Archives For Mountain Biking

John Robinson who took this picture while mountain biking beside Lake Hāwea, in Hāwea Conservation Park, Otago.

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By Chrissy Wickes, Biodiversity Ranger, Te Anau

My partner, our child and I recently biked the Queen Charlotte Track.

Chrissy and her family by the DOC Queen Charlotte Track sign.

Setting out on the Queen Charlotte Track

It was a challenging but fun adventure with our two and a half year old son Shannon. It was obvious that Shannon enjoyed the camping experience and being in the bush.

Chrissy's son Shannon in his chariot.

Shannon in his chariot

The Queen Charlotte track was good enough for Shannon’s chariot to be attached to our bikes and we only had to push the chariot for around one tenth of the track. The rest of the track is ridable if you are fit, which luckily my partner is and he was even able to pull the chariot up some small sharp steep hills that I had to walk.

Chrissy's partner and son biking along the track.

Along the track

We took it pretty slow along the track to make it more comfy over the more rough terrain. Some sections were gorgeous and smooth, others were rocky and a bit rooty.

Chrissy and her son on the Queen Charlotte Track.

A spot of dancing?

We chose to take the road from Cowshed Bay to Mistletoe turnoff just to avoid a big hill that we would have most likely just pushed up rather than ride. This was a great decision!

Shannon being pushed along the track on the bike.

Give me a push

We got all our gear water taxied to our next camp spot which was so great. We met some lovely people on the way. The tops were gorgeous with some stunning views of the sounds.

Stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds.

Stunning views

I would recommend this adventure only in really good weather which we were lucky to have. The clay surface of this track would mean that a bit of rain could make it quite yucky!

A view along the Queen Charlotte Track.

How about that view?


Experience the Queen Charlotte Track

In the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, the Queen Charlotte Track stretches 71 km.The track is suitable for both walkers and mountain bike riders, taking 3-5 days to complete walking, or 2-3 days for mountain bikers. You can find more information on the DOC website.

Rob Griffiths, a ranger based in the Rotorua Lakes Area Office, takes us along the newly developed mountain bike loop in the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve.

Recent upgrades to tracks and new developments in the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve near Rotorua have created a fantastic mountain bike loop in an amazing geothermal setting.

DOC Ranger Rob Griffiths on the Rainbow Mountain Loop. Photo: Alan Ofsoski.

DOC Ranger Rob Griffiths on the Rainbow Mountain Loop

Already this trail is being touted by locals as the best mountain biking in Rotorua outside of the Whakarewarewa Forest. This new trail is sure to soon be on everyone’s to-do list.

It is a well paced ride/walk but it can be kind of a steep ride up to the summit. The incline gives the perfect reason to take multiple stops to catch your breath and take in the beautiful natural environment, geothermal activity and learn a little along the way.

Crater Lake on Rainbow Mountain.

Quick stop to check out the Crater Lake

Catch your breath (again) at the summit as you soak up the amazing views from the summit. The 360 degree view from the top has been described as the best view “this side of Tongariro”. Next up is a fast and fun descent down to Te Ranga, where you can relax in the cascading waters of the geothermal heated stream.

Team on Rainbow Mountain Loop during the Rotorua Bike Festival. Photo: Alan Ofsoski

Checking out the Rainbow Mountain Loop during the Rotorua Bike Festival.

The Australian Mountain Biking magazine gave a glowing endorsement of Rainbow Mountain during their review of the Rotorua Bike Festival in February pointing out the “geothermal steam rising from the flanking forests and coloured cliffs”.

For more information and a map on the new loop check out the Rainbow Mountain mountain bike loop flyer.

View from the top of Rainbow Mountain. Photo: Alan Ofsoski.

View from the top

Conservation Week in Rotorua was kick started with the UCI Trails World Cup over the weekend.

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