GET A TASTE FOR IT
making the most of your riding
NGA HAERENGA, NZ CYCLE TRAIL state of play - open trails & track builds
NORTH ISLAND HERE WE ARE! riding northern styles
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Kia Ora Chillers Welcome to Summer 2011/12 Welcome to CHILL Adventures, Summer 2012! This is just our second issue, but we have seen substantial growth and interest in the mag as a New Zealand mountain biking guide - we’ve had to add extra pages to fit all the new trails for both the North and South Island! We’d like to thank all those who’ve helped put the mag together and shared in our vision to inspire and encourage people to experience the outdoors. In summer we ride, in winter we ride, and with the help of other keen cyclists, we produce this magazine. If you like what you see we’d love you to shout out and say so, especially to the generous businesses inside the magazine, all making it possible. Inside the mag we talk 29ers with Ditte van de Meuler and bike repairs with Ross Mackay. We also catch up with Jude Ellis behind the scenes of the New Zealand Cycle Trails Project and a “skilled” Welshman, Tryfan Ephraim. If you’ve got a single track mind we start in Queenstown, travelling north up the South Island, bunny hopping the Strait to Wellington for a weekend and then pedalling to the Central North Island, Hawke’s
Rumbling Rambles By Batty Scripts
mostly waiting kind of wanting till the clouds part the ground stands still and the wheels start turning It’ s been one of those days, those weeks, those years swell of a time mix of emotions love winter, love summer love that feeling the mag’ s paper between the fingers its freshness, its smell inspiration, motivation or just a little joy in our day
Bay, Taupo and beyond. Christchurch City is our base, we’ve moved a fair bit in 2011, but our stories are just as strong, as is the Cuban bean from C4. When you’re in CHC, come and say g’day. We’re open most days during the week and are happy to share our sweet fleet of vintage bikes to pedal the city. This mag will be online from late Jan12 www.licencetoride.co.nz Editor: Stu Waddel Associate Editor: Ryan Charmley Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Art Direction & Design: Sam Worsp, Spinifex Design Concept Design: www.chillstudio.co.nz Contributors: Dave Mitchellmitchimages.co.nz, Zane Smithmountainbikingzane.wordpress.com, Paul Smith - inspiring-riding.co.nz,
Ross MacKay, Tory Crowder, Riley Bathhurst, Paul McArdle
CHILL Magazines are hand crafted with love and may contain traces of nuts. What they don’t contain is nasties. We print on Sumo Laser FSC Certified mixed pulp paper. All our pretty pictures are printed using mineral oil free inks made from 100% renewable resources. Cheers Spectrum Print for caring about our environment too. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. Copyright Castle Hill Investment & Leisure Ltd (CHILL). The views expressed in CHILL Adventures are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publication or its staff. CHILL Adventures is published bi-annually - summer / winter.
Cover Shot: Ditte van der Meuler carves up the the Heaphy Track (pg 66-67), Kahurangi National Park. This is one of New Zealand’s greatest rides, and is open from 1 May, 2011 to 30 Sept, 2013 on a trial basis. If you want it to have its season extended, ask DOC (nicely). Photo: Dave Mitchell
Contents The Vintage Peddler Bike Hire Co.
On Ya Bike Trip Planning
Bottle Lake & McLeans Island Rides
State of Play
Living Springs & Little River Rail Trail
On a Big Roll An Interview with Ditte van der Meuler
North Island Trail Locator
Hanmer Forest Trails & St James
South Island Trail Locator
Hey Jude - An interview with Jude Ellis
Queenstown - Pure Inspiration
Jacks Point & Gibbston Valley Rides
Ride from Half Moon Bay to Okiwi Bay
Coalpit Saddle & Moonlight Rides
Top of the South
Three Days Riding in Queenstown
Ride the Queen Charlotte Track
Ride from Clyde to Alex
Dun Mountain (Coppermine) Ride
Flat Top Hill Ride
Rameka, Flora Saddle to Barron Flat, Kill Devil
Pedalling with Rossco An Interview with Ross MacKay
Three Days on the Heaphy Track
Denniston Plateau & Old Ghost Road Rides
Deans Bank, Crown Range & Plantation
Three Days Riding in the Capital
Twizel / Omarama Townships
Get me to Hawke’s Bay
Tekapo / Fairlie Townships
Landscape & Water Trails
Twizel, Lake Tekapo, Cowan’s Hill Rides
Great Rides - Trail Map
Ahuriri Valley & Manuherikia Rides
Eskdale MTB Park
Dusky Trail & Richmond Trail
Three Days Riding in Hawkes Bay
Ashburton Waterways Rides
Ride the Bridge to Nowhere
Mesopotamia & Arrowsmith Range Rides
Destination Great Lake Taupō
Amazing Space Methven
Spa Park to Huka Falls & “Craters”
Ashburton Walkway & Lake Emma Rides
Moerangi & Waihaha Hut Rides
Mt Hutt Bike Park
Three Days Riding Around Taupo
Ashburton Lakes to Barossa Station Ride
Three Days Riding in Rotorua
Sheffield & Springfield Townships
Hog’s Back & Craigieburn Rides
The Famous Waikato River Trail
Poulter Valley Ride
Blowhard & Wharfedale Rides
Words from a Welshman An Interview with Tryfan Ephraim MTB Events Calendar
On Ya Bike! CHILL Adventures
The following, developed by the NZMBA, is very worthwhile.
As with all outdoor activities, planning is key. Being prepared can save you aggravation but cycling through our fantastic backcountry with inadequate preparation can have severe consequences.
We’ve split the rides into three:
Short ‘n’ Sweet Rides
Stay in control
Give way to walkers
Avoid surprising other users
Short n Sweet Rides are generally easily accessible and in close proximity to local townships. The majority of them are for all levels of ability and fitness, families and novice bikers.
One Day Rides One Day Rides are longer in length and require a good level of fitness, with reasonable biking & technical skills. There is a description of the ride and facts to assist matching skills with an appropriate ride.
A Taste of Biking A Taste of Biking covers multi day rides with adventurous individuals teaming up to experience the joys of biking. Preparation is the key to a successful trip. This CHILL Mag is aimed to inform & inspire, but further research is required, especially for backcountry rides. Know the track and know your limits.
5. 6. 7.
9. 10. 11.
Ride shared-use tracks in smaller groups Respect the rules Only ride MTB and shareduse tracks; stay off closed tracks Be prepared - take food, water, tools, first aid & warm clothes. Plan for the unexpected - a change in the weather, an accident, or getting lost & being late. Obtain permission from private land owners before you set out Leave gates as you find them Respect the track Avoid skidding, cutting corners or making new lines. Avoid riding in the mud and rain Clean your bike to prevent spreading weeds Take rubbish home
COOL KIWI BIKE
Do your research/prepare Plan the trip, where you will be going, how long it will take. Tell this to someone. Then stick to the plan. Give yourself a window for your return time - not a deadline Know your limits, pick trails suitable to your skill level (bike & navigation). Obtain permission for private land crossings. See DOC for maps & land info. The Kennett Brother’s books are a wealth of information. Research the wildlife you may encounter and how to interact safely (e.g. Bulls & Haast Eagles). Talk to others who have experienced the ride. Obtain reliable and current weather forecasts.
Ross Mackay with some handy
Learn some basic first aid. Keep your drive train clean, drive lasts longer, shifts better and has less chance of failing. Service your bike regularly by a skilled technician. Carry enough supplies “just in case” you have to stay out overnight. Check the tightness of on your handle bars, stem, pedals, rotor bolts and pivots. Check brake pads. Carry enough spares to get you & your party through the ride.
State of Play- Word on the Street Natural High
Improve your skills
Natural High Adrenalin Dealers are now located in both Christchurch and Auckland. The Auckland branch opened in Aug 2011, allowing more people to experience the great outdoors. www.naturalhigh.co.nz
The Mountain Bike Skills Clinic has a new owner - Tryfan Ephraim See article Pg 92-93 www.mtbskillsclinics.co.nz
Dave Mitchell MTB North
Mountain Biking North by Dave Mitchell released Nov 2011. 34 backcountry rides dotting New Zealand’s North Island. This coffee-table style book features 3D maps, local history and stunning photos. Purchase a copy through groundeffect.co.nz
The NZ designed high-pivot Zerode gearbox bike is worth checking out, the design has a built-in gearbox that allows the use of vastly superior suspension systems! www.zerode.co.nz
Bicycle Art - Scott Eady
Bike Wise Month “New and Fresh for 2012” It is the 10th Anniversary in Feb 2012 and will celebrate this milestone by launching a new approach and a few exciting changes. It will be focusing on Safer Journeys for cyclists. See www.bikewise.co.nz for details, to take part or get involved.
The Kennett Brothers
In October, the 8th edition of New Zealand’s mountain biking bible was released. Check out www.kennett.co.nz . It has been fully revised to include essential information needed to guide you to the most exhilarating rides around the country.
Women’s Wednesday Queenstown’s local and NZ skicross athlete Mitchey Greig, is running “Women’s Wednesday” a chance for girls to get out and shred together accessing the Skyline Gondola. Run through www.bikequeenstown.com get in touch if you’re visiting Queenstown over summer.
Queenstown Bike Festival Bicycle Art at The Dowse, Hutt Valley. Scott Eady’s bicycle art project allows the viewer to touch a bunch of bikes. Part 1 features 50 bikes, trikes & scooters for children to ride, activating artwork through participation. Open until 6th Feb. Free entry. www.dowse.org.nz
The 2nd Queenstown Bike Festival: 31st March - 9th April 2012. A special gala night to open the festival will be a night to remember...Joseph Harper, fresh from the NZ Comedy Festival, will speak about “Bikes I’ve owned versus girls I’ve fallen in love with”. queenstownbikefestival.co.nz
State of Play - Track Builds Across the board, there are numerous working bees going on to improve, maintain and extend MTB trails and bike park tracks around the country. We are very fortunate to have numerous active MTB clubs, and our thanks goes out to those involved with the hard work involved with track building. If you’d like to include news on your local track builds, please get in touch. Mt Hutt Bike Park is building the Donkey Swamp x-country track, 10km of intermediate track, see pg 43. Hogs Back, Castle Hill Village is complete and ready to ride. A beginners track is now underway, see pg 49. The Alexandra- Roxburgh Gorge Trail - 10 kms of trail is currently being built, see pg 24. This will link the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Clutha Gold Trail, still to be completed, to form part of an extensive network of Great Rides in Otago. Nov 2011 saw the opening of 2 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail Project. The Waikato River Trail, see pg 90, and the Dun Mountain Trail, see pg 64. The Mangaparua Track, part of The RuapehuWhanganui Trails in Whanganui National Park has been re-opened after a slip over winter, see pg 81.
The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has approved funding for the Wineries Ride, giving the region 3 Great Rides and 187km of trail. The Water Ride and Landscapes Ride are both well under way, see pgs 74 - 79. The Great Lake Trail is underway and 12kms of downhill from Whangamata Rd to Kawakawa Bay will be completed over the next 12 months, see pg 82 – 87. Final funding for 90km of new trails has been approved for The Queenstown Trail, and the Arrowtown Trail is the latest section to begin construction. The entire trail, which will link Queenstown, Kelvin Heights, Frankton, Lake Hayes Estate, Arrowtown and Gibbston, is due for completion in September 2012, see pgs 18 - 23. The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail is progressing, there is a lot of work over a lot of terrain. Helibike.com has a heli-ride option departing from Twizel and finishing at Lake Ohau, thus avoiding any roads - see pgs 30 - 31. Useful site: www.nzcycletrail.com
FACTORY SHOWROOM - 90 Fitzgerald Ave, Christchurch | FACEBOOK: CactusClimbingEquipment
State of Play JAFA - Just About to Fly into Auckland. For those arriving into AK for a planned bike trip we have listed a small selection of good services, accommodation & eats. Where to Start Natural High AKL International Airport 10 Uenuku Way, off Tom Pearce Dr P: 09 257 4673 E: email@example.com W: www.bicyclerentals.co.nz Where to Stay YHA Auckland In the heart of the city, but with parking and bike storage. Private and shared room options. A base for urban trails or a day at Woodhill. 5 Turner Street P: 09 302 8200 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W:www.yha.co.nz Our Personal Favourites Good Eats: Jaffa, Grey Lynn Good Coffee: Dizengoff, Ponsonby Rd - try the Mushrooms on Toast Good Music: Couch Records, Ponsonby Rd Good Wine: Wine Vault, West Lynn Good Drinks: Gypsy Tea Room, West Lynn Good Tracks - aucklandmtb.co.nz
Woodhill Bike Park - bikeparks.co.nz Riverhead Trails - www.wcrc.co.nz Hunua, Slater Rd, Totara Park & Whitford.
You Deserve a Cold One The Great Kiwi Beer Festival 25th Feb Hagley Park, CHC. Visitors from out of town more than welcome, bring your bike for the weekend. www.greatkiwibeerfestival.co.nz
Kiwi Man’s Garage Building Big Racks
Heads Up Christchurch Riders! Work is currently underway to make safe the closed tracks and reserve networks. While parts of the Summit Road are still closed, there is a lot of work being done to remove rock fall hazards. Read...Lots of loose rock are being blown up! Working Bees Cross-country bees are held the last Sun of every month and downhill ones second Sat of each month. For track status & working bees, go to ccc.govt.nz
Brent Nielson is a self confessed adrenalin junkie and has been part of the Hastings bike scene for many years. Like many of us have, Brent was in need of a bike rack but the prohibitive cost and lack of practicality of other racks on his vehicle left him with only one option.... Brent’s a man with an engineering and industrial design background so it was obvious that to satisfy all requirements he’d have to build his own. Seven years and 40 models later he now produces high quality New Zealand made bike racks that are proven to last the distance and backed up with a guarantee to match. From conventional tow ball racks to offset spare tyre mounted racks, there’s a model to suit pretty much anyone or family. Check out rv-rak.co.nz to find out more.
ORTS WK LITE SH
Freight free worldwide from our online store. 0800 122 682 | email@example.com | wwww.cactusclimbing.co.nz
On a Big Roll
The rise of the 29er, with Ditte van der Meuler The 26 inch wheel is to mountain biking what the 700c is to road cycling. There has been an uprising over recent years with the increasing popularity of 29ers. Experienced back country cyclist Ditte van der
Favorite local track? Godley Head and the Double Fence Line, if you count Banks Peninsula as local. Favorite national track? Moerangi in the North Island and St James in the South. Can you tell us a bit about your style of riding? I love single track and technical stuff, big climbs and gnarly
descents, but I’m definitely a high country and adventure ride, hike a bike girl. For those who aren’t familiar with 29 inch bikes, what are they all about? Simple, a frame, geometry and suspension package designed to extract the advantages out of riding on big 29 inch wheels. What are the major advantages of 29ers? They roll over rough terrain easier and have a 30% larger tyre contact area which equals better
Ditte van der Meuler. Fifty-ish.
Name & Age:
Meuler was born on a bike and has an enviable garage of bikes sporting these larger wheels. We caught up with her before she embarked on another mtb adventure to see what all the fuss is about.
e Driv rce Pea Tom
traction climbing, braking and sidling. They are less likely to sink into soft ground and they carry more momentum over rolling country. You also sit into the bike and not on top of it, as the centre of the wheels are higher up the frame. What about the drawbacks? Slower acceleration, as the rotating mass is larger, and they are a little heavier because of bigger wheels and tyres.
You say you sit into the bike... they look massive, do you need to be tall to ride them? Not especially, but really short riders may struggle to find an extra small size, most makes come in small, medium and large, with a few extra large models available. If you’re sold on the advantages of 29ers what’s the best way of going about kitting yourself out - is it as easy as changing a rim set?
Do you still ride your Airborne? I still enjoy it during the week, but always choose a bike with big wheels when the weekend rolls around.
A few years ago 29ers were expensive, but now there is very little difference in price, if any, for an equivalent quality and specked bike. Where’s the 29er technology heading? Like everything on this planet, incremental improvement that’s generally over hyped. Final thoughts? Most of the world has been riding dirt on big wheels for almost a century, so if bigger wheels make it easier for you to ride, that’s great, just remember it’s the riding bit that counts.
John s Rd
No all options are valid, there is a time and place for every size wheel and combination on a bike. Look at the Surley Pugsley with its massively wide tires, perfect for sand, swamp and soft terrain, not to mention I still have a 26 inch Ti Airborne and will keep it forever, like my cyclocross, you need one of every kind.
What about cost - 26ers are a dime a dozen, are there good quality 29ers on the market that don’t require a second mortgage?
Yes good all-mountain 29ers have been around for a couple of years, although a good 4 inch full sus 29er will take you to those same places as well.
Is it an all or nothing deal or is there a place for different wheel size combination, motocross bikes have been doing it for years?
No, you need a whole new bike or at least frame, forks and wheels. Try before you buy, especially if you can do a decent ride on a mate’s bike, then head into your nearest bike shop with your 29er friend to see what’s on offer. Unlike a few years ago there are now stacks of choice from hardtail, full sus, carbon, aluminium and titanium. All-mountain riders are definitely fans of good braking, sharp handling and most importantly 5-6 inches of suspension travel for those rocks and roots. Can 29ers cater to this market yet, or is the technology not quite there yet?
North Island - Map & Travel Times/Distances
Coromandel Auckland Thames 2 1 90-91
Central Plateau 1
Lower Hutt 72-73
Legend 21 1
Page Number State Highway
Pacific Ocean Driving Times
Auckland - Taupo
Auckland - Hamilton
Rotorua to Napier
Taupo - Napier
Taupo - Ohakune
Wellington - Ohakune
Wellington - Taupo
Wellington - Napier
Wellington - Wanganui
Wanganui - Ohakune
Times are approximate and will vary depending on traffic & weather conditions.
South Island - Map & Travel Times/Distances 60
Top of the South
Castle Hill 73
Southern Lakes 94
Legend 21 1
Page Number State Highway
Rides Region Helibiking
CHCH - Ashburton
Ashburton - Tekapo
Tekapo - Queenstown
CHCH - Kaikoura
Kaikoura - Blenheim
Blenheim - Nelson
CHCH - Hanmer Springs
CHCH - Castle Hill
CHCH - Methven
CHCH - Westport
Nelson - Takaka
Nelson - Westport
Westport - Karamea
Queenstown - Wanaka
Queenstown - Alexandra
Times are approximate and will vary depending on traffic & weather conditions.
Campervan. 4WD. Car Rentals
Paul Smith in St Bathens. Photo: Mike Wilson. Location: St Bathens
Rock & Pillar Range, Otago. Photo: Mike Wilson
Hakatere: Photo: Dave Mitchell
Mt Oxford. Photo Zane Smith
Maniototo. Photo: Mike Wilson
Mokihinui Lyell Track. Photo: Dave Mitchell
The ultimate descent against an epic backdrop Whether youâ€™re into adrenalin pumping downhill, cross-country, heli-biking or freestyling in the terrain parks, youâ€™ll find it all here in one sweet package. Queenstown has loads of accommodation, bike hire, bike transport and a
pure inspiration queenstownNZ.co.nz
Queenstown Bike Park
cranking nightlife, so start planning your trip now.
Queenstown Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Remarkables Range, Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere four seasons alpine and lake resort. Queenstown offers a great selection of attractions & activities. Enjoy the great outdoors & superb New Zealand scenery by bike; explore the Skippers Canyon on a hard tail, jump on a full sus and head for the gondola accessed Skyline tracks. Splash out & try helibiking or simply coast around the lakeside at a leisurely pace. Where to Stay Coronet Peak Hotel Comfortable cycle friendly accommodation located near hiking & biking trails. Enjoy their Rafters restaurant & bar, Strike Bowl, swimming pool/spa/sauna, & plenty of space to wash & store bikes. 161 Arthurs Point Road P: 03 442 7850 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.coronetpeakhotel.co.nz YHA Queenstown Central Downtown hostel, all with ensuite rooms, & fantastic views across the harbour. Easy access to all of Queenstown’s riding. 48a Shotover Street P: 03 422 7400
Where to Eat YHA Queenstown Lakefront A quieter hostel with beautiful views across the lake and a 5 minute stroll into town. Biker friendly with car parking and bike lock up. Easy ride access. 88 - 90 Lake Esplanade P: 03 442 8413
W: www.yha.co.nz Arrowtown Born of Gold Holiday Park Tourist flats, Studios, Lodge rooms, Powered/Unpowered Sites. Modern amenities. 10min drive from Airport, 20 min drive from Queenstown, 5 min walk to Arrowtown Centre. Tariff $18 $140 Qualmark 4 Star Rating. 12 Centennial Ave P: 03 4421876 E: email@example.com www.arrowtownholidaypark.co.nz
Pinewood Lodge Convenient, economic, comfortable and bike friendly! Open lawns, onsite restaurant, spa, bbqs, bike rental, storage & cleaning, come ride with us! 200 Meters from Skyline Gondola. 48 Hamilton Road P: Free 0800PINEWOOD E:firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.pinewood.co.nz
Vudu Café & Les Alpes
Ferg Burger Winnies Yakitori Daruma Japanese Sake Bar
Bike Shops R&R Sport The Bike Fix Bike Smart Outside Sports Fat Tyre Guided Mountain Biking specialists, offering wicked heli-biking, back country day & ‘dirty weekend’ tours. Our guides have an infectious passion for the trails they ride and will tailor an adventure to suit you. Free Ph: 0800 FAT TYRE E: email@example.com W: www.fat-tyre.co.nz Other Attractions The Otago region arguably produces New Zealand’s best Pinot Noirs so make sure you sample them at a cosy café, pub or winery. Don’t Miss Queenstown Bike Festival’s R&R Sports NiteLights MTB Ride - 6 pm April 4, 2012 Queenstown / Kawarau River / Arrowtown / Queenstown. Ride with the locals, pick your own pace group & ride with those who know the trails well. Departs from R&R Sport. Useful Links www.queenstownnz.co.nz
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - SOUTHERN LAKES
Jack’s Point & Gibbston River Tucked away in the hills around Queenstown is some beautiful riding that will get even the most skilled riders’ adrenaline going! There are trails that cater for everyone here. For the experienced there are rides like Fern Hill loop and the Wynyard freeride trails, backcountry rides for those with strong legs and lungs, Seven Mile Delta Trail System for intermediate riders and short and sweet rides for beginners. The “Around the Mountains” New Zealand Cycle Trail is also well underway and when complete it will offer 175 kms of easy going trails accessed by a steamship boat ride across Lake Wakatipu. The trail heads through Walter Peak and Mount Nicholas Stations, past Lake Mavora, eventually finishing in Lumsden.
Jack’s Point If you’re looking for an easy and scenic family ride you’ll be hard pressed to beat the Frankton Walkway running alongside Lake Wakatipu from the Queenstown Gardens to the one way bridge over the Kawarau River in Frankton (9km). There is also a fun albeit non-technical track
running from the other side of the bridge to Jack’s Point (7km). If you want for a bit more of a challenge there’s a great mix of tracks at Jack’s Point, including some technical single track. Grab yourself a map and check out the network for yourself, the scenery is superb and it’s a great way to spend an hour or two when in the region. Network of single tracks. Timing: 1-3 hours. 100% Dual Use gravel top track.
Wine Kitchen, located next to the historic Kawarau Bridge. The first part of the trail, if ridden from Waitiri Creek, is great for beginners and an optional 2.4km loop can be accessed here. The second half of the ride is a little more difficult for beginners but is fine for intermediate riders. There are plenty of scenic picnic spots along the way.
Settings: Peninsula Suitable for beginnerintermediate 100% rideable
8.5km Single track, steep sections. Timing: 2-3 hours return. 100% Dual Use gravel top track.
Car park at the Queenstown Golf Club or ride from Queenstown via Frankton Walkway. Facilities: Everything you need in town.
Setting: Gibbston Valley, above Kawarau Gorge. Suitable for beginner to intermediate riders. 100% rideable.
Getting There Car parks at Waitiri Creek Winery and The Wine Kitchen, SH6.
Gibbston River Trail Families looking for a great ride can’t go past the Gibbston River Trail. Following the Kawarau River the trail can be ridden in two directions, either starting at Waitiri Creek Winery or The
Useful Link www.wakatiputrails.co.nz
ONE DAY RIDES - SOUTHERN LAKES
Coal Pit & Moonlight Remarkables Ski Area Coal Pit Saddle
This is a big ride/carry that takes you into the alpine environment above Queenstown. It has big views, a great descent, and is another of the “must do” rides that pepper this region. It starts in the winter playground of the Remarkables Ski Area with a steep climb up the Sugar Bowl Quad to the east of the field. It turns into a bike portage that heads directly over the ridge from the chair lift. It follows the road off Ben Cruachan Peak, with some up and down, that eventually hits Coal Pit Saddle almost 900 vertical meters below. There is a further 600m to the bottom of Coal Pit Saddle Rd and on into the Gibbston Valley.
Inside Ride 25km exposed alpine loop track Suitable for advanced riders with high skill and fitness. 80% rideable. 30-50min scree slope bike carry. 5-7 hours with a car shuttle.
Getting There The best way to achieve this ride is with a car shuttle. Leave one car at the Bottom of Coal Pit Saddle Rd in the Gibbston Valley, drive the other back around the foot of the hill through Frankton & up the Remarkables Ski Area Rd to the base building & start from there.
None, very little water on ride Alpine environment check weather and be prepared for anything. Carry lots of food, water, and clothing
Moonlight Track to Moke Lake This ride circumnavigates Ben Lomond, the peak that towers over Queenstown’s western skyline. The trail starts at the top of the small local community of Arthurs Point and makes it way from here along the foot of Ben Lomond. There can be a real mixture of track conditions so be prepared for a variable surface. The first section of the trail is single track which can be technical at times, a little bike portage may be necessary. It eventually rolls down to the ruins of Seffertown, an old gold mining village from a bygone era. From here it turns to 4WD track that rolls through to the Moke Lake camp ground and ultimately out on to the Queenstown Glenorchy Rd.
Inside Ride 38km Sub Alpine loop track. 90% rideable. Suitable for intermediate riders with reasonable skill and fitness. 3-5 hrs to finish.
Getting There Either complete it as a loop from Queenstown or car shuttle, leave one car at Moke Lake car park, drive back around to Arthurs Point and start here. Turn left off Gorge Rd at Arthurs Point on to McChesney Rd, follow this up the hill until you see the Moonlight Track sign on your left near the top.
Facilities None on ride, toilets at Moke Lake.
Logistics Be prepared for changes in weather at any time of the year. Carry lots of food, water and clothing.
22. A TASTE OF BIKING - SOUTHERN LAKES
Berms ‘n’ Bridges By Stu Waddel Grab an ‘early bird’ booking into Queenstown International Airport and trust that the rest falls into place! No problem, Queenstown lays it on with fine wine, steep climbs, big drops, fun parks and rolling terrain over majestic lake views. For three days, myself and a group of friends from around NZ spent time exploring the town and its surrounding rides. We based ourselves at Coronet Peak Hotel, Arthurs Point, with plenty of room to store bikes, sort through mechanical issues and not too far to pop into town for a few necessities. Our stay included a huge breakfast buffet, and night entertainment close by with 10 pin bowling. The rooms are well appointed and it’s an ideal place to stay as a group of riders. Be warned, as we learned, it is easy to drift into town and enjoy the many delights, a good excuse to purchase another biking necessity and later into the evening to taste the town by candle light.
Having all arrived on the first morning, our first ride was 7 Mile and a good place to start. It’s only 10min from town driving
toward Glenorchy. The trails were started in the very early days of track building. They’ve had plenty of love and the ride choices are well established. We entered from 12 Mile Bay and rode up an easy climb to Eagles Nest. From Eagles Nest there are 20 – 30min loops with purpose built berms, rollovers and a few challenging log rides. My favourites were Cool Runnings and Bliss. On return, all the tracks eventually lead to 12 Mile Bay.
Inside Ride Reasonable level of fitness. Tracks suitable for adventurous beginners through to talented riders. Excellent track signs with all rides well marked. 2-4 hours riding. Alternatively, you can get dropped out with a shuttle and ride back to town on single track, with a small road section to Sunshine Bay. The trail then drops back into single track through to town.
Day Two We chose to ride out to Skippers Canyon, with a drop off at the start of the Skippers Pack Track just off the Coronet Peak Ski Area Road. The track is famous for its fast swinging motions and granite rock falling to a river
below. It’s a good ride, given the hoots of joy when reaching the bottom. We rode through to Skippers Canyon on a gravel road, with an amazing vista of rugged mountain terrain, remnants of the old gold mining and the Shotover River. After long day we chose to ride back to the start of the Pack Track and onto the Hotel, the hot spa, the sauna and a well deserved cold beer.
Inside Ride Skippers Pack Track. Downhill single track. 15 - 30mins ride. Suitable for adventurous intermediate to expert. Return to start 45min -1hr.
Skippers Canyon Gravel share road. 35kms return to Skippers Pack Track. 4-6hrs return with a big lunch in the sun. Two good climbs and three upon return, good fitness. Take sandfly repellent if you plan to hang out at the Skippers Bridge.10min ride through to the Historic Old School Block.
Day THREE We hooked up with Martin from Fat Tyre Adventures for a day of riding out the back of Arrowtown. Greg and Martin from Fat Tyre have been in the business for a long time, offering quality guided rides over trails and the back country, all over the Southern Lakes. One of their specialties is heli-biking. We were picked up in Queenstown with two heli-lifts and dropped into the back side of Crown Peak. Snow was falling, and there was plenty of vertical ahead. For the majority of us it was our first time at altitude with a long ride. The trail was on a forgotten high country 4WD farm road. Dropping all the way into Arrowtown, we rode through a 1860s gold miners trail, eventually leaving the chopper as a distant memory. Lunch in Arrowtown at The Tap, it was easy to see that we were only touching the tip of the riding in Queenstown. In Queenstown, itâ€™s also worth checking out the progress on the Around the Mountains Great Ride, plus there are easy rides on the Queenstown and Arrowtown Trails. The Queenstown Bike Festival is in its second year (see pg 95) & is a great way to celebrate biking while on holiday. The Queenstown Bike Park is well established. Itâ€™s a must do and something to be proud of, offering intermediate tracks through to world class downhill, with easy gondola access. My first choice on return to Queenstown.
Alexandra Established in the gold rush and now renowned for its orchards, vineyards, distinct climate and stunning scenery, Alexandra is also emerging as a mountain biking gold mine. Alexandra forms the last part of the Southern Lakes riding triangle. It has much to offer for all abilities, from the low stress Rail Trail to some technical riding in the surrounding hills. The Otago Rail Trail begins in Clyde, travelling 150km to the rural heartland town of Middlemarch. Construction is also under way for the New Zealand Cycle Trail Gold Trail which will provide an easy two day ride along the banks of the Clutha from Alexandra to Lawrence. Hidden in the hills out of town is where you’ll find technical single tracks. The riding here is among some of the best that the South Island has to offer and is very unique to the area. The dry rocky technical riding gives a multitude of single tracks for intermediate to advanced riders. To cap it off, if you stray from the track you’ll get a nose full of the fresh thyme that blankets the hills. Check out Flat Top Hill and Old Man Range.
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDE
Alexandra to Clyde
Where to eat The Tin Goose Cafe Monteiths Brewery Bar Best Coffee The Tin Goose Cafe Bike Shop Henderson Cycles, Centennial Avenue Best Attractions Rich in natural resources there’s great fishing and plenty of good swimming holes to cool off in when biking in the notoriously hot, dry summer. The region is also home to many artists’ studios which are worth checking out ......or try: Boating Explore the river with Clutha River Cruises. Wineries There are many vineyards including the acclaimed Blackridge Vineyard & Winery. Alexandra Historical Museum A fantastic collection of gold mining relics from the town’s history.
Part of the Otago Rail Trail, the 8 kilometre well formed gravel top ride links Alexandra to Clyde and is suitable for all abilities and all levels of fitness. Starting from the south side of Alexandra’s town bridge, follow your nose across the bridge and take a sharp right on the other side. The trail follows the bank of the mighty Clutha River all the way to historic Clyde. There are numerous places to stop on a hot summer’s day to eat, swim and enjoy this quiet part of the country side. The small town of Clyde has historic buildings and plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy. Just up the hill is one of the Muldoon era’s “think big” projects, the Clyde Dam. Don’t Miss An ice cream in Clyde Useful Links www.centralotagonz.com
ONE DAY RIDES - SOUTHERN LAKES
Flat Top & Old Man Flat Top Hill
10 kms of trail is currently being built from Alexandra to Roxburgh, known as the Alexandra - Roxburgh Gorge Trail. Flat Top Hill is accessed off this trail, and is a small haven of technically demanding and unique single track. The riding here is dry, loose and rocky and requires a reasonably high degree of riding ability. It’s all in the open so be prepared for some sun exposure during high summer! It is one of the little known gems of the South Island.
Inside Ride Intermediate to advanced riders Gorge Trail 10kms, with plenty of riding on Flat Top Hill. 100% rideable. Moderate level of fitness required.
Getting There Ride 5kms down the Gorge trail and you’ll find access into Flat Top Hill.
Logistics The weather can be great here, even when it’s raining/snowing in Wanaka and Queenstown. Top part of the area is closed during lambing season in early spring.
Local Bike Shop Henderson Cycles, Centennial Avenue - great for trail advice.
Old Man Range Loop This big day ride is a stunning example of the opportunities that are available to riders who are willing to head a little farther afield than the local town trails. It is a 1400m climb, but worth the grind for the stunning views from the top. The Obelisk rock, a towering monument that looks over the vast Central Otago landscape, sits at the top. The reward, a huge 10km downhill on the other side! This is one of those rides that you should do at least once in your life time.
Inside Ride 52km 4WD track & gravel road loop. Suitable for moderate ability riders with good fitness.100% rideable. Timing: 4-8 hours.
Loop ride consists of an 18km road bash. A car shuttle is your easiest option. Leave one car on the Blackman / Earnscleugh Rd junction. Head south out of town on SH 8 for about 12km, turn right into Symes Rd start your epic 1km up the road from here.
Logistics No facilities, very little water on the entire ride so be very prepared before heading out This ride enters a very exposed part of the country and an alpine environment so check the weather and be prepared for extreme cold and heat all in one ride. Carry lots of food, water and clothing. Topo map G42 Alexandra. The Kennett’s “Classic Mtb Rides” book has a great description of this ride.
Pedalling with Rossco Ross Mackay gives us the lowdown on bike riding, maintenance and building.
If it ain’t
broke why fix it? Spend some time with an engineer and you’ll realise that it’ll save you a whole lot of coin in the long run. Spend some time with a seasoned cyclist and you’ll learn it will not only save you money but the inevitable long
walk home when things go pear shaped. Ross MacKay is equally at home with a chain break in hand as he is on the saddle and earns a crust as Fox Shocks Mr fix-it. We caught up with him in the developing mountain bike mecca he calls home, Wanaka.
Name & age:
Favorite National track?
Ross Mackay, 33.
At the moment I’m enjoying being back in the Southern Lakes. The riding here is really good, between Wanaka, Alexandra and Queenstown there’s lots to do. My best ride has been from Lake Grassmere Station over the Cass Saddle to Hamilton hut and back, 7 hours of mixed terrain and beautiful scenery to boot!
Favorite Local track? I like really technical riding; I built a trail at the end of the riding reserve in Wanaka about 12 years ago. Not many people know about it and it has the potential for major carnage. It’s fun, slow, sniper style riding. You’ll have to find me to ride it!
What are three essential items to carry when riding in the wop-wops? Food - lots of it. Clothing - you just don’t know what could happen. Tools and compatible parts for essential components on your bike. Fill our readers in on your bike life up to now. I started mountain biking in the early 90’s. I was lucky enough
to be living in Wanaka so the environment surrounding me was filled with potential. I rode for fun and never really did any racing, although that’s starting to change now. I started work as a bike mechanic 11 years ago and have been fixing bikes and suspension ever since. I worked on bikes in other countries and riding/wrenching has opened a lot of doors wherever I’ve ended up. I ride everything from road to DH and still enjoy it all. As a service rep for Fox, what’s the best piece of advice to keep people out of your workshop? REGULAR servicing! I can’t stress it enough. Your bike will run so much better and will be more fun to ride if it is running properly. It will last longer and cost you less over the long run. The new technology on bikes is becoming more and more refined and requires a little bit more effort on your behalf to keep it clean and lubed. If people are just starting out in the MTB game, what are the best bike maintenance habits to pick up early? Find a good shop and build a relationship with them. If you look after them they’ll look after you in the long run. Keep your drive train clean and lubed. Park Tool make a great brush/cassette cleaner. This combined with a rag and some good chain lube will go a long way to keeping
your bike running nicely. Oh yeah keep the top of your fork seals dust/grit free. Run a clean rag around them before you ride. This will keep the potential for leaking and wear to a minimum. You’ve been working on your own frame; tell us a bit about Zephyr. I had originally wanted to have a trail bike version of my DH bike made by someone who had experience in fabrication. A friend inspired me to give building a whirl. I drew up a frame, ordered the tubing and by that stage I had to finish it! So after loads of Internet research and practice brazing I stuck it all together and the finished product is what you see in the blog. I documented each step in the hope that it may help someone else sometime in the future. The frame is a high pivot, it copes with the rear wheel forces, rocks roots etc, better than pretty much any other bike I have ridden. There are always
downsides to any design, the high pivot bikes have this with their chain line. The chain has to head up high somewhere near pivot so when the rear suspension compresses it doesn’t rip the derailleur off the swing arm! But it rides great and is pretty cool to be able to ride something that you’ve built yourself. I have some carbon designs in the wings so check out the blog for updates. Sounds perfect for those Wanaka trails, what do you see in store for the region in the coming years? More trails as more people from all walks of life become part of the cycling community. I think the councils and local government are starting to see the benefit that cycling and physical activity brings to the local region and to the health and wellbeing of the community. And we always need more single track! Website: www.zephyrcycles.blogspot.com
Distributed by Blue Shark Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanaka Set against the pristine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park and renowned for crystal clear lakes and rivers, Wanaka boasts spectacular scenery, superb single track and a slice of small town life. There are scenic multi use trails that run down the rivers and around the two lakes which are great for beginners. The Wanaka Plantation and Sticky Forest have long been known as top destinations for those wanting smooth bermed single track with achievable climbs. The trails in this little corner of the country are really fun. You can easily spend a day roaming around finding little gems tucked away in the trees. For the fit and adventurous there is a vast amount of 6-12hr high country rides in the area; big climbs, big views and brake cooking descents await. Where to Stay Wanaka Holiday Homes Providing quality accommodation in holiday homes and apartments in Wanaka and surrounding area. P: 021 280 0912 E: email@example.com
www.holidayhomeswanaka.com Wanaka YHA Located in town with excellent views across the lake and great facilities this hostel has easy
access to the best of Wanakaâ€™s riding spots. 94 Brownston St P: 03 443 1880 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz Where to Eat The Spice Room Red Star Luxury Burgers Federal Diner Best Coffee Cafe Gusto Local Bike Shops Thunder Bikes Racers Edge Outside Sports Best Short n Sweet Ride
The purpose built mtb track that is Deanâ€™s Bank is well worth considering when visiting Wanaka. It was built through a collaboration of the Wanaka Trails Trust and DOC, with almost all abilities in mind. Some beginners might find the climbs and some of the downs, a little hard, but
it is a great stepping stone to build skills and confidence on. Generally most people that ride here come away impressed at the fun factor that this track provides. It has uphill switch backs, swooping downhills, berms and jumps all packed into a neat little package that takes about 35-45mins to finish. To find the Deans Bank Track head out of town on the West Coast/Hawea road, just after the Albert Town bridge which crosses the Clutha River, turn left into the council camp ground and make your way into the far northern corner, the track starts and finishes here.
ONE DAY RIDES - SOUTHERN LAKES
Around Wanaka Crown Range to Tuohys Gulley This is a great ride if you are short on time and still want a high country experience. Make your way to the south corner of the Crown Range summit car park and you’ll see the DOC sign hanging on the gate. Follow the track up the hill which turns NE at the first summit. Get ready for some stiff wee climbs and a few false summits. The track eventually makes its way into the fast and flowing downhill of Tuohys Gully. Please respect the property, leave gates as you found them and try not to disturb the stock too much on the way down. The track will lead you out on to the Cardrona Valley Road below.
Description One way, can be a looped with a 14km highway ride. Distance: 22km one way Timing: 2-4hrs Elevation: 840m -1570m 100% 4WD with some technical sections. Setting: Alpine Suitable for adventurous riders with good fitness and skill 95% rideable 5% Push/Carry.
Getting There Drive up to the Summit of the Crown Range from Wanaka or Queenstown. It is best to do the ride with a car shuttle if
time is critical. Leave one car at the bottom of the Snow Farm Rd and drive the second to the top of the Crown Range. If you’re feeling strong leave the car at the Cardrona pub and ride from there, at least you’ll have a post ride beer waiting.
Logistics Some water on the ride, Cardrona pub is waiting at the finish. Alpine environment, be prepared. Topo Map CB12 Cardrona.
Wanaka Plantation The plantation above Wanaka provides some seriously fun riding, all 15 minutes ride from town. The tracks span from the Northern corner of Peninsula Bay all the way down the Clutha River to Albertown. The riding is very smooth and flowing with berms and jumps plus some technical exposure if that’s your game. The climbs and descents are short but you’ll soon hit the red line when doing multiple loops in the forest.
Inside Ride Riding area connects the two river trails that run up the Hawea and down the Clutha rivers to Wanaka. Something for most abilities, beginners may find it challenging but rewarding. 100% rideable.
Setting: Forest Expect to be riding for 2-6hrs
Getting There Head north on Lakeside Rd heading for Rata St and ultimately the top of Peninsula Bay, car park at the top. Make your way up from here via “Hoe down”. Facilities: None, stock up in town.
Logistics Maps available from Thunder Bikes, Racers Edge & Outside Sports.
Omarama & Twizel Omarama and Twizel are renowned for their awe inspiring surroundings and high country beauty. Both are hot spots for anglers & offer mountain biking options ranging from township tours to seemingly limitless 29er country. Keen cross country riders will enjoy the tracks through the Lindis, Ahuriri & the Waitaki area. Families will enjoy the more sedate but equally scenic Twizel River Trail. The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail currently stretches from Mt Cook to Twizel around Lake Pukaki. The trail will be 312km long with upto 8 stages when completed. It is yet to connect Twizel to Omarama. From Omarama you can ride to Duntroon through the region’s Hydro Lakes. Helibike.com offer a helibike alternative from Twizel to Lake Ohau. Rather than riding on the road, fly to the top of Ben Ohau and ride through amazing scenery to Lake Ohau. Where to Stay Omarama Top Ten Holiday Park Great selection of accommodation options including self contained units with en suite, cabins (deluxe and standard) with own bedding, communal kitchen, shower facilities & powered camping sites.
1 Omarama Avenue Free Ph: 0800 662 726 E: email@example.com W: www.omaramatop10.co.nz Ahuriri Motels When in beautiful Omarama stay at Ahuriri Motels. Located 500m from town, with 14 serviced units. Rates from $100/night with discounts for extended stays. Also, self contained backpackers at $45. 5 Clay Cliffs Lane, Omarama Free Ph: 0800438 945 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ahuririmotels.co.nz Where to Eat Kahu Airfield Café Situated at the Omarama Airport, glide into the Kahu Airfield Café and recharge your batteries with some Venus coffee and delicious food, all in a relaxing setting, while watching the gliders come and go. 68 Airport Rd, Omarama Other Activities HeliBike.com Experience an awesome scenic helicopter flight to land high above Twizel, then mountain bike down through stunning scenery. Suitable for anyone with basic
MTB skills and a sense of adventure! Free Ph: 0800 HELIBIKE E: email@example.com W: www.helibike.com Adventure South 19 years ago, Adventure South was launched as a guided MTB tour company. This year they’ve added two new exciting new tours to partner many others including Ocean to Alps. Free Ph: 0800 00 11 66 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.advsouth.co.nz Glide Omarama Omarama, famous for its gliding, attracts enthusiasts from all over the globe to recreate and fly in this pristine landscape. GlideOmarama.com gives you the opportunity to get air-borne and soak in the scenery. Free Ph: 0508 58 55 88 E: email@example.com W: www.glideomarama.com Omarama Airport Don’t Miss A short ride out to the world renowned Clay Cliffs from Omarama and a soak in the hot tubs.
Lake Tekapo & Fairlie Tekapo is ‘postcard’ New Zealand at its best. Glacial melted waters give Lake Tekapo a beautiful turquoise colour, which makes for a stark contrast against the golden tussock covered mountains surrounding Aoraki Mt Cook and the start of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. By day, Tekapo enjoys some of the highest sunshine hours in the country. By night, Tekapo is famous for clear skies exposing the vast southern sky. Where to Stay - Tekapo Tekapo Holiday Homes Great selection of holiday homes in the heart of Tekapo.Relax in one of our fully self-contained houses, professionally cleaned and all linen supplied. Affordable rates for short & long stays. 8 O’Neil Place P:03 680 6607 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.tekapoholidayhomes.co.nz
Tailor-Made-Backpackers Only 200 metres from the village centre, yet quiet & peaceful in a beautiful garden. Doubles, twins, dormitory & family rooms and a shed to put your bike to bed. 10 Aorangi Crescent P: 03 680 6700 E: tailor-made-backpackers@ xtra.co.nz www.tailor-made-backpackers.co.nz
The Godley Resort Hotel Enjoy Lake Tekapo with a night at the Godley Resort Hotel. A comfortable getaway in our part of paradise at an affordable price. Licensed Restaurant & Bar. State Highway 8 Free Ph: 0800 835 276 E: email@example.com W: mountcookcollection.co.nz YHA Lake Tekapo This cosy hostel with great facilities, overlooks the lake. Start point for High Country riding and a good base for local multisport events. 3 Simpson Lane P: 03 680 6857 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz Where to Stay - Fairlie Fairlie Top 10 A ‘bed for every budget’ with a variety of choices – motel units, self contained units, standard cabins, powered & tent sites. Free internet. Ask about the ‘3rd night free’ offer. 10 Allandale Road Free Ph: 0800 324 754 E: email@example.com W: www.fairlietop10.co.nz Where to Eat - Tekapo Kohan Japanese Restaurant Pepe’s Pizza & Pasta Restaurant Rakinui Restaurant Peppers Bluewater
Europe’s latest Summer Tube craze Coming to Alpine Springs in January 2012!
Where to Eat Earth & Sky Astro Cafe or Alpine Springs Cafe, Tekapo Old Library Café, Fairlie Rimuwhare Restaurant & Bar Farm Barn Café (best coffee) Eat Deli & Bar (best coffee) Other Activities - Tekapo Alpine Springs Overlooking Lake Tekapo, Alpine Springs is a must experience destination with something for everyone. Hot Pools, Day Spa, Skating Rink, Cafe, Sauna and launching December 2011, New Zealand’s first Summer Tube! Lakeside Drive Free Ph: 0800 2 353 8283 W: www.alpinesprings.co.nz Earth & Sky Observatory Overlooking Lake Tekapo, the Mt John Observatory offers spectacular 360 degree views of the Mackenzie Basin by day and planets, galaxies and constellations by night. Earth & Sky P: 03 680 6960 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.earthandsky.co.nz Must Do BBQ by the lake at sunset. www.tekapotourism.co.nz
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - MACKENZIE DISTRICT
Twizel & Tekapo Rides Omarama, Twizel, Tekapo and Fairlie all have some great family rides around the townships, many following local rivers & high country 4WD tracks or dual use DOC tracks. Families or those wanting to break up a long drive will enjoy some of the walkways and developing single track.
Cowans Hill. Gradually climbing, it passes the refuse tip & enters a small forest before crossing a poled 4WD track over firebreaks and tussock lands. It exits onto SH8, only a 1km downhill ride to Lilybank Rd.
Twizel River TraiL
On the east side of SH8, opposite Twizel is the start of the River Trail. A DOC sign marks the track’s start with 12kms (one way) over an old farm track alongside the Twizel River. It’s an easy ride 2-3hrs return, reasonably flat & ideal for a family outing or breather en route North or South.
Setting: Forest & Tussock Land. Suitable for beginners/ intermediates.
Lake Tekapo Regional Park
Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Tekapo and with a backdrop of the Two Thumb Range, the Regional Park offers new single track suitable for all levels. Access via car is off Lilybank Rd or by bike along the lake edge from the township.
Cowan’s Hill, Tekapo From the township there’s also another popular short ride up
Description Park: Single track network (forest), 12km of tracks. Cowans Hill: 4WD dual use track 3.2km 4wd track, 30mins.
Getting There Cowan’s Hill Track starts at the east end of the Main Road Bride in the Tekapo Township.
Description Return track with option to add Spur Rd Loop. Distance: 13km return, 1-2 hours. Elevation: Flat. Dual use single track, watch out for walkers!
Inside Ride Setting: riverside. Suitable for beginners but fun for all. 100% rideable.
Follow the track between Top 10 and town side of SH 79 Bridge.
Facilities No local bike shop, maps from Tekapo ISite. Amenities in Tekapo.
Fairlie Walkway If you’re staying at the Fairlie Top10, turn right from your accommodation and drop into the walkway, town-side of the main bridge. Follow the river downstream, it’s a fun albeit easy single track. When you get to the track’s end, return the way you came or cross the river & add on the Spur Road Loop for a great view of the Two Thumb Range.
Summer Tubing Hot Pools Day Spa Skating Rink Licensed Cafe
0800 2 353 8283
34. ONE DAY RIDES - MACKENZIE DISTRICT
Around Omarama Ahuriri ValleY Ahuriri conservation park is located inland from Omarama and Twizel, between Lake Hawea and Lake Ohau. The trail up the valley is perfect for a challenging day ride or an overnight adventure. There are four huts scattered throughout the valley and all reachable within a day’s ride. Cycling high above the river on the river terrace track, you’ll pass the Ahuriri Base Hut before descending to water level and gradually climbing approximately 15km to the end point, Top Hut. Riding along a shingle fan, you soon reach Shamrock hut and shortly after cross the river, riding onto Hagens hut which requires another river crossing slightly prior. The track then steepens and at times can be hard to define, clambering over larger rocks all the way to Top Hut which is tucked away in a small patch of Beech forest. Once you’ve finished exploring, the journey back is predominately downhill and often aided by a tail wind.
Description Return track Distance: 20km one way Timing: 4-8 hours
Elevation: 750m - 960m. 20 % 4WD farm track, 80% riverbed track.
Inside Ride Setting: Riverbed/Alpine Suitable for intermediate riders with some backcountry navigation skills. 90% Rideable, 10% Push/Carry
Getting There Driving South of Omarama along SH8 (Omarama-Lindis Pass Rd) turn right at Birchwood Rd and follow the Ahuriri River as far as your vehicle will let you. 4WD vehicles with good ground clearance can drive as far as Ahuriri Base Hut. Facilities: Plenty of flowing water and swimming holes.
Logistics Topo maps: (G39, G38). Full route detailed in Dave Mitchell’s Mtn Biking South Caution - river rises rapidly Alpine environment, plan & prepare. No local bike shop.
Manuherikia RIVER TRAILS For those who enjoy high country riding, exposed ridgelines and scenery second to none, check out the Manuherikia River Trails. There are a seemingly endless number of 4WD tracks in the
Omarama Basin. The two most popular follow the Omarama and Little Omarama Streams and the West and East branch of the Manuherikia River. The trails can be accessed via Broken Hut Road (Omarama) or via Hawkdun Runs Road (Naseby). Preparing for the worst is a must and careful planning is required when riding in this area. Check with DOC as it’s often impassable due to snow and the New Zealand Army occasionally run live fire exercises in the area. Best ridden as an overnight ride, 41km loop.
ONE DAY RIDES - MACKENZIE DISTRICT
Twizel & Tekapo Dusky Trail, TwizeL
The Dusky Trail ride is a fun ride through scenic tussock lands just out of Twizel. The track flanks Fraser Stream, follow it straight through the Darts Bush/Fraser Stream junction, steadily climbing beneath the Ben Ohau Range. After crossing Fraser Stream, the trail traverses the lower flanks of The Black Hills and reaches a high point of 780m where there’s a picnic table for a welcome rest. You can return the way you came or descend into the Gladstone Valley, crossing the Twizel River and eventually emerging to a car park near the bottom of Lake Pukaki on SH8 where you can ride back to your car or Twizel.
Trail map from DOC. Connecting rides: Darts Valley Stream Loop & Baikie Hut. Facilities, None on track, toilets at Baikie Hut, no local bike shop.
Description 11.5 km return track (23km total) Can be turned into a loop with a short road ride, 38km. Timing: 2-5 hours. Elevation: 520m 780m. Mixed Single Track & 4WD.
Inside Ride Setting: Foothills Suitable for adventurous beginners upwards 100% Rideable
Getting There Carpark located at Fraser Stream on Pukaki Canal Road . Look out for the DOC sign for Dusky Trail beside Glen Lyon Road.
Richmond Trail, Tekapo The Richmond trail is located in the Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, boarded by Lake Tekapo and the Two Thumb Range. A fantastic ride consisting of an undulating tussock clad single track, a technical downhill section and some of the most picturesque views in the country. The track starts at a signposted parking area on Roundhill Ski Area’s access road. Continuing up the gravel road (3kms) on your bike, the well marked Richmond Trail starts on your right. The track roams over an old glacial terrace with stunning views. The fun really starts on the descent to Lillybank Road which is quite technical in places.
Description Mixed: single track & farm style ride. Return loop option via Lilybank Rd. Distance: 13km (26km return to car park). Timing : 1hr, 3 hours return. Elevation: 740m - 930m.
Inside Ride Setting: Foothills. Suitable for intermediate riders. 100% Rideable (some technical downhills).
Getting There Turn right off Lilybank Road onto the Roundhill Ski Area access road, car park signposted on access road. No facilities or local bike shop.
Logistics Maps from Tekapo iSite Exposed to Nor’West wind, best ridden in the other direction if blowing but allow extra time for the long uphill slog.
Ashburton - Wining & Dining Mid-Canterbury is blessed with a great selection of delicious food and wines to experience. The area is filled with culinary gems to discover and is the perfect place to base a South Island trip. Ashburton plays host to some of New Zealand’s best biking trails and plenty of other attractions; jet boating, hot air ballooning, fly fishing and a great wine trail. A stroll down Burnett Street, Ashburton township, gives you 3 of the best eating experiences. Where to Eat The Somerset Grocer A great shop atmosphere that serves delicious food as well as bringing you the best of local and international produce.You will encounter new products and tasty delights with each visit. Cnr East & Burnett St P: 03 307 5899 W: www.somersetgrocer.co.nz Speight’s Ale House If it’s good hearty portions of Southern food matched with local beer you’re after, then this is the place for you. It has a full range of Speight’s beers on tap including exclusive seasonal beers. 245 Burnett St P: 03 308 5980 W: www.ashburtontrust.co.nz
Braided Rivers Restaurant & Bar Provides an elegant and vibrant atmosphere, with delectable cuisine from a range of menus. Try their ‘gold standard’ juicy steaks cooked using the only Montague Steakhouse Grill in the South Island. 246 Burnett St P: 03 307 2540 W: www.braidedrivers.co.nz
Other Activities Head to CharRees Boutique Vineyard to get a taste of a locally produced Ashburton wine. The wine makers emphasise quality over quantity. Wed - Sun 11am – 4pm for cellar door tastings and sales. For more information see canterburyfoodandwinetrails.co.nz
Best Coffee The Somerset Grocer Where to Stay Hotel Ashburton The perfect place to stay on the way to or from the airport. Set on the outskirts of Ashburton with large and beautifully kept gardens offering a quiet stay in the countryside. Racecourse Rd P: NZ Free Ph: 0800 330 880 E: email@example.com W: www.hotelash.co.nz
The Ashburton I-SITE and Visitor Centre has all the information you’ll need. Located on East Street P: 03 308 1050 Don’t Miss
Tinwald Motel New 12 unit motel complex, on the south side of town only 3km away. Qualmark 4+ self contained & serviced. Affordable quality motel accommodation with quality beds for a great sleep. Main South Rd NZ Free Ph: 0800 846 9253 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.tinwaldmotels.co.nz
The Ashburton District Farmers’ Market. Every 2nd Saturday 9-12pm West Street carpark Featured Events Mt Hutt Bike Ride Days - for a series of rides see
for event details.
Professional advice from an ex-professional rider. Makes sense doesn’t it? Bicycle sales and service • Full workshop services Road/Mtn bikes • BMX bikes • Kids’ bikes
CYCLERAMA 211 Burnett St, Ashburton P. 03 307 6443 www.cyclerama.co.nz
38. SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - ASHBURTON
Ashburton Waterways The Ashburton District is quickly developing as one of many bike play-grounds within Christchurch’s backyard. With rides already catering for many user groups and track development projects well underway, the region is committed to cycle recreation. Lake Hood A short and sweet ride along the banks of the Ashburton River to the manmade Lake Hood. The track is wide and well formed on a specific built and compacted cycle trail to allow for dual way traffic. Take your time and enjoy a cold drink and bite to eat at the Lake House Restaurant and Bar overlooking the lake before returning and completing the 21km loop.
Description Loop Circuit. Timing: 1-2 hours.
Inside Ride Suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness. 100% Rideable.
Logistics Car park and start of track is at the south side of the Ashburton Bridge, S.H.1. Maps and info available at Paul Wylie’s Cyclerama
Ashburton Hakatere River Trails A new and evolving set of trails starting at the car park on the north side of the Ashburton Bridge. The trails follow the river east all the way to the coast, approximately 25km. There are also some trails that have spread 4-5km west of the bridge. Currently there are single tracks under construction branching off the main bulldozer track.The area will eventually become a large single track network with bermed corners, wooden bridges and natural features. Check out Paul Wylie’s Cyclerama for the latest info on the tracks or Mid Canterbury Mountain Bike Club on Facebook if you wish to get involved in track builds.
Sections of the trail are already completed, such as a great ride for families from Ashburton to Lake Hood (7km). Contact the Ashburton or Methven I-SITE’s for up to date information.
Local Bike Shop
Cyclerama is owned and operated by Paul Wylie, a well known cycling figure in Mid Canterbury. Paul provides the wider Ashburton district with bike mechanical services and quality bike sales. 211 Burnett St P: 03 307 6443 E: email@example.com W: www.cyclerama.co.nz
Braided Waters Cycle Trail The ‘Braided Waters Cycle Trail’ is a multi-day cycle concept under development in the district. The completed 3m wide trail will enable pleasant family and friends’ recreation up to 145km. Starting at Rakaia or Lake Hood, the trail will follow the braided rivers of the district to the foothills and then utilise a network of canals to traverse the stunning foothills landscape.
BURNETT STREET, ASHBURTON
3 of the Best! SPEIGHT’S ALE HOUSE, THE SOMERSET GROCER & BRAIDED RIVERS RESTAURANT & BAR
ONE DAY RIDES - ASHBURTON
Mesopotamia The Mesopotamia Ride takes you through some of the most spectacular high country in New Zealand. Nestled between the Sinclair and Two Thumb Ranges, this remote area is often blasted by howling wind, rain and snow and baked in sweltering sun. Picking your day and preparing well is crucial and the reward for doing so is simply indescribable. The ride through to Royal Hut is the best part of 25km and, although possible to continue on with the stationâ€™s permission, itâ€™s usually a return trip which is doable in a day. From the car park follow the bulldozed track up Forest Creek. Itâ€™s a long bumpy and gradual uphill climb along a river bed, so big tyres are a must. After approximately 10km at the Felt Hut Stream, a marked track climbs out of Forest Creek and into the beech forest on your right. Once you pass the private Felt Hut and exit the forest, you are greeted by the tussock lands of the Tongue and Angel spurs of the Sinclair Range. Follow a 4WD farm track which leads you up a steady climb to the Bullock Bow Saddle, crossing the Felt Hut Stream multiple times. The final gut busting
climb over the exposed saddle yields spectacular views of the surrounding ranges, Canterbury Plains and Rangitata River. Plummeting down the opposing scree slopes soon flattens out to a tussock covered double track that gradually descends to the Bush Stream and valley floor, where youâ€™ll find Royal Hut. Camping out gives you more time to enjoy the amazing area and views from Stag Saddle but be wary of the weather, itâ€™s very exposed and can change quickly. The journey back is a return trip, with a solid downhill from Bullock Bow Saddles.
Description 44km return, timing: 6-10hours
Type of Track 30% 4wd Track, 35% River Bed, 30% Single/stock track, 5% Scree Slope.
Logistics Topo Map: J36 Mt Harper / Mahaanui. Reference: Dave Mitchellâ€™s Mountain Biking South.
Local fixit shop Cyclerama, Ashburton Big Als, Methven
This is a great ride in the Ashburton Lakes. Itâ€™s a private (loop) track leading up to the Wild Mans Brother Range and superb views into the Cameron Glacier below the Arrowsmith Range. Contact Sally & Eric 03 303 9090 to ensure the track is open. $10 fee.
Inside Ride Setting: High Country and Alpine Suitable for Advanced riders with Backcountry experience 90% Rideable, 8% Push, 2% Carry.
Getting There The car park is by the bridge south of Mesopotamia Station & approx. 40km from Ashburton. Facilities: Royal Hut and ready water access.
UHVWDXUDQWEDU pantone warm grey 10
245 Burnett St | P. 03 308 5980
Cnr East & Burnett St | P. 03 307 5899
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m 47 y 57 k 14 246 Burnett St | P. 03 307 2540 helvetica regular 201 kerning 100% black
Take a stroll down Burnett Street in Ashburton and find 3 of the best! Sample the freshest atmosphere and the sweetest flavours.UEHUVDW LDGXHU DGQ WULYHE UDVU
Methven Methven offers a perfect escape no matter what your taste or budget! Just over one hour from Christchurch on Inland Scenic Route 72, this alpine-themed village nestled close to the Southern Alps, offers both high octane excitement or a tranquil country escape. Methven is full of classic Canterbury activities ranging from fishing, golf, jet boating, hot air ballooning, hiking, hunting, rafting, skydiving, skating, mountain biking and much more. There is a great assortment of restaurants and bars for entertainment. The iconic Blue and Brown Pubs in Methven are both perfect stops for ‘re-fuelling’ after a day out and about. Where to Stay Abisko Lodge Only one minute to the village centre, affordable quality at budget prices. Ensuited lodge rooms, apartments and campground. Renovated 2009. Laundry, spa/sauna, drying room, Wi-Fi internet throughout. Book direct and save. 74 Main Street Free Ph: 0508 ABISKO (224 756) E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.abisko.co.nz
Big Tree Lodge Backpacker Hostel with selfcontained unit. Private & Dorm rooms. Clean, homely, selfcatering, free coffee, internet & laundry, cycle rack out back, 3 min walk to town centre. Zenbu Hotspot. Nov/May Special: 5th night free, conditions apply. 25 South Belt P: 03 302 9575 E: email@example.com W: www.bigtreelodge.co.nz
Where to Eat
YHA Methven Flashpackers A high quality hostel nestled in an alpine playground. Close to Methven’s amenities. Great mix of riding nearby, including the Mt Hutt Mt Bike Park. Cnr Bank & McMillan Streets P: 03 302 8999 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz
Farmers Markets: Fortnightly farmers markets are on Sundays, 9am to 12pm from October to April on the Main St.
Methven Sport Massage Reward yourself after a day riding with a massage. Deep tissue, hot rock, relaxation or reflexology treatments available. Centrally located 300mtrs from the i-SITE. 4 McKerrow St P: 03 302 8323
The NZ MTB Downhill Cup is a series of six events, with best five results towards the NZ MTB Downhill Cup title. The SI Downhill Cup title is also decided from results at the three SI events. Round 3: Fri 20th - Sat 21st Jan, Mt. Hutt Bike Park.
E: email@example.com www.methvensportsmassage.co.nz
The Blue Pub Primo Cafe E Secundo The Brown Pub The Staveley Store and Café Best Coffee Primo Cafe & iSITE Cafe Best Pizza Dom’s Pizza. Open 5pm – 9pm Thurs – Mon. Later on weekends. Other Activities
The Methven i-SITE is located on the Main St with a resource of information. Check out the Heritage Museum. Featured Event
Useful Link www.amazingspace.co.nz
42. SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - METHVEN
Methven Walkway & Lake Emma Methven boasts some superb riding, from gentle cruises along the banks of the Rakaia River, to the Hakatere Conservation Park and the infamous Mt Hutt downhill tracks. For a run down on all the tracks in the area head to Big Al’s in Methven where expert mechanic Rich will point you in the right direction.
Methven Walkway An easy bike ride mainly following grass verges beside the Rangitata Diversion Race (a hydro-electric irrigation channel) and private farmland. The Walkway commences & ends at the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre where mapsare available.
Description Loop Circuit, distance: 8-11km. Timing: 30min -1hr.
Inside Ride Suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness. 100% rideable.
Logistics Parking and info at the Methven iSITE & Big Als.
Lake Emma to Lake Camp Lake Clearwater, Lake Emma and Lake Camp all lie within a stones throw or short bike ride from each other. There are 4WD tracks that skirt each lake and the views are superb. None of the riding is particularly difficult and a young family can comfortably ride the trails together.
Be sure to take a few spare tubes as some of the track is surrounded by Matagouri. From the Lake Emma car park follow the track that skirts the lake and cross the outlet (this can usually be ridden through but may require wading through). The track then edges around the bottom of the Harper Range before following the Balmacaan Stream. Ride through the stream at the mouth to the marked trail on the other side and onto Lake Camp. You can return or take the road back. To extend the ride cross through the settlement of baches and check out Lake Clearwater.
The turn off to Lake Emma is marked from Hakatere Potts Rd, at the end of Ashburton Gorge Road. Vehicles may be left at the car park at the end of the access track (Map BX19). Hakatere Potts Rd continues onto Lake Heron.
Loop Circuit, distance: 13km Timing: 1-2 hours
Inside Ride Suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness. 100% rideable, 30% 4WD track 70% dual use single track.
Local Bike Shop Big Al’s Big Al’s Snowsports Bike rental, repairs & sales. Shimano Service Centre. Rich Owen Mechanic. Good range of spares, tyres, tubes. Closest shop to Mt Hutt Bike Park - maps & info. The Square P: 03 302 8003 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bigals.co.nz
Expert local knowledge and free booking service. Open 7 days.
Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre 160 Main Street, Methven. P: (03) 302 8955. E: methven@i-SITE.org
ONE DAY RIDES - METHVEN
Mt Hutt Bike Park Downhill Trails Mt Hutt Bike Park Downhill Trails For the more adventurous riders the Mt Hutt Downhill Trails provide an almost limitless playground for training and progression. Recognised as one of the premiere areas in Canterbury, this year Round three of the National Series will be held here. The trails are vast, from open 4WD drive and skidder tracks, to epic single track. All tracks are well maintained with berms, bridge features and kickers. Donâ€™t let that put you off; there are easy lines around all features and jumps catering for all riders. There are some easy trails, which follow old skidder tracks, making good fast riding.
Cross-country Trail New this year, and rideable by December, is the Donkey Swamp x-country track. 10kms of rolling hill trails suitable for all riders. This runs on the lower side of the Mt Hutt access road and links to the downhill trails. To get there from the centre of Methven follow the signs to Mt Hutt Ski Area and at the start of the unsealed road you will find a trail map and parking, the x-c track starts here. Alternatively
there is parking at the Mt Hutt Information Booth. For those keen to earn the downhill jump on your bike and start pedalling up the access road, a short but sharp climb, you will soon find the start point for the downhill trails. True downhillers will no doubt require a lift. Bike Methven maintains the park and everyone is welcome to ride it. The club often runs shuttle days and for a small fee you can be ferried up, with multiple vans running all day. Check the website bikemethven.co.nz or Bike Methvens facebook page. The Mt Hutt Bike Park caters to all riders with superb downhill and x-c rides.
Easy Trails Blues, Fuzz, Enlargement, Diggler, Bang 4 Buck, Donkey Swamp Loop XC.
HardER trails DHNZ, Sluka Feta, Root Feast.
Expert Trails Pinky, Black Panther, 4Play.
Description Bike Park - Downhill Trails Timing - Ride all day if your legs can handle it. Type of Tracks: 65% Single Track, 35% 4WD Tracks.
Inside Ride Suitable for Intermediate to Advanced Riders.100% Rideable when you stick to your limits.
Getting There A short drive from Methven up the Mt Hutt access road to the lower chains area.
Facilities Methven with food, bike spares and accommodation.
Logistics Maps & Local Fixit Shop: Big Als
we love to play too.
MT HUTT VILLAGE
Ph: 03 302 8003 W. www.bigals.co.nz
44. A TASTE OF BIKING - ASHBURTON
Ashburton Lakes By Dave Mitchell Over recent years the tenure review has opened up a vast area of open tussock country, rolling foothills, mountains and lakes in the Ashburton Lakes area. Centred around Hakatere at the cross roads to Lake Clearwater and Lake Heron, the newly crowned Hakatere Conservation Park is open. Mountain biking is the winner with old farm 4WD tracks that circle and connect a long list of lakes and tarns, heads up river valleys and along open tops. We’ve put together three different rides with options to extend, staying at either Lake Clearwater, a bach or a campground, Arrowsmith Lodge on the edge of Lake Heron, or a number of DOC huts on the rides themselves.
Day One Lake Emma to Lake Clearwater
On the first day a ride around Lake Emma and Lake Camp (Short n Sweet pg 42) can then link with a ride around Lake Clearwater. Exiting the Lake Emma trail, head west along the main gravel road to the Lake Clearwater bach settlement. Through the camp ground at the lake edge, you’ll find a single track east that crosses a foot bridge and heads around the lake’s northern shore. A 4WD track is soon reached, which eventually crosses the foot bridge over Lambles Stream at the lake’s far eastern end. You can continue directly south on a 4WD track that climbs back to the east end of Lake Camp.
Description Connecting Lake Loop Tracks Distance 11kms (plus Lake Emma 13kms) Timing 3 – 3.5hrs
Inside Ride Combination of single track & 4WD. Suitable for all abilities. Topo map BX18 Lake Clearwater.
Day Two Paddle Hill Creek and Boundary Hut
The trail starts on a 4WD track heading up a vast open and old river terrace to eventually ford Paddle Hill Creek. The track then sneeks between Mt Guy and Dogs Hill, following the creek all the way to a low saddle, which looks down on the South Ashburton River. You can choose to return or take a clay descent down to the six bunk Boundary Hut, which is tucked nicely into a sheltered spot beside Boundary Creek. Boundary Hut is a good option to stay over.
Description Return ride to Haketere, or ride back to Lake Clearwater, with a choice of extensions.
Getting There Carpark is a short distance from Hakatere on the road to Lake Heron.
Inside Ride 4WD track with variable terrain. Distance 24kms return. All ages and abilities... turn around at any time. Topo map BX19 Hakatere.
Extension to Potts Hut
A gnarly extension to the ride exists at the start of the descent down to the hut. This loose and rocky 4WD track grovels onto the top of the Dogs
Range and undulates along it. It then descends a series of sketchy zig zags to a large tarn and the source of Boundary Creek. Further down this valley another series of zig zags, even sketcher to ride than the last, dumps you on the door step of the very historic eight bunk Potts Hut. The return ride is especially challenging.
Inside Ride Distance: 32kms return Topo Map: BX18 Lake Clearwater. Suitable for experienced riders.
Extension to Mystery Lake
For a more relaxing side trip from the original ride, head up the valley between Mt Guy and the Dogs Range, to a small tarn at the very end of the west ridge of Mt Guy. This is an old 4WD track you passed on your left on the way in, and is suitable for almost anyone, giving access to some spectacular craggy country, totara and bush remnants. Return the way you came. The track does continue below the Dog’s Range, all the way to Mystery Lake, getting gradually steeper and gnarlier as it climbs. The lake is well hidden and only reveals itself once you have given up finding it.
Inside Ride Distance: 20km return. Extension Distance: 7kms return. Topo Map: BX18 Lake Clearwater. Suitable for adventurous riders.
Also from the small tarn at the west end of Mt Guy a poled track descends very steeply, then down a series of cliffs and terraces to the edge of Lake Clearwater which you can ride back around to base.
Inside Ride Topo Map: BX18 Lake Clearwater. Distance 4kms to Lake Clearwater.
Day Three Lake Heron to Barrosa Station
A gravel road from Lake Heron carpark takes you around the bottom of the lake and onto a 4WD track. This heads below Lake Hill and across the Swin River, going east between the river and Harrisons Bight. You will soon find yourself back in the riverbed, which you follow due east for a couple of kilometres picking up another 4WD track, that runs below the Longman Range. This track goes straight to Double Hut, but has been washed out in places by the Swin River South Branch. It may be better to head up the Swin riverbed and hook back onto the track at the top, by-passing the hut.
The track then squeezes between the Mt Somers and Longman Range, dropping down to Seagull Lake and a great spot for lunch. The 4WD track is pretty vague in places but marked with orange topped warratahs. It continues to Manuka Lake where a short detour takes you to the six bunk Manuka Hut. This is where you pick up the Stour River. Below the Manuka Range you ford this river down a tight valley & back out onto vast open tussock flats. The track picks up speed below the Clent Hills and Mt Somers Range, fording and re-fording the west branch of the Stour River. It turns south hugging the true right bank of the Stour below rocky cliffs and gullies of native broad leaf, manuka and the odd patch of beech forest. A final section of flowing trail delivers you to the DOC car park adjacent to the Ashburton Gorge Road.
Description Trail runs over single track, open river beds and variable mountain terrain.With a bit of patience and good map reading skills, the track is suitable for all levels of rider. Suitable overnight stay at Double or Manuka Hut.
Getting There Car park is at the south end of Lake Heron, along Lake Heron Road from Hakatea. You can do it as an in-and-out trip, from either end, or a shortened version by heading in via Lake Emily. This is a turn-off two kilometres past Maori Lakes, on the way to Lake Heron.
Inside Ride Topo Map: BX19 Hakatere. Distance: 32kms. Some rivers may be hard to cross after heavy rain and strong southerlies or nor-westerly winds can make riding impossible.
Stu Waddel rides the Lyndon Saddle Track, Craigieburn Range, Canterbury. PHOTO: RILEY BATHURST
SINGLE TRACKS Ride Selwynâ€™s single tracks, from alpine to Beech Forest.
Selwyn District Running from the Southern Alps across the Canterbury Plains to the ocean, the Selwyn district offers an amazing contrast in landscapes.Many of the district’s attractions are within an hour’s drive from Christchurch International Airport. There are a variety of riding choices in Selwyn, ranging from the family friendly Little River Rail Trail to superb single track and alpine beech forest rides. The four State Highways that pass through Selwyn also offer a diversity of scenic splendours, all leading to further southern adventures: Great Alpine Highway SH 73 Inland Scenic Route SH 72 Christchurch to Rakaia SH 1 Christchurch to Motukarara SH 75 Wine & Food Trails There are boutique family wineries, country style cafes and fine dining restaurants everywhere you go in Selwyn. Sample wine straight from the cellar door, tuck into farm fresh produce at local cafes or enjoy the unique flare of Selwyn’s restaurants. This is truly a wine and food lover’s seventh heaven.
National Parks, Mountains, Lakes and Rivers Selwyn is fortunate to be bounded by the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers, and many high country lakes. Arthur’s Pass National Park and a number of other recreational areas are nestled amongst the region’s untouched alpine paradise. Whether your visit is for a day or a week, you can be assured of a truly enjoyable country experience. Some great towns worth a visit are Dunsandel, Darfield, Springfield & Sheffield to name a few. They are perfect places to stop for a rest & a coffee when driving long distances. Where to Eat - Sheffield Sheffield Pie Shop The Sheffield Pie shop is an absolute must for any trip heading to the Craigieburn; their gourmet pies are a delicious way to start or finish the day. 51 West Coast Road P: 03 3183 876
Where to Stay- Springfield Smylies Holiday Lodge (YHA) A mix of Japanese hot baths, food and access to an alpine playground. Craigieburn Forest Park is right on the doorstep. Main Road P: 03 318 4740 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz Where to Eat Dunsandel Store for great food and coffee - SH1. Best Coffee The Bealey Hotel, Arthurs Pass Don’t Miss Springfield Service Centre The last stop before the Craigieburn Range for fuel, food and to hire your climbing gear for Castle Hill Boulders. 28 West Coast Road P: 03 3184 845 Useful Links www.facebook.comsensationalselwyn www.selwyn.govt.nz/sensational-selwyn
Yummy beechy deliciousness. Photo: Rich Goldsbury
Tim Prebble, Black Hill. Photo: Rich
Photo: Riley Bathurst
Mel Goldsbury, Mt Oxford Photo: Zane Smith
Castle Hill The spiritual home of CHILL, Castle Hill is nestled between the Torlesse and Craigieburn mountain ranges. The area is characterised by its distinctive limestone rock formations and renowned for epic mountain biking trails. Castle Hill Village is made up of about 70 holiday homes and permanent residences and is a quintessential Alpine Village. Where to Stay The Burn Alpine B&B Castle Hill Village Stay in the closest accommodation to the new Hog’s Back Track. Warm & relaxed with great food. Enjoy a massage & a hot tub right in the heart of the Craigieburns. 11 Torlesse Place P: 03 3187559 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.theburn.co.nz Where to Eat Sheffield Pie Shop en route from CHC Flock Hill Lodge
Other Activites The Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti unique limestone rock formations offer world class bouldering.
ONE DAY RIDES - SELWYN
Beechies Craigieburn Valley & Lyndon Saddle Loop An epic single track ride that’s worth the relatively short drive from Christchurch or the Coast. The 6km climb leads you to a mix of beech clad single track and gnarly scree slope traverses before exiting onto a short gradual climb to where the fun begins. When you get to Lyndon Saddle take the track to your right back to the Broken River Ski Area Road, being wary of walkers and the roots if wet.
Map available from DOC. Guided option: naturalhigh.co.nz
Dracophyllum Flat Track
Take warm clothes, food and water, check weather. Springfield Garage is the last stop for fuel.
Duel use, rooty 17km loop track. Timing: 2-4 hours. Elevation: 800m - 1300m. 45% single track 55% 4WD tracks. Setting: Alpine, sub-alpine beech forest.
(At time of writing) the Hog’s Back Track is almost complete, with 8km of flowing single track now rideable. The track is suitable for intermediate riders and is accessible from the Thomas Bush access road west of Castle Hill Village. The track climbs through beech forest, descends open flats, carves through more beech, climbs creek side, traverses the Hogs Back ridge and finally descends to Texas Flat. Here you can turn back and return home or ride the Mt Cheeseman road to SH 73 for a road bash back to your car. There is also a new beginner’s trail being built in Thomas Bush, behind Castle Hill Village. Visit www.castlehill.net.nz for updates.
Inside Ride Suitable for: Advanced riders. (Craigieburn Valley) Intermediate riders (Lyndon Saddle). 95% rideable.
Getting There Park at Broken River Ski Area off SH 73, ride 1km West up highway to Craigieburn Ski Area road and start climbing.
Facilities Toilets and fresh water at the car park.
SPRINGFIELD SERVICE CENTRE YOUR LAST STOP BEFORE THE ALPINE PASSES
FOOD/DRINKS/NZ POSTAL AGENT/SNOW CHAINS
WORKSHOP/24HR AA BREAKDOWN SERVICE
OPEN 7 DAYS 7:30AM - 7:00PM MAIN WEST COAST RD, SPRINGFIELD
PH +64 3 318 4845 • 027 249 4817
50. ONE DAY RIDES - SELWYN
Arthur’s Pass & Poulter Valley In the middle of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana lies Arthur’s Pass National Park Village. The beech forest-clad hamlet in the middle of the Arthur’s Pass National Park is home to cafés, restaurants, bars and plenty of accommodation. One of the most spectacular outdoor environments, it’s popular with walkers and alpine enthusiasts. The huge, scree covered mountains and wide braided rivers straddle the main divide, the ‘back bone’ of the South Island, are a sight to behold.
Where to Stay Bealey Hotel, Arthurs Pass Hearty cooked meals in a classic alpine bar setting. Idyllic views to wake to, family units, studios and a budget option. P: 03 318 9277 E: email@example.com W: www.bealeyhotel.co.nz Mt House Backpackers - YHA Nestled in Arthur’s Pass village the hostel is a base for outdoors lovers. Mix riding with skiing and tramping. Good base for Poulter River track or Craigieburn riding. Main Road P: 03 318 9258 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz
Where to Eat The Bealey Hotel - east of Arthur’s Pass Arthurs Pass Café The Wobbly Kea
Best Coffee Bealey Hotel
Other Activities The world renowned TranzAlpine rail journey from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass. It passes through gorges and river valleys, through tunnels and viaducts to the West Coast.
One Day Ride Poulter Valley
A three year trial period of back country mountain biking in the Poulter Valley was approved and mountain biking is now permitted in the Poulter Valley on the proviso that mountain bikers keep to the specified route. Exploring the bush track beyond Casey Hut or areas beyond the Trust / Poulter Hut by bike could result in access being revoked. It’s a shared used track so consideration for other users is required but the pay off for sticking to the rules is that the scenery is amazing and there’s two good huts for an overnight stay. Check out the DOC Guide for route and safety details
Description One way, return down the same trail. Distance: 27 km. Timing: 3.5 hours one way. Mixed 4WD track and quad bike tracks. Elevation: 480 – 640 meters, many climbs. Setting: Sub alpine and river flats
Inside Ride Suitable for fit intermediate rides with backcountry experience. 95% rideable.
Getting There Take Mt White Road off SH 73, the turn off is not far past Cass if travelling from CHC or approximately 25km east from Arthur’s Pass. Travel for 20 km along this gravel road until just before it crosses the Poulter River. The track starts here. No Facilities, be prepared.
Logistics Topo Map: L34 Puketeraki, L33 Dampier. Two river crossings, care required. Backcountry ride, be prepared. See DOC for guide and safety brochure
ONE DAY RIDES - SELWYN
Mt Oxford & Blowhard Blowhard Track Located in the Thomas Forest, north of the Sheffield & Waimakariri River and past Oxford, the Blowhard Track starts at the end of Maori Reserve Road. The track begins as a 4WD track and narrows to a rocky and steep single track climbing nearly to the summit of Mt Richardson. The traverse to the summit is a mixture of rocks and roots and the lower section involves a whole lot of bike carrying on the way up & plenty of nerves on the way down.
Description One way, return down the same trail. Distance: 10.5km, 21km return. Timing: 3 - 5hours. Elevation: 280m - 1040m 10% 4WD Track. 90% Single Track Setting: Foothills, Beech Forest.
Inside Ride Suitable for advanced riders with a high level of fitness. 80% ride. 20% carry.
Timing/Points of Reference 1hr to first saddle, another hour to summit, 1 hour descent.
Getting There Grab yourself a Sheffield Pie and head towards Oxford. Pass the Ashley George and turn left
onto Maori Reserve Road not far past Glentui. From Christchurch, it may be quicker via Tram Rd.
Facilities None, be prepared.
Suitable for Adventurous Intermediate riders. 85% Rideable
Maps available from DOC. Bikes not permitted on the Richardson & by-pass tracks Track also popular with horse trekkers and walkers. Wasps prevalent in summer.
Wharfedale Track The Wharfedale Track, located in the Oxford Forest Conservation Area, is some of the best and longest beech forest clad single track in Canterbury. Littered with roots, it’s a gnarly track in the wet with some brutal climbs and epic downhills. It’s a long day loop trip or a 3-5 hour in and out ride.
Description Loop Track with shuttle service. Distance approx 35kms to hut and back - 70km loop. Timing: 3-6 in and out or 7-8 hour loop. Elevation 230m 730m.Type of Track: Duel use roots, river beds & gravel roads 50% Single track. 25% 4WD river bed. 25% gravel road. Setting: river valley / beech forest / foothills.
Getting There Drop off point: Suggested loop - Oxford Shuttle pick up from Cr Woodstock & Harmans Gorge Rd, drop off at Lees Valley Rd. One way to Wharfedale Saddle - park at View Hill Car Park.
Facilities None, be prepared. Overnight option Wharfedale Shelter.
Map from DOC. Guided option: www.naturalhigh.co.nz
Connecting Rides Mt Oxford Track & Cookers Creek Track.
Considerations Alpine setting. Nor-west wind may impact which direction you ride. Wasps prevalent in summer.
WE BUY / SELL / TRADE / HIRE & REPAIR Christchurch’s Best value long term hire & buyback deal. A huge range of quality bikes & parts to choose from. Open 7 days, Ph 3766-377 620 Ferry Road, Woolston
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES
Christchurch City is the gateway to the South Island. After recent earthquakes, the City is recovering well. Over summer there are a number of quality events, including the Buskers Festival, The Great Kiwi Beer Festival and the Ellerslie Flower Show. The wider Canterbury Region has plenty of great rides and the International Airport allows easy travel throughout NZ and to & from Australia. The city is also home to the Port Hills, the remnants of an ancient volcano and a MTB mecca.
Where to eat Terra Viva - Wicked Tapas Vic’s Cafe, Victoria Street Blax Coffee, Montreal St Addington Coffee Co-op, Lincoln Rd Best Coffee C4 coffee, Tuam St Best Treatment (post crash) Riccarton Clinic, 6 Yaldhurst Rd
McLeans Island provides an easy going and well built single track loop suitable for the whole family. Advanced riders will still have fun on this track, especially at night, & can extend the track with two additional loop tracks.
Inside Ride 100% delicious single track Suitable of all levels of ability Timing: 30min - 1hour Setting: Forest
Where to Stay
Local Bike Shops
Airport Delta Motel 3 minutes from CHCH Airport & 10 minutes to the City. Airport shuttle available. 4-Star Plus, Studio, 1 & 2-bedroom accommodation. Handy to McLeans Island Forest. 61 Roydvale Avenue Ph: +64 3 358 0969 E: email@example.com W: www.airportdelta.co.nz
Around Again Cycles A huge range of quality bikes & parts to choose from. Up to 1 year warranty and service on all sales. They will buy back your bike for half price. 620 Ferry Rd P: 03 376 6377 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.aroundagaincycles.co.nz
Approximately 2kms east of the Christchurch International Airport, the main entrance to runs right off McLeans Island Road. Large picnic area, toilet facilities and drinking water located at the main car park.
Cyclone Cycles & Mowers Top brands, sales, service and rentals ($25 p/day). Check out their highly qualified service centre for all bike repairs. Located at the Port Hills end of Colombo St. 245 Colombo Street P: 03 332 9588 W: www.cyclone.net.nz
Bottle Lake Forest
YHA Rolleston House Well specified hostel across the road from Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park. Bike storage. Fifteen minute ride to awesome Port Hills trail network. 5 Worcester Street P: 03 366 6564 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz
Don’t Miss Cycling through the city on a Vintage Peddler (Bike Hire Co.)
Logistics Maps from www.ccc.govt.nz and info boards on the trail.
Bottle Lake Forest Park is a working pine forest with an extensive quantity of easy going single track suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness. Nestled amongst pine trees and rolling sand dunes the park is also popular with walkers and horse trekkers. The main entrance and car park for is from Waitikiri Drive, off Burwood Road.
438 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Phone: 03 365 0907 Fax: 03 365 1462 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH POWER
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - CHRISTCHURCH
Little River & Living Springs Little River Rail Trail An easy ride suitable for the whole family located on the outskirts of Christchurch. The most popular section of the track starts at Motukarara and meanders along the side of Lake Ellesmere on route to Birdlings Flat, Lake Forsyth and Little River. This 20km long section of the track runs on the old preserved railway embankment surrounded by wetlands rich in wildlife and vegetation.
Description 20km wide gravel top track (Motukarara to Little River). Timing: 1-3 hours one way, exposed to wind, better suited for early morning. Suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels 100% rideable.
Getting There Multiple car parks along SH75 to Akaroa. Main car park located in Motukarara following long straight past the Blue Duck Cafe.
Facilities Cafes located in Motukarara and Little River. Multiple picnic and toilet spots located along the trail.
Logistics Map available from local information centres, Blue Duck Cafe, Tai Tapu’s The Store and online: www.littleriverrailtrailco.nz
If you’re staying in the area and want a hard but rewarding ride, check out ‘Double Fenceline’ outlined in Dave Mitchell’s MTB South and the Kennett Brother’s Classic NZ MTB Rides.
Where to Stay Little River Campground & Manaia Native Habitat A secluded valley only 4kms from the end of the railtrail. Cabins, tipee and sheltered campsites with 7 hectares of native bush and the Okuti River. Free very hot showers! 287 Okuti Valley Road P: 03 325 1014 E: email@example.com
On the Lyttleton side of the Port Hills nestled amongst native Broadleaf, Kanuka Pine and Eucalypt are the Living Springs single tracks. There’s a mix of technical and easier trails but it’s predominately suited to keen cross country riders. It’s private land so please respect the stock but at the same time enjoy the climbs, switchbacks and flowing descents. There’s also a gnarly DH track but it’s currently closed due to rock fall danger. It’s a great spot to ride if the sun’s blazing and can be ridden all day or combined with other Port Hills Tracks.
Description 5km single track loop More tracks being developed Suitable for intermediate riders 99% Rideable
Getting There From Christchurch drive up Dyers Pass Rd Past Vic Park (Throw in a sneaky lap or two of Flying Nun at the top). Continue straight to Governors Bay, turn right and continue along the main road. When you reach Allendale turn right into Bamfords Rd, continue approximately 1km, car park under macrocarpas.
Facilities Food available in Governors Bay. Full outdoor rec centre and accommodation at Living Springs see ww.livingsprings.co.nz
Logistics Map and updates available from www.singletrack.org.nz
Images: Riley Bathurst. Riders: Tiggy Cameron, Toby Read & Hugo Miller
Sweet Rides supplied by vintagepeddler.co.nz
Hanmer Springs The alpine village of Hanmer Springs has been a holiday destination for New Zealanders for generations. Surrounding Hanmer are vast forests offering over 50km of walking and mountain bike tracks for you to explore. Hanmer is rich in activities during the summer and winter, including bungy jumping, jet boating, quad bikes, thermal pools and golf. It also features boutique shopping with an array of great cafés and restaurants. Where to Stay Le Gite Backpackers Le Gite is a friendly, comfortable hostel with spacious doubles/ twins/shares and ensuite rooms, all beds readymade. Campsites are also available. Free tea, coffee & hot chocolate. Great value for money! 3 Devon Street P: 03 315 5111 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.legite.co.nz Heritage Hanmer Springs Restored historic building in landscaped grounds just 90 minutes from Christchurch. Accommodation includes rooms and 3-bedroom villas. Tennis and petanque courts plus outdoor swimming pool, across from the renowned Thermal Pools. 1 Conical Hill Road
SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES
Forest Rides Hanmer’s Hot Pools provide welcome relief to sore muscles and the forest tracks provide the perfect place to earn your soak.
Free Ph: 0800 368 888 E: res.heritagezhp@ heritagehanmer.co.nz W: www.heritagehotels.co.nz/ hanmer-springs Kakapo Lodge - YHA The perfect mountain biker’s retreat. Great facilities at the hostel with hot pools and great trails nearby. Access point to the St James Trail. 14 Amuri Ave P: 03 315 7472 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz Where to Eat Culverden Bakery (beauty pies) Springs Deli - Rustic Cafe & Tapas Bar Best Coffee The Powerhouse Café Bike Shop & Hire Hanmer Adventure Centre 20 Conical Hill Rd Don’t Miss Plenty of good golf courses in the region.
The ever popular Dog Stream track and Woodland Walk are great beginner tracks and a perfect introduction to single track. Those looking for a challenge won’t be disappointed and you can easily spend a whole day exploring the trails. The Joliffe Saddle, Yankee Zephyr and Detox are fantastic technical rides and can easily be connected into a 20-odd kilometre loop ride. The trails are built by the Hanmer MTB Club and the best way to explore the network is to purchase one of their maps available from the iSite and Hanmer Adventure Centre. Proceeds go back to the club and result in more delicious single track. The trails are easily accessed from the township via a very short road bash and all the services and facilities you’ll need are located in town. Be sure to take some warm clothes, food and water when exploring the tracks and respect all closures.
ONE DAY RIDES - HANMER SPRINGS
St James Cycle Trail The first of the New Zealand Cycle Trails to be completed, the 64km St James Cycle Trail can be completed in a day by fit riders or as an overnighter to take in the scenery. Starting at Maling Pass along Tophouse Road and heading for Lake Guyon is the recommended direction to maximise downhill thrills and take advantage of prevailing winds. The entry and exit points are 25 km apart. A decent level of fitness is required to complete the whole track, it is graded intermediate, but after Lake Guyon the track, becomes increasingly difficult and you’re on your own! Be prepared for river crossings and bike carrying in places. The sweat is worth the spectacular contrasts of dry grasslands, beech forest, lush grasslands and meandering crystal rivers on a back drop of snow capped mountains. There is a great mix of 4WD and single tracks, both bumpy and smooth, and no NZ ride would be sufficient without a couple of nerve-rattling wooden bridges. If choosing the overnight option, the character of the musterer huts will make your billy boiled tea even tastier and your
exhaustion will help you sleep on the well moulded bunk beds.
Things to Take Stuff a 20-30litre MTB pack with a very small sleeping bag, waterproof cycling pants and jacket, spare dry clothes to change into, as much hi-cal food as you can carry, map compass and know how to use them. Take a good weather forecast with you and last but not least a reliable well serviced bicycle. Please leave gates as you found them, huts clean and tidy and take out all your rubbish
Route From Tennyson to Guyon it’s 22kms, then 23kms to Scottie’s Camp and 16kms out to Tophouse Road and finally 26kms back to Lake Tennyson Overnight options include muster huts; Lake Guyon Hut, Stanley Vale Hut and Scottie’s Camp Hut
Description Track: packed soil riverbed, one way or loop Distance: 65 or 90 km respectively Timing: 6-8+ hours Elevation: Lowest 600m - 900m Setting: High Country
Inside Ride Suitable for Intermediate/ Advanced riders. 5% single track, 95% 4WD Tracks.
Getting There Off Jacks Pass Road, take the steep Clarence Valley Road, then into Tophouse Road. Car Park: South or North end of Tophouse Road. If doing the whole track, it is advised to park at the old St James Homestead at the South end.
Logistics Topo map BT24 Ada Flat.
The Alpine Corral The ultimate challenge h for those wanting to pus the ve pro their limit and St James is not a multi will day ride. 74kms - who set the record? 18 February, 2012 www.alpinecorral.co.nz
Hey Jude. We caught up with Jude Ellis, an avid cyclist and a Project Manager for NZCT. Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) is a government initiative aimed
at generating lasting economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand communities through the development of a world class cycling network. The Government has invested $50 million in developing a series of 18 Great Rides that will take cyclists off road and through some of New Zealand’s most iconic and picturesque countryside. Three Great rides, the St James Cycle Trail, the Waikato River Trails, and the Dun Mountain Trail are open. Eleven further Great Rides have sections open with work continuing through to 2013.
Name & Age? Jude Ellis, more than 40 but a long way off 50. We hear you’re a bit of an adventure athlete. How do you spend your free time? My adventures tend to be tamer these days and closer to home. I’m into biking (on and off-road), running and kayaking – I like
Beyond the Great Rides, the wider NZCT network consists of mainly on-road cycling routes connecting Great Rides together with urban centres and key tourist attractions.
being outdoors and regular exercise is definitely a priority. How long have you been cycling? Forever! A bike has almost always been my main mode of transport – to school, to university, to rowing training and now to work. Add the training and recreational mileage and
I would generally do more distance a week on my bike than car! Can you give us a brief description of your cycling endeavours to date? For a long time cycling was great cross-training for rowing. Post rowing I’ve enjoyed doing heaps of different events
including the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, Karapoti Classic, Around Lake Brunner, Colville Classic and Molesworth Muster. I also completed the inaugural Auckland to Wellington Cycle Race. I train better if I’m aiming for an event, but more & more I enjoy riding for the fun of it. What does an NZCT Project Manager do? I’m managing the Network Expansion Project, which is about identifying, mapping and signposting primarily on-road cycle routes that link up the Great Rides. We recently opened our first on-road cycle route between Taumarunui and New Plymouth, using part of the Forgotten World Highway. Which Great Ride are you most looking forward to riding yourself? It’s hard to choose, I’d like to ride them all. If I had to pick one, The Old Ghost Road sounds like a Great Ride to me! What’s the latest from the Cycle Trail project for this summer? Progress of trail construction has been good, with sections completed and entire Great Rides opening soon. The public are invited to be the first to experience our Great Rides. Keep an eye on the NZCT website at www.nzcycletrail.com.
How did you get involved in the project? I was already working at the Ministry of Economic Development and parked my bike in the basement garage every day it was my destiny I suppose. Have you received much feedback on the open trails? Yes, we’ve received a lot of emails from cyclists who’ve experienced the trails. The feedback has been really positive and we’ve also had suggestions to improve the trails themselves or information on our website. This has helped as the trail construction continues. Are there opportunities for people to get involved in the project? Certainly. People can get involved in the Network Expansion Project. Local cyclists are the perfect resource for identifying more cycle friendly alternatives to biking on busy state highways and arterial routes. People can talk to their local council or contact us directly via our website. Where’s the best place to find out what sections are open and status updates? Check the NZCT website at www.nzcycletrail.com where you can sign up for regular email updates.
Road bikes and mountain bikes each are their own discipline what is the cross over between the cycle trail network and the cycle touring routes network? While all the Great Rides are predominantly off-road, that doesn’t necessarily require a mountain-bike - especially on Grade 1 trails. The rest of the network is predominantly on-road, with gravel sections on some of the more back country routes. Where do you see cycling in NZ going in the next 10 years? Up and up. As petrol prices increase and our transport infrastructure gets more cycle friendly more people are getting on their bikes. Cycling is also a low-impact means to improve and maintain health and fitness! The Great Rides will enable New Zealanders to enjoy some fantastic cycling holidays in our own backyard. If you had unlimited resources, what would do to foster cycling in NZ? I would accelerate the development of the cycle friendly transport infrastructure. It’s pretty scary for someone who hasn’t been on a bike for 20 years to get back out on the roads – improving cycling safety (and the perception of safety) will encourage people to rediscover the joys of biking.
Kaikoura A popular tourist township, few places in the world boast so many natural resources as Kaikoura. The Seaward Kaikoura Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for the township and plenty of MTB challenges with coastal views during the ride. Kaikoura’s coast is renowned for its rich marine life and cranking surf. The main street plays host to numerous cafés, restaurants and boutique stores & the town’s name translates from Maori as ‘meal of crayfish’, a local specialty.
The Kaikoura Coast Track
Where to Eat Adelphi Bar & Bistro, West End The Whaler Tapas & bar, West End Best Coffee Encounter Kaikoura Cafe, The Esplanade The Coffee Owl, 72 Beach Road Bike Shop
Where to Stay Albatross Backpacker Inn Enjoy a friendly, social atmosphere with fellow independent travellers! Comfortable, fully-made beds. Organic tea/coffee/hot chocolate, herb garden, BBQ’s. Lockable bike storage, cyclist specials. Quiet, convenient location, no bus groups! 1 Torquay Street Free Ph: 0800 222 247 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.albatross-kaikoura.co.nz YHA Kaikoura YHA Kaikoura, Maui welcomes bikers. It has extensive facilities and is a good base for local walks and rides as well as more challenging rides like Mt Fyffe. 270 Esplanade Road P: 03 319 5931 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz
R&R Sport - West End Best Attractions Whether you charter a boat, join a Dolphin, Albatross or Whale tour or jump in the water with Dive Kaikoura, you’re bound to see something special. Parking up at the South end of the Peninsula, you’ll find a track to the Fur Seal Colony. Just follow your nose and you’ll find them. There’s also a baby seal colony by a waterfall worth checking out, drop by a local restaurant, tuck into some local delicacies and ask nicely for directions. If that’s not enough there’s a private coastal MTB trail. Useful Link www.kaikoura.co.nz
One of New Zealand’s finest private walks with a 50km pristine coastline loop trail available for MTB, $85pp (includes luggage transfer to your overnight coastal stay) or $25/day rides. P: 03 319 2715 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kaikouratrack.co.nz Kaikoura Kayaks Experience fantastic marine eco tours with Kaikoura Kayaks including our famous guided seal trip. Kayak school & hire available, learn to paddle the open sea. Check out their store. 19 Killarney Street Free Ph: 0800 452 456 E: email@example.com W: www.kaikourakayaks.co.nz Encounter Kaikoura Tours to swim with or watch the dusky dolphins or view the massive albatross and other seabirds up close. Visit our beachfront café with OZONE coffee, plus shop and gallery! 96 The Esplanade Free Ph: 0800 733 365 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.encounterkaikoura.co.nz Don’t Miss Scoping the coastline & wildlife by kayak year round. A steak at the Whaler!
CATCH THE DAY, STAY THE NIGHT. www.kaikoura.co.nz
PHOTO: Uphill slog above Halfmoon Bay
ONE DAY RIDES - KAIKOURA
Halfmoon Bay to Okiwi Bay & Mt Fyffe Half Moon Bay to Okiwi Bay 20 mintutes North of Kaikoura lies the picturesque Half Moon Bay flanked by the Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of exposed edges on the old forestry track with heavy consequences. The grass in the middle of the track hides a few sharks in the form of large rocks, hence sticking to the visible part of the track will no doubt save a buckled rim. The ride is not technical but it is steep so those that are suckers for punishment will love it.
Description One way, best ridden Half Moon to Okiwi Bay. Can be made into a loop with a half hour ride back down SH1. Distance: 30km Timing: 2.5 to 3.5 hours Elevation: sea level - 500m 100% open trails
Inside Ride Setting: Foothills. Suitable for intermediate riders with good fitness. 99% ride, 1% carry.
Timing/Points of Reference 30mins to Seaward Valley Jnct.
Getting There Car park Half Moon Bay, SH1 Facilities: none, be prepared
Timing/Points of Reference
2 hrs to hut, 1 hr from hut to summit.
Connecting rides: Half-moon to Seaward Valley. Local Bike Shop: R&R Sport, Kaikoura.
Mt Fyffe Mt Fyffe is a hill climb that everybody should do at least once. It is a never ending granny ring climb to the hut which sits about the 1200m above sea level. The track is a maintained 4WD track to the hut and then open trail to summit (1600m ASL). It is a solid climb with very little respite. The descent is fast and straight but not technical. Check your brakes have plenty of life in them.
Description One way, up then down. Timing : 2.5 -3.5hrs. 30% open trails, 70% 4WD track.
Inside Ride Setting: Forest & Alpine. No ability required, just fitness. 100% rideable.
Follow Postmans Rd to the Kowhai river & Mt Fyffe car park.
Facilities Toilets at Mt Fyffe car park. Water available at hut.
Logistics Maps available from DOC. Local Bike Shop: R&R Sport Kaikoura Considerations: Alpine environment
Mt Fyffe-Palmer Be sure to check out this short ride. The track starts at the end of Mt Fyffe Rd & climbs up farmland then through regenerating native bush. Once through the farmland the track turns into a technical single track climbing through native forest to a junction point. This is the top loop and can be done either way or both to lengthen the ride time out.
Blenheim The Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world, the Marlborough region is also home to great mountain biking. Blenheim is a good base with the renowned and technically difficult Nydia track close by along with the ever fun Whites Bay Loop and high country epic, Molesworth Station. Those looking for something a little closer to town can’t go past the Wither Hills bike park, where there are trails for all abilities (see Avanti Plus for trail maps). Where to Eat Wairau River Wines for lunch D’Urvilles Wine Bar & Brasserie
if the forestry roads are open. There is a section near the middle of the ride that requires about a 25 minute bike carry. Havelock is also a good base as it is about mid way between the 2 ends of the trail by road. From here it is easy to reach the Queen Charlotte and the Nydia Bay tracks if you want more riding.
Other Activities Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre A collection of World War I planes lovingly restored and captured in realistic settings in association with Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop. Don’t Miss Wine tasting - map available from wine-marlborough.co.nz
Best Coffee CPR HQ Raupo Riverside Cafe
Avanti Plus Experience Marlborough with the team at AvantiPlus Blenheim, the family bike shop. They have maps, local ride and event information. Ride the amazing Blenheim tracks and those slightly further afield. 61 Queen Street, Blenheim P: 03 578 0433 W: www.bikemarlborough.co.nz
The Wakamarina Track is an old gold miner’s trail that crosses the Richmond ranges. It has technical trails through lush native forest with a ripping 800m descent on zig zagging benched single track to Devils Hut. It is best ridden from South to North, or you can ride in and out from either end for a shorter trip. If riding the crossing then organizing transport to where the track ends is best. The 600m gravel road climb from Onamalutu can be done by car
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Distance 35km Timing : 4 - 6hours Elevation: 100m -1066m 100% single track, many rocky and rooty challenges
Inside Ride Settings: Forrest & Alpine Suitable for adventurous to advanced riders
Best One Day Ride Wakamarina
Turn off SH6 onto Northbank Road, 6 km north of Renwick . Follow Northbank Road for 5 km, then Onamalutu Road for 11 km, past domain to Flowers Creek ford. A final 5 km up Kiwi Road to car park and start of track.
Logistics Topo Map BQ28 Some route finding required Remote outback trail, be well prepared
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A TASTE OF BIKING - TOP OF THE SOUTH
Queen Charlotte Track By Stu Waddel The Queen Charlotte Track is a premium multiday single track ride. It’s set amongst the beauty of the Marlborough Sounds and part of the historic travels by James Cook. Majestic views and incredibly good biking, leads most people to ride The Queen Charlotte more than once. There are some great services and accommodation options on the track. The track itself is shared with walkers when it’s open to bikers (see below). Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co. can assist with all travel plans and bike hire. Starting from Ships Cove there is an uphill climb that eventually drops into Resolution Bay. You can avoid the climb by getting dropped off there, otherwise it’s a good place for a cooling swim. Punga Cove Resort is a good overnight option. Fantail Hostel offers bedding and dining at the restaurant. Other popular overnight options are a selection of DOC campgrounds at Camp Bay, Bay of Many Coves & Mistletoe Bay. The second day of riding from Camp Bay includes great single track riding through beech forests and superb vistas. Fit riders can get through to Anakiwa in one day, alternatively Portage Resort Hotel is a good overnight stop. From Portage there is an early climb followed by a ridge line traverse. Travelling deeper into the Sounds, the beech forest thickens before reaching Anakiwa. The last section is as good as it gets, almost encouragement to go straight
back and do it again or plan another trip. From here you can either get a water taxi back to Picton or take the two wheeled option over a windy sealed road.
One way - either direction, three sections of 3-4hrs each Ship’s Cove to Camp Bay: 26.5km (closed to bikers 1 Dec to 28 Feb) Camp Bay to Portage Bay: 21.5 km Portage Bay to Anakiwa: 19km
Water stops & toilets along the length of the ride. On a hot day carry plenty of water. Check out www.qctrack.co.nz/track/bike official site for the QCT.
Type of Track 75% Single Track, 25% Wide open walking / 4WD Track.
Inside Ride Setting: Coastal sounds. Suitable for intermediate/advanced riders with a reasonable level of fitness. 95% Rideable, 5% Push.
Getting There Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co. offer a complete package inclusive of accommodation bookings, quality bike hire and taxi services. They’ll also help out with any part of your trip, and have shower facilities, bike services and an Espresso Café. London Quay, Picton P: 03 573 6078
Logistics You can ride the track either way & choose to spend one day on the track departing/returning to Anakiwa. A round trip with one or two nights leaving Picton by Water Taxi to Ship’s Cove is recommended.
QCT LC – Land Pass 20% of the track from Camp Bay (Punga Cove) to Onahau Bay is privately owned and managed under the QCT Land Co-op. A land pass is required and can be purchased from Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co.
Local Fixit Shop Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co - service, parts, bike hire, sales and coffee.
64. ONE DAY RIDES - TOP OF THE SOUTH
Nelson & Dun Mountain Surrounded by National Parks and golden beaches, Nelson is also renowned as the creative arts capital of New Zealand. The region boasts many fine wineries, countless great cafes, and some awesome outdoor adventure prospects. The NZ Cycle Trail project has two trails in Nelson, one being The Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, which is open between Rabbit Is. and Mapua. This trail is easy and a ferry links with Mapua. It is is also open between Nelson to Richmond (14kms). The second trail, Dun Mountain is described below.
Where to Stay YHA Nelson Classy five star hostel with bikers on staff. Easy riding access from hostel to local rides. Next door to the famous weekend market. Nelson is a haven for all riding styles. 59 Rutherford Street P: 03 545 9988 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz
Where to Eat Morrison St Café The Boat Shed
Best Coffee The House of Brown Sugar Zumo Coffee House
Bike Shops Stoke Cycles Not the biggest, just the best. Check them out for trail info, wide range of new and used bikes & expert advice from experienced riders. Repairs, sales, service & hire, open 6 days. 526 Main Road Stoke P: 03 547 6361 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: stokecycles.co.nz
Other Activities Sea Kayak Company Sea kayaking the Abel Tasman National Park; trips range from half day guided tours to five day fully catered adventures. They also have freedom rentals available for experienced paddlers. 506 High Street Free Ph: 0508 25 29 25 E: email@example.com W: www.seakayaknz.co.nz
Don’t Miss Sampling the region’s many craft breweries.
Dun Mountain Trail
Dun Mountain (Coppermine) is a fantastic trail ride on the doorstep of Nelson City. A long climb up the historic Dun Mountain walkway takes you through forest to the mineral belt with amazing views. The exhilarating descent from Coppermine saddle is on new
purpose made single track and drops down into the Maitai Valley where you follow the river (perfect for a refreshing dip) back to town.
Description 38km loop track.Timing: 4 to 7 hours. Trail Type: Dual use 80% Single track 20% Road. Setting: Mountain/forest/open. 800m climb.
Inside ride Suitable for fit intermediate riders. 100% rideable.
How to get there The Dun Mountain Trail starts on Brook St which heads up Brook Valley from central Nelson.
Logistics This ride is in mountains. Be prepared! Check the forecast and take bikes spares, food, water & warm clothing. If raining the South Maitai River crossing may be in flood. More track info available at Stoke Cycles.
Extra for Experts If you like the challenge of technical trails you will love the beech forest single track turning off after Third House & descending via Sunshine Ridge & then Peaking Ridge.
ONE DAY RIDES - TOP OF THE SOUTH
Golden Bay & Takaka North-east of Nelson lies Golden Bay. This scenic corner of New Zealand is home to the Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks, Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs and superb mountain biking. There are a number of great services available to easily access the trails.
Come Fly With Jim Connecting SI & NI Tracks. Flights include Queen Charlotte - Picton. Havelock/ Rameka - Cannan Downs / Heaphy. Golden Bay – Brown/ Collingwood/Takaka. D’Urville Is. - Greville Harbour. Additional tracks considered. P: 0800 150 338
Escape Adventures Remarkable places, unforgettable journeys. From their little shop in Golden Bay, you’ll find a full service biking company. One-day/multi-day guided mountain biking; bike hire & transport; Biking Holidays in NZ, Africa & Asia. 31 Commercial St , Takaka Ph: 03 525 8783 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: wwwescapeadventures.co.nz
Golden Bay Air Heaphy Track air and ground transport. Golden Bay Air offers scheduled flights, shuttle transport and car relocations for Heaphy Track bikers from Wellington, Takaka and Karamea. Free Ph: 0800 588 885 E: email@example.com W: www.goldenbayair.co.nz
Timing/Points of reference Riordans Hut 1-2 hours from top of the climb.
Car park Uruwhenua Road, off SH 60
Local Bike Services
A rewarding “in-and-out” day or overnight ride currently open on a trial period until 2013 (see DOC). The trail is technical single track in rough remote terrain, much of it on scrubby exposed mountain tops. It starts with a tough climb of about 800m via 58 switchbacks. There are spectacular views as you get higher. Once on the ridge there are some smooth fast sections through to the historic Riordans Hut, or you can go the distance and drop into Waingaro Forks Hut.
Inside Ride 24km return technical rocky single track Settings: Alpine Suitable for advanced riders 90% Ride / 10% Carry Timing 4-8 hours
Escape Adventures Quiet Revolution, Takaka
Logistics Remote/no facilities, be prepared. Topo map BP24 Takaka.
Flora Saddle to Barron Flat A backcountry ride through native forest trails passing historic huts. Mostly downhill if ridden from Flora Saddle. If lucky you may see rare Blue Ducks in the rivers below. The ride is suitable for adventurous, fit intermediate riders. There are challenging sections with some carrying over obstacles & through stream beds. Best to organise drop off at Flora Saddle & pick up at Cobb Valley Road in Upper Takaka. This ride takes 4 to 8 hours. Note: Route finding necessary, stream crossings may be impassable in heavy rain. This is remote backcountry riding so be prepared.
www.stokecycles.co.nz Shop Hours: Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm Saturdays 9am - 1pm Thursday late night open until 7pm
526 Main Road Stoke, Nelson
Ph (03) 547 6361 -Fax (03) 547 6814
66. A TASTE OF BIKING - TOP OF THE SOUTH
The Heaphy Track By Paul Smith In between Golden Bay and the West Coast lies a vast area of wild coastland, bush-filled river valleys and inhospitable sub-alpine tussock downs. The Heaphy trail, in the Kahurangi National Park has been off-limits to mountain bikers since the mid1990’s. It’s now open, in winter months, to mountain bikers on a three year trial (2011-13). Put it on your must-do list. I spent two nights and three days on the 80 kilometre trail in late June, travelling with four riding buddies from Golden Bay to Karamea. The riding is good, very good in fact, but my strongest memories are of the diversity and sheer glory of nature and landscape. The variety of terrain and scenery is immense: hidden beaches and Nikau Palm groves, brooding and atmospheric mistclad river valleys, perpetually damp and lush podocarp forest, barren sub-alpine tussock, eerie limestone cave systems and high altitude beech forests. Stories from riders who had ridden the trail told of deep mud, flooding higher than handlebars and long unrideable sections. It was reported that the trail had received almost two metres of rain in the month prior to our visit. But
while there were muddy sections and one of the climbs needed some pushing and bike carrying, I found the Heaphy very rideable. Mud and saturated trails were constant companions, but they never dominated the experience. On the West Coast side the trail had a dirt surface with short sections of boardwalk to cross the wettest and muddiest parts. After rain it was heavy going, but work is planned before the 2012 winter riding season to upgrade this part of the trail. On the Golden Bay side the trail has a rock base and long boardwalk bridges to cross wet tussock marshes. It is 99% rideable for reasonably fit intermediate riders. Riding the Heaphy was a feeling of experiencing something hidden, something secret and something to be cherished. The necessity of the overnight stops and haulage of gear only added to the experience. I felt privileged to be riding there and, after three days of being bombarded by untouched New Zealand, I returned buzzing & talking about it to anyone who would listen.
Gear & Huts Huts on the trail are spacious, dry and equipped with wood or coal fires. There are cooking facilities in the larger huts. They must be booked ahead and can get busy at
weekends - plan in advance. The huts allow riders to travel light, but don’t skimp on food or clothing.
Swing Bridges There are nearly a dozen swing and suspension bridges and it can take 45 minutes to get a group of six over a swing bridge. The alternative method, is to ford the river if safe to do so.
Inside Ride 82 km - a 2 to 3 day ride. Suitable for fit, adventurous, intermediate riders. Rideable May - September only. Ride in & out from either end for a day trip. Usually ridden from Golden Bay.
Timing/Points of Reference
Golden Bay - Karamea
Browns Hut to Perry Saddle 3-4 hours Perry Saddle to Saxon Hut 2-3 hours Saxon Hut to James Mackay Hut 2-3 hours James MacKay Hut to Lewis Hut 1-2 hours Lewis Hut to Heaphy Hut 1-2 hours Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai Shelter 3-4 hours Kohaihai Shelter to Karamea 1-2 hours
Where to Stay - Golden Bay
Where to Stay - Karamea
Bay Country Lodge Motel & Fishing Charters Self contained accommodation in garden setting, five minute walk to Pohara beach, short drive to cafĂŠ, restaurants. Fishing trips with Wildcat Charters. 688 Abel Tasman Drive P: 03 525 9438 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.baycountrylodge.co.nz
Karamea Village Hotel Judged Best Country Hotel, New Zealand - Come and see why! Award-winning cuisine and hospitality, refreshments, accommodation separate to hotel, shower facilities and bike wash-down area. Cnr Waverley St & Wharf Rd Free Ph: 0800 826 800 E: email@example.com W. www.karameahotel.co.nz
Collingwood Camp Ground Basic cabins and holiday house. Ideal for groups.Camp kitchen/ TV room. Toilet/shower facilities. Internet access. Closest camp to the Bainham start of Heaphy Track. Can arrange transport. 6 William Street P: 03 524 8149 E: manager@ collingwoodcampingground.co.nz W: holidayparks.co.nz/collingwood
YHA Annieâ€™s Nirvana Lodge A cruisy, friendly hostel with some top rides nearby. The Rameka Track, Aorere Goldfields and legendary Heaphy are on the doorstep. Great spot for exploring the region. 25 Motupipi Street, Takaka P: 03 525 8766 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Golden Bay Air (pg 65) - Flights
with bikes to & from Karamea & Takaka
Remote Adventures (pg 65) Flights to and from Karamea and Golden Bay Escape Adventures (pg 65) Guiding, vehicle relocation & more. Karamea Express Servicing the Heaphy & Wangapeka Tracks since 1985. Free quotes for trampers & mountain bikes with purpose built trailers available. Charter
services also available to connecting services & destinations. P: 03 782 6757 F: 03 782 6703 E. email@example.com
Logistics Prepare for cold, rain and mud. Riders need to be selfsufficient: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. MTB Trial - limit groups to 6. See DOC for full trial info. No riding between dusk & dawn.
Useful Links www.doc.govt.nz ww.heaphytrack.com
More riding in the area If riding from Golden Bay be sure to check out Rameka. This classic single track descends from the top of Takaka Hill down towards Takaka town and offers stunning scenery and fun riding on intermediate trails through native bush. The new Canan Down and Project Rameka tracks extend the riding possibilities.
West Coast Stunning landscapes, rich in history and hospitality that’s second to none, the West Coast is easily accessible from Wanaka, Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington and home to some of the best riding in the country. It’s a must for all adventure lovers. Where to Stay Birds Ferry Lodge, Westport Award winning luxury accommodation. Treat yourself to the Heaphy package, includes a cold one on arrival, transport, massage, 3 course meal, legendary breakfast & transfers. Birds Ferry Road, Westport Free Ph: 0800 212 207 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.birdsferrylodge.co.nz YHA Westport A grand old home converted into a welcoming backpackers. Great base for exploring the Denniston bike routes or as a start or finish to a Heaphy Track mission. 72 Queen Street P: 03 789 7367 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz Breakers Boutique B&B Greymouth Beachfront haven nestled in native bush and landscaped gardens overlooking the Tasman Sea. Relax and enjoy warm hospitality in ensuited guest rooms with balcony & beach access.
SH 6, Greymouth P: 03 762 7743 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.breakers.co.nz Where to Eat The Town House, Westport Star Tavern, Cape Foulwind Best Coffee Whanake, Westport Bike Shop Habitat Sports, Westport These guys are passionate about biking and are the shop to see for quality parts and accessories, track info and Shimano certified repairs, open 6-days. 204 Palmerston St P: 03 788 8002 W: www.habitatsports.co.nz West Coast Trails Seddonville - home to two great rides, The Mokihinui Gold Trail is the gnarly one of the two containing nothing but technical single track. The second, more relaxed track is the historic Charming Creek Rail Trail.
Wesport makes a great base with a number of excellent MTB rides on its doorstep, a short drive to the Denniston Plateau leads to a network of trails that offer excellent riding and tracks that connect up with many old mine relics strewn across the open tops. Blackball is home to the Creosus Pack Track and a little further down the road the indomitable Moonlight Pack Track. Both are tough climbs with a poled route connecting the two. Big River and Kirwans Tracks are tough but superb rides and complement a number of excellent local Reefton trails. Hokitika has a range of local trails including the ‘interesting’ track that runs around Lake Kaniere to the network of trails adjacent to Blue Spur Forest. Don’t Miss Caving and glow worms in Paparoa National Park. Useful Sites www.westcoastnz.com www.cyclebuller.co.nz
ONE DAY RIDES - WEST COAST
Old Ghost Road Inland from Westport and deep in the Buller Gorge, the Old Ghost Road is being brought back to life. The long-term vision of connecting the old dray road that runs from Lyell to Mokihinui - with the Charming Creek track and the remote Denniston Plateau - before heading inland and back to the Buller Gorge at Iron Bridge, is being transformed into reality. This ambitious walk and cycleway has become an official New Zealand Cycle Trail project in partnership with the volunteer based Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust. The first section follows an old dray road, built by gold miners in the late 1800s, to the Lyell Saddle then will zig-zag on to the open tops of the adjacent Bald Hill. From there it will be a simple matter of maintaining elevation all the way along the tops in a nor-east direction to finally drop down into Stern Creek. From the Stern, open grassy terraces, which are a remnant of the last big earthquake, can be ridden almost all the way to the Mokihinui Forks Hut and the start of the old gold trail out to Seddonville. This section of track will be upgraded and already provides a popular ride and walk
with some stunning sections of track cut through solid rock way above the river. The first section of track is now rideable - an easy grade all the way to Lyell Saddle, where a hut has just been completed, and will be initially used as a base to extend the track up to and along the main ridge. Hut number two will then be built at the end of the ridge and become the new track building base camp, as the track builders descent down into the Stern catchment. For progress reports on this inspiring project or if youâ€™d like to get involved visit www. oldghostroad.org.nz
Description Distance: 17.5km one way Timing: 4 - 8 hours Elevation: 110m - 875m Delicious single track
Inside Ride Settings: Forest/Low alpine. Suitable for well prepared intermediate riders with good fitness. 95% ride / 5% push.
Getting There Park at the Lyell Campground, on State Highway 6 in the Buller Gorge. Ride back out to the highway, turn right, and cross the highway bridge over the Lyell River.
Facilities Water & toilets at the campground.
Logistics Remote alpine environment, care & preparation required.
Local Bike Shop Habitat Sports, Westport.
Makara. Photo: Paul Smith
Hawkeâ€™s Bay Wine Ride
Makara. Photo: Paul Smith
Mike Wilson, Freeload. Photo: Pat Maguire
Dave Mitchell, W2K, Taupo. Photo: Ditte van der Meuler
72. A TASTE OF BIKING - WELLINGTON
A Taste of the Capital By Paul Smith For a mountain biker, Wellington is a dream come true. There are miles of great trails accessible directly from the city. Many are no more than a ten minute ride away from central city accommodation, bars and cafes. Others are reached after a short train ride or ferry across the harbour. Where to Stay YHA Wellington A superb downtown location, with bike storage. Hostel has an award vibe and facilities. Get a latte downstairs before heading out to Wellington’s renowned rides. 292 Wakefield Street P: 04 801 7280 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz Good Coffee & Fine Food Ministry of Food, Bowen St Café L’affare, College St Ernesto, Cuba St Chow, Tory St & Woodward St Fidel’s, Cuba St Maranui, Lyall Bay Other Attractions Te Papa, NZ’s National Museum Moore Wilson’s, unique deli & fresh food Kelburn Cable Car, Lambton Quay
Wellington Trails Wellington’s surrounding hills means a little fitness helps to make the most of the trails. There are many open tracks along ridgelines offering stunning views, but perhaps Wellington’s signature tracks are tight and twisty single tracks, flowing through native bush. So which rides would top the list for every intermediate or expert mountain biker with a few days in the city?
Skyline & Makara Peak
Makara Peak is the the capital’s most popular riding area with 8km of 4WD track and 24km of custom built single track. The single track routes have been designed for all abilities. Pop into a local bike shop and pick up a map and chew the fat with those that build and ride the trails or check out www.makarapeak.org With a full day available and an early start, take the train from the central station to the Northern suburb of Johnsonville and gain a few hundred of metres of free elevation in the process. From here, ride to the top of Mt Kau Kau. The skyline trail follows the ridgeline at Makara Peak to the South, offering unending views and good grade three riding. At Makara Road, the climb up
Varleys and Zac’s tracks lead to the Makara Peak summit. From here, there are many options. Local Bike Shop Mud Cycles, Karori
Aro Valley is an easy ten minute ride from the central city. The Transient Track heads south, up through the Polhill Reserve. It joins the Karori Sanctuary Fenceline Track and then a quiet road up to the experimental wind turbine above Brooklyn. At the turbine, the Car Parts Extension and Barking Emu tracks continue to traverse and climb up to a high point at 400m on Hawkins Hill, with glorious views north to the Tararua Range and south to the Kaikoura ranges and the Sounds. It’s a glorious climb and an even better descent. From here is it a blast down to Red Rocks on the south coast, and an enjoyable cruise around the coastal track to Owhiro Bay. The final pain of the day is a grunt and grind up the infamous Tip Track. The descent back to Aro Valley follows some of the
trails you climbed earlier, plus a few new ones, losing 400 vertical metres over 10km. A perfect end to a perfect ride is good food and drink at Aro Café, or some of the best fish n chips in the city at Aro Fish Bar, both only a 2 minute freewheel from the end of the trails. Local Bike Shops R&R Sport, Capital Cycles On Yer Bike
Rata Ridge & the Wainui Trail Project The east-west ferry is a very civilised way to get across the harbour to Days Bay, and they carry bikes for free too. This ride has an unavoidable start, a slog up the hill to Wainuiomata, but don’t let that put you off because great views and riding awaits. At the summit the trail leads along Rata Ridge to Mt Lowry. This is a shared walking trail and it’s the back-country riding experience most accessible to Wellington. Expect lots of roots, some unrideable sections, a little bike carrying and lots of glorious ungroomed native bush single track. After an hour or two following the ridge, the high point on Mt Lowry is reached. Drop your saddle and prepare for an amazing descent (one for the experts or confident intermediates willing to extend
their riding a little bit). The trail drops you at the wrong end of Wainui and gives you a chance to refuel. Once recharged, head across to the Wainui Trail Project to a firebreak that climbs into single track at the top. Fix the grin for up to an hour of traversing and descend tight, twisty, rough but flowing, single track along the Labyrinyth and Snail Trails. Jungle Gym is a nice climb and, legs allowing, experts might want to carry on up Labyrinyth and descend the 491 and Spoonhill tracks to continue the feral feel. Intermediate riders can try Beeline, or anyone can jump off the trails here and descend the roadside trail back to the ferry (or ride into Petone for great refreshment options and take the train back from there). Local Bike Shop iRide
Mt Victoria The closest trails to the city form a maze on the side of Mt Victoria. It’s easy to kill a couple of hours here, no more than five minutes ride from the city. Short and steep trails characterise Mt Victoria and it’s very easy to get lost or end up repeating the same trails.
Standard Practice by Batty Scripts
Hop in the car, turn left, look right, turn again wait some, wait some more Arrive at destination known lock up and wander through a park of cars dodging little oil spills and passing traffic In a hurry, little time to think work from yesterday hanging over Wish the rain would stop the skies would clear the streets were easier, safer to navigate Wish I had a place to park my bike I may well ride and find a spell of fresh air in my day
Hawke’s Bay Hawke’s Bay, as well as having an awesome climate - probably why their food and wine is so well renowned - offers stunning cycling.Whether you tackle their popular road circuits, one of their single track parks, urban facilities or the huge network of dedicated cycle trails; you’re bound to enjoy your pedalling fix. The Hawke’s Bay Trails, which make up part of the official NZ Cycle Trail Project, consist of the 56km Landscape Ride, the 68 km Water Ride & the 36km Wineries Ride. Napier is also home to the incredible Eskdale Mountain Bike Park, a cycling paradise. Where to Stay Clive Colonial Cottages Top Pick for Hastings District, Lonely Planet Guide. Their three stand alone cottages, sleeping up to eight adults, offer you boutique accommodation only a minute from the Hawke’s Bay Trails. They also offer free internet. 198 School Road, Clive P: 06 870 1018 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Te Awanga Cottages Looking to “brake” your ride? There’s no better place to restup. Located on the “Landscapes Ride” and an easy freewheel to local wineries and the beach.
Quote “Chill” for a discount! 369 Clifton Rd, Te Awanga P: 06 875 1963 E: email@example.com W: www.teawangacottages.co.nz YHA Napier This boutique seaside hostel is on the waterfront cycle trail. It’s handily located between Te Mata, Eskdale and Aropaoanui Mountain Bike Parks. The Pump Track is just down the road. 277 Marine Parade P: 06 835 7039 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz
bikes, tandems and kid’s bikes from $15/hr. Located on the Napier Parade and the Hawke’s Bay Trail, with excellent parking. 26 Marine Parade, Napier P: 06 833 6979 E: email@example.com W: www.fishbikes.co.nz
Adoro Cafe, Napier
Takaro Trails Takaro Trails offers self guided tours around Hawke’s Bay’s scenic cycling routes, ranging in duration from one day up to five fabulous days. Eskdale park mountain biking packages are also available. P: 06 836 5385 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.takarotrails.co.nz
Revolution Bikes Mountain biker owner Hilton Taylor, has a huge range of bikes, parts, accessories, and clothing. Fast bike repairs and friendly service just minutes from Te Mata Peak, open 7 days. 8 Donnelly St, Havelock North P: 06 877 8477
Art Deco Architecture in Napier & Hastings Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market held every Sunday at the Hastings showgrounds Hawke’s Bay Cellar Doors beautiful Hawke’s Bay wines Largest Mainland Gannet Colony - Cape Kidnappers
Where to Eat Pipi Cafe, Havelock North Best Coffee
Te Mata Peak & Lake Waikaremoana
Fishbike Explore Hawke’s Bay at your own pace. Fishbike rents comfort
Useful Links www.hawkesbaynz.com www.hawkesbaymtb.co.nz
just for the fun of it 0508 TAKARO or 06 836 5385 | email@example.com | www.takarotrails.co.nz
Self Guided Cycle Tours Mountain Biking Packages HAWKE’S BAY
76. SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - HAWKE’S BAY
Landscape & Water Rides The Water Ride
For a taste of the Water Ride, that is easy, short and scenic, start on Napier’s Marine Parade and head north along the Pacific coastline. Just past the Port of Napier is the seaside settlement of Ahuriri, complete with a children’s playground, restaurants and cafes. The ride then continues through West Quay where small commercial fishing boats unload their catches. Continue along the coast to Westshore Beach with many picnic spots and great vistas. As you approach Bay View, the trail changes to a residential road. This is a great place to have a break before heading back.
Maps available from Hawke’s Bay i-SITES and Visitor Information Centres.
Description Distance: 20 km return ride. Timing: 1-2 hours. Flat 3m wide concreted shared pathway with wooden boardwalk sections
Inside Ride Suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. 100% rideable.
Getting There Free parking along Marine Pde. Full amenities on the trail.
Local Bike Shops Cranked Cycles, Napier Pedal Power, Taradale Soul Cycle Repairs, Napier
Local Bike Hire Fishbike, Napier Takaro Trails, Bay View Bike About Tours, Taradale Bike D’Vine, Taradale
The Landscape Ride Enjoy a section of the Landscape Ride that explores the coastal communities, while offering background vistas of Cape Kidnappers and Te Mata Peak. Start in the township of Clive on the south side of the bridge and head towards the coastline along the smooth limestone trail. Once crossing Black Bridge, the trail continues to the coastal villages of Haumoana and Te Awanga. The local general store is a great place to stop for refreshments. Continue on the trail, passing four wineries. When arriving at Clifton, lock up the bikes & take a scheduled trip to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony.
Description Distance: 20 km return ride. Timing: 1-2 hours. Flat trackwide, smooth limestone with some short road sections.
Inside Ride Suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. 100% rideable.
Getting There Plenty of free public parking at Clive. Wineries, cafes, and public toilets along the trail.
Logistics Maps from Hawke’s Bay i-SITES and Visitor Information Centres.
Local Bike Shops Revolution Bikes, Havelock Nth The Hub Cycle Centre, Hastings Avanti Plus, Hastings
Local Bike Hire FishBike, Napier Takaro Trails, Bay View Coastal Wine Cycles, Te Awanga Good Fun Bike Rides, Havelock Nth
78. ONE DAY RIDES - HAWKE’S BAY
Bike Parks By Vicki Butterworth, BikeNZ The development of Hawke’s Bay as a mountain bike mecca is testament to the strong mountain bike clubs and culture in the region. It translates into lots of great riding and facilities, along with locals who enjoy riding bikes! The network of Hawke’s Bay Trails links a number of fantastic cycling facilities. Maps are available at local bike shops and visitor information centres. If you’ve got kids or are just a big kid yourself, don’t forget to check out the free facilities built by the Hawke’s Bay Mountain Bike Club (HBMTB) in town, just off the trails; the Pump Park at the south
end of Marine Parade, Taradale Dirt Park & Pump Park, and the new BMX Track on Romanes Drive in Havelock North. If your tastes are more for the off-road pursuits and exploring, then you’re in the right neck of the woods, literally. The designated mountain bike parks, built by the HBMTB Club, are some of the best in the country.
Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park
Revolution Bikes, Havelock Nth Pedal Power, Napier Marewa Epic Cycles, Napier Permits: hawkesbaymtb.co.nz
The main park, Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park is a 10 minute drive from Napier and offers heaps of sweet single-tracks for all abilities. Riders need a visitor permit or HBMTB membership (includes map) to access the park.
Locals Favourite A loop made up of Ledge (Gravity credits earned by cycling up Zip/Crowley Road), Shooters, High Voltage, Switchback, Pond, Wahoo, Ninja, and Zoom & Doom.
Description Over 80km of sweet singletrack and growing. Crosscountry, freeride and DH tracks for all abilities.
Inside Ride Pan Pac private forest - hillside.
Car park at the end of Tait Rd, off State Highway 2, just north of the Napier - Taupo State Highway 5 turn-off.
Local Bike Shops
Pan Pac Aropaoanui Downhill Park and Pukeora Hill MTB Park Further up the coast is the Pan Pac Aropaoanui Downhill Park, offering downhill tracks and a couple of more extreme Freeride tracks. If heading south through Waipukurau, stop and check out the Pukeora Hill MTB Park. This is the newest park offering some great beginner to intermediate trails, with a few ‘fun bits’ for those who like a challenge. For anyone who’d like to meet some keen riders with good local track knowledge, visit www.bigbluemtb.com to join up. Members are happy to show off their favourite rides.
Viper Men’s Hydration Pack
A TASTE OF BIKING - HAWKE’S BAY
Wine & Food Trail By Tory Crowder Three days of biking in Hawke’s Bay with great weather and plenty of local delights... it’s the trails that continue to excite. Starting in Havelock North, we rode along Te Mata Road stopping for lunch at Black Barn Bistro. The landscape along the way reminding us of the South of France. From the vineyard, an off-road limestone trail meanders along River Road, away from passing traffic and some welcome fresh air to soak up lunch. We were then off to Haumoana. The limestone track sits atop a stopbank, giving panoramic views to Te Mata Peak. If you’d prefer a road cycle first, check out the Tukituki River Valley road loop linking back to Black Bridge.
Cottages is a good place to stay, especially if travelling as a couple. Alternatively, if you’re keen to cycle through to Napier, the YHA Napier, is on the Water Ride entering the city. Day two was a longer day, we were back on the bikes and made a leisurely start after a hearty breakfast. The plan was to ride through to Napier on the Water Ride and back through Taradale to Clive. Another option is to ride the Eskdale MTB Bike Park for a full day on single tracks. (pg 78). Jenny from Takaro Trails (see pg 75) provides a drop off service as part of hiring a bike. A guided service is also available.
At Black Bridge the trail heads south to Cape Kidnappers (Short & Sweet pg 76). Two wineries took our fancy, Elephant Hill and Clearview Estate. Clifton Café serves good coffee and you can stay nearby at Te Awanga Cottages.
Heading north, the bridge where the Tutaekuri and Ngaruroro Rivers meet the sea, is a great spot to take in the view. Once in Napier, we visited the National Aquarium of New Zealand, located along the trail, before dropping into see Brian at Fishbike for a coffee. We then rode north through to Westshore (Short n Sweet pg 76). After reaching the north end of the trail, we returned and came inland slightly, riding through to Pandora Pond. We then followed the trail to Ahuriri Estuary with its native birdlife. Continuing southwest, the Mission Estate and Church Road Wineries border the trail. Passing Taradale and a small road section, we rejoined the limestone trail and the Tutaekuri River back to Clive. On our final day, we opted to explore the Wineries Ride, which is currently being converted to an off-road trail. Sileni Estate and Triangle Cellars were two favourite winery stops. Another suggestion is the cycle-friendly cafe at the Hastings Golf Course.
Alternatively, it’s a return ride to Black Bridge then a short trail ride to Clive. Clive Colonial
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80. A TASTE OF BIKING - CENTRAL PLATEAU
Bridge to Nowhere Words & photos by Stu Waddel The Central Plateau is fast becoming a biking paradise, one can spend many weekends exploring the region without riding the same trail twice. Each trail is epic in its own way and part of the area’s history, often formed out of necessity to get from one place to the next.
Bridge to Nowhere Lodge Deep in the Whanganui National Park, can organise all transfers to the Mangapurua track. An ideal place to unwind after a day of adventure. Whanganui River Free Ph: 0800 40 88 88 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bridgetonowhere.co.nz
Places to Stay
The Station Café, Ohakune & National Park Angel Louise Cafe, Raetihi Jolt, Wanganui
YHA Ohakune An outdoor sports oriented hostel close to skifields and great riding. Network of local day rides. A good start point for the Mountains to the Sea Trail. Cnr Clyde & Rata Streets P: 06 385 9169 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz YHA National Park Adventure hostel on the volcanic plateau. Access the acclaimed 42 Traverse track among others. Or relax back at the hostel taking on the indoor climbing wall. 4 Findlay Street P: 07 892 2870 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz Raetihi Holiday Park Offering various sized cabins and fantastic quality facilities. Raetihi Holiday Park can organise all transfers to the Mangapurua track. A perfect place to stay for an action packed break. 10 Parapara Road Free Ph: 0800 40 88 88 E: email@example.com W: www.raetihiholidaypark.com
Transport Fly with Jim, connecting NI & SI tracks. Servicing the Ruapehu/ Wanganui Track, landing at Raetihi town (track start) and flying out from Wanganui City. Free Ph: 0800 150 338 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.remoteadventures.co.nz
Bike Shop Wanganui The Bike Shed For people who love bikes, see the people who love bikes! Wanganui’s only specialist bike store with big brands, full workshop with qualified technicians, accessories & hire. Open 6 days. Cnr Ridgway & Hill St P: 06 345 5500 W: www.bikeshed.co.nz
Don’t Miss The highly-renowned Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui. Enjoy a diverse range of exhibitions in this architectural gem. www.sarjeant.org.nz
Bridge to Nowhere We’d planned a small trip over 2 nights, with friends, starting with an overnight at Raetihi Holiday Park, then onto the Mangapurua Track and the Bridge to Nowhere. Raetihi is an
old rural town once prospering from the timber trade - one could be mistaken for thinking it’s on its last legs; however, it’s becoming a renowned adventure stopover with bikers in summer and snow lovers in winter, well off the beaten track.
Day One We cycled from Raetihi through to the start of the trail, making for a long yet enjoyable day. The road through to the track has a great downhill and couple of small climbs. From the start of the track there is a solid climb up a 4WD track. It feels like it goes on and on, through open rural country and eventually wild native bush, then a ridge line allowing spectacular views across the valley. We were definitely plunging ourselves into a remote and isolated part of the Central North Island. Fortunately, with beautiful weather the landscape paints a serene picture. It soon became obvious that a lot people use the track, all enjoying the access it provides; hunters on horseback, a family exploring on quad bikes and another group of hunters lying about and having a good laugh over lunch, motorbikes their chosen transport. With multi track use and water damage, the track had been through a rough time. It was often muddy and was hard work. We also came across a hard working track building team, with all the gear, dogs and camp set up to survive for a good couple of months. The track is now in good shape, open after slips over winter.
We soon lost the dual trail, grabbing bragging rights to share with walkers only. Dropping into the excellent valley, where the settlers were once given land, there was a number of swing bridges and excellent rolling single track. Out of no-where the Bridge to Nowhere (built 1936) pops up, as curious looking today as it was when it was first built. Today the bridge serves as an iconic attraction. The Whanganui River is very close by. We met up with Joe from Bridge to Nowhere Lodge and enjoyed a jet boat ride through to the lodge, which is located on the river looking down the valley and surrounded by mature native bush. After a big day riding, a welcome beer and relaxing meal with jovial entertainment, the day rolled into evening, and before long we were ready to kick start another day on the river.
Day Two Leaving bikes for Joe to look after, we opted for Canadian Canoes and a 3-4 hour paddle down the river to Pipiriki. The river is slow moving, relative to its size and passing rain storms. Aside from the pleasant paddle and ‘day dream’ setting, there were a couple of tricky spots to navigate. Without much warning, a number of boats ended up upside down, their occupants wrestling with the fact that they
were wet and later realising that so too were their ‘water protected’ cameras! We got back to Pipiriki where we’d sorted vehicles for pick up. While riding was our focus, the river was an equal highlight. Biking around NZ has seemingly become all encompassing; a mountain bike can take you places where water is close at hand, in this case part of the journey and a very memorable one.
Raetihi to Start of Track
Sealed & gravel road 40kms Timing: 2-2.5 hrs. Reasonable level of fitness. Bridge to Nowhere Tours can drop you at the track.
38kms to Bridge to Nowhere Timing: 4-5 hrs Dual purpose track: 65%, single track: 35%. Advanced riding with a good level of fitness required. Plenty of swing bridges.River pick up with Bridge to Nowhere Tours, or return on track Topo Map: BJ 33
Pipiriki to Raetihi 28kms with a big climb on gravel road. Timing: 2-3 hrs.
NZ Rail Hookup Catch the overlander to National Park or Ohakune.
Next Trip 42 Traverse & lunch at The Château, National Park.
Experience all five senses
sly iou r e s e it tak
s iew v s iou ser
GREAT LAKE TAUPÖ
Experience Great Lake Taupö -
twists, turns, bumps, jumps, views – all seasons Wellington
Phone 0800 LAKE TAUPO or 0800 2 TURANGI for information and bookings, or visit GreatLakeTaupo.com
Great Lake Taupo The Great Lake Taupo region expands outwards from the heart of Australasia’s largest fresh water lake, Lake Taupo. The region is a geothermal wonderland with many attractions including hot pools and silica terraces. The Lake flows into the Waikato River which in turn cascades over the magnificent Huka Falls. The region is a mountain bike mecca, and also offers plenty of adrenalin-based attractions. If you’re waiting for your legs to recover try sampling some of the regions renowned Rieslings or Pinots or quench that retail thirst with cafes, restaurants, art galleries and boutique stores. Where to Stay YHA Taupo YHA Taupo is a fully featured hostel, including a spa. A great base for some of the best riding in the central North Island, including ‘Craters of the Moon’. 56 Kaimanawa Street P: 07 378 3311 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz Other Bike Friendly options Bayview Wairakei Resort Suncourt Hotel Mount View Motel
Where to Eat Piccolo, 43 Ruapehu St Tipsy Trout, 8 Mata Pl, Kinloch Hub Café, 415 Huka Falls Rd Plateau Restaurant 64 Tuwharetoa St River Wines 2/134 Grace Rd, Turangi Best Coffee Eruption Cafe, 19 Tamamutu St Replete, Heuheu St Zest, 65 Rifle Range Rd Stir Café, 59 Redoubt St Bike Shop Top Gear Cycles Be sure to check out Top Gear Cycles when in Taupo, whether you’re looking for maps, advice, spares or service, they’ve got you covered. Shop 20 Suncourt Plaza, 19 Tamamutu Street P: 07 3770552 www.topgearcycles.co.nz Attractions Once complete, the New Zealand Cycleway’s Great Lake Trail will provide a 2-3 day ride, through native forest, along the western shores of Lake Taupo, to complement the already epic riding in the region, including the newly opened Waikato River Trail. To boost the adrenalin levels try skydiving, white water rafting, bungy jumping, jet boating or
formula challenges at the race track. Alternatively try: A refreshing dip - From cool water pools to thermal hot spots, there’s plenty of great swimming locations, check out Bulli Point for a 7m cliff jump. Fishing - The Great Lake Taupo region is an angler’s paradise, especially for trout fishing in the scenic Tongariro River. Kayak and Carvings - Paddle to the 10m high Maori carving only accessible from the water with Chris Jolly Outdoors or Rapid Sensations. Kaimanawa Heli-Biking -10kms of downhill tracks with a scenic flight to the summit overlooking the Tongariro National Park. Don’t Miss Hole in One - A Taupo institution, people have been trying to nail a hole in one on the floating green and walk away with $10,000, for 17 years! Useful Link www.greatlaketaupo.com
84. SHORT ‘n’ SWEET RIDES - TAUPO
Craters Spa Park to Huka Falls
Taupo town centre. Water and toilets at the carpark.
3 minutes from Taupo’s CBD, overlooking the mighty Waikato River, is Spa Park. At the lowest point of the park is a hot water stream for soaking in and the start of the mountain bike track known as the “Rotary Ride” to Huka Falls. After riding through the park, join the elevated track that meanders alongside the Waikato River through native and pine trees, with glimpses of the river and the famous Huka Lodge grounds. There are a couple of fun little descents and climbs to cross bridges. The track intersects with a short downhill to Huka Falls or the continuation on to Aratiatia Dam.
Best to grab a map from Top Gear Cycles to explore the 40kms of tracks within the pine and gum plantations.
100% wide single track, narrows on some of the descents and climbs. Distance: 5km one way.
Connecting rides: Aratiatia Dam and Craters-Wairakei Mountain Bike Park. Maps available from Top Gear Cycles
Craters - Wairakei Mountain Bike Park Approximately 6km north from Taupo CBD, the park is locally known as “Craters” named after the neighbouring tourist attraction, Craters of the Moon. Wairakei MTB Park consists of purpose built tracks for mountain bikers varying in style and difficulty.
Popular tracks include:
Inside Ride Setting: Riverside and plantation. Suitable for all abilities, including children of reasonable fitness. From the carpark in Spa Park to Huka Falls one way, is 20 minutes “racing” or 50 minutes “enjoying the scenery.”
Getting There Car park at Spa Park off Centennial Drive, 2km from
Fast and flowy - Coaster, Slalom, Mr and Mrs, Luge, Tourist Trap Hill climbs - Tank Stand, Grinder, Retro, Outback Undulating - Better Than P, Young Pines, Debs Track, Bumble Bee These are all one-way tracks and can be linked together in any number of ways to create your own customised ride.
Inside Ride Suitable for riders of every ability. Tracks are graded 1-6. Check signage at the beginning of each trail or reference the map.
Getting There From main north road leaving Taupo, turn left onto Karapiti Road. Park at the mountain bike car park (5 min from town). Alternatively, turn right onto Huka Falls Road, opposite Karapiti Road and park at Hub Café. Facilities: Flatties and food at Hub Café.
Logistics Connecting rides include Rotary Ride to Huka Falls and Aratiatia Dam. Check map for more. Park shared by horse trekkers. They have their own tracks but at times they converge with the mountain bike tracks. Please be wary.
Phone 07 377 0552 19 Tamamutu St, Suncourt Plaza, Taupo
ONE DAY RIDES - TAUPO
Whirinaki Forest Moerangi Track, Touted as one of the best rides in NZ, the Moerangi is located in the heart of the Urewera Ranges and navigates ancient native forest. Originally a hunters’ track, it has recently been upgraded to a purpose built single track. You’ll need to be fit as there are a few long climbs, the first is from the Okuhu Road car park, but you’re rewarded by spectacular views and an epic 6km downhill to the River Road Carpark. If you haven’t arranged a pick up from this point, it’s about a 10km gravel road ride to your vehicle.
a shuttle service is available from Jailhouse Farmstay or Whirinaki Holiday House. Facilities: Drinking water and toilets available at all 3 DOC huts on the track.
Logistics Can be done over two days, spending a night in one of the huts. Maps and hut permits available from the Murupara DOC office. Changeable weather, take warm, waterproof clothing year round.
Local Bike Shop Top Gear Cycles
36km loop track, 6-7 hrs ride time. Elevation: 430m - 940m. 100% single track (shared use), some steep sections & bluffs.
This scenic and technical single track ride begins at the Waihaha Bridge initially following the Waihaha River before crossing through open grassy sections into the lush podocarp Pureora Forest Park. Once you reach the hut, relax by the river, listen to the kaka and fuel up before heading back out the way you came. A swim in one of the crystal clear river pools at the end of the ride is a must.
Inside Ride Setting: Native Forest. Suitable for intermediate riders with a good level of fitness.100% rideable.
Getting There It’s a 1 ½ hour drive from Taupo to Minginui via State Highway 5. Turn onto the Murupara/ Waikaremoana Road from SH5 then drive another 25 minutes (22kms) from Minginui to the start of the track on Okuhu Road off old SH38. Don’t leave valuables in your car. Better still,
Description 18.8km return track, 5-7 hrs ride time. 100% dual use single track with some steep sections and steps.
BRANDS IN STORE ::
Inside Ride Setting: Scrubland and native forest lowlands. Suitable for intermediate riders with a good level of fitness. 95% ride, 5% carry.
Getting There 40 mins drive to Waihaha River Bridge from Taupo via Poihipi, Whangamata and SH32 (Western Bays) roads. Carpark on south side of river bridge. Don’t leave valuables in your car. Drinking water and toilets available at the hut.
Logistics Maps available from DOC. Take care in heavy rain, water levels rise quickly and bridges may flood.
Local Bike Shop Top Gear Cycles
86. A TASTE OF BIKING - TAUPO
Whakaipo to Kinloch (W2K) & Headland Loop Whakaipo to Kinloch & Headland Loop When it comes to a weekend of mountain bike missions, Taupo is spoilt for choice. The rides we’ve chosen are local favourites and offer a good cross-section of scenery and terrain, so you should have a blast discovering how diverse and fun the Taupo region is!
After hitting town on a Friday afternoon, grab a kebab from Best Kebabs on Tongariro St and head to the pump track at Spa Park. It’s a purpose built track, much like a mini BMX track, where the aim is to make it round the track without pedalling. Pump the bike with your legs and arms to propel the bike forward, it’s great for your fitness and bike skills. Be sure to take your togs and soak in the hot water stream afterwards (5min walk down the path to the banks of the Waikato River) Tank up on a great brekkie from L’Arte on route to Whakaipo Bay where the W2K track starts. From the Whakaipo side of the headland, the track meanders uphill for 8km to the junction of W2K and Headland Loop. The Loop track is 9.8km. This
is a great extra to add in to the day’s ride as it encompasses fantastic views out over the lake and mountains, while raising the heart rate with a climb up to the highest point lookout. It’s well worth the effort as you are rewarded with a fast flowing downhill back to meet up with the W2K track. Once reconnected with the original track it’s more speedy downhill for 6-7km into Kinloch. A quick refreshing dip into the clear water of Kinloch Bay or lunch at the Tipsy Trout will ensure that you are all set for the climb back up and over the hill to Whakaipo Bay. Instead of turning into the Headland Loop on the return trip, carry on straight ahead on the W2K track.
Description Distance: W2K direct is 14km one way, Headland Loop is 9.8km Timing: W2K direct is 1.5-2 hours one way, Headland Loop is 1-2hours (including “scenery” time!) Elevation: 360m - 640m ASL 100% Single Track - Dual use
Setting Regenerating native bush.
Inside Ride Suitable for any rider with a reasonable level of fitness. This is not a technical ride but has a fair bit of climbing. 100% rideable.
Getting There Can be ridden in either direction, either from Whakaipo Bay or Kinloch.
Facilities Toilets at Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay and at the Junction of W2K and Headland Loop.
Logistics Maps are available from Top Gear Cycles or check out www.biketaupo.org.nz
Other Rides in the Area Kawakawa Bay ride - (soon to be part of the Great Lake Trail ride, currently being built) starts from the other side of Kinloch.
Aratiatia Dam ride From Taupo head out along the Rotary Ride to Huka Falls. Instead of exiting the trail here continue straight ahead, catching a view of the mighty Huka Falls from above. A flowing single track snakes down the
Waikato River until you reach the underside of the bridge over the new SH1. A short sharp climb gets you back up above the river and into more scrubland track before hitting an old 4WD track at the dam end. There is a coffee trailer set up here, so grab a caffeine fix and watch the gates open (10am,12 and 2pm), releasing water down the Aratiatia rapids. Cross the bridge over the dam and enter the gated 4WD track to the left of the road. Recently opened to mountain bikers as part of the Huka Challenge race held in November each year, this track offers a new perspective to the river. The 4WD track terminates at Contact Energy where there is a short stint on sealed road before weaving back into a purpose made single track in planted forest. Carefully following the marker posts, you will skirt the edges of Wairakei Resort and follow one of Taupo’s hot streams. This provides riders with access to areas seldom seen by visitors. After crossing the Karetoto Rd (down to Huka Prawn Park and Huka Jet) you are back onto gravel single track up to Hub Café and on down a quick switchback section to Huka Falls. You can then return to town via Rotary Ride. There are also many connecting rides or variations
on ways to return to town, refer to the map for other options.
Description 30km dual use loop track 70% single track 20% 4WD track 10% sealed road/other Timing 2.5-3.5 hours
Inside Ride Suitable for all abilities with good fitness for this length of ride. 100% rideable. Maps available from Top Gear Cycles
Getting There Via Spa Park and Rotary Ride (See pg 84)
Facilities Coffee kiosk at Aratiatia Dam. Toilets and food at Hub Café. Toilets at Spa Park.
Rest is best by Batty Scripts
Set high in the mountains with the wind blowing a harsh chill deep from the south Wrapped up with good things to survive such an ordeal bike, legs, mates and all the gear all in tow ready to go Come the morning the skies have cleared sun soaks our hut porch birds flutter in the warming wind Our trail for the day blazes through thick bush over undulating terrain and passing rivers running wild Muster our madness what would the rest of the world be doing today? best we ride on like we are the rest the best of the rest.
88. A TASTE OF BIKING - ROTORUA
Two Forests Rotorua and the Central North Island is New Zealand’s mecca for biking with beautiful volcanic lake vistas. Rotorua’s main bike attraction is the Redwood Whakarewarewa Forest with some of the oldest built tracks in NZ. Its trail network boasts over 90km of trails, offering rides for all abilities, from family groups to the keen downhiller. The forest has an inspiring collection of Redwoods, Radiata, Douglas Fir, Larch and Eucalyptus. We were a group of friends - all keen riders. Travelling from different parts of NZ and Australia, our rendezvous was Rotorua International Airport. We were here for a three day hassle-free experience, helped by the majority of local bike trails being in close proximity to Rotorua township, as well as the associated services, accommodation and bike shops. We had 3 very different days of riding and all worth mentioning. Rotorua is also a tourist hotspot with geothermal activity, maori cultural entertainment and plenty of other activities.
Where to Stay YHA Rotorua A bikers’ hostel, store room, workshop and tools on site. Easy ride to the Redwood Whakarewarea forest park. 1278 Haupapa Street P: 07 349 4088 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz
Bike Shop Bike Culture Offers full workshop services, technical expertise and advice for all cyclists. Come chill on the couch, catch up and see your bike serviced by Mike and Rob. 1133 Pukuatua Street P: 07 343 9372 E: email@example.com W: www.bikeculture.co.nz SouthStar Shuttles Uplifts from Waipa carpark off SH5 from 9am-3.30pm Sat & Sun (5.30pm Sat during daylight savings). Tues & Thurs night from 5.30pm and typically 5 or 6 uplifts before dark, plus daily during April / Sept holidays and from 27th Dec – 1st Feb. www.southstaradventures.com
Best Coffee Zippy Central Café - same block as Bike Culture. They offer plenty of good advice for visiting riders
Where to Eat Capers Epicurean Cafe - Eruera St Pig & Whistle Historic Pub Tutanekai & Haupapa Sts
Don’t Miss Agroventure’s Shweeb - pedal powered pods hanging from a monorail racing around a circuit.
Day One Moerangi Track, Whirinaki Forest
A single track with mature native forest and two options to ride - 16 and 36kms loop. An absolute must do if your trip is 3 days & based in Rotorua (see pg 85).
Map Link www.destinationoutdoors.co.nz images_cust/file417.pdf A classic choice for staying close to the trail is at www.whirinakiforestholidays.co.nz
Darlene and Gary are great hosts, serving Wild Roast Pork and it’s ideal for a large biking group (sleeps 16pax).
Day Two Whakarewarewa Forest
A long and enjoyable day through a pristine redwood
forest. Starting at the ‘core’ trails, and heading into the ‘outback’ trails, this excursion combines uphill climbs to test the fitness and single track downhill treats, plus a sense of total remoteness. Once into the outback trails you are miles from the track start, and in the middle of the forest. With at least a couple of chiefs, a Manky map and local hookups we were in good hands. Eight hours out, mostly on the saddle and there are plenty of fantastic names to log for later….
Must Have Map on a Hanky - the Redwood Manky! A microfiber cloth that’s durable and legible when wet. Available from most bike shops @ $10 or call Redwoods Forest to have one posted 07 350 0110.
Day Three SouthStar Shuttle Riding
The shuttle takes you to the top of a collection of downhill trails in the forest. Familiarity breeds confidence, and after a combination of runs, the berms and rollovers are easily rideable with jumps taken to match the need for speed. A six-ride ticket on the shuttle bus is $40. There is something for any adventurous rider. Tracks like ‘Billy T’ (just up from the bus drop) links with G-Rock and a number of other tracks before ending at the bus pickup.
Another option is to ride Huckleberry Hound with plenty of big jumps and table tops, all completely rollable. This track links with either ‘Corners’ or ‘Little Red Riding Huck’. They cross each other and are completely different rides. Back for more!
Hints for the Forest If it is raining the Shuttle doesn’t run in respect to the road & trails. It’ll take more than two days to get to know the trails, the ‘core network’ caters for beginners & families. Study the ‘Manky’ and try grabbing some local knowledge, making it easier to link appropriate trails. Check for closures due to felling in the forest.
Useful Links www.riderotorua.com www.redwoods.co.nz www.rotoruanz.com
Some Really Intere
Trail Names Nice Rd No Brains
Sweet & Sour Ball & Chain
Poplar AveJeffs Link The Lion Trail
Mill Bypass Rd
Trail Tickler Yellow Brick Rd
Bun Hot Cross Hi ll Rd
Frontal Lobotomy Be Rude Not To Old Chevy
Turkish Delightr Extension te
90. A TASTE OF BIKING - WAIKATO
Riding the River By Dave Mitchell Waikato has a number of good MTB tracks hidden amongst its remote rolling landform. The Te Aroha MTB trail on the outskirts of Te Aroha provides up to 11kms of single track and Pukete MTB Park in Hamilton has another 6kms of the same. Fifteen kilometres south of Morrinsville a feast of tracks circle the Morrinsville Water Catchment and you can spend all day joining up these trails. One of the bigger rides in the area is the Pureora MTB Trail about ten kilometres south of Pureora. Old logging roads and a bush tramway can be joined for an incredible 38km loop.
Places to Stay YHA Hamilton Centrally located hostel in a centrally located city. Range of room types, quality facilities. Base for tracks from Taupo / Rotorua through to Whanganui, New Plymouth and Auckland. 140 Ulster Street P: 07 957 1848 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yha.co.nz YHA Raglan Solscape Eco Retreat - Cool accommodation from train carriages to tipis, mixed with
organic gardens, bike hire and surf school. Relaxed local cycleways nearby. 611 Wainui Road P: 07 825 8268 E: email@example.com W: www.yha.co.nz
Waikato River Trail New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, feeds New Zealand’s longest river the Waikato. As it travels its long and winding route to the sea, it is slowed by a series of man-made lakes and dams and nine power stations, that are the cornerstone of the North Island electricity network. The Waikato River Trails Trust had the vision for a multiuse trail that followed the river for 100 kilometres from Lake Karapiro to Lake Atiamuri. The trail is part of the NZ Cycle Trail Project and is 100% open. The trail is split into 5 Sections and each section can be ridden as separate rides or combined for over 100kms of offtrail riding. I rode Whakamaru Trail, Section 5, as a return ride.
Karapiro Trail Section 1 starts Pokaiwhenua Bridge finishes Arapuni Dam. There is a 5km roadside trail from Pokaiwhenua Bridge to Little Waipa Domain.
Easy Ride: 13.7km Getting there From SH1 turn onto Horahora Road and drive 5km to Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park
Arapuni Township Best Coffee Rhubarb Café Open Weds - Sun
Where to Stay Arapuni Park Over Property Low cost Park Over Property is for campers & mobile homes. Ideal stop over while cycling the Waikato Trail with hotwater, toilets & power (GPS Lat -38.067 / Long 175.649). 50 Powerhouse Road, Arapuni P: 07 883 5723 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: arapuni.co.nz/park-overproperty/
Arapuni Trail Section 2 starts Arapuni Dam finishes Waipapa Dam
Intermediate Ride: 33.8km Waipapa Trail Section 3 starts Waipapa Dam finishes Maraetai Dam
Intermediate Ride: 4.6km
MOUNTAIN BIKING NORTH Win 1 of 5 copies of Mountain Biking South, send photo ‘on ya bike’ to email@example.com this summer. Drawn monthly 15 Jan- 15 May. Onsale at all good book stores, www.groundeffect.co.nz
Maraetai Trail Section 4 starts Maraetai Dam finishes Whakamaru Dam
Easy Ride: 15.7km Whakamaru Trail Section 5 starts Whakamaru Dam finishes Atiamuri (end of Ongaroto Rd SH 30 250m from SH1 turnoff). From a fantastic lakeside reserve and camp spot at the Dam, the trail heads to the lake edge with spectacular rocky outcrops vistas and a single track benched into the bush. It’s a rollercoaster ride sandwiched between the road and the water. Short steep climbs are matched with long flowing bush covered downhills. Views of the lake are never far away and before long you are riding below the vertical Ongaroto Bluffs. After a very steep climb, a razor ridge is descended via a steep staircase where, for your own safety, you should push or carry your bike to the trail below. The track eventually drops into the Whakamaru Christian Camp, then heads through farmland & onto the Dunham Creek Mobility Trail. Boardwalks & smooth gravel wind through the wetlands, ending at a small road reserve. The trail then ducks back into the bush, re-emerging to travel a short section along the road edge. Before long you are back riding incredible singletrack on copper coloured pine needles above a hard clay and sandy base.
This last section of track reveals views up the wide slow-moving channel of the river to the towering rocky outcrop of Pohaturoa. The trail is now a total blast, winging through a plantation or on the river edge, where big gnarly old man pine trees are growing among the native regen, sending their roots across the track like octopus tentacles. Follow the yellow top track markers along the edge of open paddocks and under the Tram Road bridge and back onto single track. The final few kilometres of trail follow the river past Pohaturoa and join SH30 then SH1. Check out the Atiamuri Dam for lunch, and for those riding
back it feels like a different trail. It’s too awesome to say no.
Description 46kms return reasonable level of fitness. Climbs 500 meters. Map: BF36 Whakamaru.
Getting There Starting from Whakamaru Dam: Access is via SH1 from Taupo going north to Atiamuri Dam and then left onto SH30 to Whakamaru Dam, or south from Matamata on SH1 turning right at Tokoroa on SH32, which also heads to the Whakamaru Dam and the start of the ride.
Useful Links www.waikatorivertrails.com
34 GREAT RIDES IN NEW ZEALAND’S
DAVE MITCHELL MAPS BY GEOGRAPHX
Words from a Welshman We talk MTB skills with the frontman for MTB Skills New Zealand, Tryfan Ephraim. Tryfan Ephraim is no stranger to
the mountain bike scene, in fact he’s now made it his livelihood, taking the reins of the ever popular Mountain Bike Skills Clinics.
Name & Age? Tryfan Ephraim (pronounced triffin) - Welsh, I moved to NZ 15 years ago. 40 years old. Favorite Local track? Maidstone Skate Park, Upper Hutt. “Riding skate parks feels about as close to surfing on a bike as you get.” Favorite National track? A sweet little DH gem in Blenheim. Preferred ride? Transition Double or Bottle Rocket. When did it all start for you? 98 in Taranaki when the surf wasn’t firing. Were you a natural, or did you collect a few grazes along the way?
It took me 5 years to learn to wheelie properly plus I’ve had my share of grazes and
When he’s not chasing waves you’ll probably find him digging trails or slashing them. We managed to pin him down for a few minutes to chat on what else, but bikes.
concussions. Many people, myself included, start trying to go fast on a bike before they have control. It’s a bad combination. I ride way more smoothly now but seem to go faster naturally which is a plus. Speed alone is a false god; I prefer the feeling of ‘mastery’ of a bike, control, and getting creative on different lines, surfing down a trail. You’re the new owner of MTB Skills... nice one. We know you’ve been an integral part of the crew for some time, what attracted you to running the show? Gabby Molloy kind of approached me and asked if I wanted to take over, we both recognised I was enjoying the work a bit too much! I love the coaching - I have been teaching in NZ secondary schools for 15 years, making the progression into coaching
people MTB skills felt totally natural. Riding bikes is an escape and a real joy for so many people, being able to help clients develop their own confidence, control, mastery and speed is a privilege. Skills seem easier to pick up young, what’s the trick if you’re starting out later in life? Riding bikes at any age is a real head game, all it takes is a nasty crash from pretending you can rip like a pro and a fear of things like steep terrain, wet roots or jumping is born. It’s great to be able to get rid of those fears for people and replace them with new skills. We like to remove the dangerous guesswork and fast track people’s skill development
What’s your vision for MTB Skills and what do you want participants to take from the course? To continue providing a unique and quality service. Ensuring that every rider who comes to us ‘gets it’ and experiences the measurable MTB skills development coaching that Gabby Molloy’s skills clinics have become known for. I know of so many ‘experienced’ riders who have been thrashing around and working it out for themselves for years. Trial and error has its place but so many bike handling skills are not intuitive or easy to pick up. In a traditional sense we are given a bike as children, the training wheels come off and that’s it, we have learnt to ride a bike! Riding mountain bikes without any training is a bit nuts and possibly fool hardy when you consider what challenges and terrain modern mountain bikes allow people to take on! How much is new bike technology helping riders, or does it make old hands have to learn how to ride again? New bike technology, weight reduction, hydraulic brakes and suspension etc make riding rough and challenging trails so much easier and enjoyable to ride. That said, so many really good riders have a background
in riding hard tails or BMX. It’s important to learn to ride well on simple gear to get your skills up, then people can polish their riding further with the flash gear and appreciate it. All the latest gear and gadgets in the world can’t hide the flaws in someone’s bike handling skills. That kind of approach to mountain biking is dangerous if you ask me. What courses do you offer during the school holidays? We have some cool kids’ skills packages, available NZ wide. It’s so important for kids to feel good about themselves at an early age and being able to get outside and ride a bike really helps. I have observed a big link between kid’s skills and their own sense of self-worth. Learning skills also teaches kids patience, the reward comes from enjoying the learning and when they get a new skill dialled.
Rail trails were once the backbone of NZ’s economy, they’re proving to be popular for biking today. Without the steam of an engine, what is the trick to getting track fit? Make time for riding your bike, don’t get all soft if it’s wet and don’t use ‘adult’ excuses like jobs and kids! If you don’t know who digs the trails you love to ride, then go and find out & help them dig even cooler new ones! It’s another excellent way to meet people & get really fit & strong. What would you like to see in NZ cycling’s future? More positivity and support for fellow cyclists (there’s lots already). More people holding quirky ‘fun’ events, more people getting into trail building, more trails to link people and communities. MTB friendly Councils like Christchurch and NZ’s top mountain bikers and cyclists getting the recognition they deserve alongside big name acts like the All Blacks!
Events Calendar 2011/12 Please contact CHILL firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like your event listed or with updates.
Southland - Otago Bannockburn MTB Classic 30th Dec, Bannockburn www.cromwell.org.nz Otago MTB Orienteering Carnival 7th – 14th Jan, Mcleans Is, Bottle Lake, Roxburgh, Alexandra, Wanaka www.otagomtbo2012.co.nz/ The Big Easy Mtb Race 28th Jan, Mt Pisa Wanaka www.highlandevents.co.nz R&R Otago Peninsula Challenge 29th Jan, Dunedin otagopeninsulachallenge.co.nz NZ Masters Games MTB 5th Feb, Dunedin www.nzmg.com Hampden Skyline MTB Ride 12th Feb, Hampden www.sportsground.co.nz/ hampdenskylineride Moonshine Trail MTB 18th Feb, Gore www.moonshinetrail.co.nz Motatapu MTB 10th Mar, Wanaka/Arrowtown www.iconicadventures.co.nz Gowan Hill Classic 31st Mar, Ohai/Nightcaps www.gowanhillclassic.co.nz Queenstown Bike Festival 31st Mar – 9th April queenstownbikefestival.co.nz Tour de Wakatipu MTB 7th April, Arrowtown www.southerntraverse.com/ TourDeWakatipu/ Naseby 12 Hour Challenge 14th April, Naseby www.mountainbikingotago.co.nz Contact Epic 21st April - Lake Hawea www.lakehaweaepic.co.nz
Wider Canterbury Region Hanmer Hammerhead 10th Dec, Hanmer Springs www.hanmerevents.co.nz Great Alpine MTB Challenge 29th Jan, Annavale Station, Springfield www.malvernlions.co.nz/events The Great Southern Brevet 21st – 29th Jan, Start – Finish Tekapo 1200km http://greatsouthernbrevet. blogspot.com/ Lake Hood River Trail Challenge 29th Jan, Ashburton www.rivertailchallenge.co.nz Port Hills Hill Climb 25th Jan, 1st & 8th Feb www.singletrack.org.nz Kaiwara Classic 5th Feb, Culverden - Cheviot www.kaiwara.co.nz The Great Kiwi Beer Festival 25th Feb, Hagley Park CHC www.greatkiwibeerfestival.co.nz/ The Alpine Corral 18th Feb, St James Cycle Trail www.aplinecorral.co.nz Flock Hill MTB Trail Ride 25th Feb, Flock Hill www.funcycling.net PlaceMakers Pass2Pub MTB race 4th Mar, Burkes Pass to Albury www.specialevents.co.nz PlaceMakers Pass2Pub MTB race 4th Mar, Burkes Pass to Albury www.specialevents.co.nz Rainbow Rage 17th Mar, St Arnaud to Hanmer www.rainbowrage.co.nz
Geraldine Bike Challenge 18th Mar 12, Geraldine geraldinebikechallenge.co.nz Blue Mountain Gorges MTB Challenge 25th Mar 12, Peel Forest www.mtpeelmtb.co.nz Arrowsmith Thee Ride 31st Mar 12, Lake Heron www.multisportevents.co.nz Hanmer 4 & 8 hour MTB 14th April 12, Hanmer Springs www.hanmerevent.co.nz Mt Somers MTB Race 22nd April 12, Mt Somers www.mtsomersbikerace.co.nz Bivouac Outdoor Mt. Isobel Challenge 26th May 12, Hanmer Springs www.hanmerevents.co.nz Meridian Twizel Hard Labour Weekend 20th Oct 12, Dusky Trail www.twizelhardlabour.org.nz Short Track Series Oct 12, Halswell www.singtrack.org.nz Molesworth Muster 10th Nov 12, Molesworth / Hanmer Springs www.bluedogevents.co.nz Spring Crusher 17th Nov 12, Hanmer Springs www.hanmerevents.co.nz Alpine Energy Day/Night MTB Race 18th Nov 12, Timaru www.timaru12hourmtb.co.nz
West Coast Denniston Chain Grinder 18th Feb, - Denniston Plateau www.cyclebuller.co.nz Quartzopolis Classic MTB 31st Mar 12, Reefton www.reefton.co.nz
Top of the South Gentle Cycling Company Ride & Sujon MTB Race 29th Jan 12, Moutere Valley www.saraufestival.co.nz Kiwi Brevet 4th – 12th Feb, Start – Finish Picton 1100km www.kiwibrevet.blogspot.com Coppermine Epic 18th Feb 12, Nelson www.coppermine.co.nz
Wellington Region Karapoti Classic 3rd – 4th Mar 12, Hutt Valley www.karapoti.co.nz Bike the Trail 4th Mar 12, Hutt River Trail www.bikethetrail.co.nz Makara Peak Rally 12th Feb 12, Wellington www.makarapeak.org Screaming O 1st April 12, Orongorongo Forest www.screamingo.co.nz R&R / PNP Cross Country Series Sept - Nov 12, Wellington www.pnp.org.nz
Central North Island Pig & Whistle Tour de Whaka MTB 7th – 8th Jan 12, Rotorua www.n-duro.co.nz R & R Sport Black Stump Adventure 11th Feb, Glen Massey blackstumpadventures.co.nz Wa Kainga Trek 11th – 12th Feb, Raukawa Adventre Centre brackkenroar.com/wakainga King Country Challenge 12th Mar 12, Poipoi www.kingcountrychallenge.co.nz Triple Peaks Challenge MTB 17th Mar, Havelock www.triplepeakschallenge.co.nz
Cateye Moonride 11th – 12th May, Rotorua www.moonride.co.nz Day-Night Thriller 15th Sept, Taupo www.eventpromotions.co.nz Contact Huka Challenge Late Nov, Taupo www.cyclechallenge.co.nz BikeFest Nov, Taupo. www.bikefest.co.nz
Greater Auckland Colville Connection MTB 10th Mar, Coromandel Peninsula www.colvilleconnection.co.nz
2012 NZ MTB Downhill Cup www.mtbnz.org
January Round 1: 8th - 9th Remark:bles, Queenstown. Round 2: 13th - 14th Signal Hill, Dunedin. Round 3: 20th - 21st Mt Hutt, Methven. February Round 4: 11th - 12th Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua. Round 5: 17th - 18th Long Gulley, Wellington. Round 6: 24th - 25th Eskdale, Napier.
Te Houtaewa Challenge 17th March, 90 Mile Beach 90milebeachrun.com/cycle.cfm The DUAL MTB Traverse 24th Mar, Motutapu, Rangitoto Is. www.thedual.co.nz Endura MTB Series Sept - Nov 2012, TBC - Auckland www.aucklandmtb.co.nz
2012 NZ MTB Cross Country Cup January Round 1: 15th January, Forrester Park, Dunedin. Round 2: 22nd, Living Springs, CHC. February Round 3: 19th, Mt. Victoria, WGT. Round 4: 26th, Eskdale, Napier.
2012 NZ Downhill Series Nov - Dec 2012 www.nzdownhill.co.nz
RaboDirect 2012 MTB National Champs www.mtbnz.org
January Super DH: 27th, Codgers MTB Park, Nelson. Downhill: 27th to 29th, Fringed Hill, Nelson. Cross Country: 28th, Codgers MTB Park, Nelson. Cross Country Eliminator: 29th, Brook Street, Nelson.
SUPER D ENDURO SAT 31ST MAR A mountain bike SUPER D (downhill and uphill racing) event, with Skyline Gondola access, set in the Queenstown Bike Park in the Ben Lomond forest. 6hrs non-stop tag team or individual.
TOUR DE WAKATIPU SAT 7TH APRIL An exclusive course from Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown to Chard Farm Winery. The course winds along the Kawarau River, via the tracks and trails of the Wakatipu basin. 36kms for recreational riders and 45kms for elite and sport racers.
DIRTMASTERS DH SAT 7TH & SUN 8TH APRIL This technically demanding downhill course through the Queenstown Bike Park heads down narrow & broad tracks, woodland roads, field paths & rocky tracks. The course begins at the top of the Skyline Gondola & finishes on Brecon St. www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz
Contacts Accommodation, Activities, Essentials Accommodation
03 325 1014
03 318 9277
YHA Mt House Backpackers
0800 278 299
www.queenstownNZ.co.nz Arrowtown Born Of Gold Holiday Park
0800 482 735
Coronet Peak Hotel
03 442 7850
0800 278 299
YHA Queenstown Lakefront
0800 278 299
0800 746 396
Raetihi Holiday Park
0800 4088 88 0800 278 299
YHA Rolleston House
0800 278 299
0800 278 299
Little River Little River Campground
03 325 1014
Hanmer Springs 0800 368 888
0800 278 299
Heritage Hanmer Springs YHA Kakapo Lodge
0800 278 299
Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park
0800 662 726
Tekapo Godley Resort Hotel
03 680 6848
03 680 6700
Backpackers Tekapo Holiday Homes
03 680 6607 0800 278 299
Fairlie Fairlie Top 10 Holiday Park
0800 324 754
03 308 3059
Albatross Backpacker Inn
0800 222 247
0800 278 299
03 307 1354
www.amazingspace.co.nz Abisko Lodge
03 302 8875
Big Tree Lodge
03 302 9575
0800 278 299
www.selwyn.govt.nz/visit YHA Smylies
03 318 4740
Castle Hill The Burn
03 318 7559
0800 278 299
Golden Bay Bay Country Lodge
03 525 9438
03 524 8149
YHA Annie’s Nirvana Lodge
0800 278 299
Karamea Karamea Hotel
03 782 6800
Westport / West Coast Birds Ferry Lodge
03 429 1604
Breakers Boutique B&B
03 762 7743
0800 278 299
Wellington YHA Wellington
www.greatlaketaupo.com YHA Taupo
0800 278 299
Rotorua YHA Rotorua
0800 278 299
03 315 5111
YHA Lake Tekapo
0800 40 8888
YHA National Park
Le Gite Backpackers
03 438 9451
Central Plateau Bridge to Nowhere Lodge
03 358 0969
03 443 2088
Airport Delta Motel
Wanaka Holiday Homes
www.hawkesbaynz.com Clive Colonial Cottages
06 870 1018
Te Awanga Cottages
06 875 1963
Arapuni Park Over Property
07 883 5723
0800 278 299
YHA Raglan, Solscape Eco Retreat
0800 278 299
Auckland YHA Auckland
0800 278 299
Activities Glide Omarama
03 438 9555
Alpine Springs, Tekapo
0800 235 38283
Earth & Sky Observatory, Tekapo
03 680 6960
Encounter Kaikoura Dolphin Tours
0800 733 365
Kaikoura Coast Track
03 319 2715
0800 452 456
Sea Kayak Co. Able Tasman
0508 25 29 25
Other Contacts Methven Massage
03 302 8323
Riccarton Clinic CHC
03 343 7272
Pye Electrical CHC
03 365 0907
Springfield Service Centre
03 318 4845
Bike Contacts Bike Shops, Tours, Clinics & Transport CHILL Studio L1, 399 Montreal St, CHC P. 03 365 6530 E. email@example.com Cactus Clothing & Equipment Gear that wears in not out 90 Fitzgerald Ave 03 374 9268 www.cactusclimbing.co.nz
Bike Shops Christchurch Around Again Cycles Sales, Service & Hire 620 Ferry Rd 03 376 6377 Cyclone Cycles & Mowers Sales & Service 245-247 Colombo Street 03 332 9588
Methven Big Alâ€™s - Sales, Service & Rental The Square 03 3028003
Ashburton Cyclerama - Sales & Service 211 Burnett St 03 307 6443
Blenheim AvantiPlus Spokesman Sales & Service 61 Queens Street 03 578 0433
Nelson Stoke Cycles - Sales & Service 526 Main Rd 03 547 6361
Westport Habitat Sports - Rental & Service 204 Palmerston St 03 782 6800
Hawkes Bay Revolution Cycles Sales & Speedy Service 8 Donnelly Street 06 877 8477
Whanganui The Bike Shed - Sales & Services Cnr Ridgway and Hill St 06 345 5500
Taupo Top Gear Cycles Shop 20, 19 Tamamutu Street 07 377 0552
Rotorua Bike Culture - 1133 Pukuatua St 07 343 9372
Hire, Transport & Services MTB Clinics Nationwide Clinics & Courses firstname.lastname@example.org www.mtbskillsclinics.co.nz
Queenstown Fat Tyre - Tours & Helibiking 0800 FATTYRE www.fat-tyre.co.nz
MacKenzie Helibiking, Twizel 0800 HELIBIKE www.helibike.com
Christchurch Natural High Bike, Kayak & Camper Rentals 0800 444 144 www.naturalhigh.co.nz Vintage Peddler Bike Hire Co. L1, 399 Montreal St 03 365 6530 www.vintagepeddler.co.nz
Remote Adventures Fixed Wing Air Transport 0800 150 338 www.remoteadventures.co.nz
Karamea Karamea Motor Express Transport & Services 03 7826 757
Hawkes Bay Fishbike, Napier Bike Rentals 06 8336979 Takaro Trails Guided tours 06 836 5385 www. takarotrails.co.nz
Central Plateau Remote Adventures Fixed Wing Air Transport 0800 150 338 www.remoteadventures.co.nz
Rotorua Southstar Bike Shuttles Bike Park Shuttles www.southstaradventures.com
Auckland International Airport Natural High Bike, Kayak & Camper Rentals 0800 444 144 www.naturalhigh.co.nz
Adventure South - Guided Tours 03 942 1222 www.advsouth.co.nz
YOUR FREE GUIDE TO CHILLING OUT THIS WINTER
Marlborough - Picton Malborough Adventure Co Bookings & Bike Rentals 03 573 6078 www.marlboroughsounds.co.nz
Golden Bay Escape Adventures Tours escapeadventures.co.nz Small Group Tours & Transport 03 525 8783 Golden Bay Air - Air Transport 03 525 8725 www.goldenbayair.co.nz
P: RILEY BATHURST
Available from all good snowsports stores from May 2012.
The lastest CHILL Adventures Mountain Bike Trail guide available online and free at all good bike stores New Zealand wide. Featuring family...