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Thread: Epic NZ trails?

  1. #1
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    Epic NZ trails?

    Haha, asking to give up your secrets right? and an apology for posting my sweet blahg.

    I just got back and had a blast but felt like I scratched the surface or there might be better to offer. What a wonderful little corner of the work you have there. I am already planning a trip back for next summer but trying to decide if I should focus on biking, or tramping. Also to be fair I broke my bike two nights before flying down and the rental I was able to arrange for the 2 weeks as mediocre. Maybe easier to list what I rode and if you are kind enough you will point me in the right direction.

    North Island
    K2K to Kinloch, literally rode it after flying from the US east coast, so really it was about all I was up for but super tame and flow.

    Rotorua, I did the shuttle and lots of pedaling great day but my rental was too XC for the jump lines on Huckleberry, Corners boring, really enjoyed Billy T, Tihi o Tawa, and the rocky horror picture show trails, Tuhoto was great, Kataore would have been on my bike. Overall great trails.

    Waihaha/Waihora to water taxi pickup. Amazing scenery but again super wide flow. OMG if the trail has been tight single track with an occasional feature it had the potential to be great.

    Craters MTB park, rode a good part of it. Good XC riding and a good fit for the bike I had but left wanting more

    South Island

    McLeans forest, I was obviously on the wrong side of Christchurch but no complaints as I got a ride in after landing late and needing to be back for a date.

    Mt Hutt was planned but rain nixed that yet found a reprieve of the rain hiking up Mt. Sunday.

    Wanaka
    Showed up to a gun fight with a knife at Sticky. Man I wish I had my bike for those jump lines and gaps. No way I was going to do some of them on the clunker rental.

    Cardrona
    mood dust DH park. Rented a proper DH bike but probably would have been better suited with a enduro. Amazing views trails were dry and super loose. Par for the course from what I understand.

    Queenstown

    I wish I had more days to ride there. Dropped off the XC bike and got a Lapierre from Bikeaholic. The owner Matt is a cool dude! Long story short epic day some shuttles on Rude, Zoots a couple of times then back to the top of Rude for Pack & Sack to skippers (ALLSOME) Then talked the shuttle to take me back to the top while everyone else did zoots again. Coronet XC to the top, down, rude, zoots and a pedal back to town.

    Epic trip but looking for more next summer. I really like super technical XC if that makes sense. 32 Km + , fewer humans the better. Whistler XC double blacks are my jam. Love rock features, steeps, rollers and nasty drops. Natural features as opposed to totally man made.

    Cheers!
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  2. #2
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    Iím going in March to the South Island and will be paying to attention to what people have to say. Iím doing the Campervan thing seeing thatís how I play in the states and can play when and where I want.


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    I would say it is definitely worth planning to ride there again, though there is also lots of good hiking. Check out the DOC (department of conservation) site for details on that.

    Here are some random suggestions for more places to ride...

    In general, the South Island has a lot more of the backcountry epic type of riding it sounds like you want to do. By summer, do you mean you're going in the NZ summer? The reason I ask is that some of the tracks, such as the Heaphy are not open to bikes during peak hiking season. Sadly I haven't got to do many of the epics in the South Island but I'm planning to change that soon. Some places I'm thinking of, in no particular order are: Nydia Bay, Wakamarina, maybe the Old Ghost Road, maybe the Heaphy, and I know there is a lot of good riding in Nelson-backcountry stuff as well as a pretty epic looking new bike park in Wairoa Gorge.

    In the North Island, you may want to consider the Te Iringa track, it is supposed to be quite technical, Tree Trunk Gorge is (much) easier but supposed to be good fun, and the Moerangi Track also looks epic (though storm damaged, I understand it to be rideable, and likely to be repaired). While I haven't done those they have been highly recommended to me and so are on the list for when I go back.

    42 Traverse is not very technical but probably worth a ride if you're in the area.

    If you fly into Auckland I would say it's worth taking a day to ride at 440 bike park.

    Wellington may be worth a look, I never got around to riding there but from talking to people who live there it has good trails.

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    Good job!

    ^ yes you appear to have missed one of NZ's best riding spots - Nelson! Morphosity covered it well.

    It sounds like you're pretty capable on a bike so you would love the abundance of naturally technical trails here. You could ride out of the CBD and immediately start Fringe Hill Climb up to 800m asl, then head across Black Diamond to Sunrise Ridge, before making a hard decision between Peaking Ridge or a Cranknstein and 629 combo to get back to the road into town. That's a pretty full on day right there.

    There are shuttle services for 629 and some of the other rides.. then there's Wairoa Gorge. Youtube that one. 70+km of hand built trails, made for a billionaire who has recently opened it up to the public.

    Gravity Nelson hire Nomad 4's, so no issue with bringing knives to gun fights.

  5. #5
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    629 can be fun for sure, I like old ghost rd a lot as well, I went Heli biking in Wanaka & although I am pleased I did it, It was not worth the money.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  6. #6
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    Ghost road is one I want to do and just want to ride as much as I can. Iím taking the Deadwood to ride over the Spearfish for just the fun of it.


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  7. #7
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    There is a heap of videos of Rotorua's Redwoods and Taupo's Craters of the moon MTB Park if you're interested - Cheers for the other spot reccomendations, always looking for somewhere close.. Possibly Mt.Raeupehu?? I have heard they have some great trails out there?

    Videos listed in the link below!
    www.trailogr.com - New International MTB Trail Video Platform

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    lotsa good info already up.
    Wellington is definitely worth a look, you can ride all the way from Aro Valley out to Makara Bike Park & back on flinty, native bush lined singletrack.

    Nelson/Marlborough is great - see ButtersNZ above
    Old Ghost Road (with load carrying)
    Then hit up the Reefton area - Kirwins, Blacks Point, Croesus (via Blackball)
    Across the alps to Craigieburn / Castle Hill area - lots of beech forest singletrack goodness (Edge, Luge, Coal Pit Spur, Cockayne Alley, Cuckoo Creek, Dicksons, Hogs Back)

    Christchurch has some rocky goodness out east (ocean) end of the Port Hills behind the city, and the re-built bike park has plenty black & dble black tracks.

    One often overlooked location that is worth mentioning is Alexandra - not far from Queenstown - which has awesome, rocky trails, thought you need to seek out a local to guide you as maps don't exist (that I know of)

    Enjoy, I know you will

  9. #9
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    Definitely hit Nelson/top of the SI next time! I'm supposed to be heading down on the 28th but I'm sitting at home with my leg in plaster instead after a silly little crash (yeah yeah pity me). If you're into the back-country epic sorta stuff then there's so many good options around that part of the world.

    We were going to do OGR, Whites Bay, Nydia Track, Wakamarina, and a couple of local Nelson ones like Coppermine and Fringe Hill. You could easily spend a couple of weeks in the area and not get bored, but the other suggestions people have made are also worth considering.

    As someone who lives at the top of the north island, I enjoy our riding up here but, TBH, just go to the South Island and forget about up here!

  10. #10
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    Only a couple of weeks and I will be on the South Island and ready.


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  11. #11
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    Well Iím setting at the airport waiting on my flight to New Zealand. Itís happening hell ya


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  12. #12
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    Good on you, I hope you enjoy it.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

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    Yeah man! Enjoy!

  14. #14
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    Lovely weather in Nelson at the moment, not so much up north!! Hope it stays like this for ya.

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    Epic NZ trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by morphosity View Post
    I would say it is definitely worth planning to ride there again, though there is also lots of good hiking. Check out the DOC (department of conservation) site for details on that.

    Here are some random suggestions for more places to ride...

    In general, the South Island has a lot more of the backcountry epic type of riding it sounds like you want to do. By summer, do you mean you're going in the NZ summer? The reason I ask is that some of the tracks, such as the Heaphy are not open to bikes during peak hiking season. Sadly I haven't got to do many of the epics in the South Island but I'm planning to change that soon. Some places I'm thinking of, in no particular order are: Nydia Bay, Wakamarina, maybe the Old Ghost Road, maybe the Heaphy, and I know there is a lot of good riding in Nelson-backcountry stuff as well as a pretty epic looking new bike park in Wairoa Gorge.

    In the North Island, you may want to consider the Te Iringa track, it is supposed to be quite technical, Tree Trunk Gorge is (much) easier but supposed to be good fun, and the Moerangi Track also looks epic (though storm damaged, I understand it to be rideable, and likely to be repaired). While I haven't done those they have been highly recommended to me and so are on the list for when I go back.

    42 Traverse is not very technical but probably worth a ride if you're in the area.

    If you fly into Auckland I would say it's worth taking a day to ride at 440 bike park.

    Wellington may be worth a look, I never got around to riding there but from talking to people who live there it has good trails.
    Thanks for this. Looks like some awesome riding.

    We are regulars in NZ as my wife is Kiwi and her family is in AKL.

    Flying in on Thursday to take part in the Crankworks Enduro then looking for new riding during the week before the slope style party


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  16. #16
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    First and foremost a bleated thank you to all who replied! I feel I owe you all a full report. Your suggestions and information was very helpful. Luckily my girlfriend who is the brains of our operations has a sixth sense when planning our itinerary. She doesn't bike but is an avid hiker, and does her best to help put me on some good trails. I think she is a keeper.

    Focused on the South Island this trip with the exception of visiting some friends in Auckland on my way back.

    Day 1. Arrived in Queenstown after a very long day. We were staying on the opposite side of the lake so Jacks Point trail was easily accessible. The trail wasn't great but it was good to be able to put my bike together, make sure it was adjusted while trying to adjust myself.

    Day 2. Skyline bike park. While its no Whistler, I was wishing I had my YT Tues instead of my trail bike. Had a blast though. Super steep loam and root gardens. My kind of ridding. The big jump lines looked nice. Being the second day into two weeks I choose not to hot the big stuff on my trail bike. Next time I'll rent a DH bike for the day. Except I hear climbing Beeched As to line you up for Salmon Run is sweet as.

    Day 3. Coronet. I got dropped off at top, well as far as a car can go. I had planned on doing Slip Saddle, but the guys at Vortex kind of talked me out of it. Solo and Xmas day they were probably right. So climbed all the way to the top of Coronet XC. Then back down. Rude Rock, to pack track and sack, all the way down skippers pack track. Climbed back out Skipper road which was kind of brutal. Got to the top where I was supposed to meet my gf. She wasn't there. Which was a bit expected. She was hiking devils creek from the bottom. So I climb more until I find her. Got the keys and headed down, hit zoots then drove back to pick her up.

    Day 4 and 5 weren't biking days. Drove down to the Milford sound and did an overnight boat trip plus some hikes. Awesome none the less.

    Day 6. Wake up in Wanaka. Did the sticky forest. This year was way more fun on my bike. Met a local with an HD4 like mine. He was super stoked to see another Ibis in NZ. He showed me around. Wish I was a bit more in my game and had a little bit more time. Regardless had some good runs and hit some gaps I skipped on the rental that I had last year.

    Day 7. On the way to Twizel. Not a lot a riding in that area. You ave Mt Cook and some amazing scenery. It worked out for me to get dropped off near Omarama so my gf could do some hikes, Basically the A2O or alps to ocean segment in reverse. Easy grade, but pedaled about 50k. Beautiful corner of the planet. No complaints.

    Day 8. Mt Hutt. A bit raw but I had hella fun. Was dropped off at Scotts saddle, all the way down, climbed back up Front Door a few times down on alternating trails. Good times were had. Brown bar was closed so Blue it was.

    Day 9. Hiking day. Over to Authur's pass, did Bealy's spur on past the track to the top. Cross training hurt, lol.

    Day 10 Cragieburn. Wow. Earned this turn. The edge was super fun.Steep gravel climb but really wasn't that bad considering the pay off Some of the slips were a bit terrifying. Then did the Luge, loved the luge. Kind of reminded me of home but better. The plan was to do draconyian flats but it was closed So worked my way over to Dicksons and dropped that back to road. Pedaled over to Castle Hill and climbed Hogsback to the lightning tree. Didn't have the legs or tine to Cockayne. Really need two day to do the two sides. Next year.

    Day 11. Ghost Road, we were basically on our way to Nelson. So all I had time to do was an out an back. I understand doing the whole track as an overnight is phenomenal. The part of the trail I was able to ride was pretty tame. If I were to do it again it would for sure be the entire trail sleeping out. That said, not sure I'd commit 2 days.

    Day 12 Nelson. Now we are talking some great trails! Pedaled out form city center. I did the super long Fringe hill climb. It just kept going and going. Got to Black Diamond and was ready for a sweet technical decent. Nope, tech climb/undulation. Don't get me wrong it was awesome just not down hill lol. Then to sunshine ridge. Root garden after root garden. Tail s is built so well. Just carry your speed and some light maualing and you can clear all the nastiness. Love that kind of riding. The plan was to do 620 but took a lunch break at the intersection of sunrise and peaking. Ran into someone doing trail work. Talked to him for a few and it was clear Peaking was/is his favorite. Far be ot from me not to take local advice. Wow, what a decent, steep root gardens that just keep going and going and going.

    Day 13. Again pedaled out from where we were staying. Pedaled to the Sharlands. Up to the top to do Putakari. Some of the steepest and tightest switch backs I have ever done. Total stoke. Back up the other leg to ride Maitai, Supplejack and back to the bottom. Super fun day.

    Had a couple of more days but that concluded the riding.

    Good chance I will be back in August. Wellington and Nelson. Hopefully winter rising is possible.

    Already planning on next summer. Nelson, Wairoa, and Cragieburn will be the focus,

    Another big thanks to all!
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  17. #17
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    Awesome, glad to hear you liked it! Following up from my miserable post, I'm three weeks out from out annual trip to Nelson and no broken bones yet, touch wood! Quietly getting rather excited...

    Doing an out-and-back on the Ghost Road from either end wouldn't really tickle your fancy with the sort of riding you seem to be into. As far as challenging riding goes, the best bit would be the descent from Ghost Hut down to Stern Valley, then from the top of the Boneyard climb down to Goat Creek Hut. The first 25-or-so-kilometres in from either end are more mellow (epic climb if coming in from Lyall, or cool flat undulating through the valley coming in from Seddonville) and are more enjoyable for the scenery than the riding IMO.

    Going by what you've described, I think you should definitely aim to do the Whakamarina track next time round, you'll need to book a shuttle as it's a point-to-point, there's a big hike-a-bike in the middle, but the ~800m vertical descent with 70+ switchbacks will make it all worth while.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the info David. Hopefully you are in the thick of having some Nelson goodness right now.

    Good to hear on the Ghost Road! I got the feeling the drop back west was the best part. I'm also not adverse to just doing an overnighter. Basically comes down to time and logistics. I'm planing on doing some bike packing on my home tracks once it warms up a bit. Curious. Can you wild camp on the ghost road or do you have to stay in a shelter? I can respect the latter but prefer to do no trace and hang my hammock.

    Whakamarina, looks pretty awesome! On my radar

    Off chance I might be back in August. I'll be in Wellington but could probably get over to the South Island for a day or two. Is the Nelson area or north south island rideable in NZ winter?
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Can you wild camp on the ghost road or do you have to stay in a shelter? I can respect the latter but prefer to do no trace and hang my hammock.
    https://oldghostroad.org.nz/hut-information-3/

    According to this there are tent sites for if you want to be more self-sufficient, not sure about options for camping outside of those areas though sorry. We've always just booked the huts as it means you can get away with carrying less gear. We'll be hitting the trail Mon-Tuesday next week, I'll be sure to post some pics.

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