Archives For Cycling

The Heaphy Track, closed since Easter due to storm damage, reopened on Monday.

The recent storm caused extensive tree windfall forcing the closure of the track and delaying the start of its winter mountain biking season.

Riding along the coast on the Heaphy Track. Photo: Jono/Squid faced boy.

A big effort has gone in over the past two weeks to clear fallen trees on the Heaphy Track with extra staff being brought in to speed up the clean-up.

With the reopening of the track the mountain bike season is now underway and runs until the 30 September.

Hut bookings can be made and more information found on what to expect and what to take when biking the Heaphy Track on the DOC website.

Photo by Jono | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

By Chrissy Wickes, Ranger – Biodiversity in Te Anau

It’s that time of the year when the world turns bright orange and yellow.

Shannon biking along amongst the leaves near Clutha River.

My son Shannon enjoying some autumn riding near the Clutha River

A perfect occasion to put on your helmet and explore the brilliant bike trails in all their autumn glory while it lasts.

There are many trails in the Wanaka area that are golden with fallen leaves. A favourite of mine is the Upper Clutha River track, this follows the Clutha River all the way from the Wanaka lake outlet, under the Albert town bridge and on to Luggate. This track is classified as “intermediate” for mountain bikers.

Three riders getting ready for some autumn riding. Photo: Annette Grieve.

The golden leaves of autumn

You can go as far as you want, lie amongst the autumn leaves, or just take a picnic and sit on the banks of the impressive Mata-Au/Clutha River. The entire track is 21.5 km long, one way.

On the other side of the river are two other great tracks; the Newcastle and Deans Bank for a slightly more challenging ride. These trails were made possible through the partnership of the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust, Bike Wanaka and DOC.

Shannon riding amongst the golden trees near Wanaka.

Shannon amongst the gold and red leaves of autumn

So what are you waiting for? Go plan your ride on the DOC website and find out more information about some fantastic tracks in your area.

Get out there, get amongst it!

February is Bike Wise month and to celebrate Fiordland Biodiversity Ranger Chrissy Wickes tells us about her recent trip biking the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail.

Chrissy Wickes.

Chrissy Wickes

Having biked the Central Otago cycleway with my partner and son we were looking for another great cycle route in the Central Otago area.

We found a real gem, the Roxburgh Gorge and the Clutha Gold Trail and we headed off in January on a three day journey.

As we were doing it as a family we took our time doing 20-25 kilometres a day, and taking all day to do it! Why not!

Clutha river and cycle track between Roxburgh and Alexandra.

Schist country between Roxburgh and Alexandra

Starting at Alexandra we headed off on a fabulous purpose built bike trail. There is something so special about being able to bike free of traffic in an amazing gorge in the remote heartland of Central Otago schist country.

Biking the Roxburgh Gorge.

Following the Clutha/Mata-Au River

After the first 10 kilometres we met up with a jet boat (pre-arranged) that took us about 12 kilometres through the gorge to meet up with the trail again. This was a great luxury and currently the only way to do the trail without doubling back.

Chrissy's son Shannon in front of the jet boat.

Catching the jet boat

There was lots of history to learn about along the way, with old miners cottages made from the local stone. We stayed just out of Roxburgh the first night and headed off to Millers Flat the second day.

Millers flat is a charming settlement on the south side of the river — friendly and peaceful with plenty of history.

The third day got us back to Roxburgh, where the obliging owner of our first night’s accommodation had organised for our car to be relocated to. The people we met were amazingly friendly.

Cycling the Clutha Gold Trail.

Clutha Gold Trail between Millers Flat and Roxburgh

The gorge was our highlight. It was beautiful following the cool blue Clutha/Mata-au River all the way amongst the dry brown rocky landscape. I would choose your weather wisely it can be excessively hot in summer and extremely cold out of summer. It is also remote so you need to be prepared.