Page 1

MUST 2021

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails’ Great Rides

YOUR FREE COPY

DOs

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

aatraveller.co.nz

National Partner


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

PICTON

GREYMOUTH

WELLINGTON

• Kaikōura

• Lake Brunner Arthur’s Pass •

• Waimakariri River

CHRISTCHURCH


Otago Central Rail Trail © Miles Holden / Tourism NZ INSET: Hamish Bond © Vera Bucsu @ artofrowing.nz

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Cycling is a journey Hamish Bond is a New Zealand road cyclist and Olympic medalwinning rower. Having made the move from rowing to road cycling after the 2016 Summer Olympics, he later switched to track events. The Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails grant Hamish and his family the freedom to see the very best of Aotearoa.

T

he best part about cycling is the freedom – being out on the road and seeing new places, and knowing the best spots are often inaccessible by car. Sport has taken me to some of the most beautiful parts of the world, but I’ve never taken New Zealand for granted. Thankfully, amongst its picturesque landscape, New Zealand has a growing network of cycle touring routes, stretching from the Far North Cycleway in Cape Rēinga to the Southland Traverse in Invercargill. As a daily e-bike commuter, I am keenly aware how this new technology has made these routes accessible to almost anyone who dares to give it a go! New Zealanders and tourists alike are becoming more and more aware of our responsibility towards the environment, and I take great pleasure in knowing that I’m able to see our country in an environmentally sustainable way.

My wife Lizzie and I have two young daughters, and we are looking forward to the time when they are able to join us on the Otago Central Rail Trail. As a born and bred mainlander, the dry air and rugged landscape is close to my heart. The Trail is a 152km ride or walk that follows the former Otago Central railway line between Middlemarch and Clyde. With multiple accommodation options and activities on the route, it’s the perfect destination for an active family. While international travel remains uncertain, exploring within our own country has become essential for all who call New Zealand home. And what better way to do it than by bike?

Hamish Bond spent an impressive two years pursuing cycling and gained a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. 1


Te Rewa Rewa bridge

Lake Mangamahoe

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

YOUR PERFECT RIDE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

From mountain to sea there’s so much to discover in Taranaki, a place like no other. From the Forgotten World Highway to coastal cruises, there’s plenty of places to ride. Put Taranaki on your to-do list, and for everything you need beyond the bike, head to visit.taranaki.info.

visit.taranaki.info

2

AN INITIATIVE OF VENTURE TARANAKI

It’s just around the corner!


ISBN > 978-1-98-852357-6 © The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated 2020. 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 acknowledges Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Inc. and its writers Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater for providing the trail information for this edition; © Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Inc.

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Welcome to Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails contents 4

NORTH ISLAND MAP

5 North Island Cycle Trails’ Contents 6

SOUTH ISLAND MAP

7 South Island Cycle Trails’ Contents 9

On your Bike, New Zealand

11

Kia ora from Ngā Haerenga 16 NORTH ISLAND CYCLE New Zealand Cycle Trails TRAILS

13

Plan your Ride

14

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails for First Timers

15

Safety on the Roads

82 SOUTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS ABOVE: Dun Mountain, Coppermine Trail © UBikewww.sterlingimages.com COVER IMAGE: Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © Miles Holden / Tourism NZ

Motu Road, Motu Trails © Bay of Plenty Tourism

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. 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 November 2020 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.images@aa.co.nz W. www.aatraveller.co.nz

Advertising Enquiries: T. 09 966 8720 E. tourism.sales@aa.co.nz

3


Far North Cycleway p.24 North Cape Cape RÄ“inga 

Great Exhibition Bay

Houhora Pukenui Karikari Peninsula Coopers Beach MangĹ?nui Matauri Bay KaitaiÄ Ahipara Kerikeri  Russell Paihia Poor Knights Is. RÄ wene Kawakawa

Ninety Mile Beach

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail p.16

ĹŒpononi Waipoua Hokianga Harbour KaihĹŤ Forest  

Kauri Coast Cycleway p.26

Kai Iwi Lakes



Dargaville

WhananÄ ki



TutukÄ kÄ WHÄ€NGAREI RuakÄ kÄ Matakohe 

Kaipara Missing Link p.29

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Hauraki Rail Trail p.31

Bream Bay WaipĹŤ Mangawhai

Great Barrier Is. Leigh Matakana  Warkworth Port Jackson ĹŒrewa  Hibiscus Colville Coast Hauraki Helensville New Chums Beach Gulf Coromandel AUCKLAND Whitianga WÄ itakere Hot Water Beach Titirangi Manakau   Kaiaua Awhitu Peninsula Pukekohe Thames Pukorokoro Waiuku / Miranda  NgÄ tea Te Kauwhata Waihi Paeroa Waihi Beach Whakaari/ Katikati Te Aroha Huntly White Is. Mt Maunganui Bay of Plenty TAURANGA HAMILTON Papamoa Beach  Raglan Te Puke Matamata Cambridge  Te Kaha Tasman Sea WhakatÄ ne Pokaiwhenua Bridge Wellsford

Kawhia

Waikato River Trails p.36

Tirau  Tokoroa

Te Awamutu

ĹŒtorohanga Te Kuiti

The Timber Trail p.53

Atiamuri



Forgotten World Highway Cycle Route p.64

Taranaki Bight Urenui Waitara NEW PLYMOUTH 

Pureora

Ongarue 



WaihÄ hÄ

Taumarunui 

 Waikite Valley Thermal Pools





Awakino

ĹŒhope Beach ĹŒpotiki Rotorua

TĹŤrangi



National Park

Whangamomona

Egmont Stratford National Park Whanganui  National Park

Tongariro National Park

ĹŒhakune Waiouru



East Cape  Raukumara Forest Park

RuatĹ?ria

Motu Trails p.46 

Tolaga Bay

Rere Falls Trail p.51

Rere Falls GISBORNE

Great Lake Trails p.58

 Kaweka Forest Park

Hicks Bay

Matawai

Murupara

Whakaipo Bay TaupĹ? Lake Te Urewera TaupĹ? 

Te Ara Ahi - Thermal by Bike p.40

Wairoa Hawke Bay

NAPIER Ruahine Forest Park Hastings Mangaweka Havelock North   Waimarama  Waipawa Apiti Waipukurau  Blackhead Beach Dannevirke

Mahia Peninsula

Taihape

HÄ wera

Mountains to Sea Trails p.60



 WHANGANUI

Marton Feilding Bulls

South Taranaki Bight

PALMERSTON NORTH HÄŤmatangi Beach Foxton Beach Foxton WaitÄ rere Beach  Kapiti Is.

Woodville

PaciďŹ c Ocean



Paraparaumu Masterton Upper PaekÄ kÄ riki Carterton Hutt   Greytown Porirua Martinborough Lower Hutt WELLINGTON Orongorongo

ManawatĹŤ Cycleway p.72

Pahiatua

Levin

ĹŒtaki

Hawke’s Bay Trails p.66

Flat Point

Castle Point

Remutaka Cycle Trail p.74

NORTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

White Rock Cape Palliser

Cook Strait

4

Great Ride Heartland Ride


NORTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

We’re not convinced there are enough adjectives in the dictionary to credit a North Island bike ride. When in doubt, revert to an ‘ooh’ or an ‘ahh’ – the scenery is far too overwhelming to muster more. What makes the North Island so utterly bewitching is its diverse terrain of tectonic wizardry and landscape that switches from beach to vineyard to lake to rainforest within a day’s travel. Geothermal hot spots, spurting geysers, volcanic peaks and green, gloriously aesthetic hills all inch into your peripheral, and no two square metres are (seemingly) the same. There’s rarely a better vantage point for accessing all this magic than from your bike, so jump on, strap in and enjoy the ride.

TOP: Hauraki Rail Trail © www.thecoromandel.com RIGHT: Motu Dunes Trail ©Neil Robert Hutton Photography

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Welcome to the North Island

contents NORTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

36

Waikato River Trails

60

16

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail

40

 e Ara Ahi – Thermal T by Bike

64 F  orgotten World Highway Cycle Route

24

Far North Cycleway

46 Motu Trails

66 Hawke’s Bay Trails

26

Kauri Coast Cycleway

51

Rere Falls Trail

71

Manawatū Cycleway

29

Kaipara Missing Link

53

The Timber Trail

74

Remutaka Cycle Trail

31

Hauraki Rail Trail

58

Great Lake Trails

Mountains to Sea Trails

NORTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS GRADE INDEX FAR NORTH CYCLEWAY FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY CYCLE ROUTE GREAT LAKE TRAILS HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS KAIPARA MISSING LINK KAURI COAST CYCLEWAY MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAILS MOTU TRAILS

TRAIL GRADE COLOUR KEY

POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

GRADE 1 (EASIEST)

REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

GRADE 2 (EASY)

RERE FALLS TRAIL

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

THE TIMBER TRAIL

GRADE 5 (EXPERT)

WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

See page 13 for trail grade descriptions

5


Queen Charlotte Track p.82 Coppermine Trail p.85 it Stra ok Co

Farewell Spit Port Puponga Collingwood

Golden Bay

Marlborough Sounds Abel Tasman Kahurangi  National Park National Park Meretoto/Ship Cove Kaiteriteri Okiwi Bay Motueka Portage NELSON Havelock Oparara Basin Picton TÄ kaka

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail p.87

Karamea Karamea Bight

The Old Ghost Road Trail p.92

Lyell

Ward

Saint Arnaud Nelson Lakes National Park

Reefton

 Rainbow Trail p.103

 Maruia Springs

  Springs Junction

Greymouth

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Moana/Lake Brunner



KaikĹ?ura Hanmer Springs

Cheviot

Jacksons Arthurs Pass

Ross

Mt Hutt Ski Area

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Aoraki/Mt Cook



SpringďŹ eld

Glentunnel

Mt Somers



Lake Ohau Twizel

Makarora 

Queenstown



Jacks Point



Middlemarch

ManapĹ?uri

Mosgiel



Fiordland National Park



Tapanui Gore



Winton Tuatapere Colac Bay



Lumsden

Mossburn





Riverton/Aparima

Edendale The Catlins

INVERCARGILL

Blu Foveaux Strait



Otago Peninsula Port Chalmers DUNEDIN

Lawrence 

SOUTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

Milton

Balclutha KÄ kÄ Point Owaka

Great Ride

Curio Bay

Heartland Ride

Catlins Coast

Oban / Halfmoon Bay

Clutha Gold Trail p.129

Stewart Is. /Rakiura

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail p.138

6

Roxburgh Gorge Trail p.126

Waikouaiti

Waikaia



Otago Central Rail Trail p.120

Moeraki Macraes

Roxburgh 

PaciďŹ c Ocean



Alexandra

Te Anau

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail p.115

ĹŒamaru

Ranfurly

Kingston Doubtful Sound/ Patea

Naseby

Cromwell Clyde

Temuka

Waimate

Kurow

Wanaka Arrowtown

Ashburton Canterbury Bight





Lake HÄ wea

Glenorchy

Akaroa Banks Peninsula

Timaru

ĹŒmarama

Mount Aspiring National Park

Milford Sound

CHRISTCHURCH Lyttelton 

Geraldine Fairlie Pleasant Point



Milford Sound/ Piopiotahi



Hurunui Trail p.112

Woodend Kaiapoi

Little River



TekapĹ?

Jackson Bay

The Queenstown Trail p.132

DarďŹ eld

Methven

Paringa Haast

Amberley

Rangiora

Franz Josef / Waiau

Molesworth Muster Trail p.101

Waipara





Fox Glacier





Hokitika

Tasman Sea

Seddon

Murchison

St James Cycle Trail p.105

West Coast Wilderness Trail p.95

Anakiwa Spring Creek Blenheim





Punakaiki

Wairau Valley



Seddonville

Westport

Richmond

Motupiko

Southland Traverse p.143


SOUTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

SOUTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS

105 St James Cycle Trail

82

Queen Charlotte Track

112 Hurunui Trail

85

Coppermine Trail (formerly Dun Mountain Trail)

115 Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

87

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

92

The Old Ghost Road Trail

126 Roxburgh Gorge Trail

95 West Coast Wilderness Trail

129 Clutha Gold Trail 132 The Queenstown Trail

101 Molesworth Muster Trail 103 Rainbow Trail

120 Otago Central Rail Trail

138 Around the Mountains Cycle Trail 143 Southland Traverse

SOUTH ISLAND CYCLE TRAILS GRADE INDEX AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL COPPERMINE TRAIL HURUNUI TRAIL MOLESWORTH MUSTER TRAIL THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

TRAIL GRADE COLOUR KEY

RAINBOW TRAIL

GRADE 1 (EASIEST)

ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

GRADE 2 (EASY)

SOUTHLAND TRAVERSE

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

GRADE 5 (EXPERT)

WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Welcome to the South Island Get ready to apologise for how many times you say the word ‘wow’. It’s either that, or no words at all – the South Island is renown for rendering visitors speechless. Somewhat a show-off, this part of New Zealand is prone to theatrics, distracting its guests with great displays of showstopping natural beauty and colours that pack a punch. And yet, for all its razzle dazzle, the South Island is also pretty astute at keeping a secret. There are historic landmarks, cultural marvels and natural gems on this motu that few know about, less visit. Hop on a bike and you’ll get access to a whole bank of new experiences.

ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

contents

See page 13 for trail grade descriptions

Then there are all the common joys of a bike ride; the swoosh of bike tyres, fresh air filling your lungs and the sweet purity of nature working its magic. You have all the ingredients for an incredible, memorymaking journey.

TOP: Old Ghost Road Trail © Sven Martin ABOVE LEFT: Otago Central Rail Trail © Miles Holden / Tourism NZ ABOVE INSET: Lawrence Camp, Otago © www.cluthanz.com

7


CYCLING MUST-DO’S

8

   


On your Bike, New Zealand!

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails have been instrumental in developing a series of Great Rides and Heartland Rides that showcase the very best of New Zealand by bike. In light of COVID-19 and a resurgence in domestic travel, there’s never been a better time to see our nation from the saddle. • Enjoy the Great Outdoors • Explore Aotearoa’s diverse landscape, environment, culture and heritage • Get fit and stay healthy • Up your daily quota of fresh air • Have a holiday with a difference • Spread the economic benefits of cycle tourism

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

TRAVEL GUIDES You’re looking at just one of 10 New Zealand Travel Guides from AA Traveller, lovingly curated by Kiwis for Kiwis. Get inspired, plan your trip and discover every hidden gem in Aotearoa. Pick up for FREE at nationwide AA Centres, i-SITES and selected accommodation providers.

COVID CASUALTIES

This guide and the rest of our suite of Must-Do guides can also be downloaded at issuu.com/aatraveller. At the click of a button you can link directly to a property’s website to book accommodation.

ABOVE: Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © Rebecca Ryan INSET: Hawke’s Bay Trails © Hawke’s Bay Trails

While every care has been taken in the compilation of this guide, due to the pandemic there may have been changes since going to press. We advise you to

check before you visit any establishment mentioned in this guide, as they may be in hibernation, offering limited services or no longer open for business.

9


1. Twin Coast Cycle Trail

1

Bay of Islands

2. Waikato River Trails Taupo

4 2

3. Great Lake Trail

Taupo

3

4. Motu Trails Opotiki / Gisborne

10 0. Around The Mountains Cycle Trail

Otago

Wellington

Blenheim

7. Tasman’s Great Taste Trail

Otago

13 3. Clutha Gold Trail

5. Remutaka Cycle Trail 6. Queen Charlotte Track

111. Central Otago Rail Trail

Otago

6 8

Queenstown

12 2. Roxburgh Gorge Trail

5

7

Nelson

8. Coppermine Trail

9 12 2 10 0

11

Nelson

13 3

9. The Queenstown Trail Queenstown

There are Heritage Hotels properties on the doorstep of The New Zealand Cycle Trail so you've got the perfect place to base yourself or to wind down after a day exploring. www.heritagehotels.co.nz/nzcycletrail

10


Pou Herenga Tai – Twin Coast Cycle Trail © Ruth Lawton Photography

Kia ora from Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

S

erving up plenty of fresh air, fun and sunshine alongside magnificent scenery and must-see sights, Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails offer rewarding cycle rides for all ages, abilities and interests.

meet the people who live there, and support local businesses.

Known in Māori as Ngā Haerenga (The Journeys), our 22 Great Rides and connecting Heartland Rides are as diverse as they are beautiful, offering an irresistible blend of striking natural wonders alongside rich culture and heritage, exciting activities, and delicious food and drink.

To stay up to date with news from around the trails, subscribe to the Great Rider newsletter, which also features inspiring stories from the people and places that make New Zealand cycling so special. Sign up and discover even more at www.nzcycletrail.com – the official website of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails. It has trail descriptions for all 22 Great Rides and many more, along with all you need to know to plan and enjoy your adventures. You can also find listings for our official partners who are as passionate about our trails as we are.

There’s never been a better time to explore Aotearoa by bike. The boom in e-bikes is bringing even more people along for the ride, with family and friends enjoying inclusive trips that are also lowcarbon, naturally socially distanced and fantastic for health and fitness. Our cycle trails also offer endless opportunities to visit new places,

Otago Central Rail Trail © James Jubb

Riding adventures will get even more exciting for Kiwis in the coming years as new trails are built and connected to create longer touring routes across the country.

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails’ team

@nzcycletrail

@nzcycletrail

www.nzcycletrail.com 11


CYCLING MUST-DO’S

CANTERBURY

Discover our Kiwi Gems

aatraveller.co.nz

12


TRAIL GRADES

Plan your Ride

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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails offer 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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails have adopted the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council’s Outdoor Safety Code, which can be applied across all types of outdoor activities, sports and recreation:

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.

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.

4. K  now your limits – your responsibility is to enjoy and maximise your riding experience, while reducing and minimising the risk.

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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails recommend

5. T  ake sufficient supplies – make sure you have enough water, food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario.

you don’t ride alone.

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

ABOVE: Dunedin Railway Station © Miles Holden/Tourism NZ TOP: The Queenstown Trail © Ruby W

13

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.


Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails for First Timers New to all this? Read the need-to-know essentials

IN 2000, THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL BECAME THE COUNTRY’S FIRST MAJOR OFF-ROAD CYCLE TOURING ROUTE. IT WAS ALSO THE BIGGEST INSPIRATION FOR THE EXPANSION OF NGĀ HAERENGA NEW ZEALAND CYCLE TRAILS INTO THE FARREACHING NETWORK YOU SEE TODAY.

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

Manuherikia No 1 Bridge © Miles Holden

WHAT ARE NGĀ HAERENGA NEW ZEALAND CYCLE TRAILS? Aotearoa’s stunning terrain lends itself to a bike ride. In 2009, Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails began to build a network of world-class cycle trails to provide a safe and sustainable way to explore the landscape. The premier trails were named the Great Rides and have since grown to become the 22 Great Rides, varying from one day trips to multi-day experiences. Most routes are offroad and many follow old pathways forged by early explorers, hence the official Māori name – Ngā Haerenga, The Journeys.

THERE ARE ALSO ‘HEARTLAND RIDES’. WHAT ARE THESE? To complement the 22 Great Rides and to link to other trails, a series of on-road cycling routes, known as Heartland Rides have also been created. They connect the Great Rides to urban centres, transport hubs and key tourist attractions, predominantly following backcountry roads that steer clear of busy state highways. DO I NEED TO BE FIT? Such is the diversity of the trails, there is a track to suit almost every age, ability and fitness. Use the coloured ‘trail grade’ to distinguish difficulty levels and for extra oomph look into riding an e-bike.

14

HOW DO I CARRY MY LUGGAGE? Cycling is such a popular activity many local companies have upped the ante to meet cyclists’ demands. There are now many luggage transfer services that will pick up your luggage every morning and drop it off at your next accommodation before you arrive. CAN I CAMP? Yes. In which case, a couple of waterproof panniers are useful. These bags hang either side of your bike frame and are more comfortable than a backpack. Your accommodation can be as luxe or as rugged as you like. Motels, lodges, glamping, camping, cabins, chalets – you name it.

DO I NEED MY OWN BIKE? There’s no need – you can easily hire your wheels from a local cycle service provider. For ease and convenience, many companies will request your measurements in advance including your leg length (tape measures at the ready!) so the right bike is ready and waiting for you on your arrival. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TYPE OF BIKE TO USE? This guide recommends the best style of bike for every trail, and staff at bike rentals are there to advise. Many trails can also be undertaken on an e-bike.

HOW DO I GET BACK TO MY CAR? If the trail isn’t a circuit, local shuttle companies can be booked to transfer both you and your bike back to the starting point. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO? Keep hold of this guide. Every trail listed includes a detailed map. You can also download the Great Rides App which will also work offline if needs be.

TOHU WHENUA ARE PLACES AROUND NEW ZEALAND THAT MATTER TO KIWIS. RICH IN HISTORICAL OR CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE, VISITORS ARE PRESENTED WITH MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES AND AUTHENTIC INSIGHT INTO AOTEAROA. VISIT TOHUWHENUA.NZ FOR A FULL LIST OF TOHU WHENUA LOCATIONS.


ri uri Ah

Napier Airport E s tu ary

Puketapu

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

oad

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.

Sw am pR

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

r ive ri R

N

ew Zealand is developing its reputation as a cycling nation. Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails 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

ek u Tuta

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.

50 50a

Om

ah

Wineries Ride

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nu

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oa

d

Oa

ve kA

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

15

CYCLING MUST-DO’S

021 178 8287

Wa


GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

BEST FOR: Delving into Northland’s history, which is rich in Māori culture.

BAY OF ISLANDS to HOKIANGA HARBOUR 2 days

87km

TOP TIP – There are numerous gates along the track to deter quad bikes. Take just one pannier, bike basket or box for easier manoeuvring.

If you’re hungry to explore both New Zealand’s rolling green terrain and the stories of Māori settlement and European arrival, this 87km journey feeds both.

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ake a ride into Aotearoa’s past in the ‘winterless’ north, peddling across a picturesque landscape etched with Māori tales. Following the same tracks once chugged by steam trains, navigate your way from the east coast to the west coast (or vice versa) via bridges and tunnels and country roads from the Bay of Islands to Hokianga Harbour. Due to Northland’s subtropical climate, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail can be ridden all year round, with rich Māori heritage as consistent as

the temperate weather. Look out for a series of pou (carved wooden posts) puncturing the route, as well as enriching marae stays. Suitable for most levels of fitness, with a largely flat landscape that also attracts multiple families, rewards come in the form of legendary fat chips served at the age-old Hōreke Pub, an equally satisfying sunset from its deck and hot mud pools at Ngāwhā Springs in nearby Kaikohe.

LEFT & ABOVE: Ōkaihau to Hōreke section © Twin Coast Cycle Trail

SEE PP 24, 26 & 29 FOR CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDES 16




open section

MAP LEGEND Puketi Forest

ferry Omahuta Forest start/finish point

i-SITE Visitor Centre

camping

café/restaurant

state highway

toilets

detour 500m on road

Rangiahua car park

f Islands Bay O

Kerikeri



EAST COAST Bay Of Islands

Russell

Paihia



accommodation

OKAIHAU MANGUNGU Horeke Rd MISSION HOUSE Kohukohu Horeke

OPUA Lake Omapere



 Taumarere Railway Station

KAWAKAWA Rawene



Lake Owhareiti

WEST COAST Hokianga Harbour

Tuhipa

Ngawha Springs

KAIKOHE

OTIRIA

Ngapipito

TRAIL INFO

 to Whangarei

 KAIKOHE AERODROME

2 Days 87km

© AA Traveller 2020

riding the trail Hōreke

400m

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ōkaihau

28km

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)

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

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.

Highlights of the trail • Te Rito Marae stays, in Moerewa. • Look out for the mini obstacle course not far from Kaikohe. • Water-fronting sunset views from the historic Hōreke Pub.

• Kemp House in Kerikeri is New Zealand’s oldest European building. • Grab energy refuelling treats from Len’s Pies & Hot Bread Shop in Kaikohe. • Haruru Falls are a sight to behold.

• The Kawakawa train. • Paihia makes a gorgeous base for visiting offshore islands. • Slip into the soothing waters at Ngāwhā Springs and adjoining hot pools at The Temp.

GRADE 2 (EASY)

17

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

point of interest

town


More mountain biking, please

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GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

or those keen to keep the spokes spinning, or who have surplus energy to burn, the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park provides a fun-for-all playground with views that will take your breath away as much as the downhill descents. Located in the Bay of Islands, there are almost 50km of varying trails with grades ranging from 2 to 5. Visitors are well looked after with a café, bike hire and a shuttle service, the driver of which will be more than happy to advise you about the trails ahead. Get ready to blow the cobwebs into oblivion as you hurtle your way to the bottom, where a decent coffee awaits.

Bay of... plenty of wine!

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he Bay of Islands is not only regarded as the birthplace of the nation but the birthplace of New Zealand wine. It was over 200 years ago, in the township of Kerikeri, when Reverend Samuel Marsden planted a single grapevine into the rich Northland soil. Not long after, Scotsman James Busby

4 of the best Northland drops Paroa Bay: One of two vineyards near Russell with fine dining restaurants (the other is Omata Estate) – Paroa Bay’s ‘Sage’ restaurant also offers tastings with a jaw-dropping view. The Landing: Expert reviews recently rated this winery as one of the best vineyard experiences in New Zealand. With a private boat transfer and lunch at the luxurious Estate included in the tasting fee, it’s a VIP trip you won’t forget.

Longview Estate: Recently sold to new owners, the vineyard’s ‘White Diamond’ wine is made from Niagra table grapes and is proving a hit overseas. It’s now New Zealand’s most expensive wine at over $500 a bottle. Marsden Estate: Named after Samuel Marsden, the winery is on the outskirts of Kerikeri near the airport. Consistently winning gold medals for their ‘Black Rocks’ Chardonnay, the restaurant overlooks the vines. ‘A Taste of The Landing ‘ © TheLandingNZ.com

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established a vineyard near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and it’s from here that New Zealand’s wine industry flourished into a NZ$1.83 billion export earner. LEFT: View from ‘Sage’ at Paroa Bay winery © winefolio.co.nz ABOVE: View point at Waitangi Bike Park © Waitangi Bike Park


Off the saddle ISLAND HOPPING

HISTORY

TE RITO MARAE

Located right on the trail, you can experience an overnight stay at the authentic Te Rito Marae in Moerewa. Enjoy a Māori welcome ceremony, complete with storytelling and home-cooked kai (food) before drifting off to sleep in the shared sleeping quarters, set up in the meeting house (all linen provided). Breakfast is served before departure.

AQUA ADVENTURES

Back in Paihia, take a kayaking trip around the bay, sail to the famous Hole in the Rock or book a cruise on board a handsome schooner, complete with billowing windguided sails. Stand on the bow and scour the water for local attention-seekers: backflipping dolphins.

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is just down the road from Paihia. It is here Māori chiefs and European settlers signed the Treaty of Waitangi. In Russell, New Zealand’s oldest hotel and licensed pub, the Duke of Marlborough, sits before a ribbon of golden beach. Come dusk, the sunsets are dazzling and a sunset cruise is highly recommended.

Regarded as the hub of the Bay of Islands, Paihia boasts 114 dazzling islands within its reach, the largest being the undeniably beautiful (and very accessible) Urupukapuka Island. A day trip from Paihia Wharf presents lush walks, remnants of historic Māori villages, snorkelling, kayaking and a teal-meetsgreen landscape that is only – marginally – outshone by the birdlife.

Motuarohia Island / Roberton Island © Northland Tourism

Paihia

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

NORTHLAND

EXPERIENCES

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

0800 27 27 86 www.pioneerapartments.co.nz hosts@pioneerapartments.co.nz I 44 Marsden Rd, Paihia 19


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

ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE Self-contained serviced accomodation in central Paihia. Quiet location, spacious studios and appartments 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 +64 9 402 6236 PAHEKE BOUTIQUE LODGE Historic Pahkeke (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 +64 9 405 9623 LEFT BANK ACCOMMODATION This Heritage listed building is now a boutique hotel with 5 stunning ensuite rooms upstairs and an 11-bed family/group unit equipped with lounge and kitchenette downstairs. Upgraded to a high standard with all mod cons, you will enjoy this fully restored building in comfort. It’s the best place to stay at the trail’s mid-point as you can ride downhill each way. Lock-up bike and car storage. 2020 Trip Advisor award – top 10% in the world. manager@leftbank.co.nz, www.leftbank.co.nz Ph +64 9 283 5534 MINT CAFÉ/RESTAURANT AT LEFT BANK Located conveniently at mid-point of the trail and a short distance from the trail entrance, it’s a great place to stop for a coffee and snack, a full meal, or a quiet drink in the sunshine filled outdoors area. Our award-winning chefs deliver great food using mostly fresh local produce, much of it produced ourselves. 2020 Trip Advisor award - top 10% in the world. manager@leftbank.co.nz, www.leftbank.co.nz, Ph +64 9 283 5534

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info@twincoastcycletrail.kiwi.nz 20

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, this 4.5-star hotel that can’t be missed if you visit Russell of the Bay of Islands. 35 The Strand, Russell. Ph +64 9 403 7829 info@theduke.co.nz, www.theduke.co.nz

CLENDON HOUSE Clendon House – Places that tell our stories. Visit the 1860s home of James and Jane Clendon. The couplefeature 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. Ph +64 9 405 7874, www.clendonhouse.co.nz


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, Charlotte’s Kitchen 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 +64 9 402 8296

PIONEER VILLAGE – KAIKOHE Take a journey into the past, explore and discover this hidden gem. Nestled in the heart of Kaikohe. Absorb the history and heritage! With an extensive collection of heritage buildings, machinery, artefacts and displays. 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 Rd, Kaikohe. info@pioneervillage.org.nz, Ph +65 9 401 0816, www.pioneervillage.org.nz

TOP TRAIL HIRE AND TOURS Discover the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail – Cycle Hire and Cycle Tours • Cycle hire – e-bike and trail bike hire • All inclusive Itineraries for all size groups • Tours • Luggage Transfers • Information & Assistance • Accommodation bookings • Transfers to and from all sections of the trail & Rawene • Bases at Opua & 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

MĀNGUNGU 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 Māngungu, 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 learn about the key events that happened here in the Māngungu is the Western Terminus point for the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Motukiore Road, 3 km from Horeke. Ph +64 9 405 9734, www.mangungumission.co.nz

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www.twincoastcycletrail.kiwi.nz

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland21


Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, Bay of Islands?

Haruru Falls © Getty Images

Located opposite Te Ti Beach and the waters of the Bay of Islands, it's the perfect spot for exploring.

HHM629SSS 10/20

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

Don’t leave without...

Base yourself at Heritage Collection Sea Spray Suites, Paihia.

138 Marsden Rd, Paihia

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 09 402 0013

Freephone: 0800 72 44 44

Swiss Chalet Lodge Motel

SECURE BIKE SHED & WASH BAY

Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of our unique European styled motel right in the heart of Paihia. We are just 5 minutes walk from all the restaurants, cafés and also the wharf. Studio, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments that can suit couples as well as larger groups. All apartments have balconies and some have magnificent sea views.

3 Bayview Rd, Paihia • Ph: +64 9 402 7615 / 0800 724 444 • Email: info@swisschalet.co.nz

Taking a side trip to Haruru Falls: Horseshoe in shape, Haruru means ‘big noise’ in Māori so get ready for a ferocious display. Just 5km from Paihia, pull into the car park and walk two minutes down the track, past daring youngsters flinging themselves off a rope-swing into the lagoon. You can also walk here from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in 90 minutes or paddle your way upstream from Paihia on a rented kayak. Riding the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway: With four steam trains running Friday to Sunday (and every day during school holidays), you can experience the golden age of rail travel with a vintage train ride in Kawakawa. Riding the rails on a section of the former Opua track and chugging its way to Long Bridge – the longest curved wooden bridge in the southern hemisphere – appreciate the finery of a working steam engine in all its handsome glory. Sinking into Ngāwhā Springs: Te Waiariki Ngāwhā Springs is closed for renovation until February 2021. If you’re here before their grand re-opening, check out The Temp, a series of eight pools in a smaller setting situated right behind Te Waiariki Ngāwhā Springs. Starting at $5 per adult for one hour in a public pool, it’s bliss for the wallet as well as the body.

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Kerikeri: 3 ways 1. SOAK UP THE HISTORY With Westerners arriving in Aotearoa in 1642 and leaving a distinctly European stamp, it’s hard to visualise how Māori communities once lived, but Kerikeri is one of the best places to see just that. Mission Station, first established in 1819 by missionary Samuel Marsden, houses New Zealand’s oldest historical buildings from the colonial days, and is also in proximity to Kororipo Pā, a terraced fortress that was once the home of Hongi Hika, a revered Māori chief. Rewa’s Village is a full-scale replica of a pre-European Māori fishing village and, thanks to these settlements, history lives on.

2. FIND AN IDYLLIC HANGOUT Rainbow Falls are as pretty as the name suggests. Just 10 minutes from the centre of Kerikeri, the water spills with a thunderous grace over a 27m-high ledge. Arguably New Zealand’s bestkept secret, Aroha Island is a short 12km drive from Kerikeri, accessed via causeway or, if you’re feeling adventurous, by kayak. This 12-hectare sanctuary is an Eden of diverse plant and birdlife, enveloped by glistening water. For walkers, the Kerikeri River Track follows the riverbank to Wharepuke Falls and its peaceful swimming hole. Dry off and move on to the next dazzling swimming spot called Fairy Pools.

3. EAT UP! Watch the chocolatiers at Makana chocolate factory create their treats and sample the results before heading to the shop. As if that was the end of the sweet deliciousness; there’s also an ice cream parlour on site. Stock up on a range of fresh produce,

crafts and vintage clothing at Kerikeri’s Old Packhouse Market: the Bay of Islands’ largest market (helpful hint: take cash). Open every Saturday and Sunday, go and fill your boots with goodies. Kerikeri is also surrounded by boutique vineyards specialising in small batches.

Waitangi

to keep on digging • 24km NW of Paihia

Discover.

Kerikeri

to keep on digging • 24km NW of Paihia

THE KAURI WORKSHOP • 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.

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

Waitangi welcomes you on a journey of discovery through Aotearoa’s most important historic site. Explore the two contemporary museums, Te Rau Aroha and Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, the carving studio, Treaty House, Te Whare Rūnanga, traditional Māori waka, and enjoy a full programme of tours and cultural performances.

www.waitangi.org.nz info@waitangi.org.nz 23

GREAT RIDE • POU HERENGA TAI TWIN COAST CYCLE TRAIL

Kororipo Heritage Park © Northland Tourism RIGHT: Rainbow Falls © Getty Images


CAPE RĒINGA to HOKIANGA HARBOUR

FAR NORTH Cycleway CAPE REINGA

North Cape / Otou



BEST FOR: Bucket-list experiences unique to New Zealand.

Parengarenga Harbour

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Great Exhibition Bay

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Cape Karikari / Whakapouaka

Rangaunu Bay Pukenui Karikari Houhora Peninsula

TOP TIP – Keep your wits about you on Ninety Mile Beach: it’s shared with vehicles.

Kaimaumau Doubtless Bay

Rangaunu Harbour

 Mangonui

Taipa

Awanui

Waipapakauri Beach

 Ahipara Bay

Kaitaia Ahipara

open section

Herekino Forest

ferry start/finish point point of interest

café/restaurant toilets

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car park accommodation camping

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Waihou River

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Kohukohu

Warawara Forest

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state highway © AA Traveller 2020

RANGIORA RAWENE

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MAP LEGEND

161km Teeter on the very tip of New Zealand’s North Island and then glide down the western coastline via Ninety Mile Beach. Travelling on a public highway made entirely of sand is just one of the many exhilarating experiences on this trail.

S

Ho

HEARTLAND RIDE • FAR NORTH CYCLEWAY

Giant Sand Dunes

2 days

Kauri Coast Cycleway



tart this epic journey in Cape Rēinga, the northernmost point in New Zealand. Whether it’s the dramatic lofty position of the lighthouse, the haunting beauty of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crashing into one, or the Māori belief that this is where spirits of the dead depart for Hawaiiki-A-Nui (the land of their ancestors), it’s very atmospheric. From here, the road dips south for an hour before joining the famed Ninety Mile Beach: an official state highway that is actually 88km in length. There’s nothing quite as liberating as cycling at speed along flat golden sand, an ocean breeze licking your face. Once you reach Ahipara, the route heads inland across the countryside to Hokianga Harbour. Roads along this entire route are best suited for reasonably fit riders with biking experience, but the ferry between Kohukohu and Rāwene does provide 2km of respite. In Rāwene, where the trip concludes, duck into the Boatshed Café for good honest food.

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

Highlights of the trail

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.

• Cape Rēinga lighthouse, is a lovely coastal walk that spies the conspicuous pōhutukawa tree from where Māori spirits bid their last farewell. • Rāwene is New Zealand’s third oldest European township and home to historic Clendon House: the former dwelling of Captain James Reddy Clendon, ship owner, trader and witness to the Treaty of Waitangi. • The 15-minute ferry from Kohukohu to Rāwene is short but scenic. • Kohukohu is a completely preserved Victorian village and home to scores of craftspeople. • Ancient Kauri Kingdom In Awanui (a slight detour) boasts an impressive internal staircase made from a 50-tonne kauri log. • Visit the ancient buried kauri forest at Gumdiggers Park in Waiharara. • Bodyboard down the enormous Te Paki sand

Cape Rēinga © Getty Images

dunes at the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach. The resin-like gum from kauri trees was highly sought in the 19th century for varnish. Relics from gum-digging days can be seen at Ahipara Gumfields Historic Reserve. Ahipara boasts some of the best surfing in the country, particularly at Shipwreck Bay. Ninety Mile Beach lends itself to 4WD off-roading, quad biking and horse trekking. Te Whare Whiri Toi art gallery has flax-woven art, Māori paintings and textiles, as well as summer workshops.

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

GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

HOKIANGA VEHICLE FERRY

Explore the Twin Coast Discovery Highway Sail the Kohu Ra Tuarua across the Hokianga Harbour on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. The scenic 15-minute crossing runs between picturesque Rawene and the Narrows, south of Kohukohu. Explore the remote and beautiful Hokianga – the beaches of Opononi and Omapere, tranquil townships full of history, and the nearby Waipoua Forest with its giant kauri trees. And from Kohukohu, continue north to Kaitaia, Ninety Mile Beach and iconic Cape Reinga.

RAWENE

NARROWS

7:30 am

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For more information visit dolphincruises.co.nz/hokianga-ferry or call us at 09 402 7421

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KAURI COAST Cycleway Rawene Hokiang aH arb o

HEARTLAND HEARTLAND RIDE RIDE •• KAURI KAURI COAST COAST CYCLEWAY CYCLEWAY

Warawara Forest

Far North Cycleway

RĀWENE to DARGAVILLE

BEST FOR: Dendrophiles, ie lovers of Earth’s quietest, gentlest giants – our trees.

ur

Waima River





Waima Forest

Opononi Omapere

Waimamaku

S

Tane Mahuta Waipoua Kauri Forest



Marlborough Forest

Trounson Park Rd

Kaihu Fore s t

MAP LEGEND

Kaihu

open section

Kai Iwi Lakes

start/finish point

The terrain soon switches to farmland and ventures past bucolic fields to Dargaville before meeting the mouth of Kaipara Harbour where it concludes.

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre



town

Wairoa River



café/restaurant toilets car park accommodation camping state highway

TOP TIP – The trail links to the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail and the Heartland Ride tourist routes to the north and south, the Far North Cycleway and the Kaipara Missing Link.

Egypt has ancient pyramids; Cambodia has Angkor Wat and New Zealand has kauri trees. With birth dates preceding AD22, these naturemade marvels are a wonder of the world. tart out in Rāwene, an historic town clutching to the coastline of Hokianga Harbour and then peddle inland to Nature’s great green kingdom: Waipōua Kauri Forest. Caretakers of New Zealand’s oldest if not mightiest residents, gigantic kauri trees tower over 50m above the forest floor. Home to both Tāne Mahuta, our largest kauri tree and Te Matua Ngāhere which is estimated to be almost 3000 years old, these elderly grandfathers enjoy a celebrity-like status. This ancient green world is also home to North Island kōkako and the shy brown kiwi.

Mataraua Forest

Waipoua Forest

113km

1-2 days

Baylys Beach

Dargaville

Kaipara Missing Link



© AA Traveller 2020

This route comprises 90% sealed roads and 10% gravel roads with some steep inclines that are best suited to fit riders with experience. With a year-round mild climate, you can enjoy this adventure throughout the year but with rain a common occurrence in Waipōua Forest, pack your raincoat!

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

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Rāwene 21km

Ōpononi

Waimamaku 15km

25km

Waipōua Forest

Dargaville 51km


TRAIL INFO

1-2 Days 113km

TRAIL GRADE: HEARTLAND RIDE • KAURI COAST CYCLEWAY

RĀWENE TO DARGAVILLE GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is available at main towns but limited along the rest of the trail.

Tāne Mahuta © Getty Images

Tāne Mahuta

riding the trail The whole route between Rāwene and Dargaville is about 8–11hr riding time in all. An overnight stop is therefore suggested. 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. 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 signage in relation to this, and other, forest reserves. From Tāne Mahuta, the road is mostly downhill for 10km. 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, Katui Rd. 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 and in 200m is DOC’s Trounson Kauri Park Camping area. Or turn off to Kauri Coast Top 10 Holiday Park, 100m along Opouteke Rd. Chris the owner is also a cyclist and can send you off on a loop from here to encompass the Maunganui Bluff. Night walks from the Holiday Park are a must, to see kiwi in their natural habitat. Continue

Rāwene

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

along Trounson Park Rd to SH12. 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. Alternatively stay on SH12 and turn right onto Ōmāmari following signs to Kai Iwi Lakes. Turn left onto Maropiu Rd, then right onto Maropiu Settlement Rd. Then 8km from Kaihū, turn left onto Waihue Rd, then 200m later, right 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 on Hokianga Rd. Turn right onto Normanby St and on your left 20m along is Time To, a well-stocked bike shop and workshop. Phone 09 439-0100.

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. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Dargaville has a Pump track at Selwyn Park and a small mountainbike park at Pōuto o Te Rangi/Harding Park, 2km from town. Follow the signs to the Dargaville Museum and the Vintage Machinery Club which have stunning views. 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.

Ōpononi

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

place of [a] crooked fishing post • 48.4 km W of Kaikohe HOKIANGA HARBOUR NEW ZEALAND

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.

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

On the edge of the spectacular Hokianga Harbour & 20min drive from Waipoua Kauri Forest • Guest rooms to suit individuals, couples & families • Free WiFi • Continental breakfast upon request (small charge applies) – tea & coffee included • Tariff: $100-$150 • Self-contained motorhome parking available 424 Underwood Rd, Whatamango Bay, RD210 1, Picton • P: +64 3 573 6256 CnrPort SH 12 & Fairlie Cres, Opononi • Res: +64 644 050 or +64 9 405 8451 • E: info@aseaview.co.nz • • www.aseaview.co.nz Email: opononidolphinlodge@gmail.com www.opononidolphinlodge.co.nz

27


Ōpononi © Getty Images BELOW: Rāwene © NorthlandNZ.com

Highlights of the trail • The twin settlements of Ōmāpere and Ōpononi offer beach life and sand-dune surfing. • Utter peace and quiet at Trounson Kauri Park, a mainland island and 586ha reserve with scores of kauri trees. • Nature steals the show in Waipōua Kauri Forest. • The impossibly blue water and platinum-white sand at Kai Iwi

Lakes. This place is more Antigua than Aotearoa. • Dargaville’s Kauri Museum and the Dargaville Museum recount stories of pioneering foresters. • Head to Baylys Beach for horse treks and beach strolls. You can also access the 101km fully drivable Ripiro Beach from here.

HEARTLAND RIDE • KAURI COAST CYCLEWAY

Kai Iwi Lakes

35km NW of Dargaville

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

An urban, waterfront retreat with excellent coffee, wetland habitat and art shops, Rāwene is a must-do.

Kai Iwi Lakes Camp

Dargaville

early settler Joseph Dargaville • 58km SW of Whangārei on SH 14

Time To...

Northland’s shining jewel 35km from Dargaville. 538 hectares of premier recreation reserve with white sand,

is more than just a bike shop

freshwater dune lakes and 2 campgrounds. Perfect for camping, swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, exploring walking and cycling tracks, wildlife & close to surf beach.

Clothing and Protection

• Only 3 hrs from Auckland, 35km from Dargaville

Parts and Accessories

• Tent & Campervan sites

Full workshop for servicing and repairs

• Walking and cycling tracks

We are the store with more

• Water lovers’ paradise

When its Time To Ride, its Time To visit… Time To…

• Powered sites available 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

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45 Normanby Street, Dargaville

www.TimeTo.co.nz

Phone: +64 9 439 0100

Email: timetodargaville@gmail.com


DARGAVILLE to AUCKLAND

KAIPARA

Missing Link Tangihua Forest

2-3 days 

Te Kopuru





Mangawhai

 TOP TIP – There’s nowhere to buy provisions in Pōuto Pt but you can grab supplies in Dargaville, Te Kōpuru and Helensville.

Kellys Bay Leigh Matakana

POUTO POINT

Warkworth



MAP LEGEND

South Head

open section boat route



busy road section

Shelly Beach

start/finish point

Orewa

point of interest

Whangaparaoa

PARAKAI

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Helensville

town

Riverhead Forest

Woodhill Forest

café/restaurant toilets Tangihua Forest

Riverhead

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)

BRITOMART TRANSPORT CENTRE

AUCKLAND

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

Parakai

Pōuto Pt 65km

boat

Britomart 49km

Kaipara Missing Link provides a connection between Auckland and Northland’s touring routes as well as Great Rides including the Kauri Coast, Far North and Twin Coast cycleways. It’s a route etched with spooky landmarks.

O

nce you’ve soaked up every Dargaville charm, cycle south-west towards Pōuto Pt, located on the bottom tip of Pōuto Peninsula. This long and exposed bulb of land captivates visitors with its ever-shifting sands, petrified kauri forest and eerie sailor stories. Cycle along a windwhipped beach harassed by an explosive ocean. As you draw closer to Pōuto Pt, you’ll be confronted with the Valley of the Wrecks and The Graveyard, haunting monikers coined from the area’s turbulent seafaring history that has left 150 shipwrecks stranded on its sandbars. Considered one of the most treacherous stretches in the country, skeleton vessels chewed up and spat out by the Tasman Sea lie motionless on the sand. At Pōuto Pt, board a boat heading for Parakai. You’ll be crossing the calm and picturesque Kaipara Harbour before continuing towards the Victorian village of Helensville, and dropping into Auckland, the dazzling City of Sails. TOP TIP: The boat across Kaipara Harbour is not a commercial ferry and only operates for groups and charters. Fortunately, several charter services, including fish charters, operate in the area so an option is to link up with one of these. 29

HEARTLAND RIDE • KAIPARA MISSING LINK

BEST FOR: Seekers of shipwrecks and ghost stories.

DARGAVILLE

118km


Cycling at Woodhill © Woodhill Forest

riding the trail

TRAIL INFO

DARGAVILLE TO PŌUTO PT, 65KM

HEARTLAND HEARTLANDRIDES RIDE • KAIPARA MISSING LINK

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. 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. 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. For the road option, simply continue from Te Kōpuru along Pōuto Rd directly to Pōuto Pt. 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. 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! At 7.1km when passing Maxwell Rd, look left to see the smallest church in New Zealand. An entertaining and interesting 1hr show about a vegetable can be seen here. Pōuto Pt is a timeless Kiwi bach town. 2km before town is the beautiful Waikāretu Marae. If you book in advance you can be welcomed on with a pōwhiri before enjoying a meal and local stories. Bike wash facilities available, showers and accommodation in the marae or a place to pitch your tent. Phone Ella on 027 277 7797. Alternatively ride into Pōuto and turn left up Signal Station Rd for 200m to get to the Marine Hall and camping or go straight down to the beach to catch the boat. If staying in Pōuto, a 9km ride on the beach will take you to the foot of the lighthouse up on the sand dune.

PŌUTO PT TO AUCKLAND CENTRAL, 53KM 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. 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, cafés 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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2-3 Days 118km

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

More mountain biking, please NZ.com

RIVERHEAD MOUNTAIN BIKING: Cycle 40-minutes out of Kumeū to Riverhead Forest. The free purpose-built compound boasts trails for all skill levels, as well as Auckland’s best pump tracks. N.B. Winters are wet, making it more of a fair-weather park.

WOODHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING: Open year-round, Woodhill is a 40-minute ride in the opposite direction to Riverhead Forest. A great spot for beginner and intermediate riders, it has sandy tracks. Entry incurs a fee, but facilities include a shop, café and bike rental.

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Available at Dargaville and Parakai, and from Helensville south. 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. Kaipara Harbour Crossing: Crossings can be made via Kaipara Cruises P: +64 9 420 8466 or +64 27 497 0654 www.kaiparacruises.co.nz GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Highlights of the trail • Detour to Pōuto Lighthouse: New Zealand’s oldest wooden lighthouse. Climb the sandy bluff for views across the Valley of the Wrecks and Tasman Sea. • Kellys Bay is a small rural seaside community with a good beach and great fishing. • Rejuvenate weary legs at Palm Springs in Parakai which taps into natural thermal springs. • Visit Kumeū’s various wineries. Popular options are Soljans, Coopers Creek and Kumeū River Wines, all conveniently sitting in proximity to one another. • Hallertau Brewery shouldn’t be missed if you like good ale, hearty food and live music. • Try a spot of frisbee golf or swoosh through the trees on flying foxes in Woodhill Forest. • Helensville features restored Victorian buildings housing cafés and shops selling collectables. • Enjoy Helensville’s Railway Museum and Riverside Walkway as well as fishing charters and harbour cruises. • Riverhead Tavern is slightly off your main route but its heritage dates back over 150 years.

Pōuto © Getty Images


HAURAKI Rail Trail

BEST FOR: Riders of all abilities looking for a laid-back adventure.

KAIAUA to MATAMATA 160km

3-5 days Embark on a fivesection cycleway that is both gentle and flat and therefore ideal for everyday riders including children. You can tackle all five segments at once, or pick one section for a pleasant day trip.

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rab some binoculars because this ride commences (or culminates depending on your direction) along the Shorebird Coast, aptly named for its abundant birdlife that can exceed 10,000 in number. The route from Kaiaua to Thames presents Wetlands of International Significance, tranquil farmland, natural hot springs at Pūkorokoro Miranda and café stops in the villages of Waitakaruru, Pipiroa, Kopu and Thames.

charming townships you’ll discover along the way, and noteworthy for its giant L&P bottle. This signature Kiwi drink is a national favourite. Soon to be yours. The return trip to Waihi does add an additional six to eight hours to your schedule but cycling through a 1100m tunnel complete with glowworms is a huge drawcard. Gold mines define this area, with Karangahake Gorge and Victoria Battery bringing history front of mind. Back on the original route, glide under the gaze of Mt Te Aroha (‘the Mountain of Love’) and past farms resonating with vocal goats and alpacas, making headway to Matamata and Hobbiton. TOP TIP – The trail is achievable year-round and is wide, flat and smooth. There are a handful of gentle gradients and some short road sections.

Under the watchful eye of curious cows, Paeroa is one of many

3-5 Days 160km

TRAIL GRADES: KAIAUA TO THAMES 53KM 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) 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.

Karangahake Winery Estate Boutique, handcrafted wines are created here.

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.

Tasting is available at the cellar door, and the winery restaurant is open for brunch and lunch.

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

Hauraki Rail Trail © Coromandel Tourism

Karangahake Gorge reflection © Coromandel Tourism

GRADE 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY)

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riding the trail Thames

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Paeroa 23km

Kaiaua

53km

Te Aroha

Matamata

37km

200m 100m 0m

Firth of Thames

Kaiaua

Firth of Thames

PĹŤkorokoro-Miranda

Matatoki

Pipiroa



Puriri

THAMES Waiho uR i

r ve

Kopu

Riv Waihou

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL



Pipiroa



River ko Pia

Piako River

THAMES

Kopu

Matatoki Puriri

Waitakaruru

er

  Hikutaia

Hauraki Plains

Coromandel Range

MAP LEGEND open section optional route

 



heritage train ride start/finish point

point of interest

PAEROA

Karangahake



i-SITE Visitor Centre tunnel town cafĂŠ/restaurant

WAIHI



Victoria Battery Karangahake Windows Gorge Walk

Tirohia

toilets

Kapuatai car park Wetlands

Waikino  tunnel



camping

PAEROA TO WAIHI, 24KM

Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park

accommodation heritage battery state highway

TE AROHA

32

There are expansive views of coastal wetlands and verdant farmland, with the volcanic Coromandel Ranges a  dramatic backdrop. Refreshments are available in the 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 community’s art trail.

 THAMES TO PAEROA, 34KM This richly historic area was once only accessible via the two rivers, Waihou and HikutaiÄ . The MÄ ori people believed that the deep valleys cutting through the Coromandel Ranges

MATAMATA

Š AA Traveller 2020

KAIAUA TO THAMES, 53KM Named ‘The Journey of Te Aho’, this section of trail follows in the footsteps of early MÄ ori 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. Visit the PĹŤkorokoro–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.

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. MatÄ toki’s Cheese Barn, The Coach House at PĹŤriri and the Convenient Cow CafĂŠ at HikutaiÄ are nicely spaced pitstops. Near Paeroa, it’s also just a short detour to the Historical Maritime Park where you can catch a boat ride on the Waihou River. 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. 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 rĂŠsistance 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 cafĂŠ 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 your Hauraki adventures. This ‘Heart continued on p.33


continued from p.32 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.

Goldfields Train • BELOW: Katikati sign BOTH IMAGES: © Bay of Plenty Tourism

PAEROA TO TE AROHA, 23KM

 E AROHA TO MATAMATA, T 37KM This new and gentle section of trail passes through fertile plains and significant horse studs stretching 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 with to new great cafés along the way!

Highlights of the trail • Visit Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre for information on migratory shorebirds. • Kaiaua is the ideal laid-back coastal community to sit by the sea and chill out. • Taste award-winning Gouda on the veranda at The Cheese Barn in Matātoki. • Pose for a picture with the seven-metre L&P bottle in Paeroa. • Venture along the old walkways and forgotten tunnels that make up Karangahake Gorge.

• Relax into the hot pools at either Pūkorokoro Miranda or Te Aroha (or both!). • Te Aroha’s restored Edwardian Hot Springs Domain has mineral spas and swimming facilities. In addition, the 1898 Cadman Bathhouse houses a museum. • Mokena Geyser is the world’s only soda geyser and explodes every 40 minutes. • Get off your bike and onto the Goldfields train for a ride between Waihi and Waikino Station.

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.

• The colourful rural town of Katikati is awash with murals, sculptures, mosaics and tapestries. • Katikati Bird Gardens has lily ponds, secret paths and a café. • Visit Firth Tower in Matamata. One of 13 heritage buildings, Firth Tower was constructed in 1882 to provide a lookout over the countryside. • A goblet of ale awaits your arrival at The Green Dragon™ Inn in Hobbiton near Matamata.

Kaiaua

to eat mullet or herrings • 44.5km NW of Thames

Kaiaua Fisheries Restaurant & Takeaways 941 East Coast Road, Kaiaua • Phone: +64 9 232 2776 Email: kaiauafisheries@gmail.com • Kaiaua’s famous fish ‘n chips. Licensed restaurant or takeaway food. Breakfast, lunch & dinner. • Enjoy views of the Coromandel Peninsula, covered deck & tables. • Only 1hr from Auckland & 30min from Thames. • Visit www.facebook.com/Kaiaua.fisheries. famous.fishandchips/ for opening hours. Group bookings welcome.

THE PINK SHOP – KAIAUA A place to stop and have a break while travelling along the peaceful Seabird Coast. Enjoy the view & have the best coffee on the coast. Ice creams, coffee/ tea, cold drinks, lunch snacks. Catch up on reading material. PostShop. Opposite Pirate ship Playground. WiFi available.

999 East Coast Rd, Kaiaua | Tel: 09 232 2824 33


Golden Thames

Thames Coast © Logan Dodds

GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

Once the largest town in New Zealand, in 1896 Thames’ pavements weren’t paved in gold, but they could’ve been, such was the abundance of it. Grahamstown is the heritage end of Thames, with historic buildings dating back to the glory days. Discover artefacts at the Thames Historical Museum or try your luck at gold panning at The Gold Mine Experience, complete with self-guided tour, mining relics and steam-powered machines. The Captain Cook Memorial is located on nearby Waihou River. A three-tonne steel ship’s anchor commemorates Captain James Cook’s endeavours in the HaurakiCoromandel area, and makes the perfect picnic spot. View spectacular sunsets along the Thames Coast Rd or stretch your legs on the three-hour return Thames Coastal Walk. Lesser known but equally rewarding is the three-hour return Rocky’s Walk.

Top towns along the trail Hobbiton & Matamata Okay, we’ll confess, Hobbiton is a fictional ‘top town’ but definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit fan. All Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours depart from 501 Buckland Rd, a 15-minute drive from the Matamata i-SITE Visitor Information Centre (which is itself an adorable Hobbit House). Enjoy a two-hour guided Hobbiton tour complete with complimentary beverage at The Green Dragon™ Inn. If Hobbiton isn’t on the agenda, Matamata has plenty to offer. Visit the 153m-high Wairere Falls, the highest waterfall in the North Island; walk the 1hr 40min looped Matamata Heritage Trail or bite into a delicious wedge of cheese at Kaimai Cheese Cafe in Waharoa, just a 10-minute drive from central Matamata. You can also buy cheese manufactured on site at their Deli Store.

Waihi

rising water • 63km NW of Tauranga EXPERIENCE WAIHI GOLD DISCOVERY CENTRE & VISIT KARANGAHAKE GORGE • 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

Thames

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

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

Martha Mine

INCLUDING SPORTS & MOVIES

To Whangamata

t

kaka

To ga Karan

S ny

n

Town Centre

Ke

t on m se Ro Rd

Tariff: from $110

www.waihimotel.co.nz

Waihi Motel To Tauranga

Waihi Beach

gushing water • 11km E of Waihi

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) BOOK DIRECT FOR BEST RATES 200 Jellicoe Cres, SH 25, Thames • P: +64 7 868 5099 • Reservations: 0800 559 560 E: tuscanyonthames@xtra.co.nz • www.tuscanyonthames.co.nz

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• 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


POP-TASTIC PAEROA

Victoria Battery, Waikino © Coromandel Tourism

In 1908, the good folk of Paeroa discovered that adding lemon to the local spring water was downright delicious and thus L&P (or Lemon and Paeroa to use its full name) was born. Standing beneath the town’s giant-size L&P bottle is obligatory. Paeroa is also the ‘Antiques Capital of New Zealand’ and there’s a flurry of stores to peruse. For local talent, nip into the Paeroa Society of Arts or admire the works at Mikkelsen Gallery. Beautiful Karangahake Gorge is on the doorstep and rich in gold-mining relics. Don’t miss spellbinding views across the Waitāwheta River while traipsing the Windows Walkway or go in search of Owharoa Falls via the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. A little further afield is The Historical Maritime Park and Bullswool Farm Heritage Park which boasts a traditional milking shed, kauri museum, sheep shed and farmyard.

Why Waihi?

Dodds

T

he section between Paeroa and Waihi features historic railway, including original railway bridges. Skirt the edges of Ohinemuri River and delve into old mining tunnels along the Karangahake Gorge. Pass the remnants of the Waikino Victoria Battery and imagine the roar it made in 1896 while crushing more than 800 tonnes of gold-bearing stone. In Waihi, discover The Secret Garden, a Bali inspired café and hangout

as well as the fascinating Mosaic Garden, created by talented artist, Jude Morrah. For dreamy sun-soaked sand, perfect for lazy afternoons and picnics, Waihi Beach offers 9km of dazzling shoreline and one of the safest beaches in New Zealand for surfing. At the southern end of Waihi Beach sits the small settlement of Bowentown where you can embark on pleasant walks, explore former pā sites or enjoy safe, relaxed swims at Anchor Bay.

More mountain biking, please

T 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 • Unlimited Free WIFI

he Hauraki Rail Trail is flat and gentle so you might like to up the ante with some rugged mountain biking at Te Aroha Mountain Bike Tracks near Te Aroha. Offering a one-way loop of grade 3 tracks, there’s also the option for a more advanced, grade 5 experience. Best for those who consider themselves a medium or advanced rider, soak up the bush scenery complete with streams and waterfalls as you hurtle downhill.

Katikati

36km N of Tauranga

Sapphire Springs Holiday Park & Thermal Pools

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 • Heated Swimming Pool & Spa • Gym • Sauna • Unlimited free WiFi • 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

Pacifica Golf

To Tauranga

Sapphire Springs

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GREAT RIDE • HAURAKI RAIL TRAIL

L&P sculpture, Paeroa © Logan


WAIKATO RIVER Trails

Cycling Waikato River Trails © Jodi Sweetman Photography

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

TRAIL INFO 1-4 Days 107km

BEST FOR: A ‘dam’ fine way to marvel at the brilliance of natural and human ingenuity.

KARĀPIRO to ĀTIAMURI 1-4 days Off-road and upstream, this southward-bound trail traces the banks of New Zealand’s longest river: the almighty Waikato. A dot-to-dot trail of river dams strewn between great stretches of forest, wetland and rock, it’s a landscape engineered by both Mother Nature and mankind. 36

107km

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his Grade 3-4 trail does incur a good deal of alternating sharp ascents and descents, as well as approximately 600m of climbing, so a decent level of fitness is beneficial. Cycle from Pokaiwhenua Bridge to Little Waipa Reserve on the edge of Lake Karāpiro and stop in Arapuni for lunch at The Rhubarb Café; a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Not far from here, Mangarewa Suspension Bridge is one of the route’s most photogenic focal points, as well as the gateway to your first dam of the excursion: Waipapa Dam. Notable behemoths include this dazzling monstrosity and later, Whakamaru Dam and Maraetai Dam. Awesome in the true sense of the word, there is beauty to be found in their crude

TRAIL GRADES:

Bridge the gap 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.

concrete features. At certain times of the year, Lake Maraetai appears to be swathed in snow, but it is the fallen fluffy seeds from surrounding poplar trees. Mangakino boasts a distinct lack of development (the locals won’t mind telling you there isn’t a single McDonald’s here) and the lakefront is a sleepy nugget of paradise, popular for boating, fishing, birdwatching and kayaking. Move onto Whakamaru, where, as well as the hydro dam, there is a dazzling sheltered lake. From here, push on to Ātiamuri, your final destination. Not wanting to be the odd one out, Ātiamuri also has its own power-producing hydro dam.

TOP TIP – This 107km track is split into five sections so you can do it all or pick your favourite part.

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






Lake Karapiro



Horahora Road

Piarere

POKAIWHENUA BRIDGE

MAP LEGEND



open section

Tirau

start/finish point



point of interest

 

bridge



Little Waipa Reserve

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Putaruru

town

ARAPUNI

cafĂŠ/restaurant

Arapuni Suspension Bridge

toilets

ABOVE: Cambridge Town Hall Š www.hamiltonwaikato.com

camping

Lake Arapuni

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

car park

accommodation



state highway

trail connecting these two areas. For those riding the whole trail the western route must be used.

Arohena Campsite

WAIPAPA (WAIPAPA DAM TO MANGAKINO LAKEFRONT), 19KM

TOKOROA

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.

Waikato River

WAIPAPA DAM





Kinleith Forest

Maraetai Dam

Lakefront Reserve

Lake Atiamuri

MANGAKINO Mangakino Suspension Bridge

Whakamaru

Mangakino Stream Lake Whakamaru

 

riding the trail Pokaiwhenua Arapuni Bridge

400m

11.5km

34.5km

Lake Whakamaru Reserve

ATIAMURI Dunham Point Reserve

Waikato River Š AA Traveller 2020

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Waipapa Dam 19km

Mangakino 12km

Whakamaru Dam

Ä€tiamuri

26km

200m 0m

KARÄ€PIRO (POKAIWHENUA BRIDGE TO ARAPUNI), 11.5KM From the Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park the first half of the trail follows an easy path beside the road, before winding beside Lake KarÄ piro 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 CafÊ (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.

ARAPUNI (ARAPUNI TO WAIPAPA DAM), 34.5KM This section of trail starts at the Arapuni Swingbridge, after 2km it joins country

roads through to Waipapa Dam, the route is well sign posted. The road section is mostly sealed with a short section of unsealed road. The gradient includes some long steep climbs. Half way through this section is the Arohena conservation campsite, a good place to rest or camp. On the opposite side of the Waikato River, the trail between Arapuni Dam to Jones Landing (4km) and Waipapa Dam to Mangarewa suspension bridge (10km) is also open however there is no continuous

MARAETAI (MANGAKINO LAKEFRONT TO WHAKAMARU DAM),12KM 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 Ä€TIAMURI, 26KM The southernmost section starts at Whakamaru Dam, although many riders actually start at the nearby Dam CafĂŠ. 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 Ä€tiamuri is the magnificent and culturally significant PĹ?haturoa Rock, lifted by volcanic forces and weathered by the elements over the millennia. The trail ends at a parking area in Ä€tiamuri Village, a common pick-up or drop-off point for shuttles.

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© Hamilton Mountain Bike Track

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

• Arapuni Suspension Bridge is 152m long, over 50m high and a total show stopper. • Countless riverside reserves provide the perfect spot for picnics and if you’re packing a tent, camping spots. • The sheer remoteness of this trail allows for long stretches of empty track. • With so much water, wetland and bush, the birdlife is abundant. • Detours to local pubs in small, hospitable towns such as Tokoroa, Putāruru, Maraetai and Mangakino (amongst others) is a must. • Part of a 1000ha forest, Jim Barnett Reserve features several walking trails amidst rejuvenated forest. Keep an eye out for petite North Island robins. • Soak up the picture-perfect beauty of Jones Landing, a small reserve with public toilets, playground, and due to all the boaties, a jovial vibe. • Pōhaturoa Rock near Ātiamuri, stands 520m tall and is the result of significant volcanic activity more than 500,000 years ago. More recently, it acted as a natural fortress for Māori tribes.

More mountain biking, please

F

Highlights of the trail

or mountain bike tracks off the main route but worth a detour, Hamilton Mountain Bike Track is great for beginners or rusty cyclists. Tackle 10km of single track and Grade 2-3 terrain.

Cycling Waikato Rive r Trails © Waikato River Trai ls

If you’re after diversity, Cougar Mountain Bike Park near Tokoroa offers 35km of Grade 3-5 off-road forest tracks, and if you’re passing through Cambridge, Te Miro Mountain Bike Park is less than 30 minutes away, with a variety of Grade 2-4 single track trails and many obstacles.

Putāruru

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

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 | 38

WaikatoRiverTrails1 |

waikatorivertrails


Cambridge

Hamilton Gardens © www.hamiltonwaikato.com

Because Cambridge is influenced by England, and not solely by name, the aesthetics have a certain Britishness to them. However, Kiwi characteristics by no means take a back foot. Farm tours are available and bird sanctuaries such as Maungatautari offer guided tours to see such native species as takahē and tuatara. Fortunately, Cambridge doesn’t borrow its weather from England so when the sun shines, Lake Karāpiro implores you to grab a stand-up

Cambridge hills © Getty Images

paddleboard. For something niche, after-dark kayaking excursions result in a galaxy of glowworms. Can’t get butted larvae? Come nightfall, Pokaiwhenua Stream lights up like a Christmas tree.

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAILS CAMBRIDGE-WAIKATO RIVER CONNECTION: 40km/2–3 days. Following town streets, country roads and riverside, this route links Cambridge with the Waikato River Trail at Arapuni. CENTRE OF THE NORTH ISLAND: 50km/1 day. This route connects the Waikato River Trails and the Timber Trail via backcountry and forest.

Hamilton City

Waikato’s urban gems

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Hamilton

aste all five award-winning teas at Zealong Estate; New Zealand’s only tea plantation. Tour the estate, taste the leaves or enjoy a high tea. Hamilton also has oodles of green spaces. Walk the 3.8km perimeter of Hamilton Lake or visit Hamilton Gardens. With free entry and a series of internationally themed gardens, you can visit the

125km S of Auckland

Waikato Tracks & Trails

entire world in one afternoon. With its collection of 600-plus native and exotic animals, Hamilton Zoo is popular with families, and The Waikato Museum represents Māori as well as European history in fascinating detail. Visit the renowned Classic Museum for its huge collection of vintage cars and then nip into its retro American diner for a burger.

Piarere The small locality of Piarere offers a picturesque country setting close to the shore of Lake Karāpiro and is just 6km from Tīrau township. Open farmland is peppered with old milking sheds, farmhouses and uninterrupted rural views. The hydroelectric Lake Karāpiro on the Waikato River also hosts the Mighty River Domain, a Waipa District Council site and International Event Centre that showcases huge annual events such as the National Waka Ama Championships and the National Dragon boat championships, amongst others. Being just a 4-minute drive away (or 15-minutes by bike), Piarere is the perfect place to base yourself for all the lake’s exciting festivities.

Piarere

24km SE of Cambridge on SH 1 BIKE HIRE E-BIKE HIRE MOUNTAIN BIKE TOURS SHUTTLE SERVICE TO ALL TRAILS IN WAIKATO

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

CALL NOW TO BOOK

www.LakeDistrictAdventures.co.nz

0800 287 448 39

GREAT RIDE • WAIKATO RIVER TRAILS

enough of these bright-


GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

Te Ara Ahi – Thermal by Bike © Nick Lambert

BEST FOR: Non-stop geothermal wonders that will knock your socks off.

ROTORUA to WAIKITE VALLEY 2 days

48km

There aren’t many places in the world where you can cycle past gurgling mud pools and spewing geysers before dismounting your bike and sinking into an all-natural thermal river. This is the Te Ara Ahi cycle trail and there’s nowhere quite like it. TE PUIA MĀORI EXPERIENCE

Te Puia lies within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley and boasts Pōhutu, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, reaching heights of 30m. Discover the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, cultural performances and guided tours. Evening programmes include a traditional hangi and starlit sailings on board a Māori waka. Te Puia © Shaun Jeffers

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V

olcanoes are the founding fathers of New Zealand so you’re never too far from geothermal energy. Dubbed Te Ara Ahi - Thermal by Bike, this 48km trail covers four fascinating volcanic areas and snakes through some of Rotorua’s most impressive hot spots. Before you depart the eversteaming (and we won’t lie, perpetual stench) of Rotorua, take a dip in Te Ranga thermal river. Locally known as Kerosene Creek, these naturally heated waters are nature’s most relaxing ointment. From here, head towards the geothermal fields of Whakarewarewa and into the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Whakarewarewa Village is home to the ancestors of those who survived the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera, an event that completely obliterated the famed Pink and White Terraces; once considered a Wonder of the World. Continue to Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and onwards to Waikite Valley Thermal Springs where the trail concludes. This is a smooth and gently undulating journey. Some sections feature technical single-track and short but steep climbs, particularly between Waimangu and Waiotapu. It’s considered an all-season trail, but things can get muddy between June and August when conditions could also be frosty.

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, Waiotapu 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)




Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village © Destination Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

 ROTORUA

Sulphur Bay Reserve

Lake Okataina

Lake Okareka Whakarewarewa Te Puia Whakarewarewa MTB Park

Hemo Gorge MAP LEGEND

Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

optional route

Lake Tarawera

Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake)



start/finish point

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

open section

point of interest AA Centre

Tamaki Maori Village

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Lake Rotomahana

town

Okaro Road Lake Okaro

toilets



camping car park accommodation

W a

state highway

WAIKITE VALLEY THERMAL POOLS d Roa ll e y a V ite ik

Waikite Valley Road

Te Ko pi

38 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland



to Wairoa

ng

Pa

oa er

Ra

e Lak ri aku Oh

TOP TIP – Unless you want to return via the same track, make sure you pre-book a shuttle in advance to take you back to Rotorua or Taupō.

 Waihunuhunu Stream

to Taupo

© AA Traveller 2020

riding the trail Rotorua

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Waimangu

30km

18km

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

600m 400m 200m 0m

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

Todd McClay, MP for Rotorua 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

e

ad Ro

Rainbow Mountain Kerosene Creek (Te Ranga)

Waiotapu

Whirinaki Stream

a

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

WAIMANGU

café/restaurant

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.

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 Valley – one

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 Waiotapu 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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Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

• Te Ranga thermal river (aka Kerosene Creek) is a bathing experience like no other. Enjoy nature-made hot pools beside a small waterfall. Better yet, it’s free. • In Rotorua, dine well at lively Eat Streat, visit up to 18 lakes or walk under the umbrella of almighty Redwood giants in The Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest. • Just minutes away from Rotorua city centre are the free Kuirau Park foot pools. • Disappointed you missed the Pink and White Terraces by 134 years? While in Waimangu Volcanic Valley, download the free Waimangu app for a digital representation. • With steaming vents and boiling mud pools right on the shores of Lake Rotorua, Sulphur Point is a particularly stunning section of the trail. • In Waimangu Volcanic Valley, self-guided walks range from 1.5km jaunts to 4.5km

Rotorua City

hikes, while the 45-minute lake cruise visits geothermal sites not accessible on foot. • The surreal landscape of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland includes a lunarlike terrain, mud pools and coloured ponds. Don’t miss the daily explosion of Lady Knox Geyser at 10.15am. • At Waikite Valley Thermal Springs, water is supplied from the largest single source of 100 per cent pure geothermal water in New Zealand.

second lake • 108km SE of Hamilton on SH 5

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Redwood Forest • LEFT: Te Ranga thermal river BOTH IMAGES: © Destination Rotorua


Whakarewarewa Forest © Destination Rotorua

More mountain biking, please

W

e think Rotorua is one of the world’s premier mountain biking destinations, but if you don’t believe us, believe the industry’s star riders – every March Rotorua hosts the international mountain bike festival, Crankworx. Whakarewarewa Forest is one of the most established mountain bike networks in New Zealand and well regarded for its whopping 180km of trails. Accommodating everyone,

there are Grade 1-5 tracks which all loop around two central points: the Waipa car park and the visitors’ centre at The Redwoods. Short trails make up the core of the circuit and interlink with an outer, more technical section. With a steady supply of shuttles and continual upgrades, this is a mountain biking forest that keeps every rider happy.

For a series of constantly evolving trails, you can’t go wrong at Redwood Forest Park. The tracks

cover 130km of terrain and are divvied into several riding areas to suit every skill level. If you’re a fan of extreme downhill riding, Skyline Gravity Park is the world’s first all-season gondola-accessed mountain biking park, complete with an exhilarating 12km downhill course. Need more? The Rainbow Mountain Summit Trail is also a spectacular, albeit challenging, Grade 4 mountain bike loop.

95

from

$

per nig

ht

Welcome to the Accommodation @ Rotorua Citizens Club located in the heart of Rotorua’s CBD. We are only a short stroll from the Lakefront, Museum, Government Gardens, Energy Events Centre, Convention Centre, Kuirau Park, Polynesian Pools, Aquatic Centre and the shopping area in the central city.

Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park

Our club is proud of our accommodation facility, we offer 18 rooms, 10 standard, 2 with access facilities, 1 family, 4 twin, 1 single, 15 with ensuites & 2 dorm-style for groups/teams. SKY TV 50+ channels.

0800 808 292 723 Tarawera Road Rotorua

Tariff: from $95 & dorm beds from $35 single, $50 double. Courtesy vehicle available for local pick ups and drop offs.

1146 Rangiuru Street (Cnr of Arawa & Rangiuru) Ph: +64 7 348 3066 • Fax +64 7 343 6032 • www.rotoruacitizensclub.co.nz E: accommodation@rotoruacitizensclub.co.nz

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!

bluelaketop10.co.nz

2019

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

43

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

The new Te Pūtake o Tawa (also to be known as Tawa Forest Hub) has been newly built in Whakarewarewa Forest, offering a 40km looped trail, as well as mini loops so you don’t have to complete the entire thing in one go. With toilets, showers, bike hire and food vendors, it’s your one-stop spot for fun.


Rotorua will test your nerve

The highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world – the 7m Tutea Falls – can be conquered by white-water rafting down Kaituna River, 20 minutes from Rotorua.

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

VELOCITY VALLEY A park made to peak your heart rate. Find giant sky swings, jet boats, aerodynamic racing pods, bungy jumps, simulated skydives and a soft freestyle airbag to practice your bike tricks.

ZORBING Rotorua

invented ZORB (or zorbing), the bizarre yet thrilling sport of rolling downhill inside a giant, inflatable ball. It’s also the only place in New Zealand where you can experience it.

WHITE-WATER RAFTING

THE LUGE

This family-friendly go-kart (of sorts) can be driven downhill at great speed on specially designed tracks. Catch the gondola up Mt Ngongotaha to access the start line.

Zorbing in Rotorua RIGHT: White-water rafting on Kaituna River, Rotorua BOTH IMAGES: © Destination Rotorua

Rotorua’s premier accommodation

AGROJET

Just as ferocious as it sounds, this is New Zealand’s fastest jet boating experience, delivering 3Gs of force, speeds of up to 100kmph and 360-degree twists.

FACILITIES INCLUDE :

apartments with full kitchens

• Studio/1-bedroom/ 2-bedroom suites

• All luxury suites and apartments have air-conditioning with extra units in the 3-bedroom apartments

• 2-bedroom apartment with ensuite, separate bathroom and laundry • NEW LUXURY studio/1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, all

• Free high-speed Fibre WiFi and guest internet station, Smart TV

• ‘Matai Restaurant’ lounge and cocktail bar

• Electric car charging, heated

• Mountain bikes for guest use

YOUR HOSTS :- Paul & Carole Huck

NEW LUXURY SUITES NOW OPEN 44

swimming pool, gym, sauna, petanque, mini golf, tennis, spa treatment room, table tennis, conservatories, lift and outdoor games on request


LOVABLE LAKES

5 ways to have fun in the treetops

Where stories of the

TARAWERA ERUPTION

COME TO LIFE

s

site Museum - Excavated é Waterfall Trail - Caf

#BuriedVillage #BuriedVillage

nline

Book O

Today

1180 Tarawera Road, Rotorua www.buriedvillage.co.nz

Mamaku Forest’s southern nib tickles the Mamaku Plateau near Rotorua. A haven for both birds and birdwatchers, chirpy fellas include kaka, tui, bellbirds and more.

blossom trees are dressed in splendid, bubble-gum pink flowers. Climb 12m into the treetops at Redwoods Treewalk in Whakarewarewa Forest. This elevated walkway weaves through the giant trees via 23 suspension bridges.

In the ancient forest of the Mamaku Plateau, Rotorua Canopy Tours has sympathetically built ziplines, swing bridges and tree-top walkways From dusk onwards, the lights into the 1000-year-old forest. at Redwoods Treewalk switch on for the enchanting ‘Redwoods Not a forest per se, but Rotorua Nightlights’, causing the forest to Centennial Park is growing into dance with dreamy silhouettes. one fine woodland. There are barbecue facilities, toilets, picnic ABOVE: Redwood Forest, Rotorua tables, a Maple Grove and Peace LEFT: Lake Rotorua. Memorial and in spring, the cherry BOTH: © Destination Rotorua

45

GREAT RIDE • TE ARA AHI – THERMAL BY BIKE

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.


MOTU Trails

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

Motu Trails © Studio Zag

TRAIL INFO BEST FOR: A challenge steeped in reward, no matter what your ability.

ŌPŌTIKI to MATAWAI 1-3 days

121km

Many great things come in threes: musketeers, French hens and the Bee Gees. And if you’re a keen cyclist – the Motu Trails.

F

eaturing three wildly different rides, this year-round track can be completed as a full 91km loop or as separate sections, but this will depend entirely on your fitness and ability.

The Dunes Trail kick-starts the mission, starting from the Pākōwhai ki Otutaopuku Bridge (Memorial Park) in Ōpotiki. Considered the easiest section of the three, a softly undulating pathway skims the edge

Pakihi Track, Motu Trails © Jim Robinson

SEE P 51 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE 46

of the Pacific Ocean, providing plenty of opportunity for seaside picnics and refreshing dips. Enjoy this leisurely amble before entering the second phase of your journey. The Grade 3 Motu Rail Trail is an historic byway that will test your fitness. Diverting away from the coast, the track climbs 800m inland via unsealed roads, forest and farmland. Don’t be put off by the mention of road, this spectacularly remote section is seldom used by cars. You’re now on course for the third and most challenging section of the trail: the Pākihi Track. Buckle in for a sensational 21km Grade 4 trail that’s been weaving its way through these parts for over 100 years. Delve into mature forest and bushy backcountry terrain, follow the Pākihi River and then ascend sharply, navigating 25 bridges and exposed cliff edge. Advanced riders will be in their element but take extra care in winter when land slips and wind falls can be hazardous. Once back in Ōpotiki, your journey is complete. TOP TIP – If you’re not inclined to conquer the hardest part, the Pākihi Track, divert off the Motu Road Trail towards Motu Falls and Matawai town, where shuttles depart.

1-3 Days 10-91km

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, so long as you have good battery capacity 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)


Bay of Plenty

Dunes Trail Tirohanga

Whakatāne  ŌPŌTIKI

River

© AA Traveller 2020

JACKSON ROAD End of Dunes Trail

Waiaua Otara River

ek a

W ai o Hukutaia Domain





n Ra a ar um k u Ra

Motu Road

Motu Road Trail

Otara Road

ge



Meremere Hill

Takaputahi Road

Pākihi Road Toatoa

Pākihi Road end Boulders Campsite

Papamoa Hill (Toatoa) Pākihi Stream

Pākihi Track

Whitikau

bridge Te Waiti Hut

Pākihi Hut

PĀKIHI TRACK / MOTU ROAD JUNCTION Motu Road Onukuroa Hill

Waioeka River

Motu River Motu Motu Falls

 LEGEND MAP open section

café/restaurant

start/finish point

toilets

point of interest

camping

i-SITE Visitor Centre

shelter

Motu Falls Road

hut

hill/mountain

Motu Road

accommodation

bridge

state highway

town



highway section

to Ōpōtiki

MATAWAI Gisborne

Rere Falls Trail

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Jackson Rd 20km Return

Ōpōtiki 800m 600m 400m

Jackson Rd

Toatoa

DUNES TRAIL

67km

Pākihi Track Junction

Motu Matawai

Motu Rd

MOTU ROAD TRAIL

Ōpōtiki 44km PĀKIHI TRACK

200m 0m

Highlights of the trail • Ōpotiki’s long sandy beaches are safe for swimming. and a little further down the coast, the bays are good for snorkelling. • Ōpotiki Museum is housed in an old bus station with two levels of old town relics and Māori artefacts. • Take the side trip to Motu Falls. This spectacular display of nature is astounding.

• If you packed your rod, the rivers around Ōpotiki are brimming with rainbow fish and brown trout. • Hukutaia Domain is 7km out of Ōpotiki and home to a 2000-year-old pūriri tree known as Taketakerau. You can’t cycle in the domain but it’s a pleasant on-road ride to get there. Motu Falls, Motu © Mead Norton Photography

47

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

Te Waiti Road


riding the trail 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 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.

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

MOTU RD TRAIL, 67KM

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 as well as The Weka Nest, with scenic Motu Falls 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.

PĀKIHI TRACK, 44KM

Originally a pack track cut in the early 1900s, the Pākihi Track is now

Dunes Trail © Neil Hutton

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, caution is advised – there are many dropoffs 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 half-way 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

Extend your journey to Whakatāne’s untouched trails 48

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.

whakatane.com/onepu whakatane.nz


Explore more

Burma Rd is a 12-minute drive from Whakatāne and offers an easy to intermediate bike ride with incredible scenery. Ōhope Beach boasts 11km of sweeping gold-sand beach and the secluded bay of Otarawairere can only be accessed by sea or on foot. Moxi Café in Ōhope is built out of shipping containers, making a delightfully quirky brunch stop. West End in Ōhope is the ideal spot to learn how to surf. It’s naturally sheltered from the wind, has warm water and gentle breaks.

Moutohora Island © Getty Images

Whakatāne is frequently dubbed the Sunshine Capital due to its reputation as one of the sunniest destinations in New Zealand. Make the most of this weather by taking a boat charter, fishing trip or a dolphin-spotting cruise and swim.

Te Koputu a te Whanga Library and Exhibition Centre in Whakatāne is free to visit and packed with ever-changing exhibits and art displays.

Ōhiwa Harbour is shallow and placid, allowing for easy kayaking excursions across its waters.

PYO Berry Farms make Whakatāne extra sweet. Blueberry Corner and Julian’s Berry Farm are open September to March for PYO berries and blueberry ice cream.

Moutohora Island is whale-shaped from afar. Get closer on board a diving, fishing or sightseeing tour from Whakatāne to see its protected wildlife, including dolphins, penguins, seals, skittering lizards and ancient tuatara.

Warren Cole Walk and Cycleway follows the Whakatāne River. Its name honours Warren Cole, a member of New Zealand’s first rowing gold medal-winning team at the 1968 Olympic Games.

Cultural encounters It was Tairāwhiti Gisborne where the Māori migratory waka (canoes), Horouta and Tākitimu first landed. Take a guided 4WD or hiking tour to see the Māori carvings at Mt Hikurangi,

Nature Cycle the trail connecting Gisborne and Wainui Beach or enjoy the peace at Hackfalls Arboretum, a mecca of rare trees and shrubs. Rustle up a picnic and take it to Eastwoodhill Arboretum where you’ll find the largest collection of northern hemisphere trees this side of the equator. Sunrise Gisborne is the first place on Earth to see a new day. Spend the night in town and watch the sun rise over its eastern beaches. Rere rockslide Just 30 minutes inland from Gisborne, slide down Rere rockslide. Polished into a smooth, 60m sliver of rock, this all-natural slide will induce screams and shrieks, before resulting in a satisfying splosh. Stingrays Snorkel or wade with wild stingrays on an ecology tour in Tatapouri, Gisborne. Gisborne Railbike Adventure Jump back on the saddle for a tandem-style ride along disused railway lines, using two pushbikes fused together.

49

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

If you have a little extra time up your sleeve, dabble in these regional mustdo’s and venture into Eastland.

or admire the ornate interior of St Mary’s Church in Tikitiki, complete with Māori stained-glass windows.


O

Onepū Mountain Bike Park © Whakatāne District Council

nepū Mountain Bike Park is a 30-minute drive from Whakatāne and offers four main trails. Each one offers gentle rolling terrain that will suit most riders, while the BMX-style jumps will entertain those practicing tricks. More mountain bike trails exist in Eastland, close to Gisborne. At Millmore Forest there are 15km of trails and forest road, maintained by Gisborne MTB Club. The easy trails make it a family-friendly experience, while the advanced areas offer good challenges. Whataupoko Mountain Bike Park is handy to Gisborne town centre, with 7km of walking and mountain bike trails right on the doorstep.

Ōhope Beach 6km E of Whakatāne

GREAT RIDE • MOTU TRAILS

More mountain biking, please Ōpotiki

Tirohanga Beach Holiday Park

45km E of Whakatāne on SH 2

Eastland Pacific Motor Lodge

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

OPOTIKI • NEW ZEALAND

• • • • • • • •

Tirohanga Beach Holiday Park: 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.

WELCOME 10 units with spa baths, 4 x 2-brm units, 6 x 1-brm, 8 studio units Wheelchair access units Air-con/heat pumps in all units Sky TV Guest Select Guest laundry Free Wireless internet Warm welcome & friendly service Tariff: Studio $145, 1-brm $165, 2-brm $185

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

Opotiki Holiday Park

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

Tariff: from $18-$140. 2 persons $50-$140. Sites from $20. Seasonal rates apply www.tirohangabeachmotorcamp.co.nz

Gisborne

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

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Motu Trails, Gisborne?

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

50

Relax in style on the water's edge in the heart of Gisborne. 2 Reads Quay, Gisborne

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 06 869 1000

HHM629PHG 10/20

Base yourself at Heritage Collection Portside Hotel, Gisborne.


MATAWAI to GISBORNE

RERE FALLS Trail

1-3 days

Y

ou can bump along one of New Zealand’s most remote regions year-round and in either direction, but the Matawai to Gisborne route enjoys longer stretches of descents, including the 4km Wharekopae Hill, whereas the opposite direction requires some serious effort. Either way, the trail presents hillside, fertile flats and high-country farmland, connected via gravel and sealed roads.

a welcoming lagoon. For shady respite, Eastwoodhill Arboretum is a 135ha labyrinth of cool woodland, with both flat walkways and those that climb steeply to gain farstretching views.

As a 103km Grade 3 ride, experienced cyclists often like to complete this journey in one day, while others break it down into several. The trail is laced with swimming spots which are heavensent when you’ve worked up a sweat. Rere Rockslide is such a place: a 60m natural slide formed from polished rock. The embankments are perfect for leisurely picnics and nearby Rere Falls spills off a wide ledge into

Wharekopae Hill on Wharekopae Rd © Mead Norton Photography

 Motu Trails 

Poverty Bay Flats is home to Gisborne’s finest wineries, and the city, where this ride concludes, is just 7km further. Stunning eastern beaches are sure to warrant a celebratory dip in the sea. TOP TIP – This trail is all on road. You can use a mountain, gravel or touring bike with sturdy tyres. Certain sections (but not all) can be ridden on a road bike.

BEST FOR: ‘Yee-har’ descents through rural backroads and bucolic scenery.

MATAWAI

Te Wera Rd

  Tahora Rd Rere Rockslide Rere Falls

© AA Traveller 2020

Waipaoa River Eastwoodhill Arboretum Ngatapa

MAP LEGEND open section

holiday park/camp

highway section

café/restaurant

start/finish point

toilets

point of interest

car park

i-SITE Visitor Centre

accommodation

town

state highway

Wharekopae Rd



Tiniroto Rd





TAIRĀWHITI GISBORNE

Poverty Bay

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

Matawai

Rere Falls 50km

13km

Eastwoodhill Arboretum 36km

Gisborne

500m

0m

51

HEARTLAND RIDE • RERE FALLS TRAIL

Switching between wide open roads and countryside to natural landmarks that require closer inspection, time spent off the bike is just as rewarding as time spent on it.

103km


Off the saddle

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.

T

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.

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.

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 onegrape wonder and also produces other quality white varieties such as gewürztraminer, viognier and pinot gris. Red grapes of note include merlot and malbec.

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. For more information, check out: motutrails.co.nz

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.

Cycling by Rere Falls © Mead Norton Photography TOP: Gisborne © Damon Meade

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)

Highlights of the trail • At Eastwoodhill Arboretum there are guided walks and Jeep tours. Exit via the homestead for high tea with home-made scones. • Poverty Bay Flats, also known as the Gisborne Plains, is where many of the vineyards are leading producers of chardonnay, syrah and rose.

• To speed down the 60m Rere Rockslide you’re going to need a bodyboard or inflatable. Fortunately, there’s usually a skip brimming with discarded ones. • Rere Falls are just 500m from Rere Rockslide and year-round spectacular.

Rere Rockslide © Tairāwhiti Gisborne

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

52


THE TIMBER Trail

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

Cycling through The Timber Trail © Jeremy Bright BELOW: The Timber Trail © Studio Zag

TRAIL INFO

SEE P 64 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE

BEST FOR: Wilderness adventures into one of the world’s finest, most untouched rainforests.

PUREORA to ŌNGARUE 2 days

85km

Timbeeeeeeer! The cry that once resonated through Pureora Forest came to a welcome end in the ‘70s when activists put a stop to forest felling. Within years, nature reclaimed the trees.

B

efore 2013, when the Timber Trail officially debuted, Pureora Forest was little-known, but fast-forward eight years and this remote track, deep in the forested heart of the North Island, now offers total escapism for riders of every ilk.

The track snakes through spirited soils; a land where 800-year-old rimu and kahikatea trees tower 60m above the floor, and where one of the world’s rarest, last remaining podocarp forests remains intact. The only indication of human

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAILS TIMBER TRAIL CONNECTION: 24km/2 hours – Quiet back roads allow riders to bridge the gap between the southern end of the Timber Trail and the main service town of Taumarunui, without a shuttle. CENTRE OF THE NORTH ISLAND: 50km/1 day – Linking the Waikato River Trails to the Timber Trail. Take the small detour to a monolith that marks the geographic centre of the North Island.

2 Days 85km

existence are 43 suspension bridges crossing streams and gorges. The most exhilarating being the 141m-long Maramataha suspension bridge which drapes itself over the treetops like a spider’s web. Other highlights include overnight stays at charming Blackfern Lodge, complete with its whio (blue duck) recovery programme, or the more intrepid Piropiro Flats’ campsite. Towards the end of the track, a 3km uphill assault is equal parts fatiguing and fulfilling, and is fortunately followed by a long downhill stretch on a former tramway.

TOP TIP – The trail passes through subalpine environment with a high point of 971m; take warm clothes and wet weather gear whatever the forecast.

TRAIL GRADES: 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. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

53




 to Te Kuiti

MAP LEGEND



PUREORA Link Road old bulldozer

Maniaiti/Benneydale

open section

walking track

optional route walking track train ride

point of interest bridge

Blackfern Lodge

r

ive

eR

ru nga

O

Ma

e

Str

Ongarue Stream Road

hill/mountain

Mt Pureora 1165m

ko

a ok

ak

ng

start/finish point

a tae

am

Harrisons Creek

café/restaurant

camping

PIROPIRO

car park

Ongarue-Waimiha Road accommodation

Maramataha Bridge

Mystery Creek Triangle

state highway

1952 tramway terminus No. 10 Camp

to Te Kuiti



ONGARUE

to Taumarunui

Timber Trail Lodge Camp Epic

shelter

Bennett Road Car Park

Ra ng e

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

toilets

a ro ga n u uh Ha

Mangatukutuku No. 11 Camp Bridge Ongarue Spiral Ngakonui-Ongarue Road

© AA Traveller 2020 The Timber Trail © Studio Zag

riding the trail Pureora 1000m 800m 600m

First Shelter

8.5km

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 Mt Pureora and across the western flanks of the

54

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 Orauwaka Stream. The trail continues downhill to Piropiro Flats where there’s road/shuttle access and accommodation – a DOC campsite, Camp Epic, the Timber Trail Lodge, and epic 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 gently climbing

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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails, 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, the final station of the original Ellis and Burnand Tramway. 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. 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. At around the 82km mark you will pass Bennetts Rd car park where you can be collected by pre-arranged shuttle. 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.


Sign along The Timber Trail © www.timbertrail.co.nz

The 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 kahikatea. The reserve takes in 78,000ha of virtually uninhabited land within South Waikato and Waitomo. Take a guided tour to learn more.

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

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 (New Zealand falcon). Guests at Blackfern Lodge may see/hear rare blue ducks, kōkako and kiwi. This luxury abode is located at 1847 and 1731 Ōngarue Stream Rd.

Highlights of the trail • Created from old logging tracks, information panels detail the trail’s history. • There are 35 bridges including eight suspension bridges. The daddy being Maramataha Suspension Bridge: 141m long and 53m high. • The Ōngarue system was built to help timber trams ascend and descend the terrain. Consisting of a lower bridge, a curved tunnel,

a circle of track and overbridge, it’s now great for bikes. • Podocarp trees such as rimu, kahikatea and tōtara are numerous and because predators are minimal, birdlife flourishes. • Camp Epic is a glamping ground in Piropiro just off the main track and where total wilderness meets soothing hot showers. Hallelujah!

Waitomo Caves 72km S of Hamilton

FREEPHONE RESERVATION 0800 877 8130

CARMEL FARMSTAYS & TOURS

Wa cow tch th s mi bein e lke g d

Accommodation along the way Timber Trail Lodge

Blackfern Lodge

Officially the only on-trail accommodation along the Timber Trail, rest weary legs at this eco-friendly abode with a strong focus on protecting the surrounding natural environment, which is flush with podocarp trees and rare birds. There’s an impressive range of beers if you’re parched, endless cups of tea, fabulous food and a communal vibe. Come nightfall, sneak outside and admire the stars.

Tucked out of the way beside the Ongarue River, Blackfern Lodge is 6km off the main Timber Trail track but very easy to access. Enjoy a pristine setting surrounded by verdant bush and a pretty waterfall walk nearby. Total escapism comes in the form of cosy common areas, home-cooked meals and ice-cold beers enjoyed from a piping hot spa tub, lest we forget the staff, who go above-and-beyond.

• Delicious evening meal $40 • LUXURY rural accommodation on large sheep and cattle station (popular with our guests) • Join in the mustering (popular with guests) • On Main Highway (State Highway 3) • Short distance to WAITOMO activities • CLOSE TO TIMBER TRAIL • 18-hole golf course adjacent to property WAITOMO To Otorohanga • Enjoy the unique lifestyle of a large rural CAVES HONGATIKI dairy farm and view milkings in our CA RME L modern rotary shed Farmstays & Tours TE KUITI Golf Course • Hosts: Leo & Barbara Anselmi To R otoru a&T PUKERIMA RD aupo • Tariff: $100-$150 PIOPIO To New Plymouth To Taumarunui (includes continental breakfast)

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

www.carmelfarms.co.nz

55


Come and discover what everyone is raving about! GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL Book with official Timber Trail Partners for great service.

timbertrail.nz

56


© Waitomo Caves

Itinerary enhancers The Timber Trail is on the doorstep to many great places.

GET MORE IN TAUPŌ Taupō takes almost any activity and amplifies it. Home to the largest lake in New Zealand, this great goblet of water is the same size as Singapore. Start by visiting the 10m-high Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings by boat tour or kayak. The rapids at Huka Falls are deafening, the geothermal energy at Craters of the Moon is immense and the highest water touching bungy in the country is here; why else would they dub Taupō the Adrenalin Capital of the North Island?

TAKE ME TO TARANAKI

SHIMMY INTO WHANGANUI NATIONAL PARK The Whanganui National Park is proudly home to The Whanganui River Journey, a New Zealand Great Walk which involves little walking and instead, multiple days of kayaking down the Whanganui River. This was once an important transport route for both Māori and European settlers in the region. Also here is the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail and gloriously rugged tramps. All of which will lead you to

the handsome Bridge to Nowhere. This structure deep in the bush marks the area’s last stamp of civilisation before all hopes of settlement were abandoned.

Visitors should also see the Tatsuno Japanese Garden with its Azumaya tea house and dazzling array of plants.

MAKE TIME FOR TE KŪITI

As the largest alpaca farm in New Zealand, this is the ultimate experience for alpaca fans. With over 900 friendly residents, get close to these soft and fuzzy fur balls; hand feed them; cuddle the crias (baby alpaca); take a short walk down ‘Alpaca Lane’ and pose for an alpaca selfie.

As The Sheep Shearing Capital of New Zealand where else would the annual New Zealand Shearing Championships be held? Proud of their sheep shearing heritage, there’s a giant 7.5-ton shearing statue at the town’s entrance.

More mountain biking, please

FIND NEVALEA ALPACAS

WAITOMO IS LIT Waitomo Glowworm Caves host the biggest concentration of glowworms in the country. How you see them depends on your disposition. Jump on a guided boat tour or try rock climbing through the caverns; abseiling, ziplining or tubing in pitch-black water. There’s also the small but astonishing Aranui cave, with its mass of white, pink and brown stalactites, as well as Ruakuri cave, a former sacred burial ground.

Hāwera

71km SE of New Plymouth on SH 3

ŌKAHUKURA LOOP: Albeit not technical, this 14km loop mountain bike track is rugged, rooty and better suited to skilled riders. SELECT LOOP ROAD: Suitable for all skill levels, this Grade 1 track follows the forest on formed 2WD metalled roads. Along the 7km loop, North Island kaka and kōkako birds lurk in the bush.

WAIONE TRAM MOUNTAIN BIKE TRACK: Tracing the route of an old tram line in Pureora Forest Park, this Grade 3 track is long and remote, stretching for 25km and taking at least six hours.

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

•Opening hours on website •Cafe on site

57

GREAT RIDE • THE TIMBER TRAIL

There are few places where cone-shaped Mt Taranaki isn’t seen or felt. Located in Egmont National Park, hikes criss-cross the landscape or climb to its summit. At sea level, Surf Highway 45 is a 105km stretch of road between New Plymouth and Hāwera divided only by surfy beach towns. Taranaki is also home to 17 gardens of national or regional significance, New Plymouth’s contemporary art gallery, the Len Lye Centre, and the Forgotten World Highway: our oldest heritage trail.


Cycling the Headland Loop of the W2K section © Dave Mitchell

GREAT RIDE • GREAT LAKE TRAILS

BEST FOR: Excitement-seekers. This jigsaw of fun, fast trails makes the most of its lakeside setting.

WAIHAHA to WHAKAIPO BAY 1-3 days

84km

If the idea of riding the rim of a super volcano isn’t enough, then perhaps the promise of volcanic gorges, waterfalls and beautiful beaches will get you on the saddle. With switchbacks and speedy descents, the Great Lake Trail is not only scenic, it’s seriously good fun.

Highlights of the trail • Sleepy Kinloch is a 20-minute drive from Taupō township with good cafés and a sandy bay. Three of the four trail sections are accessed from here, so it makes a good base. • Kinloch Club is an awardwinning golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. • The large rocky overhang at Echo Rock looms over the trail like a frozen stone waterfall. • Uphill slogs provide elevated views of Lake Taupō and the

58

mountain peaks in Tongariro National Park. • A secret waterfall hidden deep in the Waihaha Valley is a highlight of the Waihaha section. • Come summer, you’ll want to swim in the pretty bays lapped by aqua-blue water. • Kawakawa Bay is small, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in aesthetics.

A

s the result of one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history, Lake Taupō’s enormous crater is lined with exorcised pumice stone, allowing for a free-draining, all-season terrain and year-round cycle track. This Grade 3 trail straddles the northwestern corner of Lake Taupō and is split into four sections comprising the Waihaha-Waihora Trail, the K2K Track, the Ōrākau Trail (Chairmans) and the W2K Track. Each section is easily accessible from the lively hub of Kinloch and can be ridden in various combinations, or tackled all-in-one over the course of one to three days. Those taking on the entire stretch tend to work from the west to the east. Depending on your chosen route, shuttles may be required. A water taxi is also available to transport cyclists to four points along the trail. Built for mountain bikers by mountain bikers, the track is heaven for fans of single-track riding, while the lofty views over the lake and distant volcanoes offer a pleasant distraction. Expect long downhills as well as few challenging climbs, plenty of switchbacks and gorgeous little bays beckoning you in for dips.

TRAIL INFO 1-3 Days 84km

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)

More mountain biking, please The 42 Traverse is known as the greatest mountain bike ride in the North Island, while the Rotary Ride traces the Waikato River for 6km all the way to Huka Falls. The Craters Mountain Bike Park is located on the outskirts of Taupō in Wairakei Forest and also connects to the Rotary Ride. Families tend to like the Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam Trail.


WHANGAMATA ROAD CAR PARK Whangamata Road

K2K Track

Ngangautu 794m

KINLOCH

Nukuhau

TAUPO

W2K Track

Te Poroporo Point



Ta pu ae ha rur u

ip o aka

Headland Loop

Wh

WAIHORA BAY

Acacia Bay

B ay

at a

am ng a h W

Bay

y

WHAKAIPO BAY

Ba

ad

KAWAKAWA BAY

Western Bay Road

Waihaha Track

Waikato River



Orakau (Chinamans) Track

Ro tapu Puke

TOP TIP - If you complete the Waihaha section, a water taxi is needed to either ferry you to Kawakawa Bay to continue the ride, or back to  Kinloch. All water taxis must be prebooked.

 Airport

Lake Taupo (Taupo-nui-a-Tia)

WAIHAHA BRIDGE

Waihaha River

riding the trail Waihaha Bridge

open section

hill/mountain

camping

boat/water taxi route

café/restaurant

accommodation

start/finish point

toilets

state highway

bridge

car park

i-SITE Visitor Centre



© AA Traveller 2020

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 0m

Waihaha Section

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 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 (K2K) 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. 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 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.

Kawakawa Section 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 new Otaketake trail opened late in 2019, this brilliant new link can be ridden one way, return, or combined with the K2K sections for a fabulous 32km loop. To reach the start of the Otaketake Trail from Kinloch, head west along the K2K for 3km where the new trail leaves the lakeshore to wind gently up through the Otaketake Stream Valley. It’s a fun 10km, featuring native bush, delightful birdlife, and spectacular viewpoints around the Lake Taupō area. After emerging from the bush, it’s another 2km of riding beside a country road to reach the Ōrākau car park on Whangamata Rd. You can start riding from here, rather than Kinloch, of course. The 32km loop combines the Otaketake with K2K, with anti-clockwise riding popular for providing the best ‘reveals’ around the lake edge. It’s also worth noting that combining these trail sections with W2K sections gives the longest continuous ride on the Great Lake Trail – 46 km of awesome riding with an optional 9.5km on the Headland Loop to take it to the next level.

W2K Section

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 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.

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GREAT RIDE • GREAT LAKE TRAILS

MAP LEGEND

Waihaha


MOUNTAINS TO SEA Trails

Bridge to Nowhere, Mountains to Sea Trails © Visit Ruapahu

GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAILS

TRAIL INFO 1-6 Days 231km (32km river)

SEE P 64 FOR A CONNECTING HEARTLAND RIDE

BEST FOR: Enjoying the connected pathways that navigate riders from Tūroa to Whanganui, coordinating your journey to suit your time and abilities.

TŪROA, OHAKUNE to WHANGANUI 1-6 days

231km

(32km river)

Start your Mountains to Sea – Ngā Ara Tūhono adventure at Tūroa skifield. Local tour operators will deposit you 1700m above sea level on the lofty slopes of Mt Ruapehu. Relish the distant views of Mt Taranaki before releasing the brakes for an exhilarating descent back to Ohakune.

I

t’s from here the actual leg work begins. Covering 231km, the trail is split into six segments, parts of which require a boat ride to get across the almighty Whanganui River. The trail is typically completed in four to six days but if you’re hard-core, two to three days is not

60

unheard of. You can also enjoy each section as a separate one-day excursion. There are eerie yet enticing tunnels and long-forgotten viaducts, including the impressive 284m-long Hapuawhenua railway viaduct.

TRAIL GRADES:

Gain an insight into post-war life all along the Mangapurua Track, culminating in the fascinating Bridge to Nowhere. This handsome feature marks the route’s last stamp of civilisation before all hopes of settlement were abandoned. The nearby Mangapurua Landing is your launch pad to reach Pīpīriki by jet boat. Alternatively, swap the pedals for paddles and navigate this stretch of the Whanganui River by canoe; your bikes travel ahead by shuttle. Once reunited with your wheels, the River Rd leads all the way to Whanganui City, via artist studios, flour mills and convents. Clapping eyes on the Tasman Sea signifies the end of your journey, but the final hurrah should include watching the sunset at North Mole.

TOP TIP – An alternative connection is to ride from National Park up the short hill to Fishers Track which links Kaitieke and Whakahoro via an interesting gravel ride up Oio Rd. The trail then heads into Whanganui National Park along the Grade 4 Kaiwhakauka single track before rejoining the Mangapurua Track at the Pou, where you can choose to cycle towards the Bridge to Nowhere or back through the Ruatiti Valley.

OHAKUNE MOUNTAIN RD GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) OHAKUNE 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 Ohakune, 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 permitted on all parts of the track, however riders must be capable of lifting their bikes onto narrow bridges, or riding through the trail in the event the battery fails. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)


Š AA Traveller 2020

Oio Road



Taumarunui



Oio Road

Johnson’s Clearing

NATIONAL PARK

Kaiwhakauka Track

W ha

ng an

ui

Ri ve r

Whakahoro

MANGAPURUA TRACK STARTS

Mangapurua Trig 661m

Mt Ruapehu 2797m

Ruatiti

BRIDGE TO NOWHERE



Ruatiti Domain

Ohakune Mountain Road

Hapuawhenua Viaduct

Pipiriki-Raetihi Road

MANGAPĹŞRUA LANDING TO PÄŞPÄŞRIKI, 32KM RIVER RIDE



OHAKUNE

Raetihi

PIPIRIKI

TĹŞROA SKI FIELD

HOROPITO

Tieke Kainga



 Ohakune Old

Waiouru

Coach Road

HiruhÄ rama/Jerusalem Ranana Kawana Flour Mill

Matahiwi MAP LEGEND

Whanganui National Park

Koriniti



Whanganui River Road

ĹŞpokongaro



riding the trail 1200m 1000m 800m 600m 400m 200m

TĹŤroa Ohakune MangapĹŤrua Track Horopito 16km 15km

48km

OHAKUNE MOUNTAIN RD, 16KM

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

OHAKUNE OLD COACH RD, 15KM

One of New Zealand’s best half-day rides, following an historic byway. From the Ohakune 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.

cafĂŠ/restaurant

boat/water taxi route

toilets

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Aramoana

CASTLECLIFF North Mole

hill/mountain

alternative route

AA Centre



WHANGANUI

trail section

camping shelter hut

start / finish point

accommodation

point of interest

state highway

bridge



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

North Mole Whanganui

PÄŤpÄŤriki

boat

32km

Wind up along the old cobbled road into Tongariro National Park passing through ancient forest with giant rimu and tĹ?tara, 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 MangapĹŤrua Track. Overall, the ride is downhill, losing around 400m in

86km

elevation over 45km. However, some steep climbs make it best suited to fit cyclists. From Horopito, follow the off-road trail signage for 30km along Middle Rd and up Ruatiti Rd to the Ruatiti Domain (camping and toilets) along the meandering Manganui o te Ao River. The gravel road climbs along the valley for the final 15km to the start of the MangapĹŤrua Track.

MANGAPĹŞRUA 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 Mangapōrua Trig, a great spot to stop and take in

There are two ways of getting to PÄŤpÄŤriki, 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).

WHANGANUI RIVER RD, 67KM

Quiet rural riding through an interesting slice of New Zealand history, stopping at Jerusalem to explore or stay at the convent, explore the historic Kawana Flourmill or a bite to eat and a chat at the Matahiwi Gallery. Marae and other settlements make this a delightful section of riding.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.

ĹŞPOKONGARO TO TASMAN SEA, 19KM

From ĹŞpokongaro, the trail follows SH 4 for a short distance then crosses the new ĹŞpokongaro bridge. 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 cafĂŠ 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 MANGAPĹŞRUA 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 MangapĹŤrua Track. This route is slightly shorter but does include a Grade 4 section.

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GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAILS

BOAT ONLY (prebook your boat for this section)

Tongariro National Park

Fishers Track

the views. It’s downhill virtually all the way from the trig, the trail wending through the remote and rather beautiful Mangapōrua 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 Mangapōrua Landing, where you will start your jet boat/kayak journey down the Whanganui River. This section of the trail is seasonal and maybe weather affected so do check mountainstosea.nz/trailstatus for updates.


Cycle a journey of adventures from Tūroa, via the Whanganui river to the Tasman Sea. GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAILS O F F I C I A L PA R T N E R S Plan your adventure with our official partners. Blue Duck Station Chateau Tongariro Iona Jerusalem Convent The Flying Fox The Signal Box

Mountain Heights Lodge Park Hotel

Powderhorn Chateau

Rivertime Lodge Ruatiti Station

@M2SNZ 62

Tongariro Suites at the rocks Snowy Waters Whanganui Top 10 Holiday Parks Bridge to Nowhere Lodge and Tours

mountainstosea.nz

Whanganui River Adventures Ruapehu Adventure Hub Matahiwi Gallery and Café Dempsey Buses

Kune Shuttles My Kiwi Adventure TCB Ohakune That Place Great Rides App Whanganui River Markets


Highlights of the trail • On the way to the Bridge to Nowhere, Battleship Bluff arises from the Earth, so called because it resembles the enormous prow of a battleship. • In the tiny settlement of Jerusalem (Hiruhārama in Māori) a nunnery was established in 1892 by the church. You can stay overnight at the convent, but booking in advance is a must. • Visit the reconstructed colonial cottage and museum at Kawana Flour Mill. Built in 1854 and since restored, the mill boasts its original waterwheel and grinding stones. • Salvaged from the bottom of the Whanganui River, the restored paddle steamer Waimaire provides leisurely river cruises from Whanganui city. • Fishers Track is a bonus 27km, Grade 3 course through Tongariro National Park. It’s not an easy 2-3 hours, but it does reward the bold with beauty. Kaiwhakauka Track is for the true masochist. This 16km track is two to four hours of Grade 4 pain with narrow, technical tracks.

GREAT RIDE • MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAILS

• Mellonsfolly Ranch is a purposebuilt cowboy village tucked deep into native bush. Deliberately remote, the saloon-town has Miss Nancy Ann’s Hotel for overnight stays. • Explore two of New Zealand’s famed national parks: Tongariro, a volcanic wonderland, and Whanganui National Park, home to wild native bush and an even wilder river. • During your descent of Mt Ruapehu, there are several walking tracks that lead to jaw-dropping waterfalls, including the highest one in Tongariro National Park – Waitonga Falls. • The Whanganui River is the longest navigable river in the country. Row a canoe, book a jet boat or skirt the embankment by bike. • The Bridge to Nowhere is 38m high and enveloped by verdant bush. There’s a picnic bench, history boards and enormous eels skulking in the water below. • The 284m-long Hapuawhenua railway viaduct is 45m high and skims the treetops.

ABOVE: Mellonsfolly Ranch • TOP: Tongariro National Park BOTH IMAGES: © Visit Ruapehu • BELOW: © New Zealand Glassworks

Whanganui City rests on the banks of its namesake river. The famed Durie Hill Elevator is burrowed 213m into hillside and you can take the antique elevator 65.8m to the summit. At the top there are views spanning as far as Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu. Afterward, catch a short ride on Mable, a restored tram, visit The Sarjeant Gallery or make your own paperweight at New Zealand Glassworks.

ADD-ON HEARTLAND RIDES Mountains to Sea Connection: 45km/3–4 hours A pleasant jaunt across volcanic plateau, this quiet route passes a couple of scenic reserves. Ohakune–Taihape Trail (OTT): 77km/5–7 hours Starting at Ohakune Junction, this is the safest route for cyclists between Ohakune and Taihape.

Whanganui National Park

Ohakune

80km N of Whanganui

36km S of National Park

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

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

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

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HEARTLAND RIDE • FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY CYCLE ROUTE

FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY Cycle Route

TAUMARUNUI to NEW PLYMOUTH

2-3 days

180km Forgotten World Highway Cycle Route © Getty Images

BEST FOR: A traditional Kiwi way of life that has remained undisturbed for centuries. With a name as intriguing as the Forgotten World, how could you not be interested? Discover a pocket of Aotearoa that is little influenced by outside distractions; a place where history seems to beat with more pulse than the present and where remoteness is bathed in pristineness.

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on’t be fooled by the immediate seclusion; even though your route, the SH 43, feels like the quietest state highway in New Zealand, this trail is by no means a doddle. Constant hills with a total ascent of 2017m, rugged farmland and gravel roads will exhaust both your bike tyres – and your derriere! You’re in for a demanding Grade 4 challenge from beginning to end. Highlights along the way include historic tunnels, some with wooden gabled roofs and ceilings lined with fossilised shellfish; the remote township of Whangamomona which is its own republic (complete with passport stamp) as well as challenging saddles and a sense

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of total abandonment. Here you can fully detach yourself from the real world, and while you will be travelling mostly by road, keep an ear out for vehicles and an eye out for rambling goats! Finally, the award-winning Plymouth Coastal Walkway brings civilisation back into cognisance, forging a route into New Plymouth proper, but not before dazzling new arrivals with its epic surf and kinetic artwork. TOP TIP – This trail provides access to two Central North Island Great Rides, the Timber Trail and Mountains to Sea, both accessible via other Heartland Rides, the Timber Trail Connection and MTS Connection.

TRAIL INFO

MORE MOUNTAIN BIKING, PLEASE! • Cycle the mountain bike track along the Old Whangamomona Rd to the Bridge to Somewhere (sister bridge to the Bridge to Nowhere). • Lake Mangamāhoe Mountain Bike Park sits on the southern edge of New Plymouth with tracks ranging from easy to advanced. • Taranaki Cycle Park is a purpose-built bike complex featuring pump tracks, a skills area, learners’ pad, two offroad courses and a 333m Velodrome.

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.

Mangamāhoe © Rach Stewart

GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)


riding the trail 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.

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.

PŪRANGI TO NEW PLYMOUTH, 63KM

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.

The route continues over Tarata Saddle, through another picturesque tunnel, and down to a historic suspension bridge across the Waitara River.

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,

© AA Traveller 2020

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.

North Taranaki Bight

Otaraoa Rd



Okato

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Egmont National Park Mt Taranaki

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Timber Trail Connection

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ABOVE: Whangamomona © AATP

Tangarakau Gorge

Tarata Saddle

NEW PLYMOUTH

• Built in 1897 and restored a handful of times since, the Bertrand Road Suspension Bridge crosses Waitara River, with its 19th century aesthetics proudly maintained. • Can you find the Ōhura yurt? You’ll have to take a detour off the track to the tiny town of Ōhura, but secret yurt stays reward the curious. • The Wind Wand is a kinetic sculpture designed by Len Lye, and features on the beautiful, 12.7km New Plymouth Coastal Walkway. • New Plymouth invites guests to explore its freeentry museums, acclaimed surf beaches, the esteemed Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (also free to peruse) and exceptional coastline.

Ohura State Prison



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• Taumarunui is your gateway to Whanganui National Park and home to excellent kayaking. Trout fishing is world -famous, and Lauren’s Lavender Farm is as pretty as it sounds. • Trundle down the Forgotten World Railway in a self-driven rail cart with Forgotten World Adventures. These easy-tohandle golf-style carts venture into abandoned tunnels on full or half-day excursions. • The amusing town of Whangamomona has been its own republic since 1988, complete with an elected President, which has included a poodle, a goat and a turtle. Visitors can get their passport stamped in the local pub, the Whangamomona Hotel. • There are several tunnels along the track but Moki Tunnel is the best known. Also called the ‘Hobbit’s Hole’, this is where you’ll find giant fossilised crabs on the ceiling.

HEARTLAND RIDE • FORGOTTEN WORLD HIGHWAY CYCLE ROUTE

TAUMARUNUI TO TAHORA SADDLE, 77KM

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HAWKE’S BAY Trails

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

© Hawke’s Bay Trails

TRAIL INFO

1-4 Days 200km

BEST FOR: Easy day rides that will satisfy both your taste buds and your bike tyres.

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

200km

Celebrated for its vineyards, Hawke’s Bay doesn’t solely accommodate wine aficionados; whatever your deposition, this region delivers.

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rom handmade cheese to the richest of ice cream, the coffee is to die for, and long, languid lunches are almost a condition of entry. Even if your interests lie in the arts, nature and

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outdoors, Hawke’s Bay has that covered, too. With mile upon mile of flat gentle terrain, coastal trails, picnic spots, great surf and idyllic swimming holes, you’re invited to really indulge.

TRAIL GRADES: Easiness prevails here. With 200km of year-round trails to pick and choose from, most are flat, off-road and don’t go above Grades 1 and 2. Even the littlest of legs (here’s looking at you, kid) can give it a whirl and playgrounds litter the route. Most trails can be conquered in one day but there are endless ways to expand your voyage into a multi-day adventure by utilising the region’s vast accommodation options. The city of Napier features in a handful of trail itineraries, allowing for stopoffs at the National Aquarium, minigolf and shopping centres – such is the luxury of big-town cycling. You can even take your bike on the bus between Hastings and Napier to access even more. TOP TIP – Soothe tired cyclist thighs at Napier’s Ocean Spa on Marine Parade. These outdoor hot pools stay open late.

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



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GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

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WINERIES RIDE

Napier i-SITE Taradale Taradale 33km 18km

TUKITUKI RIVER

Hastings Golf Club

Hastings Golf Club

33-45km

PUKETAPU LOOP

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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 café, 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. continued on p.68

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continued from p.67 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.

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

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

Craggy Range wine © Hawke’s Bay Tourism

Napier

Highlights of the trail • Magnet Café operates from an adorable shipping container off Marine Parade in Napier and boasts a glorious position on the beach. • Origin Earth is an artisan cheese factory in Havelock North. Pop in for cheese tasting and a wedge of something punchy for your picnic. • Venture a little off trail to find the Waiohiki Creative Arts Village: an art studio, workshop and gallery. The community is home to artists-in-residence so you’ll also meet various creatives. • With over 70 wineries in the region, vineyard bike hopping is top of most people’s to-do list. • If you prefer heady hops over a robust red, a small detour will lead to Roosters Craft Brewery. Hearty pub meals are also found at this relaxed tavern. • Head to the coastal suburb of Awatoto and watch the model airplanes soar overhead. • Large swells rolling in from the east make the surf at Te Awanga fantastic. Grab a coffee at a nearby café or feed the alpacas at Hawke’s Bay

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

KENNEDY PARK! STAY, PLAY, CELEBRATE

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

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Farmyard petting zoo. • Discover Wetlands rich in native birds. Stop off at the bird hides and spy a myriad of species. • Cape Kidnappers peninsula is home to the largest gannet colony in the world (gannets can be seen from September to early April). Visit at your own risk and check warning signs. • 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 widely planted. • Stop for a break in the little settlement of Puketapu. Home to The Puketapu, a traditional country pub with excellent meals, a general store with delicious ice creams and a great kids’ playground. • All sorts of chocolate marvels are made in front of patron’s eyes at Silky Oak Chocolates.


MORE MOUNTAIN BIKING, PLEASE! Hawke’s Bay is notoriously flat but there are still plenty of places for mountain bikers.

Finger printing and mugshot photographers keep the mood light for children.

6 unique experiences in Napier

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Walk it out Stroll along Marine Parade. Jutting into the water is the Napier Viewing Platform with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. For something strenuous, Bluff Hill Lookout is a steep 35-minute walk from the city centre, but the views are worth the puff.

Pan Pac Eskdale Mountain Bike Park With more than 100km of tracks and five different sections for every skill level, this is one of New Zealand’s largest mountain bike parks.

Napier Pump Track Stationed on Marine Parade next to the Rotary Pathway, this all-weather park is both free to use and super convenient for those staying in central Napier. Te Mata Peak What goes up, must come down. At the top of Te Mata Peak there is a sign indicating a 2km downhill mountain bike track. As you can imagine, it’s steep, fast and if you’re a thrillseeker, a lot of fun.

Following a 1931 earthquake, Napier rebuilt itself into the cool coastal city that you see today.

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Unique wine tasting Marvel at the giant-sized fermenters at The Urban Winery. Home to Tony Bish Wines, his cellar, located in the National Tobacco Company Art Deco building (known as the ‘Rothmans’ building) harbours huge

Attend the Napier Art Deco Festival If you’ve ever yearned to live in a glitzy, glamorous Great Gatsby era, here’s your chance. Every year, over five fabulous days in February, Napier’s streets erupt with hundreds of art deco events.

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egg-shaped wine barrels made from concrete and French oak.

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Vintage Art Deco tours Almost as plentiful as the wine is Napier’s art deco scene. For the ultimate experience, book a guided tour around town in a striking 1930s classic car.

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Get artsy Admire the public art installations that speckle Te Matau-a-Maui Art and Heritage Trail. The pathway traces the cycleway to Cape Kidnappers, passing the coastal communities of Haumoana and Te Awanga.

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Do time Provided with an audio device, you’ll be hanging on the narrator’s every word at Napier Prison. Built in 1862, this former penitentiary has stories to tingle your every vertebrae.

ABOVE: Napier buildings on the esplanade © Hawke’s Bay Tourism

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

RESERVATIONS: 0800 WESTSHORE

The friendly & relaxed place to stay for your holiday

Cycling with Tākaro Trails in Hawke’s Bay is the closest you can get to a European cycle holiday in New Zealand.

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

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We're waiting for you...

To Taupo/Airport

WATCHM

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Cycle a 120km loop over 3 days along dedicated flat, easy trails knowing you are never more than 20 minutes away from your next cafe, cellar door or fruit stall!

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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

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

p: 06 835 9030 | Ahuriri, Napier | info@takarotrails.co.nz

• 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

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GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

Taradale Dirt Park and Pump Track Located beside the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale, this small dirt jump park is free to use and best for beginners and intermediates.


The largest town in Hawke’s Bay is a lively mecca of seaside charm, art deco and sunshine.

72 hours in Hastings

GREAT RIDE • HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS

FRIDAY: Take a short drive (or cycle if you’re still in the lycra) to Cape Kidnappers. The jagged white bluffs that define this landmark slide into the Pacific Ocean cliff-by-cliff, leaving great toothy boulders exposed, much like the jagged spine of a sleeping dinosaur. Come September, the clifftops are seized by the world’s largest mainland colony of gannets, where they stay – squabbling, squawking and breeding – until early April. SATURDAY: Catching the sunrise from the summit of Te Mata Peak is well worth the shrill of your alarm. This great swathe of rippled land stands 399km high, with an enchanting Redwood Forest at its nape. Seek out the small township of Havelock North, where Keirunga

Hastings Farmers’ Market © Hawke’s Bay Tourism INSET: Hastings © Getty Images

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

GENTLE ANNIE: 136km/2 days Linking to the Hawke’s Bay Trails (as well as two other Heartland Rides: Route 52 and the -Taihape Trail), this remote winding road was originally used by Māori. ROUTE 52: 202km/2 days Linking Hawke’s Bay to the Wairarapa region, long stretches of riding pass through farm and towns.

845 4836

Hastings

20km SW of Napier on SH 2

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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

SUNDAY: Hastings is home to Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market: the longest running market in New Zealand. Buzzing every Sunday from 8.30am, sample the region’s freshest produce. Afterward, head 10-minutes out of town to Arataki Honey Visitor Centre and discover what makes a Queen Bee tick. Before leaving Hastings today, grab a bag of sugar-loaded lollies from Birdwoods Gallery and Sweet Shop in Havelock North. This will ensure your journey home is sweet-as.

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAILS

Email: jenne@bikeabout.co.nz • www.bikeabouttours.co.nz

Hastings TOP 10 Holiday Park

Gardens boasts a 846m-long miniature train winding through tiny tunnels and bridges. Back in Hastings, a self-guided walks’ brochure can be picked up from the Information Centre or you can head to Civic Square where the free City Art Gallery is stoically guarded by Nga Pou O Heretaung: 18 Māori carvings. After dinner, catch a film at Focal Point Cinema. With its fabulous art deco façade, a date here feels fun and retro.

Café at Clifton © Hawke’s Bay Trails


MANGAWEKA to PALMERSTON NORTH

MANAWATĹŞ Cycleway

2-3 days

Š AA Traveller 2020



MAP LEGEND

MANGAWEKA

open section

Te Parapara Rd Mangahuia Wetlands

AA Centre start/finish point point of interest hill/mountain

Rangiwahia

Rangitikei River



i-SITE Visitor Centre

Main South Rd Table Flat

town cafĂŠ/restaurant

APITI

toilets camping

Pohangina Valley East Rd



car park

Martonaccommodation state highway

an

ge

Totara Reserve

eR

Rangitikei River

ah

Ru

TOP TIP – Sticky from a full two days of cycling? The Palmerston North i-SITE hasFeilding hot showers.

Raumai Reserve Pohangina River





in

Pohangina

Saddle Road

ASHHURST

to Napier



Te Apiti Wind Farm

 Manawatu Gorge Road Closed

PALMERSTON NORTH

Woodville

BEST FOR: Pure escapism. Your only distractions are soaring cliffs and dramatic backdrops.

A

full two days is recommended to experience the ManawatĹŤ Cycleway, allocating plenty of time to stop and absorb the scenery, or to bunker down for the night at a farmland retreat. Every inch of this cycleway offers something retina-pleasing. The dazzling-white cliffs of Mangaweka defy the usual conventions of mountain peaks, instead, topping their creamy papa rock faces with a verdant green frosting. Nearby, Ruahine Dress Circle Reserve, so called for its opera-house aesthetics, offers an idyllic spot for picnics and swimming, and the Mangahuia Wetlands are so lush, one full inhale and you’ll feel replenished. For glowworms, detour onto Table Flat Rd, or later, Totara Reserve. In autumn, the entire PĹ?hÄ ngina Valley turns gold, while in summer, roadside blueberry picking is not only nostalgic, it makes for a great snack, too. The bijou townships of RangiwÄ hia and Apiti throb with community spirit, and once you arrive in the bustling city of Palmerston North, a mecca of street art and sculpture, museums, history and culture awaits. Raumai Reserve, PĹ?hÄ ngina River Š ManawatuNZ.co.nz

Tararua Traverse

Manawatu River



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

Apiti

Mangaweka 45km

Ashhurst 55km

Palmerston North 20km

200m 0m

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HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

There is more to the Manawatō Cycleway than first meets the eye. Tracing the quiet, backcountry roads connecting Mangaweka to Palmerston North, the colours somehow seem brighter here; the hues vivid and more defined. This off-the-beaten escape is not just a bike ride, it’ll completely re-establish your connection with nature.

115km


riding the trail MANGAWEKA TO APITI, 45KM

HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

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. 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. At Mangaweka, stop off at Awastone for something to eat and drink at their café or take a rafting or kayaking trip along the Rangitīkei River. 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 Creek Reserve glowworm caves Back on Main South Rd, continue down and detour onwards into Āpiti for artist studios and camping at the Āpiti Domain.

ĀPITI 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. From the Valley Rd junction, it’s 26km to the small, basic Piripiri Campsite run by the Department of Conservation. Just

ADD-ON HEARTLAND RIDE Tararua Traverse: 67km/1 day A challenging route over the Tararua Ranges. Check for closures: sections by taxi may be required.

Manawatū Cycleway © ManawatuNZ.co.nz

down the road is Springvale Gardens and 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 cafés or grocery shop, picnic on the village green, or explore Ashhurst Domain where there is camping available. Ashhurst Inn offers all day dining and good accommodation.

ASHHURST TO PALMERSTON NORTH, 20KM

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. For a longer cycle, carry on another 1.5km along the river pathway to the new He Ara Kotahi bridge which will take you across the Manawatū River, along boardwalks and through native bush to Linton Military Camp (5.6km). For a shorter 3.8km cycle, you can do the Fitzherbert Avenue Bridge to He Ara Kotahi Bridge Loop. 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

Highlights of the trail • Swim at the secluded Ruahine Dress Circle Reserve: waterfalls bathed in native forest. • Found in an old dairy factory, the Rangiwāhia Environmental Arts Centre (REACT) reuses and upcycles almost anything into artwork. • For handcrafted cheese from the Pōhāngina Valley, the Cartwheel Creamery is open for sales and tastings, by

appointment only so call ahead. • Travel 35km west of Palmerston North to the coast and eat fish and chips on Hīmatangi Beach, watch the sun set and then enjoy a twilight walk. • Te Parapara Rd is particularly scenic, but no photograph does it justice. Seeing is believing. • Detour one hour from Apiti for a 600m walk to Limestone Creek where there are caves, arches

and glowworms. • Entry to Mangahuia Wetlands is free. Pack a picnic and laze around the lake. • Victoria Esplanade is a beautiful public garden in Palmerston North. Packed with rose gardens, barbecues, aviaries, croquet lawns and a miniature railway.

sculpture trail, plus Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & Heritage and the New Zealand Rugby Museum. It’s also great for dining, with a range 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 ĀPITI, 45KM ĀPITI 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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Make the most of Palmerston North

Bike Rides: If you’re missing the saddle, jump back on for a skedaddle around the city. Skirt the banks of the Manawatū River on a 10km riverside jaunt or step it up a gear on the Grade 3 Turitea Loop Track. ABOVE: The Square, Palmerston North © ManawatuNZ.co.nz

Beer: Grab a cold one at Brewers Apprentice, or head to Brew Union on Broadway Ave for 21 taps all pouring the gold stuff. Just 30 minutes south of Palmerston North is the iconic Tui Brewery, featuring its recognisable brick tower, brew house, tours, café and free museum.

Mangaweka At 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. Mangaweka Adventure Company and Awastone © Destination Manawatū

Mountain Biking: Palmerston North is jam-packed with mountain biking areas. Arapuke Forest Park (Grade 2-5) is the city’s premier mountain bike park for all skill levels but if you’re a total beginner, stick to the Jack Frost trail. In the surrounding Manawatū District, there’s Te Ara O Mahurangi (Grade 4) which is technical and downhill, as well as Takapari Rd (Grade 4-5) which climbs high into the Ruahine Range. For epic downhill mountain biking, try Kohitere Trig (Grade 3-4) in Kohitere Forest. Museums: 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. You’ll find some of the world’s rarest rugby artefacts here.

The Square: With its striking clock tower and manicured lawns, The Square offers a peaceful sanctuary for everyone. The Māori name is Te Marae o Hine and within its borders there’s a pond, giant chess set, Māori carvings, interesting statues and scores of ducks. Come Thursday, The Square hosts a Food Truck Street Feast, with music and meals from around the world. Street Art: In January 2020 a bevy of local and international artists were invited to help paint 20 murals emblazoned across the CBD. There now exists an impressive array of street art to soak up with both your eyes and your camera. Pick up a map from the Palmerston North City i-SITE to find the larger-than-life creations in all manner of unexpected places.

Palmerston North

after British PM Lord Palmerston • 140km NE of Wellington on SH 3

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: $125 - $319 (1-2 persons) Phone Peak rates may apply

Direct for Best Prices

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

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HEARTLAND RIDE • MANAWATŪ CYCLEWAY

Nudging the banks of Manawatū River, maximise your downtime in Palmerston North.


REMUTAKA

BOTH IMAGES: Remutaka Cycle Trail © Caleb Smith

Cycle Trail GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

BEST FOR: Losing yourself in the natural and industrial remnants that surround our capital.

PETONE to ŌRONGORONGO 2-3 days

114km

Starting on the edge of Wellington Harbour, the Remutaka Cycle Trail flits between urban townships and untamed wilderness, meaning you’re never too far from a strong latte and a wild landscape.

F

rom disused train tracks to historic settlements, pockets of human activity hint at an industrial past, while rugged coastlines, lakes and river valleys allow for a total retreat into nature.

TOP TIP – With several, often lengthy, tunnels along the trail, don’t forget bike lights or a head torch.

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As intrepid as the ride may sound, there are no major hill climbs and the tracks are mostly flat. With several access points, day rides are just as feasible as the entire two to three-day shebang.

2-3 Days 114km

Flirting with the seaside, Petone’s fondness for good coffee, food, fashion labels and craftmanship nurtures a lively and innovative spirit. Head to Jackson St to experience the best of it. Venturing into Hutt Valley, often referred to as Wellington’s ‘big backyard’, the terrain gets noticeably wilder, and by the time you reach the Remutaka Range, the only noise left is natural. This forested trail traces an old railway line and includes a 6584m-long tunnel and a 90m swing bridge over Siberia Gully. Peddle on towards Wairarapa, where several townships offer hearty food, and by the time Wairarapa Moana (Lake Wairarapa) comes into view, the topography has changed yet again, into one of wetland and estuary. The coastal road is often lashed by an unforgiving wind that gives reason to its shipwrecks and plenty of quake-made topography. At Turakirae Head, rocks once shaped by sea are now ruled by seals and it’s only a little further to Ōrongorongo River mouth, where pre-booked shuttles return to Petone and Wellington (or you can carry on along the add-on Wainuiomata Valley Ride back to Lower Hutt).

TRAIL GRADES: PETONE TO MAYMORN, 35KM 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 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)


 Harcourt Park

 Porirua

Maoribank UPPER HUTT

Silverstream Bridge

 tt Hu



Riv

Featherston

Martinborough

Summit Tunnel

MAP LEGEND open section

CROSS CREEK



on road section optional section

Eastbourne

Wainuiomata Connector Ride

Ocea

or

R oad

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre town

nga River aha Rua m

g on

ach

Lake Onoke

riding the trail

camping

Lake Ferry

shelter 1

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

Cross Creek

Ocean Beach 36km

ĹŒrongorongo 18km

200m 0m

PETONE TO MAYMORN, 35KM Start on the northern shores of Wellington Harbour at the iconic Petone Wharf, just before the Petone Settlers Museum, built to commemorate the region’s very early MÄ ori and European settlement. Explore the area’s heritage with a pit stop in Jackson Street’s popular cafĂŠs and shopping strip, then follow the easy-riding Hutt River Trail through the leafy suburbs of Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. You’ll find river side parks, cafĂŠs and playgrounds and local swimming holes dotted all along the way. When you 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 and the most popular section of this trail, established in 1878 as a connection between Wellington and the Wairarapa. The trail weaves through the Remutaka Range 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 rail yards before a gentle climb through native bush and plantation forest to

toilets

accommodation

Palliser Bay

ORONGORONGO Turakirae Head

Maymorn

cafĂŠ/restaurant

car park

n Be

Or

35km

start/finish point

ke

CORNER CREEK

on g

iver oR

Western L a

Wainuiomata

optional on road section

Lake Wairarapa

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

ge an R a ak ut m Re

Wellington Harbour

400m





Remutaka Rail Trail

LOWER HUTT

PETONE

Petone

Tunnel Gully

MAYMORN

Hutt River Trail

er

Š AA Traveller 2020

Kaitoke

Te Marua

the ‘summit’. Then, it’s a downhill ride along the historic Fell Locomotive Incline with an exciting half-kilometre journey through Summit Tunnel (1877) and the new Siberia Gully suspension bridge. At the bottom of the hill you’ll emerge at Cross Creek, where you’ll enter the wide-open expanse of the Wairarapa Valley. At Cross Creek you can choose to turn north-east on Western Lake Rd and continue to Featherston (10km), to catch the train back to Wellington or carry on to section three.

CROSS CREEK TO OCEAN BEACH, 36KM Starting at Cross Creek ride through quiet farm country along the shores of Lake Wairarapa and Lake ĹŒnoke to reach Ocean Beach on the shores of

Palliser Bay. Your journey will take you south-west through ‘big sky country’, where sheep and cattle graze on lush farm pastures once home to some of New Zealand’s earliest sheep stations. You’ll then pass Lake ĹŒnoke, part of the Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park, supporting more than one hundred species indigenous and migratory water birds. Along the way you’ll find cottage accommodation options which are great options to overnight on multi-day journeys and you also have an option to detour into Wairarapa wine country. Finally, you’ll arrive on the South Coast amongst rows of iconic Kiwi baches on Ocean Beach (the start of section four) before things start to get a little wilder along the coast.

state highway

OCEAN BEACH TO ĹŒRONGORONGO RIVER, 18KM This is the most spectacular section with the rugged beauty of the wild south coast. It’s matched with equally big weather which can make the trail challenging in wind and rain – plus the trail surface can be rocky and sandy in short stretches. You’ll pass by Turakirae Head and see raised beaches formed by a series of tectonic uplifts over the past 7000 years and in winter meet some of the 500 fur seals that make their home here. Then ride alongside ĹŒrongorongo Station, one of the longest running farm operations in New Zealand, northwest to the mouth of the ĹŒrongorongo River and the car park signalling the trail end. Wainuiomata Coast Rd provides a link to more adventure on offer throughout the valley: to Baring Head lighthouse, Remutaka Forest Park, hospitality in the Wainuiomata township and a connection to the trail start in Petone.

Cape Palliser Š TBS photogpraphy

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Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

• A stroll along Wellington Harbour on a sun-filled day is the very definition of happiness. • Hutt Valley composes of 3000 hectares of parks, reserves, bush-clad hills, beaches and walkways, with the cheery dwellings of Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt just minutes apart. • The 221m-long Maymorn Tunnel grants an alternative starting point to the trail. • Taste all-natural sparkling spring water from the fountain that resides on the corner of Petone’s Buick and Jackson sts. • Petone’s trendy Jackson St boasts a collection of hip cafés, art galleries and boutiques. • Discover the world’s only remaining steam powered Fell Locomotive at the Fell

COFFEE fix

Café culture is alive and well in Wellington. Stop at one of these top five coffee spots for a caffeine fix.

Wellington City

Locomotive Museum, along with a rich railway heritage, in historic Featherston. Bird lovers should incorporate a stay at Te Rakau Birding and Cabins. Offering tours as well as accommodation, the area is flush with our feathered friends. Earthquakes and land movement have sculpted this area. Look for Kotumu Fan, the largest rockslide on the trail, although in reality you can’t miss it. Turakirae Head is home to hundreds of kekeno (New Zealand fur seals). The best detour you can take will be to Wairarapa wine country, for obvious reasons! Martinborough is in south Wairarapa and features small, locally-run vineyards with over 20 boutique cellar doors.

1. Milk Crate: A bijou café just off lively Cuba St, if the robust coffee doesn’t wake you up, then the bright yellow interior certainly will. ABOVE: Wellington Harbour © Positively Wellington TOP RIGHT: Biking in Martinborough © Destination Wairarapa RIGHT: Milk Crate © Nicola Edmonds

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

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Remutaka Cycle Trail? Located in the heart of the city, CityLife Wellington is the perfect inner-city base. 300 Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Vehicle entrance from 14 Gilmer Terrace

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 04 922 2800

76

HHM629WLG 10/20

Base yourself at CityLife Wellington.

2. Lashings: Specialising in a comprehensive brownie and ice cream menu, every creation is crafted by the owner, a former pastry chef.

4. Prefab: Always heaving, this café channels an industrial interior, with a large indoor and outdoor seating area. The coffee is roasted on site.

3. Bicycle Junction: It would be rude not to, all things considered. This bike shop-cum-café is affectionately known as the bikery and serves great coffee in between bike services.

5. Ti Kouka Café: Traditionalists will appreciate this inconspicuous coffee shop, hidden upstairs on Willis St. Simple but sophisticated with an emphasis on good, local produce.


Cycling Mākara Peak © WellingtonNZ.com

T

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.

More mountain biking, please

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,

WELLINGTON’S WELLINGTON’S

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.

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAILS Wairarapa Valley Cycleway: 67km/4–6 hours This touring route between Remutaka Cycle Trail and Masterton is celebrated for its Wairarapa views and wine-tasting. Route 52: 202km/2 days Linking Hawke’s Bay to the Wairarapa region, long stretches of riding pass through farms and towns.

UPPER HUTT WATCH VIDEO

KIWIHOLIDAY HOLIDAY PARK KIWI PARK

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

Easy access to Remutaka Cycle Trail, Forest Park Wellington’s and Orongorongo Track. Secure bike storage and Kiwi Holiday bike cleaning facilities. Park 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 45 Akatarawa Rd, • Family Cabins $75 (double), extra $15, child $10 Upper Hutt • ECO Cabins $80 (double), extra $15, child $10 P +64 4 526 7400 • Kitchen Cabins $90 (double), extra $15, child $10 M 027 243 2133 E harcourtholidaypark@xtra.co.nz • Tourist flats $120 (double), extra $15, child $10 Proprietors: Giles Family • Motels $145 (double), extra $15, child $10

Phone for reservations: +64 4 526 7400 www.harcourtholidaypark.co.nz 77

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

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.

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.


GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

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GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

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24 hours in Wellington

at Tuatua Café, a hole in the wall coffee bar complete will tables straddling the promenade. From this sun-soaked boardwalk, it’s just five minutes further to Te Papa, New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed museum.

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

LUNCHTIME: With a rumble in your belly, head to Wellington’s Te Aro district. Specifically, Hannah’s Laneway (between Leeds and Eva sts). Dubbed the tastiest side street in the city, this central food haven hosts Fix and Fog, the cutest window-in-the-wall store with peanut butter samples, as well as Wellington Chocolate Factory, a bakery famed for its salted caramel cookies, a brew bar and a myriad of shabby-chic eateries. AFTERNOON: Next on your list is a Wellington must-do. Climb to the top of the city on board the iconic red cable car, marvelling at LEDlighted tunnels and of course, cityspanning views from the summit. Soak up the serenity of the Botanic Gardens and learn more about Wellington’s tramways at the Cable Car Museum.

This is what a perfect day in our small but mighty-fine capital looks like. MORNING: Wellington Waterfront is one of the loveliest land-toseascapes in New Zealand. Start by embarking on the Wellington Writers Walk, combining an esplanade stroll with sculptures and quotations from New Zealand’s best wordsmiths. Stop for a coffee

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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EVENING: For an aperitif this evening, descend on a little-known speakeasy called The Library. Found upstairs in Courtney Place, it’s packed to the rafters with well-loved books. From here, it’s a 10-minute walk to Cuba St. This quirky strip of bohemian stores and boutiques is mixed with an endless choice of dining options. Peruse the shops, many of which are open late, and then duck into your chosen venue for dinner. TOP: Wellington © WellingtonNZ.com LEFT: The Library © Nicola Edmonds

The Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke This is a 72km walking and cycling route around Te Whanganui-atara, the harbour of Wellington. From Ōrua-pouanui/Baring Head in the east to Te Rimurapa/Sinclair Head in the west. Knock it out in one day or take your time and spread it over two or more.

Petone

end of the sand beach • 14km NE of Wellington on SH 2

FORESHORE MOTOR LODGE

• Right on Petone foreshore. • 15 comfortable units all with microwave/fridge/tea & coffee maker/toaster, some with cooking facilities. walking distance to supermarkets & shops. Free bike storage. • Tariff: studios from $145 (sleep 1-3), 1-brm unit from $170 (sleep 2-4). 5 Nelson St, Petone • P: +64 4 939 3609   www.foreshoremotorlodge.co.nz • E: info@foreshoremotorlodge.co.nz


Wainuiomata River near the Coast Road © Getty Images

WAINUIOMATA Connector Ride

GREAT RIDE • REMUTAKA CYCLE TRAIL

Connecting the Wainuiomata Coast to the Hutt River, the Wainuiomata Connector Ride makes the most of its natural environment. An all onroad route, this new-for-2020 bike ride flirts with valleys, forests, coasts, rivers and hillside.

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tarting at the Ōrongorongo River car park at the end of Coast Rd in Wainuiomata, this new 28km route travels over the Te Hikoi Arawera/Wainuiomata

Sleep in a lighthouse Wake up to the sound of crashing waves at the Lighthouse in Island Bay. Just 15 minutes from Wellington City centre, this three-floored lighthouse offers a unique seaside stay.

Hill Shared Pathway and finishes in Lower Hutt. Once here you can easily get back to Petone by hooking onto the Hutt River Trail (an easy scenic walking and cycling path

that runs alongside the Hutt River from Petone to Upper Hutt).

MORE MOUNTAIN BIKING, PLEASE

The Wainuiomata Connector Ride is a Grade 3-4 trail ride which utilises rural road from beginning to end.

Championed and maintained by local enthusiasts in Waiu Park, the Wainuiomata Trail Park is set in native bush and wetland 20 minutes from central Wellington. There is a decent selection of beginner and family tracks as well as a skills’ area.

TOP TIP – Combine your ride with a stay in Wainuiomata. Nudging both mountainside and coastline, this Lower Hutt suburb tickles picturesque Wainuiomata River.

Visit Wainuiomata Get back to nature: Mountains to the east, coastline to the west, you’re never too far from rugged forests, wild beaches, rivers and native bush. Bring your rugby ball: Wainuiomata has a reputation for producing talented rugby league players, with many spawning from the local Wainuiomata Rugby League Club. Meet kiwi: Book in at one of the rough-hewn huts in the Ōrongorongo Valley and come dusk, go in search of elusive kiwi. Embark on a bush walk: Stretch out your body poles (your legs) on one of the walks in Remutaka Forest Park. Jump on a horse: See the rugged landscape from a different saddle than your bike. Coastal View Horse Treks soak up the views over the valley and as far as Wellington City.

Lighthouse, Island Bay © Lou Hatton

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QUEEN CHARLOTTE

Track

Queen Charlotte Track © www.qctrack.co.nz

TRAIL INFO

2-3 Days 73.5km

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

TRAIL GRADE: MERETOTO/SHIP COVE TO CAMP BAY, 28.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) to GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) 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)

BEST FOR: A challenging, multi-day ride that will leave you puffed, but impressed.

SHIP COVE to ANAKIWA 2-3 days

73.5km

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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on’t be under any preconceived idea that this ride won’t test your endurance. Those jaw-dropping views you seek are found from ridgelines, after long, relentless climbs. There are many sections that skirt the shoreline, traversing from one idyllic bay to the next, but this track is graded as intermediate

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to advance for good reason. Some areas, such as the ridgetop sections of the central part are listed as Grade 5. However, day trips are a feasible choice for less advanced riders and if you’re overnighting, backpacks can be transferred to your accommodation by local operators, allowing for a lighter ride.

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAIL Queen Charlotte Drive: 40km/2–4 hours This spectacular, winding path links Picton to Havelock. The Anakiwa end of the Queen Charlotte Track is just 4km away from Linkwater, found halfway along this route.

Along the way, various lodges offer comfortable stays. In fact, so isolated are these far-flung hideouts, they feel pleasantly unattainable to the outside world. From beginning to end, the journey never waivers from extraordinary. From secret coves to saddles and ridges offering stupendous views, this 73.5km track is commonly regarded as one of the best singletrack mountain bike rides in New Zealand. We have a feeling you’ll agree. Top Tip – A unique feature of this track is that entry and exit paths are accessed mostly by boat, starting with a scenic cruise from Picton to Meretoto (aka Ship Cove) to commence your ride.

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, dry season. 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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails’ policy, e-bikes are not permitted on trails graded 4 and above. PLEASE NOTE: Sections of the QCT between Kenepuru Saddle and Anakiwa cross private land and require a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (QCTLC) Pass. A QCT Land Cooperative Pass is required for all private land sections of the QCT between Kenepuru Saddle and Anakiwa. See www.qctlc.com to purchase and for more info. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GRADE 5 (EXPERT)


MERETOTO/ SHIP COVE Endeavour Inlet

MAP LEGEND open section

café/restaurant

optional section

toilets

Crail Bay

boat/water taxi route

Camp Bay

car park accommodation

start/finish point

KENEPURU SADDLE

camping

point of interest

SCHOOLHOUSE BAY Resolution Bay

shelter

i-SITE Visitor Centre

state highway

town

Eatwell’s Lookout

rm

Grove A

Bay o f M any Coves

y

Blackwood B a

Bay

Kumutot o

nd Sou e t lot har C n e Que y

ANAKIWA

a ea B Tor

Davies Bay

Lochmara Bay

Mistletoe Bay

nd Sou au h a

hau Bay Ona

M

TE MAHIA SADDLE

kaka Bay Rua

Bay hia Ma Te

Portage

TOREA SADDLE

i anu r a t / Tō

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

Black Rock

nd ou Kenep ur u S

Blumine Island

d Islan oa a ap Ar

Tory C ha

el nn

Ngakuta Bay The Grove

Momorangi Bay

Aussie Bay

PICTON



© AA Traveller 2020

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, 28.5KM The first section from Ship Cove to Camp Bay is closed for biking between 1 Dec and 28 Feb. The trail climbs gently away from the beach thanks to the new reroute, passing through impressive groves of tall native trees and a diverse understory of shrubs and ferns. Your gentle ascent ends at the Ship Cove Saddle, a lookout point with views of both the outer and inner Queen Charlotte/Totaranui. The track then winds its way to the shoreline at Schoolhouse Bay, where there is a DOC campsite, and then on above Resolution Bay. 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 super-pretty 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 hugging the shoreline for the continued on p.84

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continued from p.83

Bike autumn © Marlborough Tourism

Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

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.

• With water in every shade of inviting blue, dismounting your bike for a quick dip is a moreish thing to do. • The pristine landscape lends itself to kayaking, walking, beach picnics and wildlife cruises. • Using interpretation panels, Ship Cove details significant historic events in the Sounds. • Wonderful waterside lodgings offer the perfect place to start (and end) your day. • Mistletoe Bay is a well-run eco-village with clean amenities and a laid-back vibe. • The track between Mistletoe Bay and Anakiwa boasts a handful of picturesque picnic spots. • You may come across fantails and weka, among other charming ‘locals’ such as dolphins and seals.

7 reasons to love Marlborough Sounds The Marlborough Sounds are a collection of sunken river valleys that succumbed to rising sea levels over 10,000 years ago. The pull of what lies beneath and above this vast expanse of water have always attracted people. Here are our seven top picks:

1

Taxi Boats

Road Trips

• The boat back to Picton from Anakiwa takes approximately 30 minutes: grab an ice cream from the Green Caravan Café before you leave. • Adding the optional section to ride on to Picton will lead you to one of New Zealand’s finest harbours. Picton sits in a pretty horseshoe curve and is a great base for seeing more of the Sounds.

4

Those with access to four wheels as well as two can find many beautiful places by car. An example is the drive from Rai Valley to Okiwi Bay which leads to a quieter corner of the Sounds.

Water taxis and boat services mostly operate out of Picton, notably for the Queen Charlotte Sound, but some depart from Havelock for Kenepuru Sound as well as Pelorus Sound.

French Pass Whirlpools

Ship Cove

2

For views of the outer Sounds, the French Pass Rd cannot be beaten. Venture to a view of D’Urville Island, looking for naturally forming whirlpools. You may see fish haplessly struggling against all the commotion.

Leisurely Cruises

3

Boats grant access to every watery reach. Sail into Queen Charlotte or Kenepuru Sounds or help deliver mail to the remotest pockets of the Marlborough Sounds on board the Mail Boat Cruise.

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By visiting Queen Charlotte Sound, you will be following in the footsteps of both Kupe, the renowned Māori voyager, and Captain James Cook – the first European to land on New Zealand soil. Hence, the area is referred to by both its English moniker, Ship Cove, and its original Māori name, Meretoto. Today, there are sculptures, memorials and interpretation panels detailing fascinating stories of both men.

5

RIGHT: The Mail Boat, Marlborough Sounds INSET: Bottlenose dolphins BOTH: © Marlborough Tourism

6

Dolphin Swimming

Bottlenose dolphins are regularly spotted here. They’re famously curious, so taking a tour with local operators puts you in a good position for a dolphin encounter, including swims.

7

Fishing and Diving

Fishing charters scour the water for salmon and blue cod. To meet the sealife, rather than devour it, the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov, a Russian cruise ship offers spectacular diving.

The Marlborough Sounds are a maze of mirror-calm channels, deep coves and secluded bays with songbird-filled forest that tickles the water’s edge. Māori mythology suggests that the Sounds are the prows of the sunken waka (canoes) of Aoraki.


COPPERMINE Trail

GREAT RIDE • COPPERMINE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO Coppermine Trail © Virginia Woolf Photography

BEST FOR: Wilderness on Nelson’s doorstep: one of New Zealand’s most accessible alpine rides.

BROOK STREET, NELSON ROUND TRIP 4-6 hours

43km

On the map this track loops favourably behind the city’s borders, but some seriously wild surprises lie in wait.

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hould you be prone to stopping often to smell the flowers, allow a full day to complete this stunning alpine ride. Otherwise, four to six hours will suffice. Before heading out from central Nelson, allow the good city folk to serve you a cup of their finest coffee; you won’t find a smoother drop.

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). Soon enough you’ll be riding through spectacular hill country via Codgers Mountain Bike Park before joining the old tramway, believed to be New Zealand’s first railway. The terrain then climbs

gently through sweet-smelling forest, with head-turning views back towards Nelson and Tasman Bay. Upon arriving at Third House, 660m above sea level, join the weka for a picnic. As the trail continues to undulate upwards, the landscape takes on an almost lunar-like appearance and Windy Pt (both by name and by nature) is the trail’s loftiest: sitting 878m-high on the Coppermine Saddle. The section between here and Maitai Dam can be seriously hair-raising but a side trip to Maitai Caves reveals enchanting grottoes. You’ll need to dismount and walk 30 minutes each way, but it’ll provide some respite from the demanding terrain. The final section follows a bushy ledge skirting the river before dipping back into Nelson. Those with an enviable amount of stamina can return via the slightly harder Maitai Valley Walkway. Top Tip – Nelson is the craft beer brewing capital of New Zealand. Favourites include Eddyline Brewery, McCashin’s Brewery, Sprig & Fern on Hardy St and Golden Bear Brewery.

4-6 Hours 43km

TRAIL GRADES: BROOK ST TO THIRD HOUSE, 11.5KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) THIRD HOUSE TO COPPERMINE SADDLE, 6KM GRADE 3-4 (INTERMEDIATEADVANCED) COPPERMINE SADDLE TO MAITAI DAM, 9.6KM GRADE 3-4 (INTERMEDIATEADVANCED) 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)

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MAP LEGEND

Ha

ve n

© AA Traveller 2020

Ne

Nelson City Council Mayor, Rachel Reese

so

l



After crossing the Maitai South Branch Bridge, note a left turn onto a walking

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car park

point of interest

camping

AA Centre

shelter

i-SITE Visitor Centre

accommodation

hill/mountain

state highway

Hira Forest

MAITAI DAM Tantragee Saddle pur

SMITHS FORD

sS

GREAT RIDE • COPPERMINE TRAIL

After recent work to upgrade the descent from the Saddle to Maitai Dam this section shouldn’t present too much of a problem to most grade three riders, it’s a steep gradient to begin with but 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.

start/finish point



Maitai Valley Motor Camp

Four Corners

Bar

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.

toilets

Sunday Hole (swimming)

Brook Street

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

optional route

NELSON

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 Pt – 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.

café/restaurant

Maitai Valley Road

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’.

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.

Coppermine Trail

town

BROOK ST TO THIRD HOUSE, 11.5KM

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



n

‘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.’

Cu m m

in

Third House

Dun Mountain 1129m

n i c o a t R an g e

Windy Point

riding the trail Nelson 1000m

4km

Wooded Peak

Brook Street

COPPERMINE SADDLE 878m

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Third House 11.5km

6km

Coppermine Saddle

9.6km

Maitai Dam

Smiths Ford 3.8km

Nelson 3.1km

800m 600m 400m 200m 0m

track signposted to the Maitai Caves. This is a worthwhile side trip if you don’t mind locking your bike to a tree 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


TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE Trail

BOTH: Tasman’s Great Taste Trail © Virginia Woolf Photography

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

2-4 Days 177km

TRAIL GRADES:

BEST FOR: Reawakening your senses. This trail looks, tastes and sounds good.

NELSON ROUND TRIP 2-4 days

177km

Breathe in the tonic that is crisp, ocean air along the sparkling shores of Kaiteriteri, or watch a master glassblower manipulate great coils of molten glass; admire an army of grape vines falling into formation or sip the end result: a cool drop of snappy chardonnay. This is one hedonistic ride.

NELSON TO MĀPUA, 35KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST)

A

trail with many options, all 177km of it is dipped in art galleries and boutique shops, fruit stalls, cafés, craft beer and wineries. Absorb the rural, urban, coastal and riverside scenery, with delightful forays into Tasman Bay towns. Those looking for short hops and day rides are just as welcome as those after a full-blown, four-day affair. As is common in New Zealand, looking seaward is steeped with reward: from Nelson, it’s not far to the bird-filled Waimea Inlet. As the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island, a wide range of seabirds will enchant. Other highlights include the causeway to Rabbit Island/ Moturoa. Popular for its picnic spots, pine forest and sandy beaches, a pleasant jaunt across the island leads to Ferry Landing. Pop your bike on the boat and enjoy a 200m hop to Māpua, where the cafés and shops are bountiful. Further along the route, the coastal pathway is licked with a salty breeze, while inland settlements such as Brightwater and Wakefield are pretty much paved with wine. For experiences that will arouse your internal fear detector, crossing the swing bridge over Waimea River, and later, spooky Spooners Tunnel will enthral.

MĀPUA TO MOTUEKA, 26KM GRADE 2-3 (EASY-INTERMEDIATE) MOTUEKA TO KAITERITERI, 16KM GRADE 2-3 (EASYINTERMEDIATE) RICHMOND TO WAKEFIELD, 17KM GRADE 1 (EASIEST) WAKEFIELD TO KOHATU, 25KM GRADE 2 (EASY) KOHATU TO TAPAWERA, 8KM GRADE 2 (EASY) New section will be complete October 2020 TAPAWERA TO RIWAKA, 50KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) On-road section 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. 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 1 (EASIEST) GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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© AA Traveller 2020



MAP LEGEND

KAITERITERI

Riwaka

We

Riv

nk

R

ka

ue

Ba

MOTUEKA

er

oa d

e ng Ra

st

Ar th ur

Brooklyn

t Mo



off-road cycle trail

town

on-road cycle trail

café/restaurant

start/finish point

toilets

point of interest

camping

AA Service

shelter

i-SITE Visitor Centre

accommodation

tunnel

state highway

Ngatimoti

Ruby Bay ferry

MAPUA

WOODSTOCK Thorpe Dovedale Do ve d e Road

al

Stanley Brook

Tasman Bay Rabbit Island

Waimea Estuary

 Dovedale Hill Summit 326m

Stoke

ver

a Ri

uek





Pigeon Valley Road

Tapawera

Brightwater

Wai-iti

Norris Gully

WAKEFIELD

ge an R on rd Go

Belgrove



Spooners Tunnel

riding the trail 400m

NELSON

Richmond

Kohatu

500m

Nelson 30km

Wakefield via Tapawera 50km

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

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Airport

Mot

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Tasman

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. Riders without much ‘mountain biking’ experience should still enjoy this gently rolling and sweeping route

through to Kaiteriteri village. Riders are reminded to be careful as this is single trail with some blind corners and bikers travelling in both directions. 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, 17KM

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 Continued on p.89


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

KOHATU TO TAPAWERA, 8KM

The newest section of trail (completed in October 2020) follows the historic

TAPAWERA TO RIWAKA, 50KM

Tapawera marks the end of the purpose built trail, from here Tasman’s Great Taste Trail follows quiet roads down the Motueka Valley for 50km to Riwaka. Note that there is limited food and drink available along this section so make sure you stock up at the Four Square in Tapawera. Be prepared for a steep climb over Stanley Brook Saddle 6km north of Tapawera then a further 12km to reach the Woodstock Junction where you will turn left and cross the Motueka River before turning right onto West Bank Rd, and down the valley you go. (You can also head back to Wakefield by turning right from Woodstock onto Dovedale Rd then Pigeon Valley Rd, 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.

Highlights of the trail • Abel Tasman National Park is on the doorstep, where blue water, golden sands and green flora all wait to seduce you. • Watching hand-blown glass art at Nelson’s flamedaisy studio and gallery is almost hypnotic. • Catching the ferry to Māpua gives this trail a charming point of difference. There is just one ferry crossing every hour. • The lovely little town of Motueka is surrounded by fruit orchards and hop gardens. • Pick your own berries (seasonal) at Tasman Bay Berries in Richmond. Or head straight to the counter and order a real fruit ice cream from December to February.

• Take a free tour of Pic’s Peanut Butter World. • Riding through Rabbit Island with ocean on one side and pine forest on the other is a treat. • Tasman, Marlborough and Nelson Wine is world-class and make up our largest wine growing area. There are scores of excellent vineyards. • Spooners Tunnel is the longest rideable railway tunnel in the southern hemisphere. There are no lights but there are reflectors. • Nelson’s cherry blossom trees bloom in September. This is also the month of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the city’s Japanese sister-city, Miyazu.

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Cross the bridge on Pigeon Valley Rd and turn left to follow the off-road trail beside the Wai-iti River to Hoult Valley Rd. The trail runs alongside the main road (for just over 1km) to Wai-iti domain, re-joining the Wai-iti River on picturesque off-road trail until it reaches 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). This is a good place for refreshments at the Flat Rock Café.

railway alignment down the Motueka Valley, with views across hop plantations and farmland to Mt Arthur. Make sure you keep an eye out for remains of 150-yearold stone walls, culverts and bridges as you gradually descent to the village of Tapawera where there is a small railway museum, café and restaurant. Tapawera is also a good place to stay with several accommodation options including, a hotel, motel, cabins and campground.

Book a free tour

RIGHT: Miyazu Garden, Nelson © www.nelsontasman.nz

picspeanutbutter.com/tours 49 saxton rd, Stoke, Nelson

Nelson

after Admiral Lord Nelson • 134km W of Picton

Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

on the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail? Base yourself at Rutherford Hotel Nelson, a Heritage Hotel. Relax in style in the heart of Nelson, after a busy day of exploring. Trafalgar Square, Nelson

HHM629NEL 10/20

Continued from p.88

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 03 548 2299

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Along the trail

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Richmond: Not far from Nelson, Richmond boasts several vineyards all within a 20km radius. The area is also home to potters, glass blowers, wood turners and metalsmiths. Aniseed Valley, just south of town, is laid-back and lush, perfect for languid walks, barbecues and swimming in the bush reserve. Wakefield: Get your chops around one of the finest pies in New Zealand at Wakefield Bakery. Some of the architecture in this pretty township dates back to the 1840s including its Anglican church and Post Office. Māpua: Celebrated for its smoked seafood, foodies find it hard to leave Māpua. The refurbished waterfront is bustling with cafés

Bridge at Queen’s Gardens, Nelson © Barry Peck

and restaurants, and the wharf is flush with shops and galleries. Kaiteriteri: This dazzling beach region is a favourite Kiwi holiday spot. With plenty of sunshine, seclusion and golden sand, you can spend the entire day in or around the water. At day’s end, duck into one of the waterfront restaurants for a sunset dinner. Motueka: The marina bustles and the Saltwater Baths on the foreshore – filled by the incoming tide – are a local favourite. Also here is the rusty wreck of historic Janie Seddon, while the Gecko Theatre is a quirky picture house with cushions, couches and popcorn served in bowls. INSET ABOVE: Stalls at Richmond Market Day © Richmond Unlimited

TAHUNA BEACH

NELSON TAHUNA BEACH TAHUNA BEACH KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL

KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL KIWI HOLIDAY PARK & MOTEL

NELSON NELSON

New Zealand’s best remembered Zealand’s best remembered New Zealand’s best remembered holiday destination since 1926 holiday destination since 1926 holiday destination since 1926

70 Beach Road, Tahunanui, Nelson 70 Road, Tahunanui, Nelson 70 Beach Beach Road, Tahunanui, Nelson P 03 548 5159 E tahuna@tahunabeach.co.nz P 03 03 545 548 7854 5159 • EE manager@tahunabeach.co.nz tahuna@tahunabeach.co.nz Freecall reservations: 501 www.tahunabeach.co.nz Freecall: 0800 500 501 • 0800 www.tahunabeachholidaypark.co.nz Freecall reservations: 0800 500 500 501 www.tahunabeach.co.nz

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Love Nelson Welcome to the sunniest city in New Zealand, and where the artistic energy beams just as brightly. Experience the art of glass blowing or learn the traditional skill of Māori bone carving. The Nelson Classic Car Museum is one of Nelson’s most publicised attractions as is Pic’s Peanut Butter World for its Willy Wonka-style experiences. Founders Heritage Park is a replica pioneer village detailing early European settler days, and The Suter Art Gallery is Nelson’s free regional art gallery. For wine aficionados, the region is home to dozens of cellar doors and Nelson is also dubbed New Zealand’s craft beer brewing capital, so fill your glass. For tranquillity, both the Queen’s Gardens and the Miyazu Japanese Gardens offer pure zen.

Māpua

abundant • 33km W of Nelson on SH 60


More mountain biking, please

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAIL

SILVA FOREST MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK: Located in Richmond, this privately owned 180ha forest boasts 24-hour, free public access as well as a network of 24 safe trails. The single tracks climb steadily to the top ridge allowing for plenty of downhill fun.

KAITERITERI MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK: A purpose-built 180ha off-road park cradled in native bush beside Kaiteriteri, one of New Zealand’s best beach resorts. There are trails to challenge every skill level, including families, with its series of kid-friendly loops. CODGERS MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK: Minutes from Nelson city centre, enjoy easy grade 2 tracks all the way up to dramatic grade 5 descents. Rising to approximately 400m, the views over Nelson are incredible.

SHARLANDS TRAILS: Just 10 minutes from central Nelson in Hira Forest, whizz down the continuous 9km single-track route or experience grade 5 descents on the newly built Aorere trail. Permits are required.

Motueka

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

Kayakers at Onetahuti Bay, Abel Tasman National Park © Kaiteriteri Kayak

Adventures in Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking: There isn’t a Google search out there that doesn’t spit out a kayaking image when you search Abel Tasman National Park. Wildlife encounters are especially fruitful in the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, with most kayaking operators based in Kaiteriteri, Mārahau and Golden Bay.

Boat trips: Full-day catamaran tours depart (and return to) Kaiteriteri Beach, venturing past stunning beaches, fur seal colonies and a handful of deserted islands. Alternatively, amp up the luxeappeal with an overnight stay aboard a luxury yacht moored at Anchorage Beach.

Great walks: The Abel Tasman National Park is well-known for its 60km Great Walk but if you’re starved of time, simply book a water taxi to the most popular sections. Some of the best inland hiking tracks are reached from the Golden Bay side of the park. Try Harwoods Hole (45 minutes one way) or Wainui Falls (1hr 20min return).

Secret spots: From Anchorage Bay, various short walks lead to pinch-yourself places. Undertake the Pitt Head Trail for access to the achingly beautiful Te Pukatea Bay, as well as the crystal-clear Cleopatra’s Pools, complete with natural water slide. Get to Anchorage Bay by hiking from Bark Bay or Mārahau (around 3-4 hours walk) or catch the water taxi from Kaiteriteri Beach.

Kaiteriteri

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

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

motuekatop10.co.nz

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

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 91

GREAT RIDE • TASMAN’S GREAT TASTE TRAIL

Golden Downs Trail: 66km/1 day Links Nelson Lakes National Park with the town of Wakefield and then connects with the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail at Wakefield to form a continuous touring route between the National Park and Nelson city.


THE OLD GHOST ROAD Trail

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

TRAIL INFO

GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

2-4 Days 85km

TRAIL GRADE: LYELL CAR PARK TO LYELL SADDLE HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) LYELL SADDLE HUT TO GHOST LAKE HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED) GHOST LAKE HUT TO STERN VALLEY HUT GRADE 4 (ADVANCED), with some GRADE 5 (EXPERT) sections of the trail

BEST FOR: The courageous. This is one demanding but life-affirming adventure.

LYELL to SEDDONVILLE 2-4 days

85km

With ridgelines barely wider than your wheels, Grade 4 terrain and place names such as Suicide Slips – you’ll want to put your brave pants on!

A

world-class trail that requires some world-class mountain biking skills, or at the very minimum, plenty of experience, this former 19th century gold miners’ road between Lyell and Seddonville has been transformed into a demanding 85km course. Skimming one of the most remote, untouched areas of Aotearoa, the

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track often hinges precariously on the mountainside or tumbles down sheer-sided valleys cloaked in vegetation. Your reward for negotiating such a terrain is a series of trail huts in spectacular locations. Days are undoubtedly taxing, although it is possible to do an ‘in-and-out’ overnight ride from either end of the trail, or embark on a single day ride by including

a heli-trip. For those putting in the hard graft, you’ll discover gold-rush relics and debris left by sizeable earthquakes, including two colossal land slips. There’s also the ominous-sounding Boneyard – a field of shattered rocks scattered by seismic forces. Other highlights include emerging above the bush line to greet astounding views, the lofty face of Mt Montgomery – a highpoint of 1280m – and the profoundly beautiful Skyline Ridge. With sheer drops that will leave you delirious, the track eventually (and mercifully) merges into Skyline Steps, where you can dismount to carry your bike. Not much further and you’re on the home run. TOP TIP – Well-facilitated huts are all set in spectacular locations and many have bike tools, gas cookers, crockery and pots.

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 Trail 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 Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails 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)


Mokihinui River Mokihinui River North Seddonville

END

Specimen Point Hut Mokihinui Forks Hut

MAP LEGEND café/restaurant

start/finish point

hut

point of interest

accommodation

hill/mountain

state highway

Former Chair of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Inc. Richard Leggat

Goat Creek

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

STERN VALLEY HUT TO GOAT CREEK HUT, 14KM

Rocky Tor 1456m Lyell Saddle Hut

ng

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Bald Hill 1385m

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ll

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Mt Lyell 1092m

START



1200m



Start

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

Lyell Saddle

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 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 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

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

to Reefton & Westport

riding the trail 1600m

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© AA Traveller 2020

Eight Mile Creek

Lyell

to Murchison



GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

open section

‘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.’

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.

GHOST LAKE HUT TO STERN VALLEY HUT, 13KM

Many riders may find themselves somewhat psyched out by the descent

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.

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Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • THE OLD GHOST ROAD TRAIL

• The town of Lyell once throbbed with commerce, but it’s hard to imagine such bustle now. With little more than a cemetery left, when gold mining dried up in 1900, Lyell did too. • Lyell Saddle Hut sits 875m above sea level with formidable views. Specimen Point Hut looks over the Mōkihinui’s surging white waters, and Ghost Lake Hut has its own outdoor shower. • Pass gold rush relics and dilapidated huts strewn with bits of crockery. Deserted settlements to look out for include Gibbston, Eight Mile and Seatonville. • You’ll need a head for heights to negotiate the track scratched into the slopes of Rocky Tor. • Heart in your throat moments include Skyline Ridge, the steeply stacked Skyline Steps, bridged streams and the disturbingly named Suicide Slips. • The sign for Heavens Door, shortly before Ghost Lake Hut, presents a stretch of seriously narrow track with stupendous drops. • Ghost Lake is a small, alpine tarn, shrouded in colourful plant life, with a namesake hut. • Earnest Valley houses the Boneyard. Tectonic forces have shaved huge rock boulders off the mountains and scattering the basin with these stoney off-cuts. • In Seddonville, access the popular Charming Creek Walkway. A 10.5km ramble with mining relics, the 25m-high Mangatini Falls and an abandoned mine.

Charming Creek Walkway © Miles Holden LEFT: The Old Ghost Road Trail © Richard Rossiter

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAILS

Explore more

Old Ghost Road Roundabout: 85km/2–3 days A serious adventure for experienced riders, this track joins forces with The Old Ghost Road Trail to form a loop. You’ll delve deep into the mountains and valleys surrounding the Old Ghost Road as well as the bare and desolate Denniston Plateau.

Buller Gorge: Wild but handsome. The West Coast’s largest river, the Buller, weaves between Westport and Murchison. The latter is the self-titled ‘white-water capital of New Zealand’.

Westport to the Old Ghost Road: 17km/1 hour This one-hour ride bridges the gap between Westport and the Old Ghost Road roundabout, and in turn, The Old Ghost Road Trail. It’s a relatively quiet highway which weaves through some very pleasant bucolic landscapes. The mountain views aren’t half bad, either.

Westport

White-water rafting: Whether you’re a rafting junkie after a week-long adventure or a complete amateur, there’s a white-water rafting option to suit everyone on the Buller River. Buller Gorge Swingbridge: Suspended 19m above the river and 110m in length, this is the longest swing bridge in New Zealand. Stop halfway (if you dare) for fantastic views, or if you’re not content with simply walking over the river, why not try an exhilarating zipline? Natural flame bush walk: A natural flame in remote forest has been burning virtually non-stop for a century. The naturally seeping gas was originally lit by curious farmers and simply never stopped. Four-hour walking tours depart Murchison twice daily leading to the marvel. Mountain biking: Drive 40 minutes south of Seddonville for mountain biking at Denniston Plateau. Nine circuit trails are rated Grade 2 and 3, with some sections reaching Grade 5. Reefton: The southern hemisphere’s first town with electricity. Visit the first electric-powered streetlight on Bridge St: an old lamp still flickers across Oddfellows Hall. The Bearded Miners: Reefton is a former gold-mining town. Talk all things gold-related with these cheery, hairy-chinned fellows.

Reefton

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

after gold-bearing quartz reefs • 81km SE of Westport on SH 7

$10 Special: Use of bike wash, hot shower & ice cold pint of beer

LANTERN COURT MOTELS 2019

• 3km from the start of the Old Ghost • Free WiFi available Road Trail • Trails users parking, secure bike storage and bike washing area • Excellent hotel and motel facilities • Restaurant offers the “meanest rare • Near Charming Creek and Chasm Creek walkways ribeye steak” on the Coast

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REEFTON

• Fully self-contained units with options to suit singles to families and all budgets • Beautiful region for bush walks, fishing, tramping & mountain biking • Central location • Bike storage • FREE WIFI • Tariff: $120-$195 Rated 5 out of 5

1 Queen St, Seddonville • Phone: +64 3 782 1828 • E-mail: info@seddonvillehotel.co.nz

www.seddonvillehotel.co.nz

Mention this ad for AA 2 night special

Ph: +64 3 732 8574 0800 (LANTERN) 526 837 63 Broadway St, REEFTON

info@lanterncourtmotel.co.nz | www.lanterncourtmotel.co.nz


WEST COAST WILDERNESS Trail

TRAIL INFO

4-5 Days 133km

BEST FOR: An easy to access and an easy to ride venture into Aotearoa’s green heart.

GREYMOUTH

ROSS

4-5 days

133km

‘Oh jeez, not another natural wonder to behold,’ said no one ever on this wild, winsome ride. The scenery is flush with enough nature-made marvels to warrant a Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale.

T

his ride offers excellent variation in landscape and scenery. From the mountainous backdrop of the Southern Alps to ancient rainforest, wetland, rugged beaches and glacial rivers, New Zealand’s diversity is on full display. While you may be heavily captivated by the natural history, the ride is equally famed for its

human history. Forged from a goldrush heyday and peppered with packhorse tracks, tramlines, railways and rickety bridges, the window into the past is a highly engaging one. The trail is divided into four mostly equal sections between Greymouth, Kumara, Cowboy Paradise, Hokitika and Ross. Commonly, most riders cycle from Greymouth (the West

Coast’s ‘Big Smoke’) to the old gold town of Ross, but it is possible to travel the route in either direction. Each leg takes around 3-5 hours, so you have plenty of time to dawdle and detour. Unique points of interest include the twists and turns of an historic water race. For the uninitiated, these are channels cut into hillside to bring water from streams (in this case, the Kaniere River) to places where gold was mined. Cowboy Paradise, a set of crumbling buildings staged to resemble an old Western town is known as the Lost City of the Wild West. Located halfway between Kumara and Hokitika, you get to play cowboy or cowgirl for the day. Between here and Kumara, you can also stop at Trappers Rest for a cup of Billy tea and fireside chat with local man, Paul Sinclair. He lives in a tepee and you simply make a donation for the brew.

TOP TIP – Ask the weather gods for sunshine but expect a compulsory West Coast wet day (or days). On the upside, if anything is going to look good in a downpour, it’s this green beauty.

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


Cobden



Tasman Sea

open section

Westport & Punakaiki

G rey

highway section

GREYMOUTH

start/finish point

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bridge

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Taramakau Bridge

toilets car park

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Kumara Junction 

accommodation

Nemona Forest

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GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

café/restaurant



COWBOY PARADISE TO HOKITIKA, 36KM

KUMARA

shelter state highway

 Waimea Forest

 Ar

HOKITIKA H

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Kapitea Reservoir Kumara Reservoir

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Kaniere Hurunui Jacks

Kawhaka Forest

Lake Mahinapua Hans Bay

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riding the trail Greymouth 31km

Kumara

36km

Milltown

COWBOY PARADISE

Lake Kaniere

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River

© AA Traveller 2020

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Cowboy Paradise 36km

Hokitika

33km

Ross

400m 200m 0m

GREYMOUTH TO KUMARA, 31KM

A photo stop is obligatory at the flood wall official start/finish gate before heading off along the Grey River flood wall. 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,

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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.

HOKITIKA TO ROSS, 33KM

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West Coast Scenic Waterways

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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 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.

tucked behind flax-lined sand dunes and beside tidal lagoons. A signposted detour at Paroa leads to Shantytown Heritage Park (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

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). Complete your ride with a photo in the photo frame south of the centre overlooking the lake.


Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

• Nature, anyone? Find scenic reserves, wetland, rainforest, pristine lakes, snow-dipped peaks, rivers, beaches and beautiful waterways, complete with swing bridges. • Don’t miss the photo frame overlooking the lake behind the visitor centre at Ross. • Cowboy Paradise boasts on-site accommodation. The owner is a colourful character, and he certainly makes the experience unique. • The Kaniere Water Race is crystal clear. Listen out for the noise it makes, which is a gentle gurgle. • The Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara is loved by many. The restaurant has been beautifully restored, and the brand-new standalone cottages are brimming with fetching antique furniture. • Come nightfall, venture a step or two behind the Theatre Royal Hotel to spy glowworms.

View of Arahura River • LEFT: Theatre Royal Hotel BOTH IMAGES: © West Coast Wilderness Trail

• Stay at Scenic Waterways and hire their kayaks for a four to eight-hour sojourn on Lake Mahināpua. Alternatively, enjoy a sunset lake cruise aboard the Eco Adventurer. • Arahura River is an important source of pounamu (greenstone) for the local Māori people. Pounamu, glass and other art studios abound.

Greymouth

at the mouth of the Grey River • 100km S of Westport on SH 6

Wonderful Wilderness Tour – Guided or Self-Guided, 4 days - 4 nights Complete Packages – Including transport from Nelson or Christchurch

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

Sundowner Motel Greymouth

Quality Bike Hire – Latest E-Bikes & Trail Comfort Bikes (Scott & Avanti) Twin Trails Package – Ride two unique Cycle Trails in one tour!

14 Smith St, Greymouth Phone: +64 3 768 4666 E: stay@sundowner.co.nz

Reservations:

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. • 5min walk to town, shops, restaurants and bars. Centrally located for all tourist attractions. • Tariff: $125-$160 (2 persons).

First motel at the start of the cycle trail

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ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAIL Touring the West Coast: 402km/6–8 days

Top 10 things to do on the West Coast

ABOVE: Haast © West Coast Tourism RIGHT: Pounamu carving © Mountain Jade

1

Hidden in the treetops

Golden Kumara

Using 450m of steel platform built 20m above the ground, weave in between dense forest, admiring the flora and fauna at West Coast Treetop Walks, then climb the spiraling 40m-high Hokitika Tower.

From boom to bust and back again, Kumara was the site of the last great gold rush in 1876. Read the information panels dotted around town and scattered along various walking trails.

Green jewels galore

2

3

Hokitika is located near a traditional source of pounamu (jade). Crafted jewellery and sculptures are sold here. Watch master carvers at work or have a go at carving your own.

CYCLE BACK IN TIME... Greymouth

Wilderness Trail u

Paroa Hotel TURN HERE u

PAROA HOTEL TO SHANTYTOWN: GRADE: Easy DURATION: 20 minutes each way LENGTH: 4km each way - Head through the underpass and follow the highway signage.

Ho kit i ka

SHANTYTOWN

t

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Connecting the West Coast Wilderness Trail with Central Otago via Haast Pass and the national highway, this mammoth voyage serves up some dazzling scenery.

Ku m

ar a

u u

Rutherglen Road, Paroa (10km South of Greymouth). Open 7 days. 10:00am - 3.00pm. Find out more at shantytown.co.nz

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4

All aboard for Shantytown

Calorie-free pancakes Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park are – as the name suggests – a formation of rocks that resemble stacked pancakes. Forged 30 million years ago, when dead marine creatures accumulated on the seabed, compressed and then formed several layers of limestone, they eventually nudged their way to the surface. Today, the pancakes are joined by erupting blowholes and a ferocious surge pool named the Devil’s Cauldron.

5

8

Waterway cruising

Get in the boat – oar else!

A wild west seaside town

Explore the impressive wetland area of Lake Mahināpua on a West Coast Scenic Waterways Cruise. The lakes, creeks and swamps host an array of native trees, fish and birdlife.

Not far from Pancake Rocks, located in the Paparoa National Park, spend a few leisurely hours kayaking Pororari River’s rapids and eddies. Nearby operators provide all the equipment and the clean, crystalline water is surrounded by forested limestone shelves.

A slower pace of life exists in Hokitika. Wild and rugged, with a moody coastline that meets magnificent mountains, Hokitika Beach is strewn with driftwood. The streets are abuzz with greenstone, glassware and textiles, and the buildings date back to 1860. Walks stretch out in every direction and 33km away, Hokitika Gorge is admired for its milky-blue glacial waters.

6

Gold-coated Greymouth As the largest town on the West Coast, Greymouth made a name for itself during the coal-mining and gold-rush eras. The History House is a museum packed with relics from this time, while nearby Brunner Mine Site was a significant mining location with coke ovens, a brick factory and tunnel remnants. Back in town, various jade stone galleries line the main street, and Monteith’s Brewery offers behind-the-scenes tours and pint-pulling.

7

10

Black mirror Lake Brunner receives so many tannins from surrounding rainforest, it’s almost black. This makes for startling reflections of the mountains. These glacial waters are a magnet for troutfishing devotees, boat trippers and outdoor enthusiasts embarking on one of the walks.

9

ABOVE: Pancake Rocks © West Coast Tourism INSET ABOVE: Glass sculptures © West Coast Glass Blowing BELOW: Shantytown train © Shantytown

Hokitika

to return directly • 40km SW of Greymouth on SH 6

214 Weld Street HOKITIKA 7810 Phone: +64 3 755 8160 Email: annabellemotel@xtra.co.nz

www.annabellemotel.co.nz

To Greymouth

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6

To town centre

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•  Massive communal area •  Bike washdown facility •  Lock-up bike storage with charging facilities for E-Bikes

Westland High School

Hokitika's Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels

St

www.hokitikasportsworld.co.nz

•  15min walk to town • Motel self-contained units – studio, 1 & 2-bedroom •  Cabin & Powered Sites •  Modern amenties block & laundry

160 Davie St, Hokitika P +64 3 755 5141 E office@hokikiwihp.co.nz

Da vie

33 Tancred St Hokitika P: 03 755 8662

Hokitika’s newest Holiday Park & Motels...

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HOKITIKA CYCLES &

HOLIDAY PARK AND MOTELS

Su Coas per ter ma ’s rke t S

BIKE HIRE SHUTTLE REPAIRS ACCESSORIES

HOKITIKA

Hokitika’s Kiwi

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BIKE HIRE & SHUTTLE

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Your comfort is our concern Simon & Jill Robinson

BOOK DIRECT: 03 755 8160

Fitz h

• 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

Freecall reservations: 0800 115 322 www.hokitikakiwiholidaypark.co.nz

99

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

Travelling 11km south of Greymouth will take you back in time over 200 years. Shantytown is a recreated gold-rush village with more than 30 authentic buildings, including the original 19th century church and schoolhouse. Enjoy a ride on a vintage steam train, pan for gold, experience a working sawmill, and dress up in olden day costumes.


More mountain biking, please

Gold miners of yesteryear sure knew how to build a longlasting track – perfect for today’s bikers.

GREAT RIDE • WEST COAST WILDERNESS TRAIL

HOKITIKA: Within rideable distance from downtown Hokitika, Blue Spur combines 32 single track trails. You’ll need advanced skills to negotiate the mix of rough and smooth. GREYMOUTH: Navigate 4WD tracks on the Grade 3 Napoleon Hill mountain bike track. Riders need prior permission from the landowner. Visit www.doc. govt.nz for contact numbers. REEFTON: Kirwans Track, Blacks Pt and Big River Rd and Hut are all Grade 3+ trails, with some technical sections reaching Grade 5. Reefton mountain biking © West Coast Tourism

Twizel

161km W of Timaru

Hokitika Beach © Getty Images

H

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. 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. 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.

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BLENHEIM TO HANMER SPRINGS

MOLESWORTH Muster Trail

3-5 days

BLENHEIM

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Wairau River

Motueka River Golden Downs Trail

Ric h

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Mount Richmond Forest Park

Wither Hills Farm Park

Wairau Valley Taylor Pass





Waihopai Valley

Kikiwa

Buller River

HEARTLAND RIDE • MOLESWORTH MUSTER TRAIL



207km

Seddon Blairich Recreation Reserve

Awatere River

 St Arnaud

Wairau River

Hodder Bridge Ward

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St Arnaud Ran ge

ange

Lake Rotoiti

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Tapuae-O-Ueneku

Rainbow Trail

© AA Traveller 2020

MAP LEGEND

Molesworth Station Molesworth Cob Cottage

open section optional route

Clarence River

ng

e

point of interest

Acheron River a Seaw

rd

u iko Ka

AA Centre

hill/mountain

Mangamaunu Hapuku

town

an

café/restaurant toilets

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Acheron Accommodation

i-SITE Visitor Centre

ra

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St James Cycle Trail

St James Homestead

Puhi Puhi

Ra

Maling Pass Car Park

Boddi ngt on

start/finish point

Clarence

nge Ra

Am

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KAIKOURA

car park camping

Peketa

shelter

Mt Lyford Village



Hurunui Heartland Ride

HANMER SPRINGS

accommodation

Oaro

state highway



nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 1500m 1000m 500m

Molesworth Station

Blenheim 117km

Hanmer Springs 90km

0m

101


TRAIL INFO

Molesworth Station © Department of Conservation INSET: Vine harvest, Hans Herzog Estate © Jessica Jones Photography

BEST FOR: Delving into the last frontier.

3-5 Days 207km

HEARTLAND RIDE • MOLESWORTH MUSTER TRAIL

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) Hanmer Springs waterfall © Natasha Shearer

Venture onto old dirt roads journeying from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs via Molesworth Station, the largest and most remote working farm in New Zealand. You will see more sheep than civilisation.

M

ost riders start the 207km trail from Blenheim, taking the Taylor Pass Rd to the Awatere Valley, skirting the banks of both the Awatere River, and later, the Acheron River. Shifting between grassland and hillside, it’s not a technical ride, but at 207km, it’s lengthy. Some of the steeper inclines will give your thighs a good workout, too. To compensate your aches, the scenery astounds. Waterfalls, cirque basins and tarns are etched from glaciers from previous ice ages, while the vegetation, especially

in Clarence River Valley is a palette of colour. As you pass into Marlborough wine country, the route is littered with vineyards. The ride finishes in the exotic spa town of Hanmer Springs, where a replenishing hot pool is exactly what your legs are begging for. TOP TIP – From Hanmer Springs, why not detour (by approx 35km) on to the Hurunui Trail? This Heartland Ride offers a quieter and safer alternative to SH 1, taking riders from the Pacific Coast to the north of Christchurch over three to four days. Read more on p.112.

Highlights of the trail • The lonely but beautiful Molesworth Rd. • Passing over Waiau Ferry Bridge which was opened in 1887. • Campsites such as historic Molesworth Cob Cottage (1866) and Acheron Accommodation House (1862) once served early travellers. • Enjoy a spot of fishing, bird watching or a splash in one of

102

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.

many swimming holes. • Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa features over 14 mineral pools, waterslides and an indulgent menu of spa treatments.

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. LEFT: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa © Natasha Shearer


ST ARNAUD to HANMER SPRINGS

RAINBOW Trail

2-3 days 

to Wakefield

Golden Downs Trail

MAP LEGEND Rainbow Trail

ST ARNAUD

optional route

point of interest

Lake Rotoiti Lake Rotoroa

town café/restaurant

Wairau River

TRAIL GRADES: ALL GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Nelson Lakes National Park

Old Rainbow Homestead

Toll gate

toilets camping

to Blenheim

Mount Franklyn

hut

Hell’s Gate

Coldwater Creek

accommodation state highway

Island Gully Sedgemere Sleepout

LakeTennyson ns

ai nt u o M er ns e Sp

Island Saddle (1347m)

Clarence River Molesworth Muster Trail

St James Cycle Trail

Waiau River

Hanmer Springs Ski Area

St James Homestead

Jacks Pass

Hanmer Conservation Park

HANMER SPRINGS



© AA Traveller 2020

1200m 1000m 800m 600m 400m 200m 0m

ST ARNAUD TO COLDWATER CREEK, 68KM COLDWATER CREEK TO HANMER SPRINGS, 51KM MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: No mobile coverage on this trail. DRINKING WATER: There is no treated drinking water 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 gravel touring or mountain bike is essential for the remoteness and terrain; e-bikes are permitted – there are no charging stations. 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). There is a road toll (currently $5 for bikes) payable at the Old Rainbow Homestead. For up-to-date road information, check www.rainbowstation.co.nz/ rainbow-access GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

ADD-ON HEARTLAND TRAIL

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... 1400m

2-3 Days 112km

Rainbow Skifield

hill/mountain i-SITE Visitor Centre

Rainbow Station Homestead

TRAIL INFO

St Arnaud

Hanmer Springs 112km

Golden Downs Trail: 66km/1 day Links Nelson Lakes National Park with Wakefield where it then connects to Tasman’s Great Taste Trail to form a continuous touring route.

103

HEARTLAND RIDE • RAINBOW TRAIL

To Hanmer Springs Ski Area start/finish point



Tophouse

112km


BEST FOR: Head in the clouds; nothing on your mind.

Riding the Rainbow Trail © Ruby W BELOW: Snowboarder at Rainbow Ski Area © Rainbow Ski Area

HEARTLAND RIDE • RAINBOW TRAIL

Take on the original stock route between Marlborough and Canterbury by travelling from St Arnaud to Hanmer Springs. Remote and relatively challenging, the higher you climb, the greater the isolation.

TOP TIP – From Hanmer Springs, get to both Kaikōura and Christchurch by detouring (by around 35km) onto the Hurunui Trail Heartland Ride. Alternatively, the 66km Golden Downs Heartland Ride heads south from Nelson Lakes National Park to Wakefield.

T

he trail starts by winding its way to the Old Rainbow Homestead. There are also two working farms to pass through: Rainbow Station, which is privately owned, and Molesworth Station, managed by the Department of Conservation. Once in the high-country, it’s just you and the natural habitat for company. Cycle past streams, gorges and breathtaking views spanning several high-country lakes. On the last day you’ll arrive in Hanmer Springs, where you can call it a day, or if you’re keen, forge on. Embark on the St James Great Ride or head back to Blenheim via the Molesworth Muster.

Highlights of the trail • Ascend into true alpine country. The highest point is Island Saddle, a lofty 1372m. • St Arnaud is the main gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park where there are two stunning alpine lakes: Rotoiti and Rotoroa. Discover lakeside walking tracks and longer hikes.

• In winter, the Rainbow Ski Area hosts powder hounds and alpine climbers. • Lake Tennyson is a scenic high-country lake found on the eastern fringe of Nelson Lakes National Park. Isolated and insanely beautiful, it’s ideal for picnics, camping and fishing.

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

104

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 Hut. 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.


ST JAMES

Cycle Trail

TRAIL INFO

1-2 Days 64km

BEST FOR: Humbling solitude.

MALING PASS CAR PARK to ST JAMES HOMESTEAD 1-2 days

64km

Wide dirt tracks and expansive grassy flats stretch for as far as the eye can see. Mountain peaks that look touchable are in fact, hundreds of miles away, and churning rivers cut through the landscape in seeming silence, until you get closer, and the water roars like a storming brigade.

F

or the fittest of riders, the St James Cycle Trail can be knocked on the head in one day, but it pays to experience the trail over two. Sunrise and sunset in such remote parts is a big bonus, and you’ll get the chance to stay overnight in charming old huts. St James Station was one of New Zealand’s largest high-country farms, dating back to 1862 and there are still a handful of preserved farmers’ buildings to mooch around. Most remnants, however, have been swallowed by golden valleys and beech forest. Along the route you will pass through broad river valleys framed by crinkled mountainside. Rivers lead to hidden lakes and there is much wildlife: herds of wild horses are commonplace and nonchalant rabbits roam defiantly, having long since broken through the 1889 ‘rabbit-proof’ fencing. This ride is challenging in parts, but on a sun-filled day, when the rays beam on golden meadows, it really is perfect.

Biking in Hanmer Springs © Hanmer Springs Photography

SEE PP 101, 103 & 112 FOR NEIGHBOURING HEARTLAND RIDES

TOP TIP – Don’t miss the 10-minute detour to Cow Stream hot springs: two naturally heated rock pools bubbling with hot water.

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)

105

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

St James Cycle Trail © Canterbury Christchurch Tourism


Lake Tennyson Waiau River

MAP LEGEND

Maling Pass 1308m

WAIAU 4WD ROAD END

open section

MALING PASS CAR PARK

optional route start/finish point

Clarence River Tophouse Road

point of interest bridge town café/restaurant

ge

Ada River

St J am es R an

Lake Guyon

toilets

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

shelter hut car park

Stanley River

Homestead Run

state highway

Clarence River

Waiau River

Pool Hut

i-SITE Visitor Centre

Edwards River

bridge Cow Stream Hot Spring

Jones Stream

accommodation

SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE

Saddle Spur 865m

Peters Valley

bridge

ST JAMES HOMESTEAD

SCOTTIES HUT

Tophouse Road

Charlies Saddle 754m

Jacks Pass e Rang mer n a H

HANMER SPRINGS © AA Traveller 2020

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

106

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.’

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

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.

SADDLE SPUR BRIDGE TO SCOTTIES HUT, 14.5KM

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.


5 Trail Secrets

Highlights of the trail • Hanmer Springs is the country’s very own alpine sanctuary and home to the world-class Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. • Intrepid stays at rough-andready highland huts. For the lavish amongst us, a short

detour leads to the more luxurious Anne Hut. • The wide and deeply cut Waiau Valley slinks through spectacular mountain ranges. • A noisy gaggle of excitable geese are often spotted around Lake Guyon. • Skinny swing bridges teeter over thrashing rivers.

• Formed after the 1929 Murchison earthquake, detour to the incredible Maruia Falls. • The ascent to the brow of Charlie’s Saddle provides unprecedented views.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa © Natasha Shearer

Along the Trail LAKE TENNYSON

TOP TIP – From Hanmer Springs, why not detour (by approx 35km) on to the Hurunui Trail? This Heartland Ride offers a quieter and safer alternative to SH 1, taking riders from the Pacific Coast to the north of Christchurch over three to four days. Read more on p.112.

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.

2. Along the second section, take a short detour to picturesque Lake Guyon for a quick dip. 3. The Ada Homestead consists of the homestead, men’s quarters and implement shed; early colonial-run buildings are constructed from mud and wooden studs. 4. Cow Stream hot pools are found along the fourth section of the trail, down a 1km side-track and surrounded by dramatic scenery. 5. River crossings This route provides several challenging river crossings, mostly across Edwards River. Do not attempt to cross if the rivers are flooding.

Fresh air, fine food and wine, and truly fabulous views – experience it all on the Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail! Designed for walkers, joggers and cyclists both young and old, the trail passes through historic farms and world-class vineyards. Enjoy unique activities like the Weka Pass Railway and the Greening Waipara Biodiversity trails, and soak up some of the most breath-taking and inspiring scenery New Zealand has to offer. Plan your inspiring Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail adventure today.

45 MINUTES NORTH OF CHRISTCHURCH 107

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

• The fast and fun downhill ride to Ada Homestead is

exhilarating and shindeep river crossings add to the adventure.

1. St James’ wild horses are living the dream in the hinterland, standing stoic on the prairie.


Hanmer Springs 3 Ways

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

LEFT: Conical Hill in the snow © Barekiwi.com INSET: Exploring Hanmer Forest © Natasha Shearer

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Mountain biking & walking If you’re not content

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: $185 - $240 (2 persons) • Designated smoking area 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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on kicking back, climb to the 550m summit of Conical Hill which zigzags skyward through pine trees. Alternatively, the 25km purpose-built Hanmer Forest network is mountain biking heaven. With tracks for all skill levels, it’s just 10 minutes from the centre of Hanmer Springs town.

Slip into a stupor

Hit the slopes

With its scenic mountain setting and frosted alpine peaks, Hanmer Springs is Canadian Rockies meets laid-back New Zealand. Located in the centre of the village, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa features 12 open-air thermal pools ranging from 28-42°C, as well as sulphur pools, private indoor tubs, a fresh-water pool and waterslides. Spa treatments are the icing on the cake.

Hanmer Springs Ski Area is 17km from town, offering a small, low-key snow experience with a variety of groomed runs, off-piste courses and three ski lifts. You could also venture 40 minutes east of Hanmer Springs to a littleknown ski resort called Mt Lyford. The runs cover an elevation range of 1249m to 1750m and welcomes everyone, from total beginners to snow-slicing veterans.

www.alpinespringsmotel.co.nz

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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 • 1 & 2-bedroom units with full kitchen • FREE WiFi, 50+ SKY channels & DVDs • 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

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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

Apartments | Motels | Units | Sites • Wood-fired hot tubs on site • Pizza ovens • BBQs • Bike hire • Espresso


Tracks Kaiapoi Island Trail – Grade Easy, 18km one way (1 hour and 20 min) Access: Stopbank at eastern side on Raven Quay,

Kaiapoi or Wrights Road (check gate times) off Main North Road. Pegasus Trail: Grade – Easy, 10.5 km one way (50 min)

Access: Stopbank at eastern side of Charles Street, Kaiapoi. This ride will take you through the small beach settlement of Pines/Kairaki into the forest to Woodend Beach. Tūtaepatu Trail – Grade Easy, 5km one way (25 min)

Joining the Trails Whether you have a few days or a few hours, many of Waimakariri’s cycle trails can be connected, allowing you to easily map your way around, from trail to trail, exploring and discovering the spoils of the district. For maps and details, start here: https://www.visitwaimakariri.co.nz/walking-andcycling/ or visit the Kaiapoi i-SITE at 143 Williams Street

Access: Beach Road, Woodend and Kiwi Avenue, Waikuku Beach. Stop at the Tūtaepatu Lagoon, a spring fed freshwater wildlife sanctuary for flora and fauna. Rakahuri Trail – Grade Easy, 18km one way (1 hour 20 min) – includes the loop at Western End Access: Northern

end of East Belt, Rangiora. This fun trail runs alongside the Ashley Rakahuri River, farmland and willow trees, with pockets of native bush. Wharfedale Track: Grade – Easy and Advanced. 15km (3 hours one way).

Experience Waimakariri Cycling in Waimakariri isn’t just about the ride. Plan your route to drop in and experience the district’s many cafés, restaurants and shops. Park up for a riverside meal and locally brewed beer in Kaiapoi, hit the high-end boutiques in Rangiora, lose yourself in the eclectic shopping experiences of Waikuku or soak up the lakeside ambience with a coffee stop in Pegasus. If you’re heading for Wharfedale Track, make time for Oxford’s funky shops and eateries. Slow the journey, spend a night or two and enjoy the genuine hospitality of our local accommodation providers: camp near the beach, relax in a rural B&B or a cosy motel.

GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

Jump on your bike and explore the cycle trails of Waimakariri. This stunning district is home to a network of fun, familyfriendly trails that connect contemporary towns with beautiful braided rivers, wide open sandy beaches and expansive rural landscapes. So, go on – get out and ride to your heart’s content in Waimakariri: where once is never enough.

To Kaikoura SH1

Waimakariri Oxford

To the West Coast

To Mt Cook

Rangiora

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Waikuku Pegasus Woodend Kaiapoi

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SH1

Christchurch

Access: View Hill car park, 14km from Oxford. The track sidles and gently climbs through beech forest to the saddle with downhill to the Wharfedale Hut. Check www. doc.govt.nz for full track accessibility and safety.

Visit Waimakariri | P: +64 3 327 3134 | E: info@visitwaimakariri.co.nz | www.visitwaimakariri.co.nz 109


Tram on New Regent St, Christchurch © Welcome Aboard Christchurch

Pop into historic Liffey Cottage and Pioneer Hall. The former was built in 1875 and has since been restored into a working man’s cottage. Don’t miss Ōhinetahi Gardens which have been lovingly transformed into a glorious thing of beauty, or for a quick dip, Chamberlains Ford is a nature-made plunge with public barbecues.

Visit Christchurch

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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 numerous incredible gardens, the Avon River, the International Antarctic Centre, the Christchurch Tram and Gondola, The Arts Centre of Christchurch, 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

Lincoln

22km SW of Christchurch

A Wheelie Warm Welcome Awaits you at

Lincoln Motel There is so much to enjoy in

Lincoln Village

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

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www.cyclehire‑tours.co.nz

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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

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Little River Rail Trail. We offer bike hire, drop-off and collection on request.

Lincoln Motel

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Free delivery. Open 7 days. Mountain bike package includes ride up in the gondola and cycle down. Helmets, security lock, maps supplied.

LYTTEL

Mountain bike, city touring biking hire.

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GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

Lovely Lincoln

BELT

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


What's new with you Christchurch?

THE AVON LOOP Discover another side of central Christchurch with the new pedestrian and cyclefriendly sections of the Avon Loop. This newly refurbished route takes walkers and riders 11km through the city alongside the Avon/Ōtakaro River, enhanced by plants, lighting and kayak entry points to the river.

Little River Trail

HE PUNA TAIMOANA Hot pools on the New Brighton sand dunes? Yes please! These extra high-spec hot saltwater baths opened May 2020 and feature five outdoor pools ranging in temperature from 26°C to 40°C, a plunge pool and steam room. Even the floors of the changing rooms are heated. There’s

Cycling Little River Trail © Triebels Photography

also an on-site café with views of the gorgeous coastline. THE WELDER A handful of converted industrial buildings make up The Welder, a funky, modern destination where local products and good food are king. Check out Grizzly Bakery for the tastiest doughnuts in town.

UPRISING BOULDERING GYM The next revolution in indoor climbing and the best thing to do on a rainy day. Introducing bouldering: low-height climbing that doesn’t use ropes. Uprising on Ferry Rd is one of the biggest facilities of its kind in the world and also boasts a kids’ zone, pizzeria and bar.

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 blink-and-you’ll-miss-it township of Little River.

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he Christchurch to Little River Rail Trail actually starts in Christchurch but from Hornby to Little River the track follows much of the Little River Branch railway line which operated from 1875 until 1967.

TOP TIP – Little River Campground is conveniently located 20 minutes by bike from Little River itself. A cute and quiet eco-campground, relax here after your ride to the sound of the river and birdsong.

The 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 – as well as the smaller Lake Forsyth.

Cycling Little River Trail © Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

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 a return side trip of 2km presents 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 those seeking an easy cycling experience. There are a number of car parks along the way making the sections very accessible for shorter rides. 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.

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GREAT RIDE • ST JAMES CYCLE TRAIL

Cycling by the Avon River, Christchurch © Nancy Zhou


Five Rivers, Around the Mountains Cycle Trail © Tourism NZ

KAIKOURA to AMBERLEY

HURUNUI Trail

3-4 days

BEST FOR: Submerging yourself into the rural good life, where every inch of scenery confirms that our countryside is seriously good looking.

205km TRAIL INFO

HEARTLAND RIDE • HURUNUI TRAIL

3-4 Days 205km

TRAIL GRADES: KAIKŌURA TO MT LYFORD VILLAGE GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MT LYFORD VILLAGE TO WAIAU GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) WAIAU TO CULVERDEN GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) CULVERDEN TO HURUNUI BRIDGE GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

Kaikōura countryside © Getty Images BELOW: St James Cycle Trail © Canterbury Christchurch Tourism

South Island’s rural beauty is all-consuming. This is a ride where you’ll stop often; bike stationed before yet another glorious landscape while you pause to appreciate the rolling views.

The journey will see you crossing both the Kowhai and Waiau rivers, using a mix of seal and gravel roads over a mostly flat terrain, but with just enough segments of undulated track to allow for some fun slopes. Fling your legs up and re-enact childhood.

resh country air, punctured permanently, yet somewhat pleasantly, by the rich smell of farmland, the Hurunui Trail provides a quieter, safer alternative to SH 1, through gorgeous countryside communities laced by large pastoral farms, tussock land, creeks, rivers, vineyards and hilltops crackled with remnants of snow.

There is an opportunity just past the small village of Culverden to detour off the trail by 36km to Hanmer Springs. Cyclists feeling the aches of exertion will welcome the hot pools at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.

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Connecting Kaikōura to Canterbury, the trail can be ridden in either direction via a series of low traffic country roads. Cars are infrequent but trundling tractors must be expected. Cattle being moved may also slow your progress, but is there anything more delightfully rural than stopping to watch a farmer work their land?

TOP TIP – If you want more, this trail is conveniently close to the St James Cycle Trail Great Ride, as well as the adjacent Molesworth Muster and Rainbow Trail Heartland Rides.

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Back on the main track, solitude is an expected highlight; sometimes there will be nothing but you, the road and views as far as the eye can see, but keep a look out for ancient landforms chiselled into their new faces by the massive 2016 earthquake, the beautiful vineyards of the Waipara wine region and limestone outcrops along Pyramid Valley Rd. Once in Christchurch, your ride expels its agricultural cloak, and the fizz, pop, whizz of a modern city takes centre stage.

HURUNUI BRIDGE TO WAIKARI TURN OFF GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) WAIKARI TURN OFF TO AMBERLEY GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Generally good with just two trail sections currently with no coverage – 50km of the Inland Kaikōura Rd (10km from Kaikōura through to Mt Lyford); and also a 12km section on Broxton, MacDonald Downs and Ram Paddock roads in the hills to the north of Amberley. FOOD & WATER: There are numerous cafés and shops in all the towns on the route, with the longest unserviced stretch the 61km between Kaikōura and Mt Lyford Lodge. TYPE OF BIKE: With approximately 20km of gravel, a sturdy touring style bike is recommended. E-bikes, with sufficient battery capacity, are permitted in accordance with New Zealand Road Code. Riders should ideally have basic mechanical skills and carry a tool kit; most villages on the route have general mechanical repairs available. GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


Picton

© AA Traveller 2020

Clarence River Stag and Spey

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Mt Lyford Alpine Resort

Pekeka



Mount Lyford Hanmer Conservation Area

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Hanmer Springs

 

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West Coast

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Lake Sumner Forest Park

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start/finish point point of interest

 Waikari

i-SITE Visitor Centre

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town café/restaurant

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toilets

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Weka Pass Railway

ford camping

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accommodation state highway

Christchurch

riding the trail 600m 500m 400m

Kaikōura 61km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Mt Lyford Village 22km

Waiau

Culverden 30km

Hurunui

26km

26km

Pyramid Valley

Amberley 40km

300m 200m 100m 0m

KAIKŌURA TO MT LYFORD VILLAGE, 61KM The ride starts by crossing the Kōwhai River via a ford and on to SH 70 – also known as the Inland Kaikōura Road. Entering rolling hill country, the route soon crosses from the Kaikōura District to the Hurunui, climbing several inclines and passing over the Conway River and the historic Doone Station and grave site. The landforms around here still show the effects of the massive

November 2016 earthquake, with the road crossing faultlines and scars. From the high point at the Whalesback it is downhill to Mt Lyford Village where the lodge will be a welcome sight.

MT LYFORD VILLAGE TO WAIAU, 22KM From the village, it’s a downhill run to the farming town of Waiau, the village most damaged by the 2016 earthquake and famous for its country hotel and ice creams.

WAIAU TO CULVERDEN, 30KM After crossing the Waiau River, the route turns towards the Kaiwara Hills, with some rolling gravel roads before crossing the Amuri Basin to Culverden. Hanmer Springs is a 36km side trip up SH 7/7a. A popular visitor resort for its hot springs, cafés and mountain biking, it is also the gateway to the St James, Rainbow and Molesworth Muster trails.

CULVERDEN TO HURUNUI BRIDGE, 26KM

This largely flat, sealed section leaves Culverden in a westward direction to follow the edge of the Amuri Basin out to Balmoral Station. It then heads back to the Hurunui Bridge, on the south side of which is an historic hotel.

HURUNUI BRIDGE TO WAIKARI TURN OFF, 20KM Another flat, sealed road section, this starts on SH 7 for 3km before heading off on quiet rural roads through Hawarden and on towards Waikari. continued on p.110

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continued from p.109

WAIKARI TURN OFF TO AMBERLEY, 45KM

Cheviot Enjoy coastal scenery, wander through the The Cheviot Domain and experience 1850s rural life at Cheviot Museum. Nearby Gore Bay is a holiday hot spot, complete with surf and rock pools.

Frog Rock, Waikari © Getty Images INSET: Vintage Cruiser, Hanmer Springs © Natasha Shearer

HEARTLAND RIDE • HURUNUI TRAIL

The route turns to the west at Pyramid Valley Rd, famous for its limestone outcrops and winery. The route heads over the hill country of the Waipara Gorge, with 19.5km of gravel riding including several climbs. Care is required due to rural traffic, sheep, tractors, milk tankers among it. Having returned to the sealed road, it’s a picturesque descent to the vineyards of the Waipara wine region, and on to the busy rural town of Amberley. The Heartland Ride ends here, although plans are underway to extend it through to Christchurch by the end of 2020. In the meantime, riders may continue via public transport or a road riding route of their own choice.

Hanmer Springs This alpine town has excellent walks, ski fields and its highly praised Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. Culverden Browse the selection of paintings and prints by local artists at Culverden Gallery, with prices that won’t make you eyes water. The gallery has limited opening hours so call ahead. Waikari Come for the Māori rock drawings found on the Weka Pass Walkway and stay for breathtaking sunsets over the hinterland.

Amberley This relaxed rural

Top places in Hurunui

town pours some of the area’s best coffee and Little Vintage Espresso serves a particularly good brew. Venture 17km south for the Old School Collective, a boutique retail complex operating out of a former school, complete with florist, gift store and antiques sold from revamped classrooms.

Waipara vineyard © Getty Images BELOW: Dolphins, Kaikōura © Kai Schworer

Highlights of the trail • Get a taste of Hurunui’s backyard situated well away from the state highway and discover plenty of little townships frequented by few. • Gorge on Kaikōura. Famed for its seafood, notably the plump crayfish, cute roadside food shacks such as Nins Bin ensure visitors are well fed. • Kaikōura is also a haven for animal lovers, with various

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whale species, dolphins, albatross and fur seals all taking up residence in the area. Jump on a boat tour to get up close. • Sample the wine varietals in the boutique wine region of Waipara. • Terrace Edge is a delightful family owned vineyard in Waipara, tended purely by hand. As well as exceptional grapes, the vineyard features a

2000-strong grove of olive trees. Enjoy a tasting of eight premium wines, extra virgin olive oil and fresh table olives. • Waiau was the village most damaged by the 2016 eathquake and famous for its country hotel and indulgent ice creams. • Cosy Mt Lyford Lodge offers food, drink and accommodation. • Charming inside and out, the historic Hurunui Hotel has held

its licence continuously since 1860 and has maintained its vintage good looks. Nip inside for home brews and good food. • Accommodation options include campsites, B&Bs, farm stays, motels and hotels. • Spend some time exploring Amberley and soak up a bustling Christchurch.


ALPS 2 OCEAN

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © C Rutherford BELOW: Tasman Lake © Lee Cook

Cycle Trail

TRAIL INFO

TRAIL GRADES:

BEST FOR: Discovering New Zealand’s staggeringly diverse landscape in one, ultimate trip.

AORAKI MT COOK VILLAGE to ŌAMARU 6 days

306km

Are you ready for pit stops like no other? From picnics under snow-capped mountains to refreshing swims in alpine lakes, things are about to get extraordinary. Currently New Zealand’s longest cycling trail, this one takes you from the Alps to the ocean over six incredible days.

TOP TIP – If you decide to start from Aoraki Mt Cook, a helicopter flight is required to cross the Tasman River after an initial 7km of cycling.

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he trail is split into nine parts ranging from easy to intermediate, so it’s also possible to create a day trip. Alternatively, you could tick off a couple of sections over the course of a weekend. The benefit of making it a multi-day affair is staying at various lodges, motels and cosy B&Bs. Riders can start from either Tekapō or Aoraki Mt Cook from where a mix of sealed road, dirt and grass pathways, as well as smooth and rough shingle make up the route. Tracks weave between the chalky-white mountains of Mt Cook National Park, vast open plains such as the Pūkaki Flats, springy forest trail and six expansive lakes, including the phenomenally blue lakes of Pūkaki and Tekapō. You’ll take in the lofty views of Aoraki Mt Cook reflecting in Lake Pūkaki, and a small detour leads to the hoodoo-style rock formations at Clay Cliffs. You’ll climb to the highest point on the trial to marvel at the Mackenzie Basin and enjoy long stretches of fast downhill. This ride also takes in as many small towns, pubs, cafés and vineyards (specifically in Waitaki wine country) as it does natural highlights, so you’re never too far from good food and a yarn with the locals. Your ride concludes when you reach the Pacific Ocean next to Ōamaru.

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 ŌHAU LODGE, 38KM GRADE 2 (EASY) LAKE ŌHAU LODGE TO ŌMARAMA, 45KM GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) ŌMARAMA TO ŌTEMATATA, 35KM GRADE 2 & 3 (EASY-INTERMEDIATE) ŌTEMATATA TO KUROW, 45KM GRADE 2 & 3 (EASY-INTERMEDIATE) 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 & 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 (up to 300kw) are permitted. FOR MORE INFO: https://www.alps2ocean.com/ trail-status https://www.facebook.com/ Alps2OceanCycleTrail https://www.instagram.com/ alps2ocean/ GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)

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GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

6 Days 306km


Š AA Traveller 2020

Aoraki Mount Cook

MAP LEGEND

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other route highway section start/finish point/ key points point of interest hill/mountain

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Tekapo Canal Road Tekapo B Power Station

PukakiCanal Loch Cameron



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Lake ĹŒhau Lodge 38km

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ĹŒtematata 45km

Kurow 28km

Duntroon

ĹŒamaru 54km

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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

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of Lake PĹŤkaki. After 10km of riverside trail, Jollie Car Park marks the start of a 17km gravel road section to Braemar Rd. If you wish to avoid the helicopter crossing there are several alternative starts: Lake TekapĹ?, TekapĹ? B Power Station or Jollie Car Park.

LAKE TEKAPĹŒ TO TWIZEL, 54KM The trail’s alternative start takes in the striking contrasts of the Mackenzie Country’s turquoise blue lakes and canals, surrounded by golden tussock plains and bound by majestic mountain ranges. Leaving TekapĹ? township, the trail heads off on gravel tracks past TekapĹ? A Power Station, and on to the long but rather lovely TekapĹ? Canal Rd

which is closed to vehicle traffic. The road passes two salmon farms and reaches TekapĹ? B Power Station. The trail then drops down to Lake PĹŤkaki and meets Hayman Rd where riders join the Aoraki Mt Cook section of trail following the shoreline to PĹŤkaki Dam and across the tussock-covered flats to Twizel.

BRAEMAR RD TO TWIZEL, 42KM The trail follows a quiet country road along the eastern shore of Lake PĹŤkaki, with notable flora and fauna and TekapĹ? B Power Station among the highlights. All eyes, however, will likely be latched on to Lake PĹŤkaki and the Southern Alps, all the way down to the bottom of Hayman

Rd where an off-road trail heads towards PĹŤkaki Dam. After the dam, riders will have their sights set on the laid-back little town of Twizel, an oasis of green streets amidst the desert-like PĹŤkaki Flats.

TWIZEL TO LAKE ĹŒHAU 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 ĹŒhau. The Ben ĹŒhau Range dwarfs all and sundry as you follow the lake continued on p.117


continued from p.116

foreshore across Ōhau Weir and onward along the lake past Lake Ōhau Village to the Lodge. Note: there is no way across Ōhau Weir when it is in flood, so be sure to check this link https://alps2ocean.com/trail-status for updates.

LAKE ŌHAU LODGE TO ŌMARAMA, 45KM

It’s a gentle 6km warm up to Freehold

Creek. The next section has a 300m 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. Checking out the Clay Cliffs is a worthwhile (14km return) side trip off Quailburn Rd if you have time. 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, 35KM

It’s a whole new world after Ōmarama. Over Chain Hills, it’s a big Welcome to the Waitaki Valley with its big blue hydro lakes and little country towns. This short leg takes riders down to Lake Benmore, along its edge past Pumpkin Point and on to Sailors Cutting Scenic Reserve – a popular boating, fishing and camping spot. A new scenic lakeshore trail route is under construction (completion due by end 2020) that will avoid the current SH 83 climb from Sailors Cutting over the Ōtematata Saddle.

ŌTEMATATA TO KUROW, 45KM Stopping for coffee is highly recommended before heading off towards Benmore Hydro Dam – the last 800m to the top of the dam is a bit of a grind. From Benmore Dam (New Zealand’s largest earth dam) the trail follows the road along Lake Aviemore (swimming possible) to the Aviemore Dam. The next 16km of newly built trail delivers grand lake and river views and even a ghost town, before arriving in Kurow, notable for locally produced award-winning wines (and Richie McCaw).

Lake Tekapō

corruption of takapo ‘sleeping mat’ • 105km NW of Timaru on SH 8

KUROW TO DUNTROON, 28KM This section follows a smooth shingle path down the Waitaki Valley, traversing ancient alluvial plains and crossing three side rivers. This is the heart of Waitaki wine country – taste it where you can. The trail then hugs the highway as it gets closer to Duntroon, taking a minor detour to Takiroa Māori rock art site along the way.

DUNTROON TO ŌAMARU, 54KM It’s just 7km from Duntroon to one of the trail’s strangest sights – the huge limestone boulders scattered across a grassy paddock, aptly named Elephant Rocks although mammoths and even hippos may well be imagined. More limestone oddities crop up as the trail leads onward on- and off-road through bucolic farmland to Rakis Railway Tunnel. The trail then hops on and off the railway line through the dots of Windsor, Enfield and Weston, and on to Ōamaru. The town’s magnificent public gardens are a fine prelude to the grand finale of gargantuan Victoria warehouses overlooking Ōamaru Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.

Lake Ōhau

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.

Relax and enjoy the comfort and convenience of a fully self-contained holiday home, your ideal cycle tour base. Ph 03 6806607 or visit our website for full list and easy online reservations: www.tekapoholidayhomes.co.nz

• Aoraki Mt Cook, lake views. • Cycling/fishing/skiing/walking. • 72 rooms including 30 studios. • Restaurant/bar. Weddings/groups. Free WiFi. • Tariff: $248-$380 (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

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GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail © C Rutherford/Tourism NZ


LAKE PŪKAKI AND TWIZEL

BRAEMAR ROAD TO LANDSLIP CREEK – 10km one way Ride along the top of what is an ancient glacial terrace, leading to Landslip Creek and public conservation land. Return the same way.

LAKE TEKAPŌ GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

GODLEY VALLEY TO RED STAG HUT – 25km one way A 4WD track traces the eastern side of the Godley River Valley. Continue up the Godley Valley on stony river flats to Separation Stream where the track concludes. COWANS HILL – 3.2km circuit This well-formed track sits on the outskirts of Tekapō, just past Lilybank Rd. It is a short circuit track, also used by walkers.

More mountain biking, please

TE KAHUI KAUPEKA CONSERVATION PARK – 13km one way Part of Te Araroa, the Richmond Trail meanders along an old glacial terrace. Enjoy dirt single track and bumpy, technical descents.

TWIZEL RIVER TRAIL – 12km one way A great trip for the entire family, the trail runs parallel to the Twizel River and provides plenty of shaded rest stops and swimming spots.

ŌMARAMA

WAIREPO KETTLEHOLES – 3.5km one way Drive 14km along Quailburn Rd and you’ll see the signpost for Wairepo Kettleholes Conservation Area. Lift bikes over the stile to gain access. OTAMATAKOU SCENIC RESERVE – 5km one way A short but striking ride through private farmland that gradually climbs to the Otamatakou Scenic Reserve.

LEFT: Lake Tekapō © Getty Images ABOVE: Lake Pūkaki © ChristchurchNZ

Twizel

named after Twizel Bridge in Northumberland • 161km W of Timaru on SH 8

Highlights of the trail • Aoraki Mt Cook is a bobby dazzler. Get there in time to watch the sun rising over its ice-white peak. • Lake Pūkaki affords stunning views of the Aoraki Mt Cook mountain range. • The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is the world’s largest dark sky reserve, so the star gazing in the villages of Tekapō, Twizel and Aoraki Mt Cook is incredible. • It is a rite of passage to take a dip in the glacially fed Lake Pūkaki. Yes, it’s cold! • At Elephant Rocks, the enormous boulders look like a herd of grey elephants grazing in green pastures. • A slight detour to the unique and immense pinnacles of Clay Cliffs is a must-do. • In Twizel, Shawtys Café serves some of the best waffle fries on the planet. • Take a break at a local winery in the Waitaki area to sample a superb drop of wine.

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• Rakis Tunnel is a 500m-long abandoned rail tunnel with no lights. There is an alternative route if that sounds too claustrophobic. • Ōmarama is famed for its indulgent outdoor hot tubs which are surrounded by bucolic views and tussock land. • Waimate’s White Horse Walkway 35 minutes from Ōamaru, this two-hour return pathway leads to the White Horse monument of Waimate. ABOVE: Clay Cliffs, Ōmarama © Getty Images


Top towns along the way

Aoraki Mt Cook Village: Cradled at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, with glaciers on the doorstep and mountains as a backdrop, if this village doesn’t impress, then nothing will. Embark on a boat trip across Tasman Lake, where huge glacial icebergs litter the water, take a scenic flight with a once-in-a-lifetime snow landing, or set off on one of the picturesque hikes.

Ōmarama: Soak in one of the famous private baths at Hot Tubs Ōmarama. Dotted under a starlit sky

Twizel: It’s impossible to ever get sick of Twizel’s vistas. An ever-present Aoraki Mt Cook casts its white glow across the skyline, and in autumn, the foliage erupts with a thousand golden hues. Enjoy one of the many picturesque walks, glide across Lake Pūkaki on a 40-minute hovercraft excursion, or if it’s winter, there are four ski fields nearby. Kurow: Sandwiched between river and mountain range in the Waitaki Valley, Kurow is on the doorstep to a handful of hydro lakes and the braided Waitaki River that

is one of the country’ best jet-boating venues. Duntroon: A small farming town situated at the end of the Vanished World driving trail, which winds through some spectacular geological sites. Dig for fossils at the Vanished World Centre and head to Elephant Rocks where huge deposits of limestone rock resemble a herd of elephants. Ōamaru: A quirky seaside town skirting the Pacific Ocean and the last stop on your Alps 2 Ocean journey, Ōamaru is pleasantly different. It has its own Victorian Precinct complete with old-fashioned shops, and a Victorian Steampunk museum. Whitestone Cheese is both famous and awardwinning, so the factory tour is a must-do, and don’t miss the little blue penguins, the world’s smallest. LEFT: Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel © Jack Austin

Ōamaru

place of Maru • 115km NE of Dunedin on SH 1

MARTYNS CYCLES –­ OAMARU 51 Thames St, Oamaru

P: +64 3 434 8416

• Local 100% family-owned business since 1913. • Experienced staff with top service. • Full range of cycles and back-up service. • Also provide fishing gear, toys, key cutting and locksmithing service.

E: martyns.cycles@xtra.co.nz • www.martynscycles.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

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GREAT RIDE • ALPS 2 OCEAN CYCLE TRAIL

Lake Tekapō Township: While Lake Tekapō needs little introduction, with its bright turquoise hues, Church of the Good Shepherd and striking purple flowers, the village is charming in its own right. With a small flurry of cafés, motels and restaurants, it’s not huge, but it perfectly complements the premier attractions.

and surrounded by nature, submerge in a basin of pure mountain water until your fingers wrinkle. Speaking of which, the nearby Wrinkly Rams is a sheep shed-cumrestaurant with shearing and sheep dog demonstrations. If you’re an aviation enthusiast, book a scenic flight with one of the town’s glider pilots.


OTAGO CENTRAL Rail Trail GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

TRAIL INFO BEST FOR: Experiencing New Zealand’s original Great Ride, the one that inspired the entire network.

CLYDE to MIDDLEMARCH 1-5 days

152km

It’s the cycle trail that put many of the South Island’s small, forgotten towns back on the map. By encompassing all that is warm and welcoming about Central Otago, this former railway track provides an incredibly wholesome experience, and one that is largely nurtured by the locals. TOP TIP – Autumn is a fantastic season to undertake this ride, notably for the astounding colours of the foliage which are rich in golden hues, but it’s also an ideal time -temperature wise.

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G

et ready for some good old Southern hospitality. Over the course of five days and 152km, you’ll bank many friendly encounters. All off-road

Otago Central Rail Trail © Otago Central Rail Trail

1-5 Days 152km

and with no traffic to contend with, there’s only expansive terrain and self-reliant townships rich in craftmanship. Country cafés serve coffee and home-made cakes, while the wineries celebrate the region’s grape offerings. You can admire the tough grind of a working farm or discover how New Zealand’s worldfamous wool is grown. Open year-round, the trail can be started from either end (Clyde or Middlemarch), or broken into shorter 1-4 day-rides to suit your agenda. The experience is designed to be slow, so you can dismount frequently and consume both the delicious scenery and local flavours. The landscape is crawling with railway stations, tunnels and viaducts, as well as fascinating remnants from the gold rush era, including towns that still feature mud-brick walls and stone buildings. For every charming country pub, there are old-world general stores. If anything, you’ve cycled back in time; yesteryear’s simplicities are both the secret and the seduction of Central Otago.

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)


Idaburn

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café/restaurant

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accommodation

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Clyde 8km

e

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to Dunedin 78km

Alexandra

Ngapuna

© AA Traveller 2020

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Ōtūrēhua

Ōmakau

29km

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MIDDLEMARCH

i-SITE Visitor Centre

riding the trail 600m

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town

Kokonga

Daisybank

MAP LEGEND



 Waipiata

ALEXANDRA open section

Kyeburn

RANFURLY

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.

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 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 off trail detour, or rejoin the trail further east at Idaburn, a 39km total off trail 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 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 well-preserved 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

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Lower Manorburn Dam

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to Cromwell to Queenstown 79km

Summit 618m

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BELOW: Ranfurly countryside © Getty Images BOTTOM: Naseby town centre © James Jubb

Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

• Breathe in the Central Otago air, said to be some of the purest on the planet, and drink Central Otago wine at one of the many acclaimed cellar doors. • Meet the people of Central Otago and experience authentic southern hospitality. • In Poolburn Gorge, two tunnels cut through sheer schist – an impressive 201m and 230m long respectively. • The town of Ranfurly is famed for its curling. With both indoor and outdoor rinks, go and give it a whirl (or should that be curl)! • Orchards and vineyards line the track to Alexandra and a cruise on the Clutha River is highly recommended. • Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead is a gold mine of local history in Ōtūrēhua. • Gilchrist’s general store has original 19th century products on its shelves. • The now iconic Wedderburn Goods Shed was first made famous by landscape artist Grahame Sydney and has since been bolstered by Instagram users. • All the train tracks have been removed, but many old railway stations remain intact. • The town of Ophir features preserved mudbrick and stone buildings from the gold-rush era, including a handsome Post Office. • Ganger sheds freckle the trail. Formerly used by ‘working gangs’ (the men responsible for track maintenance), the sheds provided shelter and a space for ‘smoko’ breaks.

Cromwell

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

www.cromwellmotel.co.nz

Cnr Gair & Barry Ave, Cromwell Ph: +64 3 445 0373 Email: cromwellmotel@xtra.co.nz

AFFORDABLE RATES | RESERVATION FREEPHONE 0508 445 0373 Studio – 1, 2 and 3-room units | Studio – sleeps 1-2 | 1-brm sleeps 2-4 | 2-brm sleeps 2-6 | Family unit with shub baths sleep 2-7 | Fully equipped kitchens in all units | Free WiFi | Continental breakfast | Cot and highchair | Guest laundry | Pets by arrangement | Outdoor swimming pool | Tariff: $120-$250 (1-4 persons), extra $30 | Parking outside unit, room for trucks, trailers and boats, some with carports | Playground in spacious area | Large BBQ area for all the group and family gatherings | Off-season & group rates | Host: Michelle & Tony Edmonds

Clyde

after a Scottish general • 221km NW of Dunedin

8

Town Centre

6

Cromwell Motel

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!”

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 Princess Alexandra of Denmark • 191km NW of Dunedin 12 Bantry St, Alexandra Ph/Fax: +64 3 448 7400 Email: alparkview@callplus.net.nz

www.alparkviewmotel.co.nz Reservations: 0800 448 740

FREE WiFi allocation

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• 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 who enjoy the trails. • Tariff: $110-$150 (1-2p), extra $20.


WATCH THIS SPACE: LAKE DUNSTAN TRAIL

Cycling through history

Otago Central Rail Trail © Central Otago Tourism

Better than any history lesson, if you want to learn about New Zealand’s past, why not cycle through it.

A

momentous accomplishment, the Otago Central Railway was once an economic lifeline for the Central Otago region. Built to connect Dunedin with Central Otago, the track took 16 years to complete and was finished in 1907. It truly is a testament to human endeavour – the detailed workmanship of the stone bridges and tunnel facings have stood the test of time and the mountains still

bear scars of the races, built back in the 1860s to bring water to the gold mines. 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?

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 gold-mining settlements, showcase our pioneering history like never before.

Nowadays, the Department of

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

Start your Adventure Here!

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 Location

• 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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Providing a key link with the Otago Central Rail Trail, The Lake Dunstan Trail is currently under development and will connect the townships of Clyde and Cromwell. Starting or finishing west of Cromwell and at Clyde, on this ride, modern marvels meet Māori heritage and pioneering stories leak from every gap in the path. All geared up to be 52km of grade 1-2 terrain, taking between one and two days to complete.


Stop-offs

GREAT RIDE • OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

Forest walk, Naseby © Central Otago Tourism

Alexandra: The town's iconic clockface which overlooks the landscape is enormous. For wine lovers, the region specialises in pinot noir and cellar doors are numerous. Visit Como Villa Estate for its traditional mason buildings andMoeraki, fascinating history. East Otago © Getty Images

Chatto Creek: Duck into the Chatto Creek Tavern and buy some ‘donkey doos’ – a delicious mix of malt biscuits and dried fruit, they’re perfect for kilojoule-burning bikers. Next door is New Zealand’s smallest post office. In 1892 it was just a tent insulated with newspapers.

Ranfurly: Well known for its striking art deco buildings, the Centennial Milk Bar is striking.

Ōmakau: A former mining town in rural countryside, pretty historic buildings are set against Dunstan Mountains.

Onward to Dunedin

For every full turn of your spokes, there’s something good to get off for.

Ōtūrēhua: Small but historic, Ōtūrēhua is home to both the famous Hayes Engineering Works and Gilchrist's Store. The former was established in 1895 by millwright turned engineer, Ernest Hayes. Wander through the inventor's former home, marvelling at his work. The latter, an eclectic general store, opened in 1902 and still looks the same. Naseby: Discover two lovely

Dunedin

Gaelic name for Edinburgh, Scotland • 283km E of Queenstown

old pubs, ice rinks, an unusual swimming dam, and forested mountain biking trails.

Middlemarch: Overlooked by the Rock and Pillar mountain range, find cosy pubs, a salt-water lake and small museum. Clyde: Cradled in a basin at the base of an enormous gorge, Clyde was flooded by the nearby hydro dam, but the surviving town centre was declared an historic precinct.

Ranfurly

after Governor of NZ 1897-1904 • 134km NW of Dunedin on SH 85

wedderburn cottages • 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.

• 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

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• Free off-street parking available, 24-hour check-in and local tours arranged. • Free WiFi for guests, daily limits apply.

• Tariff: From Shared Dorm $29, Backpacker pvt $89 (2p), Hotel Single $99, Double/Twin $120-$145, Triple/Quad $170, Suite $175. 27 Queens Gardens, Dunedin +Ph:64 3 477 3160 E: leviathan@xtra.co.nz • www.dunedinhotel.co.nz

Freephone: 0800 773 773

Book direct for best deal!


Dunedin, 78km further south from Middlemarch, is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, but that’s not the only similarity between these two charming cities.

It’s wild and rugged: The surf

History abounds: Dunedin

breaks along Dunedin’s coastline will put hairs on your chest, but Dunedin’s inhabitants, much like their Scottish cousins, adore their unruly landscape. As do royal albatross: the world’s only colony is perched on the Otago Peninsula.

boasts a dashing display of heritage buildings, including many examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. In fact, nothing quite beats the city’s elaborate Gingerbread House, aka its striking railway station. This is also the venue for The Otago Farmers’ Market held every Saturday from 8am.

It’s cosy: A coffee shop crawl will

There are lovely suburbs: Karitāne is a lovely outlying seaside village with a great beach north of the city, and you can walk to the lively area of Mornington in 30 minutes.

Students are everywhere:

First Church, Dunedin © Getty Images

Edinburgh has its prestigious namesake university and Dunedin is home to Otago University – resulting in a lively mix of bookish austerity and youthful energy.

They brew a good brew: While the Scots love their whisky, the good folk of Dunedin love their beer. Speight’s Brewery has been pouring a top-quality Dunedin beer for over 140 years.

There’s a famous castle: Edinburgh’s is on a hill and Dunedin’s is on the city outskirts. Unlike its Scottish brethren, New Zealand hosts just one castle, going by the name of Larnach Castle. With beautiful gardens and a regal ballroom and grandiose tower, it makes a great day out. Visitors can also stay overnight on the estate. LEFT: Larnach Castle © DunedinNZ

DUNEDIN NEW ZEALAND

DUNEDIN, THE HOME OF SPEIGHT’S

594 Great King Street, PO Box 112, Dunedin, NZ Tel­: +64 3 477 0270 Email: woodlandsvillage@xtra.co.nz Book direct for best deal!

WHERE TO FIND US

• 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

Moeraki

daytime sleep • 74km NE of Dunedin

SPEIGHT’S BREWERY TOUR & CELLAR DOOR History never tasted so good. See over 141 years of brewing history as our guides take you through our interactive brewery tour.

Stay with us at MOERAKI on your cycle trail journey

• 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

+64 3 477 7697 TOURS@SPEIGHTS.CO.NZ WWW. SPEIGHTS.CO.NZ

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

take you to some of the best nooks for a hot brew. Try Vogel Street Kitchen for brunch made from local ingredients (think free-farmed bacon and fresh eggs) or Modaks Espresso if you fancy good coffee in a shabby-chic student setting.


ROXBURGH GORGE Trail

Roxburgh Gorge Trail © Central Otago Tourism

GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

1 Day 34km

BEST FOR: An isolated one-day adventure littered with surprises.

ALEXANDRA to ROXBURGH DAM 1 day

34km

Roxburgh Gorge Trail has a somewhat Jekyll and Hyde persona. Depending on the season and the correlating flora, colours and weather, you might experience big blue skies and bonniness or a sulky ashen temperament but it won’t matter which you meet because both are enchanting.

T

ravelling from Alexandra to Roxburgh (or vice versa) this trail skirts the Clutha Mata-au River, darting between sweeping willows and during springtime, the

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heady buds of fragrant thyme. In between soaring river cliffs and desert-like landscape, the route is sprinkled with remnants from the gold-rush era, including schist

huts. These small den-like shelters were built into rockfaces by miners and offer a fascinating peek into the past. Years before these dwellings existed, the pathway was also trodden by early Māori moa hunters trekking from mountains to sea in pursuit of the prize. The earlier sections of the Roxburgh Trail are just a taster of the fascinations to come; between Doctors Pt and Shingle Peak, the track becomes inaccessible and riders are required to fill the missing link with a 45-minute jet-boat ride. Deep inside the gorge are some of the most visually spectacular sights of the trip, and an isolation that many will deem a rare treat these days. Once off the boat, the ride turns into a steady climb out of the gorge, but the impressive views of Roxburgh Hydro Dam will counter the saddle pain. Soon after, Roxburgh Village comes into view, signalling the ride’s conclusion. TOP TIP – Unless you’re prepared to turn back at Doctor’s Pt, book your jet-boat ride well in advance.

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. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Some coverage at the far ends of the trail, after which it ranges from patchy to non-existent. DRINKING WATER: Once in the gorge there are no food/water outlets. Alexandra and Roxburgh are the closest places to stock up. TYPE OF BIKE: A mountain bike is recommended. E-bikes permitted; note boat companies impose a surcharge to carry them on board. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE)


s

Conroys Dam Butchers Creek



Manuherikia River Lower Manorburn Dam

Otago Central Rail Trail

v Ri

er

jetty

Lake Roxburgh

Knobby Range

Gorge Creek

O ld M a

GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

DOCTORS POINT

MAP LEGEND open section boat/water taxi route start/finish point bridge

n Ra

jetty

town

SHINGLE CREEK

ng

café/restaurant

e

toilets car park



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.



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.



Clutha Mata-au River

to Clyde to Omakau to Ranfurly

The Narr ow Cluth aM ata -a u

riding the trail

© AA Traveller 2020

Lake Roxburgh Village

accommodation

LAKE ROXBURGH DAM

shelter state highway

Clutha Mata-au River Teviot River

Clutha Gold Trail

ROXBURGH

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail...

to Lawrence Alexandra

Doctors Point 10km

300m

13km boat

Shingle Creek

11km

Lake Roxburgh Dam

200m 100m 0m

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.

Roxburgh Gorge LEFT: Fruit orchard, Cromwell BOTH: © Central Otago Tourism

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Highlights of the trail

Roxburgh Hydro

ges

Dam © Getty Ima

• Alexandra is your starting point or finish line. Nip into the small but informative museum and stop at the Courthouse Café for doughnuts. • Roxburgh Gorge hosts some of the bestpreserved relics of Chinese miners’ rock shelters in Otago. • Peddle past the gorge’s narrow runnels, flanked by cliff bluffs that reach 350m. • The rugged bluffs and rock forms that define this area are home to several interesting birdlife species, including kārearea, our native falcon.

GREAT RIDE • ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL

• Seasonal diversity means that the trail can be bathed in verdant green, autumnal golds, steely greys or the herbaceous colours of ‘springthyme’ (springtime thyme).

Riding through

• While jet boating on the river, look out for miner’s dwellings, there’s even a little schist hotel and pioneer’s pub to spy.

rock formatio ns, Roxburgh © Central Otag o Tourism

• Enjoy some fun switchbacks that climb gently to a vantage point over Roxburgh Hydro Dam. This concrete beast powers almost 200,000 homes. • Cruise down Clutha River, or take a 12km detour from Alexandra to the bonnie town of Clyde. Many of Clyde’s surviving gold-rush buildings have been carefully restored. • Scenic Lake Roxburgh offers kayaking tours and is flush with brown and rainbow trout.

Clyde

after a Scottish general • 86km E of Queenstown

Roxburgh

CALL 0800 BIKE NOW

after an ancient town in Scotland • 150km NW of Dunedin

(245 366)

25 Holloway Street, Clyde Ph: +64 3 449 2228 Email: info@bikeitnow.co.nz

or BOOK ONLINE

141 Roxburgh East Rd, Roxburgh Ph: +64 3 446 8364 • Mob: +64 27 203 7061 Email: cluthagoldcottages@xtra.co.nz

www.bikeitnow.co.nz 1800 446 356 AUS FREEPHONE

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

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

Quotes from Clients:

The Personal Touch because it is “all about you!”

Ōmakau

belonging to a husband & wife • 190km NW of Dunedin 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. Packed lunches available • Free unlimited WiFi. 50+ SKY TV channels • Tariff: $150-$300

www.lakeroxburghlodge.co.nz

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“Roxburgh Gorge was a magical day out” Liffy Springs “Spectacular location, awesome experience” Rebecca Cohn, Brisbane


CLUTHA GOLD Trail

BEST FOR: Couples or groups with conflicting interests – this one ticks a lot of boxes.

LAKE ROXBURGH DAM to LAWRENCE 2 days

GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

BOTH IMAGES: Clutha Gold Trail © www.cluthanz.com

73km

Whether you’re adventurous, a naturelover, history-buff or science seeker, this trail keeps every cyclist smiling. TOP TIP – Pack a head torch. Big Hill Tunnel is found on the last 20km stretch of the trail and measures a whopping 440m in length.

T

here are Māori moa hunting and gold-rush stories for the historians; great feats of engineering for the perpetually intrigued, and between the countryside and rumbling Clutha Mata-au River (hello nature-lovers), a bounty of farming and fruit orchards to elate the foodies. The Clutha Gold Trail officially starts at Roxburgh Dam and finishes in Lawrence: Otago’s first gold-rush town after Gabriel Read discovered the precious metal in 1861. Speed demons could complete the trail in one day, but two days allows for an overnight stay somewhere seriously gorgeous. If you’d prefer to experience just a segment of the track, the four main villages to weave between are Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Beaumont and Lawrence. Rich in folklore, there are a handful of information boards along the route that detail days gone by, including 19th century gold fever. These days, ‘golden’ finds are more likely to include native kōwhai trees, with their signature yellow flowers, and Roxburgh apricots, said to be the tastiest in the world. The track eventually ambles into Lawrence, where local hosts welcome guests inside – and pour large drops of world-class wine.

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)

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to Alexandra Lake Roxburgh Village

Roxburgh Gorge Trail

COMMISSIONER FLAT (ROXBURGH DAM) TO ROXBURGH, 9KM

MAP LEGEND

LAKE ROXBURGH DAM

open section

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.

start/finish point

Teviot River



point of interest bridge

ROXBURGH Hercules Flat Pinders Pond Dumbarton Rock

tunnel

Lake Onslow

town café/restaurant

Teviot

toilets car park

g Ran law Lammer

Clutha Mata-au River Ettrick

ROXBURGH TO MILLERS FLAT, 20KM

accommodation

e

GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

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.

state highway

MILLERS FLAT

 Horseshoe Bend Bridge

Lonely Graves

MILLERS FLAT TO BEAUMONT, 25KM

Raes Junction

  BEAUMONT s

Big Hill Tunnel

nt

ain

Gabriels Gully

M

ou

Bowlers Creek

Bl

 © AA Traveller 2020

ue

200m

LAWRENCE

Clutha Mata-au River

riding the trail Roxburgh Dam 9km

Evans Flat

Roxburgh

20km



nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Millers Flat

Beaumont 25km

Lawrence 19km

100m 0m

Clutha Gold Trail © www.cluthanz.com

More mountain biking, please Look no further than Alexandra for an exhilarating mountain biking experience. HAWKSBURN RD: A mix of 4WD gravel roads and tarseal, with some steep ascents and vast open spaces for the fit and fast. The route covers a 25km stretch between Clyde and Bannockburn.

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FLAT TOP HILL: One of Otago’s newest mountain biking areas. There are varied options for different skill levels, including a 10km loop from Butchers Dam and a demanding Roxburgh Gorge descent. OLD MAN RANGE: This 39km trail boasts steep inclines and gnarly downhills. Expertise is needed for the rutted and rocky parts of 4WD track.

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.


Explore more

Highlights of the trail

From the trail’s end at Lawrence, it’s a 30-minute drive to join SH 1 and the Southern Scenic Route – an exciting, wild road trip from the coast to Queenstown. • Bite into one of Jimmy’s famous pies in Roxburgh. Many say they’re the best pies they’ve ever eaten – what says you? • Evans Flat is an interesting stretch of land, if only for its two former dwellers, George and Helen Munro. The couple arrived here from Scotland in 1857. Upon hearing about Gabriel Read’s momentous 1861 gold find, Helen set about finding her own, with nothing but a dish and butcher’s knife. She came up trumps – unearthing 18 ounces of pure gold just nine metres from their hut. Now called Munro’s Gully. • Big Hill Tunnel is the only tunnel on your journey but at 440m, it's a jolly large one.

Clyde

(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 Clutha River runs through the town of Balclutha. Further south is the wild Catlins, with sweeping beaches and spectacular cliffs. A ‘must-stop’ is Curio Bay where, at low tide, a petrified forest is exposed on a rock shelf. Curio Bay’s Tumu Toka CurioScape is a worldclass interactive heritage centre and also well worth a visit.

Invercargill is a city with a strong Scottish heritage. It’s also home to the country’s largest collection of tuatara. Bluff, 25 minutes south of here, is famed for its Bluff oyster and where the one-hour ferry departs to Stewart Island Rakiura. From Bluff, the route also heads towards Te Anau and onto Queenstown, where it concludes. BELOW: Clutha Gold Trail LEFT: Walking at Pinders Pond, BOTH: © www.cluthanz.com

Nugget Pt, with its picturesque lighthouse, is where you’ll find seals, sea lions and a gannet colony. Stop

Queenstown

after a Scottish general • 86km E of Queenstown

CALL 0800 BIKE NOW

From Lawrence, join the coveted Southern Scenic Route – a ‘road less travelled’, where deserted beaches, rainforest, pristine lakes and mountains all feature.

at Porpoise Bay – rare Hector’s dolphins often swim close to the beach. Just north of Papatōwai, walk through beech forest to the magnificent 3-tier Purakaunui Falls.

283km NW of Dunedin on SH 6

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

The Personal Touch because it is “all about you!”

Lawrence

after Sir Henry Lawrence • 92km W of Dunedin on SH 8

Specialists on the Clutha Gold Trail

• Fly into Queenstown, fly out of Queenstown, shuttle pick-up from our accommodation or from Queenstown Airport • Independent tour planning • Supported tour planning • Sherpa shuttle bus service • Bike hire, mountain bikes, e-bikes children’s bikes • Bag transfers • Three & four-day tours departing from Queenstown Option: Three-day tour, Clutha Gorge/Clutha Gold Option: Four-day tour, Lake Dunston Trail, Clutha Gorge/ Clutha – new from February 2021

Free unlimited broadband

Modern, spacious & comfortable 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

Clutha Gold Trail © www.cluthanz.com

For more information: www.queenstownbikehire.co.nz P: +64 27 241 0858 | info@queenstownbikehire.co.nz 131

GREAT RIDE • CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL

• Stone fruit worth writing home about. Drop into the many orchards and tuck in. • New Zealand’s endangered native falcon, the karearea calls Otago home but there are only approximately 3000 nesting pairs remaining. They are also one of the world’s fastest birds, so you’ll need a sharp eye. • Roxburgh dam is a big, commanding presence on the river. Whether you find dams an eyesore or a marvel, there’s no missing this behemoth. • Pinders Pond is a scenic reservoir, perfect for a picnic or quick dip. It might look serene now, but the pond was originally hand dug by a gold-mining giant using an hydraulic elevator to uncover gold. • Cycle across Horseshoe Bend Bridge. Built in 1913, the 70m-long timber bridge is one of the few reminders that Horseshoe Bend was once a booming gold-mining community.


THE QUEENSTOWN

Southern Discoveries Bridge, Arrow River © Better by Bike

Trail GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

TRAIL INFO

BEST FOR: A trail that is as much about the sights as it is the cycling.

QUEENSTOWN to QUEENSTOWN 1-4 days

130km

Queenstown’s best hop-on, hop-off experience – by bike! Ridden as a multi-day adventure with overnight stops along the way, or by tailored day rides. Gibbston River Trail © Gibbston Valley Winery

TOP TIP – Make sure you’ve got the number of the local bike taxi saved on your phone – just in case you need to return earlier than expected. It happens!

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T

he start of The Queenstown Trail is ideal for beginners, families or those who haven’t seen a bike in a while. The path hugs the Wakatipu lakeshore through to Frankton, passing shorefront hotels such as the Hilton (stopping for a chilled drink at its open-fire Pinot Pit is idyllic), golf courses, dazzling mountain views and blooming gardens. For those after something more hair-raising, the Jacks Point section is an enjoyable add-on but not for the faint-hearted. Comprised of mostly steep climbs, fast descents and tight bends, dropping back down to Lake Hayes is the only way to regulate your heartbeat. Your journey could stretch as far as Gibbston and historic Arrowtown, during a section that includes Edgar Suspension Bridge, jet boats frothing up the Kawarau River and deep canyons filled with turquoise water. Stop at the famous Kawarau Suspension Bridge: the world’s first commercial bungy jump. Once in the Gibbston Valley district, the heart of wine making country, make a beeline for its world-class wineries. Shuttle services are available to transport you home – or simply jump on the bus.

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)


© AA Traveller 2020

ARROWTOWN Arrow River

Coronet Peak Ski Field

Countryside Trail

Arrow River Bridges Trail

Swain Bridge

Shotover River

Southern Discoveries Bridge Lake Hayes

OLD LOWER SHOTOVER BRIDGE

Arthurs Point

Frankton Track & Kelvin Peninsula Trail

F

Twin River Trail

Frankton

Arm

Queenstown Airport KELVIN HEIGHTS

open section

13km

connector trails start/finish point point of interest

riding the trail Queenstown

KAWARAU BRIDGE

Old Lower Shotover Bridge 12.5km

Gibbston Valley  Winery & Restaurant

MAP LEGEND

JACK’S POINT

Jack’s Point Trail

Chard Farm

Kawarau River

The Remarkables



Lake Wakatipu

Gibbston River Trail

i-SITE Visitor Centre town café/restaurant car park

toilets accommodation camping 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 Gibbston-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

ton

k ran



Knight’s Family Bridge Edgar Bridge

 

QUEENSTOWN

Lake Hayes Trail


TOP: Garden at Walter Peak High Country Farm © Real Journeys BOTTOM: Nevis Bungy, Kawarau Bungy Centre © AJ Hackett New Zealand

Highlights of the trail

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

• Once a traffic bridge, Lower Shotover Bridge now provides cyclists with 360-degree vistas of the Shotover River. • Thompsons Hill is going to burn, but the payoff is spectacular views downriver. • You’ll need a good head for heights to cross Edgar Suspension Bridge. At 80m long and with the Arrow Gorge roaring below, the views are stunning, if a little scary. • Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge debuted in 1880 but it wasn’t until 1988 that Bungy pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch created the world’s first commercially operated bungy jumping site here. Stop and watch the jumpers before cycling over it. • Listen for the growl of encroaching jet boats as they carve up Kawarau River. • Lake Wakatipu and Coronet, Cecil and Walter Peaks are all standout landmarks.

• Off the saddle, climb to the top of Bob’s Peak on a one-hour hike, or take the Skyline Gondola. The views are stunning, and Queenstown’s go kart-style luge will be there, begging you to take a ride. • Thrillseekers are spoilt for choice. The Nevis Bungy is the highest jump in the southern hemisphere, the 150km/hr canyon swing will toss you upside down and if you’re over 75, AJ Hackett bungy jumps are free! • Queenstown & Central Otago Wine – you’re in the very thick of wine country so make sure you combine your ride with vineyard stops. • Gibbston Valley winery is the place to get to grips with the region’s wine. Pop in for tastings and lunch at the Lodge restaurant, or pick up a treat from the on-site cheesery and deli.

Queenstown

283km NW of Dunedin on SH 6

Local Experts on the Queenstown Trail

Queenstown Bike Hire started in 1985, Queenstown’s Original Bike Hire Shop Sherpa Shuttle Service Mountain Bikes E-bikes Children Bikes Wine and Scenic Tours Queenstown Arrowtown Jacks Point

E-Bikes Winery Rides

Bike Hire Bike Shuttles

0508 782 9253 | 027 952 5801 aroundthebasin.co.nz | info@aroundthebasin.co.nz

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P: 021 984 477 • E: info@qbikehire.co.nz Outside Sports, 9 Shotover Street Queenstown

www.queenstownbikehire.co.nz


DON’T MISS…

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

Dining out in Alexandra © Central Otago Tourism BELOW: Wanaka tree © Getty Images INSET RIGHT: Historic building in Clyde © Central Otago Tourism

Wanaka: Exceptional lake views are a standout on the four-hour return hike to Roys Peak; ’That Wanaka Tree’ is as Insta famous as a Kardashian, and Wanaka’s one of only a few places in New Zealand to host a year-round market, occurring every Thursday afternoon. If you’re a daredevil, Skydive Wanaka will put Aoraki Mt Cook in your peripheral, and Wild Wire Wanaka offers the highest waterfall cable climb in the world. Looking for a

CYCLING ADVENTURE

Book now: heritagehotels.co.nz/NZCycleTrail or 0800 424 988

Gibbston District: Part of the Queenstown and Central Otago wine region, enjoy a setting of snow-capped mountains, deep river gorges and beautiful valleys. It’s also where some of the best wine in the world is made, pinot noir being responsible for most of the buzz. Cromwell: Wander around

HHM629QTN 06/19

on The Queenstown Trail?

Heritage Queenstown has beautifully appointed accommodation rooms and suites. Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, sauna and gym. Mountain bike hire available on site with lock-up room. 91 Fernhill Road, Queenstown

Arrowtown: Dressed to impress in deciduous trees and historic buildings, Arrowtown maintains its handsome features from a bygone era. World-class biking trails in and around the Wakatipu Basin link Arrowtown to neighbouring communities, while a handful of walks are detailed in maps available from the Lakes District Museum. Don’t miss the tiny stone miners’ cottages that date back to the 1860s.

the original mason buildings in Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct and nip into a handful of boutique stores and coffee shops. Descend on Lake Dunstan for sailing, swimming and fishing. In winter, there are five ski fields in easy driving distance and in summer, the roads are lined with fresh fruit stalls.

Clyde: With a perfectly preserved old town, Clyde enjoys an historic centre surrounded by neat farmland. Dine inside the original stone walls of gold miners’ buildings including the old bank which is now a delightful café. Meander down Miner’s Lane, a wee pathway sitting snugly behind the main street. Marvel at Clyde Dam from lofty viewpoints, walk the 11.5km Millennium Track to Alexandra, or venture down Fruitgrowers Rd towards a small, secluded beach. Alexandra: Attractive Alexandra first made a name for itself in the 1800s when Clutha River revealed a bounty of gold. Discover more about its gold-mining history at the Central Stories Museum. Come summer, local apricots, peaches, cherries and apples fill the orchards and when the winter brings subzero temperatures, Manorburn Dam transforms into an ice rink.

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EXPLORE MORE IN ARROWTOWN

LAKE HAYES Nicknamed the ‘Mirror Lake’, the glassy waters of Lake Hayes is just a four-minute drive from Arrowtown. The water reflects its snow-capped mountain surrounds in astonishing clarity – it’ll have you taking snap after snap.

GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

Arrowtown town centre © Getty Images RIGHT: Family at Cardrona © Cardrona Ski Resort

Cycle Arrowtown – return to nature For dramatic river and mountain scenery, Arrowtown is hard to beat. Head off in any direction and you’ll find a spectacular track with breath taking vistas. Just don’t forget your camera - you won’t be disappointed. Trails are suitable year round and are for all fitness levels. There are guided, self-guided and transport options for all ages and time frames.

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Arrowtown’s the perfect hub. You can stroll around historic sites, soak up the atmosphere at one of the renowned eateries, or enjoy the classy shopping. The Lakes District Museum has trail maps to help choose your best cycling or walking option. From Queenstown take the public bus, or only 20 minutes by car.

Visit our website ARROWTOWN.COM


Biking at Coronet Peak © Chris Hoopmann

More mountain biking, please

QUEENSTOWN BIKE PARK: To get to this park, the Skyline gondola drops riders off nearly 500m above Queenstown. This provides easy access to a 30km network of bike tracks. Open from September to May, each gondola car can take four riders and their bikes. CARDRONA BIKE PARK: New Zealand’s highest bike park has some of the longest vertical descents in the country. Open

from December to March, a diverse selection of liftaccessed down hills will satisfy every skill level. CORONET PEAK: Enjoy a mix of intermediate grade 3 to expert grade 6 trails. There are various chairlift-assisted tracks, including local favourite, Rude Rock (grade 4 and home to an enormous, blush-inducing boulder). Runs are fun and technical with breath-taking alpine views. 7 MILE BIKE PARK: Hailed as one of the best bike parks in the south, numerous loops and variations all hook back to central hubs. Most obstacles can be side-stepped, making the tracks suitable for beginners as well as experts.

As one of New Zealand’s most pleasantly old-fashioned townships, Arrowtown is deliciously quaint. Steeped in history, this preserved gold-rush settlement is tonic for the soul. SLEEPY STREETS Buckingham St is lined by trees and pretty heritage buildings built from stone. Inside you’ll find boutique gift shops, cafés and surprising art nooks.

Arrowtown

after the Arrow River • 22km NE of Queenstown EACH UNIT HAS AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE

www.arrowtownvikinglodge.co.nz • 8 spacious, fully self‑contained individual 1-brm & fully renovated in 2018 2-brm chalets • Set in quiet garden surrounds with outdoor furniture and BBQ’s • Bike cleaning facilities on site • Drying room • Children’s play area • 50+ SKY channels • FREE WiFi • Warm cosy units • Tariff: $140-$200 (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

ARROWTOWN’S VINTAGE CINEMA Dorothy Browns is Arrowtown’s retro-inspired cinema and a delightful hangout. Enjoy art house movies while sipping wine. There’s a terrific atmosphere and the film reel is always projecting something wonderful. GOLD PANNING Hire a gold pan from the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown and try your luck panning for riches in the river. Lessons are conducted at Dudley Cottage. Afterward, explore the museum’s fantastic displays that detail the 1860s gold rush. Kids particularly like the ‘spot the odd one out’ game, where modern items are hidden amidst the 19th century artefacts. FINE WINE Lock lips with over 80 award-winning wines and whiskies at

The Winery. Try a drop of something special from boutique wineries that don’t always have their own cellar doors. SKI FIELDS In Arrowtown, you’re on the doorstep to four superb ski areas – Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone. Come winter, the pistes are some of New Zealand’s finest. OLD-FASHIONED SWEETS Load up on nostalgic lollies at the Remarkables Sweet Shop. You won’t be able to resist the shelves packed with fudge and gobstoppers. Pop in for a sample and come out with a year’s supply of lemon sherbet! GORGEOUS WALKS Discover at least four shore-fronting rope swings on the Arrowtown Anniversary Walk. The Sawpit Gully Trail is a two to three-hour loop track that starts near the Chinese Settlement and follows the Arrow River Trail before turning onto the Sawpit Gully path.

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GREAT RIDE • THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL

GLENDHU MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK: As Wanaka’s latest mountain bike park, this 35km network of green, blue and black trails is cradled in picturesque Glendhu Station. The park includes bike rentals, café and pump tracks, just a 10-minute drive from Wanaka.


© Around the Mountains Cycle Trail BELOW: Walter Peak © Real Journeys

AROUND THE MOUNTAINS

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Cycle Trail TRAIL INFO

BEST FOR: Exploring the very best of Queenstown, away from the crowds.

WALTER PEAK to KINGSTON 3-5 days

186km

Tracing the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu and under the careful watch of Eyre Mountains, this easy, family-friendly ride follows well-graded paths over the course of four to five adventurous days.

TOP TIP – Watch the setting sun as it flickers across the mountain tops, casting a glow of golden ripples. Māori named the area Taka Ra Haka in reference to this dancing sunlight.

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L

inking Queenstown’s Walter Peak Station to Kingston, the trail can be done in either direction, but starting from the foot of Walter Peak allows riders to first enjoy a scenic Lake Wakatipu crossing aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. Once on shore, the trail briefly skirts the lakefront before delving into a remote landscape. Grand vistas saturate every view point, and the isolation will have you believe that no one else has ever step foot here. Nearby Mavora Lakes offer a serene campsite setting and camp fires are permitted in fire drums that the campground provides. Cyclists are encouraged to attack this trail at their own pace, with itineraries customised to suit every member of your clan. With numerous highcountry townships speckling the route, there is every opportunity to stop at cosy, comfortable lodges – you’ll never have been more pleased to see a fluffy white towel. Local shops showcasing regional craftmanship, southern hospitality and unique cafés are highlights of the route. Once in Kingston, Lake Wakatipu comes back into view, signalling the conclusion of your ride. Jump on a scenic shuttle back to Queenstown and complete your voyage with hot food and drinks at one of the town’s inviting taverns.

3-5 Days 186km

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 2 (EASY) MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Reliable around Queenstown and the trail’s southern towns. Virtually non-existent between Mt Nicholas Station and Centre Hill Shelter. DRINKING WATER: Bottles can be filled at various settlements. Water supply at shelters in the Von Valley and 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)


 QUEENSTOWN Mt Nicholas

TSS Earnslaw Steamship

Walter Peak Ford

Ford

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Nevis River MAP LEGEND open section TSS Earnslaw Steamship Gravel road section start/finish point

KINGSTON

ns

Mataura River

point of interest i-SITE Visitor Centre



town

Fairlight Station

Shuttle / road section

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Von Hill

MAVORA LAKES Mararoa River

L e W a k a ti p u ak

Von River

Kawarau River



café/restaurant shelter

Garston

Eyre Creek

toilets ford

Athol

camping accommodation



 to Te Anau

Five Rivers



Centre Hill

state highway

Oreti River

Mataura River

Mossburn

LUMSDEN



Alternating civilisation with seclusion, this trail Kingston Athol encounters friendly 33km 30km towns and many a breathtaking outlook.

Waikaia River



© AA Traveller 2020

riding the trail 800m 600m 400m 200m

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Lumsden 20km

Mossburn

53km 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.

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.

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Around the Mountains Trail © www.southlandnz.com

5 PLACES FOR A GOOD MUNCH

Mavora Lakes © Getty Images BELOW: Route 6 Café © Southland Tourism

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

1. Lumsden is a tiny town with world-class beef pies. They sell out as fast as they are made at Bafe Bakery – and if you can leave without buying a fresh cream doughnut, you’ll be the first. 2. Route 6 Café and Bar (also located in Lumsden) is pretty ordinary from the outset but step inside and you’ll find a retro American diner, complete with 1955 Dodge Kingsman car. 3. In wee Garston, gobble up a hot bomb (sandwich) from retro caravan-cum-café, The Coffee Bomb. It’s a bit of a secret but we’re spilling the beans.

Highlights of the trail • Glacier carved Mavora Lakes are pretty as a picture and perfect for a picnic. The $8 per night campsite provides barbecues and steel drums for cosy camp fires under starlit skies. • In Mossburn, a giant statue crowned with genuine stag antlers confirms that this is New Zealand’s deer capital.

• Lumsden is revered for its farm stays and fishing. Keen anglers flock here to try their luck at catching brown trout, which the local Oreti River is teeming with. For non-fishers, the cafés and craft shops welcome visitors with the same sincerity they do long-term locals.

THE CYCLING COUNTRY WE ALL DREAM OF...

• Between Athol and Kingston on the trail’s last leg, is Garston, New Zealand’s most inland town. A 10km detour along the Welcome Rock Trail leads to Mud Hut, a rough and ready trampers’ shack complete with rustic outdoor bath – and nothing but tussock views.

Lake 2 Lake Trail

4. Bracken Hall café is in Mossburn, and to quote a recent TripAdvisor review, ‘This place needs to be a UNESCO World Heritage site based on today’s venison pie!’

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

Oban

RIDE A WORLD-CLASS TRACK, EXPLORE BREATHTAKING TRAILS, OR EXPERIENCE THRILLING MOUNTAIN BIKING... 140

Stewart Is. southlandnz.com/greatrides


Ben Lomond Track • INSET: Bob’s Cove BOTH IMAGES: © Getty Images

TOP QUEENSTOWN ACTIVITIES

Discover Bob’s Cove This pretty inlet lies just 20 minutes out of town on the road to Glenorchy and is reached via a lake-fringing

walkway. Several heavenly beach spots reveal themselves, including a jetty you’ll immediately want to jump off. Kiwi Birdlife Park Sitting at the bottom of Queenstown’s Skyline gondola in the heart of town, meet parakeets, kea and weka and observe kiwi feeding at the Kiwi Encounter show. Water fun Kayak down Dart River, try canyoning or riverboard the rapids of Kawarau River. Jump on a jet boat or pedal across Lake Wakatipu on a 3-wheeled aqua bike. Indoor activities Enjoy all the exhilaration of skydiving without the 12,000 feet drop at indoor skydiving centre, iFLY. Bundle up and hit the ice rink, get lost in Odyssey Sensory Maze or descend on Thrillzone for virtual reality gaming. Lake cruises Shimmy across Lake Wakatipu on boats of all sizes and style. Take a sunset cruise for one humdinger of an experience.

Sherpa shuttle transport around the trail, buses based in Queenstown & Mossburn Independent tours Supported tours Bike Hire, mountain bikes, e-bikes, child bikes, panniers Trail Itineraries

Put it o ny

CONTACT FOR:

o

‘Bike It’ list r ! u

Te Anau Lakes to Lakes Trail, planning and support

aroundthemountains.co.nz P: +64 (0)27 241 0858 • info@atmtrail.co.nz

www.aroundthemountainscycling.co.nz 141

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Hikes The 2km Queenstown Hill Time Walk passes the Basket of Dreams sculpture; Ben Lomond is an eight-hour leg burner and the Frankton Arm Walk takes in Lake Wakatipu over three beautiful hours. You can also access Bob’s Peak on an hour-long walk via the Tiki Trail.


Where next?

Railway Hotel, Invercargill, Southland © Venture Southland Tourism

GREAT RIDE • AROUND THE MOUNTAINS CYCLE TRAIL

Queenstown Bike Park © Southland NZ INSET: Biking Te Anau to Manapōuri © M Sliva

Lake 2 Lake Cycle Trail

W

ith its proximity and easy access to the spectacular Fiordland National Park, the Lake 2 Lake Cycle Trail runs from Lake Te Anau towards Lake Manapōuri, winding through bird-filled woodland and tracing the course of the Waiau River. Some say it’s New Zealand’s most picturesque ride.

and Graded 1-2/Easy so it’s suitable for the entire family, although there are a number of hills and a handful of hairpin bends to negotiate. It’s easy to hire bikes in Te Anau, with electric bikes also available. Due to its relative newness, the route is well-marked and easy to follow, with plans to extend the route already in progress. Watch this space for trail extensions.

At present, the half-day trail is approximately 19km

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.

Lake Te Anau jetty © Destination Fiordland

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 but in the process of a comeback), take photos of the views and 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

Mossburn

Scottish place name • 113km S of Queenstown

St, Lumsden, Southland LUMSDEN 7Ph:Hero + 64 3 248 7418 MOTEL Email: lumsdenmotel@gmail.com

Café

iFi

& GIFT SHOP

EW

E FR

Breakfasts, lunches, coffee, venison pies, real-fruit ice creams, takeaway lunches Free WiFi available

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

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• 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

Phone: +64 3 248 6033 Email: brackenhall@xtra.co.nz Open: 8.30am to 5.30pm www.brackenhall.co.nz

Main Street, Mossburn


Five Rivers, Around the Mountains Cycle Trail © Tourism NZ

MOSSBURN to INVERCARGILL

SOUTHLAND Traverse

2 days

104km Southland Traverse, Mossburn BELOW: Cycling through Queens Park, Invercargill © Southland Tourism

HEARTLAND RIDE • SOUTHLAND TRAVERSE

TRAIL INFO 2 Days 104km

TRAIL GRADE:

Take the scenic route all the way to Invercargill by negotiating the pleasant, reasonably quiet highways of the Southland Traverse. Good looking vistas come thick and fast on this two-day ride. . BEST FOR: Getting from Mossburn to Invercargill without using the busier highway.

C

onnecting Mossburn (or Lumsden) to Invercargill over 104km and two days, this Grade 4 bike ride slices through the South Island’s lower region, one that’s freckled with cyclists and sightseers soaking up the beauty. This Heartland Ride is also part of the 3000km Tour Aotearoa trail which travels all the way from Cape Rēinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. You may meet a fair few weatherworn cyclists along this route who have just done over 2000km. Cyclists should also be aware that the track often traces or criss-crosses parts of the Southern Scenic Route, a popular tourist highway that’s used by buses and couch tour companies. It is still a fantastic alternative to busier highways and primarily uses scenic back roads. In total, the track utilises 95% sealed road and 5% gravel road or gravel path. In between drinking up the pastoral scenery and bucolic views, stop in charming small towns such as Winton and Wallacetown for provisions and a rest.

20% GRADE 2 70% GRADE 3 10% GRADE 4 MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Available throughout the route. FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & TOILETS: Available at either of the starting points, Mossburn/ Lumsden, and then Camp Taringatura (40km), Winton (67km), Wallacetown (90km), and Invercargill (104km). NEED TO KNOW: The route is 95% sealed road, and 5% gravel road or gravel path. This route is part of the 3000km Cape Rēinga to Bluff route called Tour Aotearoa. You are likely to meet weather-beaten tour riders on their final day of riding the length of the country. In winter the weather can be bitterly cold in Southland, so expect the unexpected. The route is signposted with Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails’ signs. TYPE OF BIKE: A touring bike, mountain bike or e-bike is suitable for the terrain. GRADE 2 (EASY) GRADE 3 (INTERMEDIATE) GRADE 4 (ADVANCED)

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Te Anau Milford Sound

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail



Queenstown



MAP LEGEND open section



on road section start/finish point

MOSSBURN



point of interest

Castlerock

Waikaia

LUMSDEN

White Hill Wind Farm

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accommodation state highway

Riversdale

 Taringatura

Oreti River

Nightcaps

 Limehills Gore

Dunsdale Recreational Reserve

WINTON

Otautau Longwood Forest Conservation Area

Mandeville





Wairurahiri Wilderness Jet Glencoe



Northope

Mataura





WALLACETOWN



Riverton/Aparima

Lorneville



Colac Bay

riding the trail 200m 150m

Mossburn

Catlins Forest Park

Blu (ferry to Stewart Island/ Rakiura)

Š AA Traveller 2020

250m

Mokoreta

INVERCARGILL

Foveaux Strait

300m

Edendale



Castlerock

13km

nzcycletrail.com for more Trail Detail... Dipton West

22km

Winton 33km

Wallacetown Invercargill 18km

14km

100m 50m 0m

This route can be started from either Mossburn or Lumsden, two towns on the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail. From Mossburn, head east on the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail, which runs beside SH 94. After 13km, turn right off the cycle trail, cross the highway and ride south on Dipton Castlerock Rd. Follow the NgÄ Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails’ signs south, turning right at West Dipton down George St, then left onto South Hillend Dipton Rd.

144

When you are 54km from Mossburn, turn right onto Hundred Line Rd and shortly after, left onto Riverside Rd. When you reach SH 96, turn left and cross the Oreti River, then turn right on to Winton Substation Rd. A few minutes later, turn left onto Gerrard Rd and ride into the centre of Winton, where there are dozens of shops. From Winton, ride back out of town on Meldrum St, and after 600m, turn left onto the Winton Walkway to follow

a gravel path around the edge of town. Then follow Price Rd, Substation Rd, Calder Rd, Nelson Rd, Lochiel Branxholme Rd, Young Rd and Ryal Bush Wallacetown Rd to Wallacetown. There are a few shops at Wallacetown, and public toilets in the garage on your left as you enter town (only open when the garage is open). From Wallacetown, carefully follow SH 99 for 3.5km before turning right down Steel Rd. Turn left at West Plains Rd, and

right at Gloucester St. After entering the fringe of Invercargill, turn left along Bay Rd, and then at the main road (SH 6) turn right onto the signposted cycle path that crosses the Waihopai River. At the southern end of the Waihopai River bridge you can turn right onto a gravel path that skirts around the edge of Invercargill. There are several options for branching off this path and heading into town. The last one is at Tweed St.


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