Carterton MTB Park and Mount Dick Lookout

The weather was great in the Wairarapa, so we nipped over the hill for one last research trip at Carterton MTB Park, and Mount Dick Lookout (both next to each other).
It’s a great park for little kids as it only has two 1-km long tracks and they are really well built. For exercise Mt Dick is perfect, and it offers stunning panoramas from the shelter on top. Chilly downhill though!





South Island Research Trip

We’ve just got back from another massive research trip around the South Island.


We started off checking out a fresh track in Oamuru, then we headed to Dean’s Bank.


Next we had a brilliant day riding at Rude Rock. We came up with a cunning plan to do it while it was still frozen – there was no mud at all. It also gave Jonathan a chance to test the ECR in the snow (it’s awesome!).

Then we spent the afternoon being shown the best tracks at Rabbit Ridge, thanks to our guide Olly (who knows the area like the back of his hand). There are heaps of new tracks being built there this year.


Coronet Peak, the top of Rude Rock.


Parts of the track are covered in snow and it’s only June. We guess the track will be best left until summer to ride. Paul wiped out on some ice just around the corner from this shot!


Lake Wakatipu. No idea what the mountains are. The track is Rude Rock.


Olly guiding Paul down the Paddock Track at Rabbit Ridge.


Paul and Olly at Donna’s Dually – the most fun Grade 2 track in the country!

The next day was another fantastic one. We’ve got to hand it to the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club – they have created some excellent trails over the last three years with very strong connectivity that helps create longer, better rides. Awesome!

We headed out to do a great new version of the Moke Lake circuit, then Paul and Olly did Seven Mile while Jonathan headed off to the Moonlight Track.


Another day in Paradise at Moke Lake


Gold Digger – a great track by the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club that does away with the sealed road climb up to Moke Lake.


Olly shows us how it’s done at the Seven Mile MTB area.


There hasn’t been any sun on this part of the Moonlight Track for a while.


There’s some unbelievable track building on the Moonlight Track!

Man down! We only had one river crossing to go this morning, and a snow fed one at that. Otherwise it was a good ride on the Dusky Trail.
In the afternoon we were pleasantly surprised by the new track work at Lake Tekapo. There is some great flowing single track, and, of course, excellent scenery.

Well, it was an awesome research trip. Seven days of fine weather; met lots of great people and rode many kilometres of single track. Now we are on the ferry, heading home to work on the next edition of Classic NZ MTB Rides, due out 1 November.


Paul crossing a higher than usual Twizel River. All about to go pear shaped.


Paul is not a strong swimmer, so I was torn between taking photos and helping him out.


The single track built through Tekapo Regional Park is a lot of fun! Does anyone know who built it? Must have been a mountain biker.

Reefton, Waiuta and Hanmer Forest


We’ve just got back from an awesome research trip in the South Island.

Reefton rocks! Seriously, it rocks more than ever. Even with a bit of drizzle. DOC have done some amazing work. Kirwans is in great nick, and the new loop possible around Murray Creeks makes for a brilliant night ride. Konini was the icing on the cake.


The next day we were off to Waiuta. It was a tough day. So much water on the Big River and Waiuta Tracks, and several tree falls. Fantastic scenery though, and the work DOC have done on Waiuta was much appreciated. Then went and checked out the new track (under construction) near Craigieburn. Can’t believe Murray took his shoes off to ride across the stream barefoot. Whimpy!





Barefoot cycling – not recommended, but he did keep his shoes dry.

Fat is fun! We tried fat bikes in Hanmer Forest and had a ball. Don’t laugh until you’ve tried them. They stick to the tracks like superglue and yet getting air is incredibly easy. You can hire them from Mark at Mumbles Cafe. He’s a fat bike ambassador, and the food it great too.





Welcome Rock Trail

Have you ever thought what it might be like to ride miles and miles and miles of water race track through high-country Otago?

Welcome Rock Trail is on the way! It’s being built by a Southland farmer with a vision, and should be opened by the end of the year. Kath Kelly and Jonathan took a sneak preview and loved it.

More details will follow when the opening date is set – there is still lots of work to be done. Volunteers are welcome. Check out the Welcome Rock website:


The trail had a gentle gradient, but is narrow and twisty in places, making it great for interesting biking.


Tom O’Brien – a man with a vision of mountain biking heaven.


Connor on the left here has been working on the track full time since last Winter. On the right is a fit young German WWOOFer. They each build 30 to 70 metres a day in this terrain.


Kath Kelly on Welcome Rock, the highest point for miles around.

Heaven’s Door

Crystal night at Heavens Door on the Old Ghost Road. So many stars, blinded by a full moon and impressed by Venus. Checked out the trail building action for a couple of days. Almost 2.5 km hand-built in two months. Quite incredible really, but also fairly gnarly. Expert riders will love the latest section.