing, horse riding, kayaking or jet boating. Mt Somers is also worth a stopover for its beautiful scenery and range of picturesque walks.

The countryside comes to town in Geraldine. The pretty main street is always bustling with visitors taking in the town’s cafés, antiques, craft shops and gourmet-food producers. Nearby Peel Forest is an outdoor playground with walking trails, horse treks through native forest and white-water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River. Ashburton is a fly fisher’s paradise for both salmon and trout, then it’s on to Akaroa, the end of the run. Settled by the French, it maintains a Gallic charm – and serious patisseries! Then, meander back along the coast road – a welcome change from all that inland green – to the everchanging environs of Christchurch.

RIGHT: Paddock of Sunflowers INSET: Inland Scenic Route 72 sign Both © Ashburton District Tourism

KUROW HOTEL

BEST

WELCOME TO

Country Food & Beer for Miles

Accommodation/Bottle Store Bar/Dining

YOUR HOSTS BRUCE AND JULIE

Main Rd, Omarama Phone: +64 3 438 9713 info@bootsandjandalshotel.co.nz

1880 heritage hotel in town centre • Family-friendly country atmosphere • Clean and tidy with 16 warm, private rooms, 4 with ensuites • Sky TV in bar • On Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail • Garden bar and function room • Free WiFi • Breakfast available • Tariff: $50-$100 (1-2 persons). 55 Bledisloe St, Kurow • P: +64 3 436 0850 • E: kurowhotel@gmail.com

Kurow

Ōamaru

corruption of Kohurau (many mists) • 68km NW of Ōamaru on SH 82

place of Maru • 115km NE of Dunedin on SH 1 KUROW

KUROW

HOLIDAY PARK

Relax and explore in our peaceful park • WiFi available. • On Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. • Choice of tourist flats, cabins • Tariff: (2 persons) tourist flats and 3-bedroom shared lodge. $100-$110, cabins $45-$60 • Fish for trout/salmon in Waitaki (linen extra $10pp), lodge $35, River/lakes. Safe swimming, power site $36, unpowered canoeing. $32.

Phone for reservations: 0800 142 649

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76 Bledisloe St, Kurow, Otago P +64 3 436 0725 E office@kurowholidaypark.co.nz

www.kurowholidaypark.co.nz

The local Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail experts Local ride information • Epic tours on the A20 Sales • Hires • Servicing • Accessories and Parts

www.cycleventures.co.nz Ph: + 64 3 434 5010 4 Wansbeck Street, Oamaru


OTAGO CENTRAL Rail Trail

1-5 days

I

152km

The trail that inspired the creation of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network, the Otago Central Rail Trail follows the old railway line between Clyde and Middlemarch.

t boasts a truly memorable blend of natural beauty, fascinating history and a series of friendly towns. The classic experience is to ride it over several days, but the trail can be easily broken into shorter rides to suit individual interests and itineraries.

There’s so much to see and do on and near the trail, including spectacular railway bridges and tunnels, abandoned gold diggings and historic architecture from art deco municipal buildings to rustic farmyards. There’s also plenty of opportunity to taste Otago’s

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Central Otago’s striking landscapes • Railway stations, tunnels and viaducts of yesteryear

• Scrumptious local food and wine • Warm and welcoming hospitality

• Rustic remnants of the gold rushes

• High-country farming heritage

• Seasonal colours – from summer gold to winter white

• Easy ride, more sights, maximum fun

• Stargazing into brilliant night skies

TRAIL INFO Otago Central Rail Trail © James Jubb

celebrated local flavours in country cafés, wineries and more. Cyclists riding the whole trail can start from either end, with shorter trips easily created via various access points along the way. A host of operators make for easy logistics ranging from shuttle transport and luggage transfers to multi-day independent and guided tours including all accommodation and meals. It will pay to factor in plenty of free time. From poking around old gold diggings to visiting New Zealand’s only international curling rink, there are plenty of options to tailor-make the perfect trip for you. It’s a journey to savour; best enjoyed as slow as your itinerary will allow.

Interplanetary Cycle Trail – a world first • Historic Hayes Engineering – the ‘home of Kiwi ingenuity’

• Spectacular riverside and gorge scenery

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

CLYDE to MIDDLEMARCH

A model solar system has been reduced to scale 100 million to 1, and model planets are located along the trail. Grab a brochure from operators and i-SITES on the trail, or visit otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz

1-5 Days 152km

TRAIL GRADES ALL GRADE 1 (EASIEST) CLYDE TO CHATTO CREEK, 25KM CHATTO CREEK TO LAUDER, 19KM LAUDER TO ŌTŪRĒHUA, 22.5KM ŌTŪRĒHUA TO RANFURLY, 25.5KM RANFURLY TO HYDE, 32.5KM HYDE TO MIDDLEMARCH, 27.5KM MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is decent for the majority of the trail, but gets weak or nonexistent in more remote sections. DRINKING WATER: Fill up your water bottles before you leave your accommodation each day, and refill (or purchase more) as you pass through the settlements. TYPE OF BIKE: A hybrid or mountain bike is recommended. E-bikes are also permitted. GRADE 1 (EASIEST)

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Chatto Creek

85

CLYDE

e ng

Kokonga Daisybank

R

iver

i-SITE Visitor Centre

optional route

town

heritage train ride

café/restaurant

start / finish point

toilets

point of interest

accommodation

bridge

tha R

to Lawrence

open section

1

Clyde 8km

ge an

Tiroiti HYDE ive

iR

Rock and Pillar

87

Alexandra

Ngapuna

© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Ōmakau

29km

r

MIDDLEMARCH

state highway

to Dunedin 78km

riding the trail 600m

Roc ka nd Pil lar

MAP LEGEND

Lake Roxburgh Gorge Trail Roxburgh

85 Waipiata

ALEXANDRA

8

Kyeburn

RANFURLY

Clu

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

Lower Manorburn Dam

85

Ta ier

Ophir

Wedderburn

Ida Valley

Rid ge

Dunstan ke

La 8

Ida Bu rn olburn Go Po rge

Naseby

Summit 618m

North Rough

OMAKAU

Rag ged yR a

Du n

OTUREHUA

Lauder

to Cromwell to Queenstown 79km

Idaburn

Manuherikia River

e ang R n sta

Ōtūrēhua 28km

Ranfurly 26km

Hyde 32km

Middlemarch 28km

400m 200m 0m

CLYDE TO CHATTO CREEK, 25KM

Allow plenty of time to explore historic Clyde before you set off. The trail is well signposted from the centre of town. Not long into the journey, it crosses its first railway curiosity – Muttontown Viaduct – one of the trail’s only two wooden trestle bridges without stone abutments. Orchards, vineyards and pasture line the route to Alexandra, the trail’s largest town, from where it heads through old gold diggings and high-country farms – home to the world’s finest merino sheep. Schist outcrops scraggle a landscape cut through by the willow-lined Manuherikia River. This section ends at Chatto Creek where there’s a charming country pub.

CHATTO CREEK TO LAUDER, 19KM

Continue through the irrigated lower Manuherikia Valley before ascending the sweeping S-bend up Tiger Hill. At Ōmakau, riders can detour to a noteworthy old bridge and yet another charming country town, Ophir. It boasts well-preserved mud-brick and stone buildings from the gold rush, including the photogenic Post Office. Back at Ōmakau, the trail meanders through a lovely open landscape flanked by the Dunstan and Raggedy ranges. At Lauder, admire a clutch of rustic old buildings and breathe in the crisp air – said to be some of the purest on the planet.

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LAUDER TO ŌTŪRĒHUA, 22.5KM

As you set off on this easy roll through rugged terrain, spare a thought for the 300 workers who took three years to build the two tunnels and two impressive bridges along the way. Manuherikia No.1 Bridge is first up, from where the trail climbs gradually into the stunning Poolburn Gorge to pass through the two tunnels that cut through sheer schist – ­201m and 230m long respectively. The trail then crosses the 108m-long Poolburn Viaduct before descending past the old Auripo and Ida Valley stations, and Ida Burn Dam where the ancient sport of curling is played when it freezes over. Ōtūrēhua is a veritable goldmine of local history – don’t miss Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead and the totally eye-popping Gilchrist’s Store. From Ōtūrēhua, it’s possible to take the highly recommended detour to St Bathans – worth visiting for its eerie man-made lake (great for swimming) along with a clutch of historic buildings including a crusty pub. It’s a 20km ride to get there, some reasonable hill climbs en route. Bike back to Ōtūrēhua for a 40km total detour, or rejoin the trail further east at Idaburn, a 39km total detour.

ŌTŪRĒHUA TO RANFURLY, 25.5KM

The latitude line of 45 degrees south is the first notable landmark beyond Ōtūrēhua, follow the intersection with Reefs Rd where a detour may be made to the Golden Progress Mine site and

its wooden poppet head. There are splendid views of the Hawkdun and Ida ranges as the trail climbs gently to its high point of 618m above sea level. A little further along is the tiny Wedderburn Goods Shed made famous by lauded landscape artist Grahame Sydney. It’s a good spot for contemplation before the cruise downward across the Māniototo Plains. Before you hit Ranfurly, it’s worth considering a side-trip or overnight stop in Naseby. Around 10km off the trail, Naseby is a little winner with its two lovely old pubs, indoor curling rink, unusual swimming dam and forested MTB trails suitable for all ages. Another 25km on from Naseby is Dansey’s Pass, a one-horse town well off the beaten track, famous for its rustic hotel. Unless you’re super fit and eager, the distance and nature of the terrain make this detour best suited to driving. Back on the main trail, this section ends at the sweet little country town of Ranfurly, notable for its art deco architecture and a smattering of serviceable shops and cafés.

RANFURLY TO HYDE, 32.5KM

This section offers broad views of the Kakanui Mountains and Ida Range as it heads towards Waipīata, where it’s worth cycling up to the historic Hamilton cemetery for expansive views of the surroundings. As the trail leaves the Māniototo Plain, it skirts the sunken depression where Lake Taieri used to be

before it was silted up by gold miners. The trail passes yet another rustic gangers’ shed at Kokonga, then enters the upper Taieri Gorge. This pretty section passes the old Red Dwarf gangers’ hut at Daisybank, and at Tiroiti there’s a wellpreserved stone bridge with iron trusses. Further along at Price’s Creek is a notable viaduct followed by a 152m-long, fully bricked tunnel. The trail then enters the open and dramatic country of Strath Taieri Plain. The old gold-mining town of Hyde is a popular place to break the journey.

HYDE TO MIDDLEMARCH, 27.5KM

Check out the Hyde Railway Station before continuing on an easy downhill ride into the Strath Taieri Plain and its many bridges and culverts. Just south of Hyde Station, a memorial cairn commemorates the site of the region’s worst rail disaster in which 21 were killed in 1943. The trail traverses the foothills of the 1400m high Rock and Pillar Range with its huge rocky outcrops, before meandering through the valley’s productive farmland to the Ngāpuna Station site. In the east is the 700m high Taieri Ridge. The trail finally reaches its end at Middlemarch. Built in 1891, the railway station is still in use as the terminus of the Taieri Gorge Railway, a scenic tourist service between Middlemarch and Dunedin. Running on certain days during summer only, this is a fitting way to start or finish the journey.


Cycling through history

Immerse yourself in the history and romance of the Otago railway and gold rush. Explore abandoned gold diggings, historic architecture and railway stations of yesteryear.

A

test of time and the mountains still bear scars of the races, built back in the 1860s to bring water to the long-gone gold mines.

It truly is a testament to human endeavour – the detailed workmanship of the stone bridges and tunnel facings have stood the

Steam trains chugged along this railway line for 83 years, but once the roads were improved and the gold rush was long over, the line was officially closed in 1990 and the railway tracks removed, leaving a long, relatively flat path through Central Otago – what better place for a cycling journey?

momentous accomplishment, the Otago Central Railway was once an economic lifeline for the Central Otago region. Built to connect Dunedin with Central Otago, a thriving gold-mining area, the track took 16 years to complete and was finished in 1907.

Cromwell

Nowadays, the Department of Conservation and the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust manage the trail and have turned it into an adventure of its own merits. The countless reminders of the railway and gold rush, including long, dark tunnels, trestle and stone bridges, abandoned gold diggings and the remains of mining machinery, old stone and mudbrick dwellings and beautifully preserved goldmining settlements, showcase our pioneering history like never before.

after Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England • 224km NW of Dunedin

CALL 0800 BIKE NOW (245 366)

25 Holloway Street, Clyde Ph: +64 3 449 2228 Email: info@bikeitnow.co.nz

www.bikeitnow.co.nz 1800 446 356 AUS FREEPHONE

or BOOK ONLINE

9 Gair Ave, Cromwell Ph: +64 3 445 0321 andersonpark@xtra.co.nz

Reservations: 0800 220 550

Central

• 12 ground‑floor self-contained units in spacious grounds location for • 2 studios, 9 x 1‑bedroom (sleep 1‑5), 1 x 2-bedroom cycle trails (sleeps 5) • Handy to local cycle trails, wineries, Lake Dunstan & Highlands • Sky 50+ TV, BBQ entertainment area, off‑street parking • FREE guest laundry • Unlimited WiFi • Breakfast available on request • Tariff: Seasonal from $135 per night.

www.andersonparkmotel.co.nz

Clyde

• Bike tours, itinerary planning • Half-day to multi-day hires • E-bike hire and retail specialists • Cycle retail • Clothing and accessories • Central Otago Cycle Trails Specialist

The Personal Touch because it is “all about you!”

Quotes from Clients: “Professional and seamless service for the perfect Otago Rail Trail Holiday” Catherine Callaghan - London “Above and beyond expectations” Claudine N - Auckland

Alexandra

after a Scottish general • 221km NW of Dunedin

after Princess Alexandra of Denmark • 191km NW of Dunedin • Ideal start/finish point for Otago Central Rail Trail & Roxburgh Gorge Trail • 7 self-contained 1 & 2-bedroom units • Short stroll to Clyde’s well-known eateries and bars in the historic precinct • Continental breakfast buffet in Schist stable (Oct-Apr) • FREE bike storage on site during stay

56 Sunderland St, Clyde CENTRAL OTAGO P: 03 449 2709 E: stay@antiquelodgemotel.co.nz FREEPHONE:

BIKE IT NOW! CLYDE, CENTRAL OTAGO

0800 99 22 66 • www.antiquelodgemotel.co.nz

12 Bantry St, Alexandra Ph/Fax: +64 3 448 7400 Email: alparkview@callplus.net.nz

www.alparkviewmotel.co.nz Reservations: 0800 448 740 • Central location. Comfortable, ground-floor fully equipped motel/studio, 1 & 2-brm motel units, access unit. • Free gas BBQ, outdoor dining. Extra off-street parking. Free WiFi. • Adjacent to playground/park. Short walk to town centre, RSA, cafés, restaurants • Close to Rail Trail & other cycle trails. • Large secure cycle storage, bikewash facility. • Cycle friendly, knowledgeable hosts that enjoy the trails. FREE WiFi allocation • Tariff: $110-$145 (1-2p), extra $20.

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GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

Ophir Post Office © Tourism Central Otago


Hyde Railway Station © Tim Hawkins RIGHT: ‘Neptune’ sculpture © Otago Central Rail Trail Marketing

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

Ōtūrēhua has a heritage trail where you can visit the Hayes Engineering Works – an example of classic Kiwi ingenuity. At nearby Wedderburn, visit the goods shed made famous by a Grahame Sydney painting.

Along the trail This is a journey of varied and distinctive landscapes with magical scenery, including views of Alexandra, the Poolburn Gorge, the Māniototo Plains and Ida Valley.

C

lyde’s historic precinct has many buildings preserved from the gold-rush era. Visit the museum and the controversial Clyde Dam – the largest concrete gravity dam in New Zealand. Alexandra is a colourful oasis amid the rocky Central Otago landscape. It changes beautifully with the seasons

and is particularly captivating in spring when the blossoms bloom and wild thyme colours the hills purple. There’s plenty to do here: walk alongside or cruise the Clutha River, marvel at the hillside clock, check out the historical Shaky Bridge, fish for trout on the Clutha or Manuherikia rivers, visit the museum or the Earnscleugh Tailings Historic

Reserve, go wine tasting, visit an artists’ studio or craft market, check out the aquatic centre and go skating at the outdoor ice rink in winter. Ōmakau is a relaxed rural town with pretty historic buildings set against the backdrop of the Dunstan Mountains. The Central Otago A&P Show is hosted at the Ōmakau Showgrounds every February.

Ranfurly is New Zealand’s rural art deco town because of its 1930s-style architecture. The focal point of the town is the refurbished railway station housing the information centre. If you’re looking for a novel way to explore the area, you can take a thrilling ride with a sled dog team here – with or without snow. Waipiata is home to a star-gazing facility with an impressive telescope, ideal for Maniototo’s vast night skies. Middlemarch lies at the foot of the Rock and Pillar Range. Visit the museum, check out the salt-water lake, play golf and go fishing in the Taieri River.

Alexandra Heights Motel • 6 studio, 4 x 2-brm (including large access unit) • FREE WIFI • Some units have a bath • Near town/sports complex • Enjoy scenic views from our balconies • Great Rail Trail stop-off • Tariff: from $135, extra $20 • Secure bike storage, bike washing facilities

Phone: +64 3 448 6366 • Reservations: 0800 862 539 Email: info@alexandraheights.co.nz www.alexandraheights.co.nz 125 Centennial Ave, Alexandra

OFFERING PACKAGES & BIKE HIRE FOR:

Otago Central Rail Trail Roxburgh Gorge Trail Clutha Gold Trail ALSO OFFERING FANTASTIC

Guided High Country & Single Track MTB Tours 88 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra Tel: +64 3 448 8917 • Mob: +64 21 456 918 • Email: info@altitudebikes.co.nz

www.altitude bikes.co.nz

Ōmakau

belonging to a husband & wife • 190km NW of Dunedin

Alexandra Holiday Park Riverside Lo-

• Groups welcome. Ask about the complex (5 brms, sleeps 29 or Matti Lodge, sleeps 18) • 300 camp sites • Heated ablution block in winter • Cabins, tourist flats, cottages, lodges & family units • Secure bike storage

44 Manuherikia Rd (PO Box 7), Alexandra • Phone: +64 3 448 8297 Email: info@ahp.nz • www.ahp.nz

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Shortcuts & detours

B

Ophir, a short detour from the trail, has many great historical buildings, such as the Ophir Post Office. In St Bathans, a side-trip from Lauder, stop for a drink at the reputedly haunted Vulcan Hotel and take a dip in the stunning Blue Lake with its glaring white cliffs.

Middlemarch, Otago Central Rail Trail © Miles Holden

after Governor of NZ 1897-1904 • 134km NW of Dunedin on SH 85 The

Aside from curling, you can also swim in the dam in summer, mountain bike in the Naseby Forest and ride the Naseby Luge, the first snow and ice luge track in the southern hemisphere. If you’re staying the night here, be sure to look up – the pristine night sky makes for dazzling viewing. Palmerston has heritage trails and a colony of New Zealand fur seals at Shag Point. For great views, climb Puketapu, the sacred hill that overlooks the town. The huge marble-like boulders strewn along the beach at Moeraki are a sight to behold and are best seen at low tide. They were formed over millions of years by a layering process similar to the formation of oyster pearls. Enjoy a memorable meal at Fleur’s Place, a famous restaurant and favourite of chefs from around the world. It’s scenically located right on the waterfront.

Middlemarch

Ranfurly

ART DECO Hotel

The ancient sport of curling – think lawn bowls on ice – is alive and well in Central Otago. You can try this

time-honoured sport at Māniototo Curling International in Naseby.

after a creek that formed a boundary (march) • 77km NW of Dunedin

Historic Ranfurly Hotel

FREE WIFI

Built in 1934 Art Deco Era

10 Charlemont St, PO Box 12, Ranfurly • Ph: +64 3 444 9140 • Fax: +64 3 444 9142

Email: ranfurly.hotel@xtra.co.nz • www.ranfurlyhotel.co.nz

wedderburn cottages

• Comfortable 1928 farm homestead & 14 attractive, self-contained cottages + miners huts • FREE WIFI • On Central Otago Rail Trail. Under the Hawkdun Range, surrounded by stunning farmland/tussock landscape • Visit the Red Barn for water, toilets, shade, coffee and information.

Ph: +64 3 444 9194 • Mob: +64 27 268 9194 • E: enquiries@wedderburn.net.nz

www.wedderburncottages.co.nz

• Quiet, parklike surrounds, with views, on start or finish of Rail Trail • Choice of motels, cabins, tent sites, caravans & power points

• Includes kitchen, TV lounge, laundry, electric car charge • Tariff: from $25 sites, $75 cabins, $105 ensuite

26 Mold Street, Middlemarch, Otago Phone: +64 3 464 3776 • E: info@middlemarchholidaypark.co.nz www.middlemarchholidaypark.co.nz/camping

125

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

efore you embark on your cycling journey, Cromwell is an excellent place to spend a night or two. Located 23km from the start of the trail at Clyde, Cromwell is known as the ‘fruit bowl of the south’. The stone fruit produced here is a national treasure, as is the pinot noir. Learn about the history of gold mining at Goldfields Mine, drive a lap at Highlands Motorsport Park, visit the elegant Cromwell Heritage Precinct and admire the beauty of Lake Dunstan – and the fact that the town’s original business district lies beneath its waters.


‘Dunedin’ is an ancient name for Edinburgh, and the resemblance between the two cities doesn’t stop at the names. It’s said to be the bestpreserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage city in the southern hemisphere – a place where you feel you have stepped back in time. It’s far from being a museum, though – this bustling place is packed with students and awash with creativity.

Dunedin

Visit Baldwin St, the steepest street in the world, the Jacobean-style Olveston House with its opulent artworks and rare books, tapestry, sculpture and furniture, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Otago Museum. Eco-tourism flourishes in the city thanks to the easy access to the diverse wildlife of the Otago Peninsula. Fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions and the mighty northern royal albatross all call this spectacular place home. The Peninsula is also home to Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only real castle, with glorious gardens and a stunning interior.

Railway station facade © Tourism Dunedin

Dunedin

Gaelic name for Edinburgh, Scotland • 283km E of Queenstown

DUNEDIN, THE HOME OF SPEIGHT’S

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Otago Central Rail Trail?

WHERE TO FIND US

Base your trip from Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge. Relax within the two acres of gardens, only a few minutes north of the city centre. 30 Duke Street, North Dunedin

HHM629DUN 06/19

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

The heart of the city, the Octagon, is lined with St Paul’s Cathedral, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and restaurants, cafés and bars.

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

SPEIGHT’S BREWERY TOUR & CELLAR DOOR

• Choice of 77 rooms with private facilities-suite, economy, standard room or shared dorm rooms, (sleep 1-4). • Centrally located within 500m to the Octagon, Railway Station, Settlers Museum, cafés and main shopping area. • Our facilities include bar, lounge, garden courtyard, laundry, accessibility room, luggage and cycle storage. • Free off-street parking available, 24-hour check-in and local tours arranged.

Book direct for best deal!

History never tasted so good. See over 141 years of brewing history as our guides take you through our interactive brewery tour.

• Free unlimited WiFi for guests.

+64 3 477 7697

• Tariff: From Shared Dorm $29, Backpacker pvt $89 (2p), Hotel Single $99, Double/Twin $120-$145, Triple/Quad $170, Suite $175.

TOURS@SPEIGHTS.CO.NZ

27 Queens Gardens, Dunedin +Ph:64 3 477 3160 E: leviathan@xtra.co.nz • www.dunedinhotel.co.nz Freephone: 0800 773 773

WWW. SPEIGHTS.CO.NZ

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JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Taieri Gorge Railway

After following the rugged, rocky course of the Taieri River, the train then meanders across the beautiful Taieri Plains and down the coast for a few kilometres.

Photographer at the Notches © Dunedin Railways

DUNEDIN NEW ZEALAND 594 Great King Street, PO Box 112, Dunedin, NZ Tel­: +64 3 477 0270 Email: woodlandsvillage@xtra.co.nz Book direct for best deal! • Spacious, self-contained 1 and 2-bedroom units (sleeps 1 to 8 persons). • Full kitchens, on-site laundry, free unlimited WiFi, off-street parking. • Guest BBQ & playground, enclosed by established gardens in a park-like setting. • Centrally located, close to University, Hospital, retail shops, restaurants and cafés. • Easy walking distance to Stadium, KFC, McDonalds, pizza outlets & supermarkets. • Weekly rates available on request. Tariff: From $130-$165 (2 persons), extra person $20

www.motel594.co.nz • Freephone: 0508

594 594

The scenery is ever-changing and always incredible. Negotiating the winding gorge, the train travels through cliff-hugging tunnels and over countless stone and wroughtiron bridges and viaducts above the sparkling blue Taieri River, including the famous Wingatui Viaduct – the second largest wrought iron structure in operation in the world.

Along the way there’s live commentary, friendly well-informed staff, sightseeing stops providing the perfect photo opportunity and a fully licensed snack bar. Your Taieri Gorge trip ends at Dunedin’s famous railway station. Opened in 1906, it’s not hard to see why this elaborate piece of Renaissance architecture earned for its designer the nickname ‘Gingerbread’.

Queenstown

Moeraki

283km NW of Dunedin on SH 6

daytime sleep • 74km NE of Dunedin

Stay with us at MOERAKI on your cycle trail journey

R

oll your bike on board and then sit back and relax as your train negotiates this narrow river gorge that’s only accessible by rail.

Look out for little iron railwaymen’s huts – all testament to the sheer physical hardship endured by those who drove the steel rails through. You’ll marvel at how these dedicated engineers carved this route through challenging terrain.

• Stunning views & beach frontage • Motel units, tourist flats, cabins, bunkroom (8 people) • Modern facilities, power points & tent sites • WiFi available • Close to penguins, seals, restaurants • Tariff: from (2 persons) $70$160, tent/power sites $40

114 Haven St, Moeraki, Otago • Ph/Fax: +64 3 439 4759 Email: moerakivillageholidaypark@xtra.co.nz www.moerakivillageholidaypark.co.nz Hosts: Kristina & Robbie Mitchell

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GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

All aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway for a scenic train ride that is breathtakingly different. Running between the official end of the Rail Trail at Middlemarch and the architecturally stunning Dunedin Railway Station, this is the ideal way to end (or begin) your Rail Trail experience.


Cycling Roxburgh Gorge Trail © Tourism Central Otago

GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

ROXBURGH GORGE Trail ALEXANDRA to ROXBURGH DAM 1 day

21km

a primary pathway for early Māori moa hunters who travelled from mountains to sea in their mokihi (reed canoes). Then came the gold rush, which left an indelible mark on the landscape in crumbling ruins, and the fragrant thyme cloaking sheer hillsides amidst native gardens of kānuka, kōwhai, mountain cottonwood and broom.

One of New Zealand’s most visually spectacular and intriguing day rides, this trail follows the Clutha Mata-au River past eroded bluffs and old gold workings set amidst graceful willows, native shrubs and fragrant thyme.

Allow five to six hours for the full journey between Alexandra and Roxburgh Dam, which combines 21km of riding with a 13km jet-boat leg (arrange in advance). Not only exciting, the boat trip is also a rare chance to see the many special sights hidden deep in the gorge.

tretching between Alexandra and Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam, the easy Roxburgh Gorge Trail offers a striking snapshot of Central Otago’s

Eager mountain bikers might also like to note that this trail provides access to the bike trails of Flat Top Hill Conservation Area via the Sphinx Rock trail that starts 1km before Doctors Point jetty.

S

heritage and natural history – in all its captivating forms, shapes and seasonal colours. The otherworldly gorge was scoured by the mighty Clutha Mata-au River,

Highlights of the trail • Schist huts and other gold rush relics • The impressive Roxburgh Dam • Striking seasonal colours • Easy riding with gentle climbs and flowing descents • Jet boat tour through remote reaches

34km

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADES 2-3 (EASY-INTERMEDIATE) ALEXANDRA TO DOCTORS POINT, 10KM SHINGLE CREEK JETTY TO ROXBURGH DAM, 11KM NOTE: An annual maintenance contribution of $25 per person or $50 per family covers the cost of maintenance for use of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the adjoining Clutha Gold Trail. A 1-day pass is available for $10 per person, or a life pass for $500. It can be paid at local bike tour companies and i-SITES.

DRINKING WATER: Once in the gorge there are no food/water outlets. Alexandra and Roxburgh are the closest places to stock up.

• Birdlife including kārearea, the native falcon • Interesting vegetation, from wild thyme and willows to rare native plants

TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is recommended. E-bikes permitted; note boat companies impose a surcharge to carry them on board.

• Charming Alexandra town • Extra adventures on the adjacent Clutha Gold Trail and Otago Central Rail Trail

GRADE 2 (EASY) Schist hut in the gorge © Barrie J Wills

128

1 Day

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Some coverage at the far ends of the trail, after which it ranges from patchy to non-existent.

look out for... • Rugged bluffs and rock forms

TRAIL INFO

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


Conroys Dam

Manuherikia River Lower Manorburn Dam

Otago Central Rail Trail

8 jetty

ve Ri

r

DOCTORS POINT

Lake Roxburgh

GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

Gorge Creek

u

Knobby Ran ge

Butchers Creek

MAP LEGEND open section boat / water taxi route

Old M an R

start / finish point i-SITE Visitor Centre

jetty

SHINGLE CREEK

bridge

ang

town

e

café/restaurant toilets

8 Lake Roxburgh Village

SHINGLE CREEK JETTY TO ROXBURGH DAM, 11KM

Disembarking at Shingle Creek jetty, riders commence a gentle climb up to Elbow Creek, each bend offering a different view of the river below. The river slows and widens as it forms Lake Roxburgh, the waters of which drive the power station ahead. With pretty islets in the lake and broad views of the surroundings, this is a lovely but quite different stretch of trail. A series of switchbacks lead to a fitting finale, the impressive Roxburgh Hydro Dam lookout. The trail ends at Commissioner’s Flat car park, starting point of the Clutha Gold Trail that can be followed for an additional 9km or so to reach Roxburgh township.

85

ALEXANDRA

ALEXANDRA TO DOCTORS POINT, 10KM

The trail starts at the Clutha Mata-au River near Alexandra’s Blue Bridge. Stranded in the river alongside it are the remaining piers of the original suspension bridge, built in 1882. Weathered relics of a bygone era, these monumental pillars are an apt gateway to the journey ahead. The trail passes through a forest of silver poplars now covering Frenchman’s Point, formerly rich gold deposit workings. It then enters the narrow Roxburgh Gorge, flanked by bluffs up to 350m high. The wide, smooth trail passes Ketts Gully with its massive stacked rock walls, sporting several old rock bivvies and huts. The trail keeps meandering gently towards Butchers Creek, an old gold-mining site. It continues winding through the gorge, climbing a zigzag to access The Narrows, an ancient rock slide where care is required to negotiate the narrower trail section and boardwalk. Doctors Point appears all too soon. This is the pick-up point for the 13km jet-boat trip bridging the missing link. The 45min boat tour down river is a highly memorable way to delve deeper into the gorge’s history.

to Omakau to Ranfurly

8

Clutha Mata-au River

The N a r ro ws Cluth aM ata -a

riding the trail

to Clyde

© AA Traveller 2019

car park

LAKE ROXBURGH DAM

accommodation shelter 1

state highway

Clutha Mata-au River

Teviot River Clutha Gold Trail

ROXBURGH to Lawrence Alexandra

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Doctors Point 10km

13km boat

300m

Shingle Creek

11km

Lake Roxburgh Dam

200m 100m 0m

Roxburgh

after an ancient town in Scotland • 150km NW of Dunedin 141 Roxburgh East Rd, Roxburgh Ph: +64 3 446 8364 • Mob: +64 27 203 7061 Email: cluthagoldcottages@xtra.co.nz

FRUIT-GROWING HUB Taste the exquisite fruits of summer and autumn – cherries, apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, pears, berries and apples are available at roadside orchard stalls, along with fresh vegetables, preserves and juices.

www.cluthagoldcottages.co.nz

FREE WiFi

• Ideal accommodation base for the Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge trails. • 1 & 2 brm s/c cottages $120$140 (1-2p), large house sleeps 11 – POA, camping $15pp & motorhomes $35 per night (1-2p) • Undercover storage, bike wash, kids’ pool/play areas • Easy trail access at rear of cottages

Apricot orchard, Alexandra © Tourism Central Otago

129


JOURNEYS

Clyde Heritage Precinct © Tourism Central Otago

OFF THE BIKE

Clutha River Cruise The emerald-green Clutha River is New Zealand’s biggest river by volume and also one of the world’s swiftest. Not only is it beautiful, its shores have intriguing stories to tell. Take a heritage cruise here and journey back into the gold-mining era. GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

I

magine what life must have been like for miners here on a heritage cruise from Alexandra to the river’s isolated reaches. You’ll head through the Roxburgh Gorge to the preserved gold mines of Doctors Point and Butchers Point and see some incredible examples of European and Chinese gold mining. Spot miners’ huts made of schist and tucked into the river’s banks as you cruise along, and disembark for a detailed, guided tour of a mine site. Along the way your skipper will delight you with yarns from years gone by, including tales of hardship, loss and enterprise.

T

he sun’s rays light up Roxburgh’s patchwork of fruit orchards, set next to farms that extend to tussock-clad

hills. This pretty town lies alongside the Clutha Mata-au River, its lake created by the Roxburgh Dam that was commissioned in 1956. Beautiful

historic mudbrick and stone buildings are still in use here. Beautifully preserved Clyde offers heartfelt southern hospitality and is

home to the awesome Clyde hydroelectric dam. The intact historic precinct on Sunderland St is a delight to explore.

20A Tamblyn Dr, Lake Roxburgh Ph: +64 3 446 8220 Email: stay@lakeroxburghlodge.co.nz

WHERE THE TWO TRAILS MEET!

Clutha Gold Trail and Roxburgh Gorge Trail • Superb ideally located accommodation with licensed garden restaurant • All inclusive 2/3/4-night cycling packages available • Explore stunning Lake Roxburgh and surrounding mountains • 11 studios & suites (super king & queen beds, spa bath suite) • Breakfast, a la carte dinner, licensed bar (craft beers & Central Otago wines), espresso coffee. Free WiFi • Packed lunches available • Tariff: $150-$300

FREE UNLIMITED WIFI

www.lakeroxburghlodge.co.nz

Clyde

Ōmakau

belonging to a husband & wife • 190km NW of Dunedin

after a Scottish general • 86km E of Queenstown

CALL 0800 BIKE NOW (245 366)

25 Holloway Street, Clyde Ph: +64 3 449 2228 Email: info@bikeitnow.co.nz

or BOOK ONLINE

BIKE IT NOW! CLYDE, CENTRAL OTAGO • Bike tours, itinerary planning • Half-day to multi-day hires • E-bike hire and retail specialists • Cycle retail • Clothing and accessories • Central Otago Cycle Trails Specialist

The Personal Touch because it is “all about you!”

130

www.bikeitnow.co.nz 1800 446 356 AUS FREEPHONE

Quotes from Clients: “Roxburgh Gorge was a magical day out” Liffy Springs “Spectacular location, awesome experience” Rebecca Cohn, Brisbane


CLUTHA GOLD Trail GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

TRAIL INFO Cycling beside Clutha River © Tim Bardsley Smith / Tourism Central Otago

LAKE ROXBURGH DAM to LAWRENCE 73km

2 days

Winding along the Clutha Mata-au River between Roxburgh and Lawrence, this easy trail is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the stunning rural and riverside scenes of Central Otago’s Teviot Valley.

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Ever-changing riverside scenery • Friendly wee towns with plenty of Kiwi character • The impressive Roxburgh Dam • Places and tales of New Zealand’s original gold rush • Fresh fruit from local orchards • Historic railway tunnel and track

• Horseshoe Bend Bridge and the touching Lonely Graves • Swimming and picnics at Pinders Pond Reserve • Country cafés and Jimmy’s famous pie shop • Striking landforms from rocky gorges to bald mountain ranges • Relaxing, easy riding • Glorious seasonal colours

A

long the way all sorts of fascinating stories are revealed – from the Māori moa hunting period and early gold rushes and the building of railways and hydropower stations to the pastoral farming and fruit growing that flourishes to this day. It makes for a highly memorable multi-day ride between a series of quiet rural settlements nestled amidst striking mountain ranges. Homespun hospitality is all part of the pleasure, with chances to taste famous pies, delicious stone fruit, wild thyme and world-class wine. The easy nature of the terrain means the trail can be completed in one day, but breaking the journey allows more time to savour the scenery and discover the river’s secrets revealed in a series of excellent information panels. Riders can start at any point along the trail and do as much or as little as they like. The four main villages along the way are Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Beaumont and Lawrence. There are also day rides to suit all ages, abilities and interests too, and it can easily be combined with the Roxburgh Gorge Trail upstream.

2 Days 73km

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADE 2 (EASY) COMMISSIONER FLAT (ROXBURGH DAM) TO ROXBURGH, 9KM ROXBURGH TO MILLERS FLAT, 20KM MILLERS FLAT TO BEAUMONT, 25KM BEAUMONT TO LAWRENCE, 19KM NOTE: An annual maintenance contribution of $25 per person or $50 per family can be purchased at local i-SITES or bike tour companies. A 1-day pass is $10 per person or a life pass is $500. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is good for almost the entire length of the trail, but can get patchy away from townships and in river narrows. DRINKING WATER: Water bottles can be filled at various settlements. TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is recommended, but a hybrid bike will suffice. E-bikes are permitted. GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY)

131


to Alexandra Lake Roxburgh Village

Roxburgh Gorge Trail LAKE ROXBURGH DAM

COMMISSIONER FLAT (ROXBURGH DAM) TO ROXBURGH, 9KM

The Clutha Gold Trail begins below the Roxburgh Dam, which is New Zealand’s biggest gravity-fed dam. The trail follows the gentle bends of the blue Clutha Mata-au, with the bald peaks of the Old Man Range and Benger Ranges a dramatic backdrop. It’s not far to the atmospheric little town of Roxburgh, famous for fruit orchards that serve up a splash of colour in every season. Roxburgh is also the home of Jimmy’s Pie Shop, another way to taste local flavours.

Teviot River

8 ROXBURGH

Lake Onslow

Hercules Flat Pinders Pond Dumbarton Rock

MAP LEGEND

Teviot

ROXBURGH TO MILLERS FLAT, 20KM

point of interest

There are new scenes around every bend as the trail meanders along the river’s edge. Pinders Pond, 5km from Roxburgh, is a pleasant place to pause for a while, and offers safe swimming in the otherwise treacherous Clutha Mata-au. Towards the end of this section, the trail cuts across pastoral farmland to reach Miller’s Flat. This wee town offers visitors dining in both a café and pub, along with a handful of accommodation options.

bridge

w

Ra

GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

MILLERS FLAT

start / finish point

erl a

Ettrick

open section

La m m

Clutha Mata-au River

ng

tunnel

e town

8

Lonely Graves

Horseshoe Bend Bridge

café/restaurant toilets car park accommodation

Raes Junction

1

90

MILLERS FLAT TO BEAUMONT, 25KM

state highway

8 BEAUMONT

90

Bl

ue

© AA Traveller 2019

riding the trail 200m

Roxburgh Dam 9km

Roxburgh

20km

Cluth a Ma -au Rive ta r

M

ou

nta

in s

Big Hill Tunnel

Gabriels Gully

Bowlers Creek Evans Flat LAWRENCE

8

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Millers Flat

Beaumont 25km

Lawrence 19km

100m 0m

“The Clutha Gold Trail could become a trail of national significance with two thirds of the journey following the Clutha Mataau river. The glacial blue of the river contrasting with Lawrence’s rich green farmland is remarkable”. Rod Peirce – Chair, Clutha Gold Charitable Trust 132

Cycling beside Clutha River © Tim Bardsley Smith / Tourism Central Otago

Continuing down the valley, the trail returns to the riverside and heads through the Beaumont Gorge on a mix of quiet roads and railway line spliced together with a custom-built cycle path. It’s well worth taking a couple of short detours signposted off the trail around here. The first is Horseshoe Bend Bridge, an impressive pedestrian suspension bridge built in 1913. The second, nearby, are the Lonely Graves – humble testament to the kindness of strangers. The trail emerges at the highway, across the other side of which is the Beaumont Hotel where you can stop for refreshments.

BEAUMONT TO LAWRENCE, 19KM

The last leg of this trail climbs gently along the old railway line to the highest point of the trail, Big Hill Tunnel. After a 440m pedal through the dark, the trail sets off on its final sweep down to Lawrence. Lush farmland surrounds the route, which crosses the highway several times on its way through Evans Flat with its bygone vibe of early industry – gold mining, flax milling and pioneer sheep farming. The trail ends at Lawrence. On its outskirts, the trail passes an historic camp where up to 120 Chinese miners lived in the 1860s, but there is plenty more evidence of the town’s heyday. A pleasant stroll can be enjoyed through the streets of Lawrence, where country cafés wait to lure you in with hot pies and lamingtons. If you have the time and energy, venture into Gabriel’s Gully (6km return), a peaceful reserve where stories of the first gold discoveries are retold.


JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

The Catlins © southlandnz.com

From the trail’s end at Lawrence, it’s around a half-hour drive to join SH 1 and the Southern Scenic Route – an exciting, wild road trip that skirts around the country’s southeastern coast before heading up through Fiordland on its way to Queenstown.

A

t Lawrence, the trail’s end, explore this peaceful spot and handy base for exploring the local area. At least 50 of Lawrence’s buildings are protected heritage sites; take the heritage trail and uncover its past. There’s also a couple of nice cafēs, one or two second-hand shops and a good pub here. Then, head for the coast and join the Southern Scenic Route – a ‘road less travelled’, where deserted beaches, lush rainforest, pristine lakes and towering mountains all feature.

The Clutha River, New Zealand’s biggest by volume and the largest in the South Island, runs through the town of Balclutha. Further south is a stretch of wilderness called The Catlins, a highlight with its sweeping beaches and spectacular cliffs. A ‘must stop’ is Curio Bay where, at low tide, a petrified forest is exposed on a rock shelf. This fascinating example of a Jurassic fossil forest is one of the geological wonders of the world. Curio Bay’s Tumu Toka CurioScape is a worldclass interactive heritage centre, well worth a visit.

Invercargill will surprise you at every turn. This genteel South Coast city with its strong Scottish heritage has a legacy of wide tree-lined streets, elegant villas and richly embellished buildings, churches and memorials boasting architecture of by-gone eras. The city is also home to the country’s largest collection of tuatara. And let’s not forget its epicurean delights; Bluff oysters, blue cod, specialty cheeses and handmade truffles, to name just a few. Bluff, 25 minutes south of Invercargill, is home to the succulent Bluff oyster and where the one-hour ferry departs to New Zealand’s most southern inhabited land, Stewart Island Rakiura (permanent population under 400). Go diving and snorkelling, join a Kiwi-spotting tour and go bush – Rakiura National Park makes up about 85 percent of the island, so hiking is a popular pastime here. From Bluff, the Southern Scenic Route heads along SH 1 towards Te Anau, then on to Queenstown.

Lawrence

Clyde

after Sir Henry Lawrence • 92km W of Dunedin on SH 8

after a Scottish general • 86km E of Queenstown

CALL 0800 BIKE NOW (245 366)

25 Holloway Street, Clyde Ph: +64 3 449 2228 Email: info@bikeitnow.co.nz

or BOOK ONLINE

BIKE IT NOW! CLYDE, CENTRAL OTAGO • Bike tours, itinerary planning • Half-day to multi-day hires • E-bike hire and retail specialists • Cycle retail • Clothing and accessories • Central Otago Cycle Trails Specialist

The Personal Touch because it is “all about you!”

www.bikeitnow.co.nz 1800 446 356 AUS FREEPHONE

Quotes from Clients: “Gold Standard Bike Trail Service” Mary Varnham, Wellington “Awesome Professional Bike Company” Lynette Harty, Waikato

Free unlimited broadband

Modern, spacious ensuite units off main street in town centre. Great beds & showers • Breakfast-making facilities. Tariff: $120-$140 (1-2 persons), extra person $20. 4 Lancaster St, Lawrence | Phone: +64 3 485 9005 Email: jafasmotels@outlook.co.nz | www.jafaslawrence.co.nz

133

GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

From Lawrence to the Southern Scenic Route

Nugget Point, with its picturesque lighthouse, is where you’ll find elephant seals, sea lions, fur seals and even a gannet colony. Make sure you stop at Porpoise Bay, where rare Hector’s dolphins often swim close to the beach. Just north of Papatōwai, walk through the beech forests teeming with birdlife to Purakaunui Falls; a magnificent 20-metre, 3-tier waterfall that sets the cameras snapping with its photogenic charm.


Biking along the Kawarau River © No Boundary Tours

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

THE QUEENSTOWN Trail

TRAIL INFO

QUEENSTOWN to QUEENSTOWN 1-4 days

130km

Surrounded by sheer mountain ranges, this trail threads through the Wakatipu Basin on a mix of lakeside paths, country lanes, quiet roads and cross-country cycleways. It links Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston – with countless sights and activities to enjoy in between.

D

iscover early settler history in buildings, bridges and gold-mining sites. Get an adrenalin buzz with a bungy jump or jet-boat trip. Enjoy memorable

family time, sweetened with ice cream and other special treats, and get a taste of Central Otago’s famous flavours at countless cafés and cellar door restaurants.

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Breathtaking mountain views • Lake, river and rural scenery • Wine tasting and cellar door restaurants – Gibbston has more than 75 wineries

Lake Hayes Trail, Queenstown Trail © Miles Holden

• Bungy jumping and jet boating

134

The Queenstown Trail can be ridden as a multi-day adventure, stopping overnight along the way, or tailored as day rides to suit a range of ages and abilities. Either way, it’s a fabulous way to see the sights while soaking up the scenery – and made even easier thanks to convenient bike hire, shuttle transport and cycle tours. These trails can be ridden at any time of year, each season blessed with a distinct colour palette – golden autumn foliage and snow-white winter peaks being particularly dramatic. Hot and dry in summer, and icy in winter, this is an extreme mountain environment where conditions can change quickly. Riders should therefore always check the forecast and pack clothing appropriate for the conditions.

Lake Hayes • Historic buildings, bridges and other early landmarks • Cafés, pubs, lakeside dining and boutique shopping • Relaxing, mostly gentle riding • Family fun – from sweet shops to spotting farm animals

Nicknamed the ‘Mirror Lake’, the glassy waters of Lake Hayes reflect its stunning snow-capped mountain surrounds in astonishing clarity – it’ll have you taking snap after snap.

1-4 Days 130km

TRAIL GRADES: FRANKTON TRACK & KELVIN PENINSULA TRAIL, 15KM GRADE 2 (EASY) JACK’S POINT TRAIL, 12KM GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) LAKE HAYES TRAIL, 8KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ARROW RIVER BRIDGES TRAIL, 16KM GRADE 2 (EASY) GIBBSTON RIVER TRAIL, 9KM GRADE 2 (EASY) TWIN RIVERS TRAIL, 18.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) COUNTRYSIDE TRAIL 13.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is good across the whole trail network. DRINKING WATER: Don’t forget your water bottle. Most local businesses will be happy for you to refill your drink bottle along the way. Plus you can buy food and beverages along the trail. TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is recommended. E-bikes are also permitted. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)


ARROWTOWN

© AA Traveller 2019

Arrow River

Coronet Peak Ski Field

Countryside Trail

Arrow River Bridges Trail

Swain Bridge Southern Discoveries Bridge

Shotover River

Arthurs Point

Lake Hayes

OLD LOWER SHOTOVER BRIDGE

Frankton Track & Kelvin Peninsula Trail

KAWARAU BRIDGE Twin River Trail

Frankton

The Remarkables

Jack’s Point Trail

13km

Kawarau River

Queenstown Airport open section

6

connector trails start / finish point point of interest

Old Lower Shotover Bridge 12.5km

Gibbston River Trail

6

MAP LEGEND

JACK’S POINT

riding the trail Queenstown

Chard Farm

i-SITE Visitor Centre

toilets accommodation

town café/restaurant car park

camping 1

state highway

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Arrowtown

Kawarau Bridge

13.5km

15.5km

Old Lower Queenstown Shotover Bridge 15.5km

Kawarau Bridge

Gibbston

6.5km

600m 400m 200m 0m

FRANKTON TRACK & KELVIN PENINSULA TRAIL, 15KM The perfect ride for novices, families or those of questionable fitness, this ride offers varying viewpoints around Lake Wakatipu, with a dramatic back-drop of the Remarkables and surrounding ranges. Starting at Queenstown’s colourful municipal gardens, it also offers plenty of places to stop for rest and refreshments. The trail hugs the lakeshore through to Frankton where it passes the marina and crosses the picturesque Kawarau Falls bridge. Just across the bridge, the Hilton Hotel is a good place to turn back for the return ride, or riders can continue skirting the shore all the way to Queenstown Golf Club from where the additional Kelvin Peninsula Loop offers even more views as well as notable trail-side sculptures. The welcoming golf club café is a lovely place to wait for a shuttle pick-up. Riding the Queenstown Trail © Jim Pollard

JACK’S POINT TRAIL, 12KM Eager riders can add this on to the Kelvin Peninsula Trail, or start it from nearby Jardine Park where there’s ample car parking and a neat loop track for the kids to practice on. This ride is not for the faint-hearted, with some steep climbs, fast descents, and tight bends. Older children with a head for heights should have no trouble completing it. The trail traces an undulating route through the tussock and schist of Lake Wakatipu’s eastern edge, with spectacular views across to iconic Walter and Cecil Peaks. The final climb up and over Jack’s Point Golf Course delivers riders to the door of its super-stylish restaurant and bar – perfectly positioned for a well-earned long lunch before catching a ride back to town or returning via the same route.

LAKE HAYES TRAIL, 8KM No visit to Queenstown is complete without seeing New Zealand’s mostphotographed lake with its kaleidoscopic colours and exquisite mountain vistas, lying in the heart of the Wakatipu Basin and easily accessible from Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston. A lovely jaunt in itself, this short loop can also be added into longer adventures including the Arrow River Bridges or Gibbston River trails. It’s also just a short ride away from Amisfield Winery & Bistro, offering the chance to factor even more local flavour into this quintessential Queenstown experience.

ARROW RIVER BRIDGES TRAIL, 16KM Gold rush-era Arrowtown is the starting point for this delightful ride taking in an interesting mix of bridges – with the purpose-built, 80m-long Edgar Suspension Bridge a highlight – as well as country lanes and old byways. It ends at the gateway wine-soaked Gibbston and the start of the Gibbston River Trail. The views are ever-changing as the trail meanders along the Arrow River – tumbling in some places, tranquil in others, and eventually spilling out into the Kawarau Gorge. This leisurely journey ends at the historic Kawarau Bridge, the world’s original bungy jump site where brave souls can swap their helmet for a harness and go for glory. A calming glass of wine can be enjoyed at the wineries nearby.

GIBBSTON RIVER TRAIL, 9KM This easy meander is a great way to visit the wineries lining the ‘Valley of the Vines’ while soaking up its famously spectacular scenery. Fit riders should consider combining it with the Arrow River Bridges Trail or another Queenstown Trail for a big day out, while valley-based bike hire and good shuttle connections make it easy to tailor tours to suit everyone – or just jump on a bus home if you run out of puff. The trail stretches for 9km between AJ Hackett Bungy at Kawarau Bridge, through to the Kinross Cottages tasting

room. In between are iconic Central Otago wineries such as Peregrine and Gibbston Valley, the latter perennially popular for its cellar door restaurant and wine-cave tours (with a bike hire depot, too). The Gibbston Tavern is also a highlight with its rustic vibe and beer garden.

TWIN RIVERS TRAIL, 18.5KM This Intermediate trail starts from Kawarau Falls Bridge and takes you to Morven Ferry Rd via Lake Hayes Estate. This trail will show you Queenstown like you’ve never experienced before. Off the beaten track you’ll discover the remote and rugged landscapes, glorious vistas down the aquamarine Kawarau River and some of the best picnic and fishing spots on the trail.

COUNTRYSIDE RIDE, 13.5KM This ride starts at the Arrowtown River car park and takes you to the Shotover Bridge where you can turn around and head back to Arrowtown. You’ll enjoy quiet country lanes and trails that will reveal breathtaking homes, gardens and architecture, tree-lined avenues, historic galleries and rustic cafés. Here, the magnificent colours of the South Island come to life. Reward yourself with a stop in at fabulous Millbrook Resort which offers a super café, restaurant, bars, pro-shop and golf courses and of course the Day Spa, not to mention fabulous accommodation.

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GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

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KELVIN HEIGHTS

Lake Wakatipu

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Knight’s Family Bridge Edgar Bridge

6 6a

QUEENSTOWN

Lake Hayes Trail


Featuring Queenstown and Arrowtown, this trail winds through some of New Zealand’s most famous scenery.

Along the trail

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

Q

ueenstown’s boundless energy is infectious whatever the season. This is the place to go full-throttle on the adventure and exploration trail, then relax and rejuvenate in spas and alpine hot pools afterwards. As well as a host of famed adventure activities, you can take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu on the ‘Lady of the Lake’ the TSS Earnslaw, play a round of golf, ride high above the town in a gondola, or wander around the buzzing town centre for a

spot of retail therapy. In winter, there is skiing or snowboarding at one of Queenstown’s ski fields. Enchanting Arrowtown is a living museum. Springing to life in the days of the gold-rush, the beauty of Arrowtown is that it was built to last and if you look carefully, you’ll get some sense of what life was like for the miners back then. The ruins of much of the mining workings are still visible, as are quite a few of the earliest dwellings and the commercial

premises. Perhaps most poignant of all is the historic reserve where the restored dwellings of the Chinese miners, who arrived to pick over the tailings of the claims already worked out by their European predecessors, have been preserved. With four very distinct seasons, Arrowtown puts on a magnificent display of colours in autumn, is a popular base for skiers in winter and spring, and is a mellow spot to spend the long hot days of summer. Enjoy a

walk, ride your bike or play golf, then slide into a welcoming bar or opt for a movie at the boutique cinema. At Kawarau Bridge there is a viewing platform where you can watch bungy jumpers take the leap above the turbulent water, or you can give it a go yourself. Sandwiched between schist mountains and the rocky Kawarau River gorge, Gibbston is an incredibly scenic premium wine-growing area. IMAGE ABOVE: Jet boat © Dart River Jet

Queenstown

283km NW of Dunedin on SH 6

Specialists on the Queenstown Trail es Winery Rid rs Scenic Tou es Electric Bik ice Shuttle Serv

FREEPHONE: 0800 162 122 www.bluepeaks.co.nz • Central location • Near town centre, shops, restaurants • 57 self-contained units with fridge, hairdryer, SKY TV, phone, DVD & heating • FREE WIFI allocation • Continental breakfast available • Cots & highchairs available • Off-street parking • All tours and adventure trips can be arranged at reception • Secure Lock up storage • Tariff: $170-$285 (2 persons)

RESERVE YOUR STAY 0800 269 666 0508 782 9253 aroundthebasin.co.nz International +64 27 952 5801 info@aroundthebasin.co.nz

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19-23 GORGE ROAD, QUEENSTOWN, NZ +64 3 442 6483 | info@cranbury.co.nz cranbury.co.nz

11 Sydney Street QUEENSTOWN P: +64 3 441 0437 E: info@bluepeaks.co.nz


Gondola © Skyline, Queenstown RIGHT: Ledge Bungy © AJ Hackett

Bungy jumping is on every daredevil’s bucket list and what better place to take the plunge than the home of the world’s first commercial bungy. There are reputedly over 215 other adventure activities to choose from in Queenstown as well.

A ticket aboard the Skyline Gondola is more than just a ride to the top of Bob’s Peak. The magical views of Queenstown and the surrounds are a feast for the eyes. You could spend all day, and night, peering at the gorgeous sights from the vantage point at the top of Bob’s Peak. See The Remarkables, a dominant backdrop to Queenstown, in all their glory.

Lake Wakatipu and Coronet, Cecil and Walter peaks are also standout landmarks. If you’re keen for some excitement, enjoy the thrill of the luge where you can twist and turn down one of two tracks and then do it all over again – once is just never enough. There are also self-guided interpretive walks, hikes and if you’re keen for more biking, the Gondola-assisted Queenstown Mountain Bike Park. The versatility continues with a restaurant, café and bar – all part of the Skyline Gondola attraction.

New Zealand’s favourite Rail Trail eBike

Adventure Capital Consider an appetiser of Nevis Bungy, the highest jump in the southern hemisphere, a hearty main of tandem skydiving, followed by a bird’seye view of Queenstown on a paraglide, originally used by local climbers as a fast way to descend the mountains. You could head to the highest

point and get entirely off the beaten track on a heli-skiing adventure, or ramp up the thrill factor by opting to go upside down on a self-release, rough-as-guts 150km/hr canyon swing. If you’re over 75 you will be pleased to know you can bungy for free at AJ Hackett Bungy.

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GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

A class above


Queenstown is a region of abundance, and quality cuisine is a part of everyday life here. The trail gives you plenty of opportunities to stop and indulge your appetite.

Fabulous food & wine

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The nearby Gibbston Valley is a big part of the Queenstown and Central Otago wine region. The region incorporates a stunning setting, with snow-capped mountains, deep river gorges and beautiful valleys, but its scenic appeal is not the only drawcard – some of the best wine in the world is made here. Pinot noir is responsible for most of the buzz surrounding the wine scene here, and although it’s the most planted grape in the region by far, white varieties are also produced with style. A wine-tasting tour is the best way to experience it all.

Friends wine tasting in a wine cave © Destination Queenstown

Contact us for bookings and enquiries:

CONTACT FOR: Accommodation Bike Hire Bike Transfers Guided Tours and Operators Trail Shuttle Bus Trail Information + Itineraries

Cnr Stanley & Beetham Sts, Queenstown Telephone: +64 3 441 0310 Freephone: 0800 484 345 Email: stay@theglebe.co.nz www.theglebe.co.nz

Enjoy a stay in the finest of luxury in the heart of Queenstown

The Glebe offers beautifully appointed Penthouse Apartments in the heart of Queenstown The highest quality, stylish furnishing and thoughtful conveniences of the Penthouse Apartments are the special factors that set us apart from others.

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on The Queenstown Trail?

Base your trip from the beautiful Heritage Queenstown. With uninterrupted views of Queenstown, this resort has rooms and suite style accommodation. 91 Fernhill Rd, Queenstown P: +64 (0)27 241 0858 • E: info@queenstownbikehire.co.nz www.queenstownbikehire.co.nz

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Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 36 88 88

HHM629QTN 06/19

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

rom lakeside dining and elegant vineyards to fine-dining restaurants and cosy cafēs, there’s options for all tastes and budgets here. Queenstown has more than 150 restaurants and cafēs serving up everything from gourmet fare to locally crafted beer, wine and chocolate.


Picnic on shores of Lake Dunstan, Clyde INSET: Main street, Clyde BOTH © Tourism Central Otago

CLYDE

Don’t miss... Wanaka has it all. Its star attraction, Lake Wanaka, sparkles on the edge of town and is backed by towering snow-capped peaks of the Mt Aspiring National Park. There’s a variety of ways you can interact with the lake – it’s an aquatic playground for anglers, water-skiers, jet-skiers, jet-boaters, sailors, fizz-boaters, swimmers and windsurfers, and there’s also

a network of walkways around its edge. Afterwards, be wowed by boutique wineries, craft breweries, good cafés, fine restaurants and artisan produce at the farmers’ market. Whatever you do, take time to relax in this stunning setting. Cromwell is set in a remarkable landscape of bare brown hills, fertile valleys, pristine lakes and rivers and dramatic gorges. Don’t

miss the lovingly restored historic buildings in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct on the shore of beautiful Lake Dunstan. A farmers’ market is held here every Sunday from Labour Weekend until Easter. Visit a vineyard and sample the region’s famous pinot noir, and head to the Goldfields Mining Centre to try your hand at panning for gold.

I

f time is on your side, take a trip to Alexandra, where the ever-changing scenery is one of its strongest assets. The town is a colourful oasis among the rocky landscape of Central Otago, particularly in spring when flowering plants burst with colour and wild thyme colours the hills purple. Walk along the banks of the Clutha River or take a cruise, visit the museum, walk up to the Clock on the Hill for great views and check out local artists’ studios.

Queenstown

Central Otago’s best vineyard hotel, cellar door & bistro

0800 800 131 101

ABSOLUTE LAKEFRONT • Quiet & spacious • No card fees • 18 lakeside 1, 2 & 3‑brm apartments with internal staircases • Full kitchen, log fires, ensuite bathrooms with spa bath, private BBQs, own laundry • 2min drive or pleasant lakeside walk to centre of town • Indoor heated swimming pool & sauna • Sky TV (50+ Channels) • 40‑inch flatscreens • FREE WiFi • Undercover carports • Located on Queenstown Trail • Underfloor heating & undercover parking • Tariff: $357-$612 per apartment

151 Frankton Rd, Queenstown • P: +64 3 442 5050 • E: info@spinnaker.co.nz www.spinnakerbay.co.nz • Reservations: 0800 00 55 77

Freedom. Fresh air. Fantastic views. Station 2 Station Cycle Trail including scenic cruise from Queenstown

0800 264 536

southerndiscoveries.co.nz

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GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

With buildings preserved from the gold-rush era, Clyde is as pretty as a picture. The Clyde Dam and Earnscleugh Valley are nearby.


JOURNEYS

© The Remarkables

OFF THE BIKE

Journey from mountain to mountain

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

The Queenstown region is blessed with a stunning alpine landscape, with accessible mountains providing natural playgrounds. Queenstown’s exhilarating energy is year-round – while snow sports and spirited skiing are all the buzz during winter, the mountains also offer activities in the off-season.

T

here are two ski fields within the immediate Queenstown area – Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, while Cardrona and Treble Cone are slightly further afield but within easy reach of both Queenstown and Wanaka. THE REMARKABLES Remarkable by name, remarkable by nature... whether it’s the offpiste options, dedicated freestyle areas or family fun, this ski area truly lives up to its name. A firm favourite with families and freestylers, the 385ha Remarkables ski area has three sun-drenched snow-filled bowls that are perfectly

formed to cater for everyone. Outside of the ski season, a 90-minute walk to Lake Alta, a pretty glacial lake, starts at the skifield buildings.

take a chairlift ride to 1649m for incredible views over the Wakatipu Basin, take a guided hike or go mountain biking – bike rentals are available.

management system. It’s also open in summer for mountain biking, mountain carting, stargazing and sightseeing.

CORONET PEAK

CARDRONA

The pioneer of New Zealand’s ski tourism, Coronet Peak has been around for 70 years. The skiing and snowboarding is fabulous with astounding views, beautifully groomed trails that are lit up on selected evenings, rolling terrain, the infamous back bowls for the brave and great beginner areas for those finding their ‘snow legs’. In the off-season you can still

Cardrona is a winner with all ages and abilities – from beginners and families to Olympic and X Games athletes. Its three vast basins are home to New Zealand’s first cabinstyle lift – the McDougall’s Express Chondola – and extensive terrain parks and pipes. Wide, open trails offer some of the region’s best snow conditions thanks to high altitude and an innovative snow

Treble Cone is the South Island’s largest ski area, offering an award-winning snow experience to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Treble Cone is famous for its long and uncrowded groomed runs, legendary off-piste terrain, unrivalled views across Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps and a reputation for New Zealand’s best powder snow.

TREBLE CONE

Arrowtown

after the Arrow River • 22km NE of Queenstown

arrowtown HOLIDAY PARK

Modern Facilities: • Self-contained studio units & 1-brm tourist flats, budget lodge rooms, group accommodation, power & non-power camp sites • Communal kitchen & modern showers & toilets, all with underfloor heating • BBQ area & picnic tables • Laundry • WIFI plans • Nearby community summer pool & rugby field • Playground & tennis court

www.arrowtownholidaypark.co.nz

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EACH UNIT HAS AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE

Welcome to your Holiday Park for all seasons!

CONTACT: 12 Centennial Ave, Arrowtown • Ph: +64 3 442 1876 info@arrowtownholidaypark.co.nz

www.arrowtownvikinglodge.co.nz • 8 spacious, fully self‑contained individual 1-brm & fully renovated in 2018 2-brm chalets • Set in quiet grounds with BBQ & outdoor furniture • Bike cleaning facilities on site • Large BBQ outdoor garden area, drying room • Children’s play area • SKY TV • FREE WiFi • Air‑conditioning/heat pump in most units • Tariff: $140-$190 (1‑2 persons), extra person $25. Off‑season & single rates. RESERVATIONS: 0800 181 900

Arrowtown

6]$T2GE\X9 21 Inverness Cres, Arrowtown Ph: +64 3 442 1765 Email:  viking.lodge@callplus.net.nz www.arrowtownvikinglodge.co.nz


AROUND THE MOUNTAINS

Five Rivers, Around the Mountains Cycle Trail © Tourism NZ

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Cycle Trail

TRAIL INFO

WALTER PEAK to KINGSTON 3-5 days

L

186km

A contender for New Zealand’s most gorgeous Great Ride, this long but leisurely trail passes through Southland’s rural heartland and majestic mountain country around Queenstown.

ake Wakatipu’s TSS Earnslaw steamship cruise is a fabulous way to start this journey. From the foot of Walter Peak, the trail briefly traces the lakefront before heading into the wilds of the

beautiful Von Valley and past the stunning Mavora Lakes. Tracking around the Eyre Mountains, the trail then passes through the historic Southland towns of Mossburn, Lumsden, Athol and Garston,

look out for... Highlights of the trail • Majestic mountain scenery • Picture-perfect Walter Peak Station • The Eyre Mountains – Taka Ra Haka, ‘where the sun dances on the mountain tops’ • Glacier-carved Mavora Lakes

3-5 Days 186km

finishing at Kingston from where Lake Wakatipu comes back into view. Offering easy riding on wide, wellgraded paths, the trail is best enjoyed as a four to five-day journey making the most of local hospitality and the endless mountain views. Adventure tour companies in Queenstown and Southland can provide all necessary services including shuttle transport for a choice of magical day ride options. It is possible to ride the trail all year round but the most popular time is from October to May. In peak summer it can get very hot and in winter while snow may make some sections impassable, the trail offers up some spectacular winter riding complete with beautifully snowdusted mountain ranges.

Adventure Capital • TSS Earnslaw steamship cruise across Lake Wakatipu • Von Valley’s golden tussock • Remote wilderness atmosphere • Characterful country towns offering genuine Southland hospitality • Sparkling rivers

Queenstown has an astonishing number of heartpounding activities, from skydiving, jet-boating, rafting and canyoning to paragliding, hang-gliding and the familyfriendly option of riding the gondola up Bob’s Peak and the luge back down.

TRAIL GRADES: WALTER PEAK STATION TO MAVORA LAKES GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MAVORA LAKES TO MOSSBURN GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOSSBURN TO LUMSDEN GRADE 2 (EASY) LUMSDEN TO ATHOL GRADE 2 (EASY) ATHOL TO KINGSTON GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Reliable around Queenstown and the trail’s southern towns. Virtually non-existent between Walter Peak and Mossburn. DRINKING WATER: Bottles can be filled at various settlements. Water supply at Mavora Lakes DOC campsite; boiling or treating is recommended. SAFETY INFO: There are two river crossings between Walter Peak and Mavora Lakes, please check weather conditions before riding. TYPE OF BIKE: A ship-shape mountain bike is recommended; e-bikes are also permitted. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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6 QUEENSTOWN Spirit of Queenstown Cruise Mt Nicholas

Ford

MAVORA LAKES

Ford

Mararoa River

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MAP LEGEND open section TSS Earnslaw Steamship Spirit of Queenstown Cruise

KINGSTON

i

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on road section start / finish point point of interest

6

Mataura River

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Fairlight Station

Shuttle / road section

town café/restaurant

Garston

toilets

Eyre Creek

ford

Athol

camping accommodation

6

94 to Te Anau

1

97

Centre Hill

Five Rivers er Riv a ai aik W

Oreti R iver Ri

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Mossburn

LUMSDEN

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Alternating civilisation with seclusion, this trail Kingston Athol encounters friendly 33km 30km towns and many a breathtaking outlook.

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riding the trail 800m 600m 400m 200m

state highway

Mat au ra

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Von Hill

Nevis River

ke W a k a ti p u La

TSS Earnslaw Steamship Walter Peak

Von River

Kawarau River

6

© AA Traveller 2019

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Lumsden 20km

Mossburn

50km shuttle / road section

Mavora Lakes

50km

Walter Peak

0m

WALTER PEAK STATION TO MAVORA LAKES, 50KM

The scenery on this initial leg will possibly knock your socks off. It begins with the scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu with stunning views of the mountaintops as you approach Walter Peak. Here you can explore the historic homestead, enjoy the café and even watch a live shearing demonstration. As it traces the lakeshore towards Mt Nicholas Station, the trail reveals postcard views across to the Richardson Mountains and beyond towards Mt Aspiring National Park. Riding on a gravel road surrounded by golden grasslands and tussocky mountains tops, it’s a short but fairly grunty climb up Von Hill. It’s then pretty much downhill all the way to the magical Mavora Lakes.

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MAVORA LAKES TO MOSSBURN, 53KM

The Mavora Lakes are a sight to behold, surrounded by forest and nestled between the Livingstone and Thomson mountains. Bike-packers can immerse themselves for longer in this magical environment made famous by The Lord of The Rings trilogy by pitching up overnight at the DOC campsite. From Mavora, the trail continues along the gravel road to Centre Hill (29km), from where the trail joins the purpose-built off-road trail. The gravel section can get dusty in the summer months; you may prefer to organise a shuttle through to Mossburn. Self-proclaimed deer capital of New Zealand but surrounded by cows, Mossburn enjoys a splendid setting in mountain surrounds and is a good place to stop overnight.

MOSSBURN TO LUMSDEN, 20KM The ride through northern Southland to the town of Lumsden is quite the contrast to the previous day, rolling farmland taking the place of tussockclad high country. This section traverses a mix of old railway line and well-graded track, threaded between the highway and farmland.

LUMSDEN TO ATHOL, 33KM This section serves up more charming rural countryside. Continuing along the old railway line, it also traces the edge of the Ōreti River, well known for fly fishing. Five Rivers is a good place to rest and rehydrate. Riders will continue on the well-manicured track to Athol where you can enjoy some time with southern folk.

ATHOL TO KINGSTON, 30KM Athol is a tiny rural town situated on a small plain surrounded by mountains including Mid Dome (1478m) to the south and Flagstaff (1037m) to the east. As you leave Athol look out for the wooden suspension bridges that locals have nicknamed the Golden Gate Bridges. Garston, known as New Zealand’s most inland town, is a good place to stop for refreshments. From there, the final leg of the ride takes you past historic Fairlight Station, once home to the Kingston Flyer train. From here the trail follows the glacial moraine heading gradually downhill, finishing in Kingston on the shores of Lake Wakatipu where you can watch the sun hit the mountain tops and reflect on the amazing journey through a special slice of New Zealand.


Take a break

Along the trail

A

lternating civilisation with seclusion, this trail encounters friendly towns and many breathtaking outlooks. The Mataura River runs through Garston, New Zealand’s most inland village. Check out Welcome Rock Trails, which has a hand-built 21km biking/hiking trail following the old gold-miners’ water race (book

online). There’s also a honey shop here, a pub/restaurant, gallery and accommodation.

River is teeming with. There’s a nine-hole golf course here, cafés and craft shops.

Lumsden is known for its great fishing and authentic farm stays. Away from the hustle and bustle, it’s an ideal stop if you’re after somewhere low key. Keen anglers flock to try their luck at catching brown trout, which the local Ōreti

Mossburn is the deer capital of New Zealand, as the large statue (crowned with genuine stag antlers) in town suggests. Mossburn is located on the main highway between Queenstown and Milford Sound and has a range of

Cycling Around the Mountains Cycle Trail © Venture Southland

accommodation options and good places to eat. Mavora Lakes is Lord of the Rings territory, where scenes from the movies were shot amid the landscape of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, forest and grassland.

CONTACT FOR: Accommodation Bike Hire Electric Bike Hire Bike Transfers Guided Tours and Operators Trail Shuttle Bus Trail Information + Itineraries (Day & Multi-day)

For more info on Great Southland Rides:

P: +64 (0)27 241 0858 info@aroundthemountains.co.nz • www.aroundthemountains.co.nz

southlandnz.com/greatrides 143

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

The trail may seem secluded, but once you leave Queenstown you’re never too far from a hot coffee or a cool drink. Take a break at the Kingston Corner Café Bar in Kingston, The Hunny Shop in Garston, a few cafés and a farm shop in Athol, Five Rivers Café in Five Rivers, American 1950s-themed Route 6 Café in Lumsden as well as a pub and other cafés, and Bracken Hall, Mossburn Railway Hotel and Dome Café in Mossburn.


Railway Hotel, Invercargill, Southland © Venture Southland Tourism

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Queenstown Bike Park © Queenstown Skyline Gondola / Derek Morrison Photography RIGHT: Stewart Island © Southland NZ

D

ropped off by the Skyline gondola amongst the pine trees nearly 500m above central Queenstown, riders are confronted with a mind-boggling number of downhill runs at the Queenstown Bike Park. The gondola gives riders easy access to a 30km network of phenomenal biking opportunities. With a total of 30 trails criss-crossing the southern flanks of Bob’s Peak and an array of different terrain, you can cruise and soak up the scenery or test your mettle and

your brakes! The park is open from September to May with dedicated gondola cars that take up to four bikes and riders. The charming town of Kingston sits nestled between the Eyre Mountains and the Hector Range at Lake Wakatipu’s southern end. It’s a pretty spot where you can visit the Kingston Flyer steam train (currently out of service), take photos of the views and cribs (South Island baches) and enjoy the lake, birds, starry skies, friendly locals and the café/bar.

Lumsden

after George Lumsden, Mayor of Invercargill • 62km NW of Gore

LUMSDEN MOTEL

7 Hero St, Lumsden, Southland Ph: + 64 3 248 7418 Email: lumsdenmotel@gmail.com

iFi

W EE

FR

www.lumsdenmotel.co.nz • 5 self-contained ensuite units sleep 1-5 • Laundry & dryer available • Overnight stop on Around the Mountains Cycle Trail • A quiet and comfortable rest is assured • Continental breakfasts by arrangement

• Guest BBQ and outdoor socialising area • Short walk to eateries & Four Square supermarket • Sherpa Shuttle service for ATMCT available on request • Opposite playground, shops and town centre • Tariff: $130-$180 (1-5 persons). Extra adults $20 each, children $15

Mossburn

Scottish place name • 113km S of Queenstown

Café

& GIFT SHOP

JOURNEYS

OFF THE BIKE

Road trip to Te Anau Extend your lower South Island adventure with a road trip to Te Anau to explore the breathtakingly beautiful Fiordland region and the jewel in its crown – the unforgettable Milford Sound.

U

pon leaving Queenstown, head through Kingston, Garston, Athol and Mossburn before making a beeline for Te Anau – the southern gateway to the Fiordland National Park. This is an exceptional part of the world. Home to Mitre Peak, the stunning fiords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, the beautiful lakeside towns of Te Anau and Manapōuri and the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks, this region is a feast of treats. Cruises, guided and independent walks and scenic flights are the best ways to explore Fiordland National Park, and Te Anau is the perfect base for all adventures. Two hours north from Te Anau on SH 94, Milford Sound is regarded

as one of the most beautiful scenic spots in New Zealand. The most accessible and the best known of the glacier-cut fiords, it is strikingly beautiful, with tumbling waterfalls and iconic Mitre Peak rising dramatically out of the water. Daytime and overnight cruises, kayaking and scenic flights are all popular ways to explore Milford Sound. While you’re here, visit Harrison Cove by boat and explore life beneath the water at the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. Descend 10m below the surface into a viewing area and witness extraordinary rare black coral and sea creatures. You can also bike the Lake2Lake Trail, a brilliant lake and riverside path linking Te Anau and Manapōuri.

Mossburn Country Park 333 Mossburn Five Rivers Rd, Mossburn • Phone: + 64 3 248 6444 Email: info@mossburncountrypark.co.nz

Breakfasts, lunches, coffee, venison pies, real-fruit ice creams, takeaway lunches Free WiFi available Phone: +64 3 248 6033 Email: brackenhall@xtra.co.nz Open: 8.30am to 5.30pm www.brackenhall.co.nz

Main Street, Mossburn 144

• Beautiful, peaceful campground set amongst 28 acres of farmland • Tame farm animals to feed by hand • Plentiful power and non-power sites • 7 lovely country cabins of varying sizes and bed configurations • Hot showers and clean toilets, fully equipped kitchen and laundry • Space to store your bicycles securely out of the weather

www.mossburncountrypark.co.nz


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in the places you love, with the people who matter the most Biking in Queenstown

A good cycling holiday should be all about the cycling. At TOP 10, we make that easy. Our 50 spectacular locations around New Zealand offer the perfect base for your cycling adventures. It’s easy to ride in and out, and when you’re done for the day, you can enjoy all the great TOP 10 facilities (including a nice warm shower). Get the most out of your cycling adventures. Roll on up to one of our TOP 10 Holiday Parks.

10% SAVINGS Join our Club and save on TOP 10 Accommodation, Interislander Ferry Travel, Scenic Train Journeys and at over 500 activity operators, cafés and restaurants throughout New Zealand.

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Profile for AA Traveller

Cycling Must-Do's 2020  

There are 22 Great Rides on Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail, covering over 2,600 kilometres of the country. They are predominantly...

Cycling Must-Do's 2020  

There are 22 Great Rides on Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail, covering over 2,600 kilometres of the country. They are predominantly...