Mountain bike New Zealand, don’t miss out on these top rides.
Mountain Bike New Zealand and your in for the time of your life on and off the bike. So you’ve decided to venture to the land of The Long White Cloud and embark on some of the best mountain biking in the world? You’ll want to consider the following must do rides and areas not to miss!
First off, good call on mountain biking in New Zealand and secondly being South Island based locals, we’ve got you covered on what not to miss out on with these few key rides that would make your mountain bike holiday in New Zealand a real ripper.
Best mountain bike rides we recommend in the top of The South Island
Nelson New Zealand is mountain biking mecca and boasts an insane amount of a variety of wicked kick ass single track. Question is which MTB trails to tackle? If you haven’t got heaps of time, you’ll surely hit up the trails in town, and of course a Classic ride would be The Coppermine Saddle Track. Its a a full day for the intermediate rider, and if your a slow climber- well tough cookie you’ll be in the saddle for a while! With a 1200 Metre climb, its pretty easy climbing and can get a tad boring after a while, but so worth it when you reach the top!
Golden Bay – The Rameka Track
While your listing the top of the South Island, one of our all time favourites is the Rameka Track and Canaan Downs Loop Track. Situated at the top of the Takaka Hill, is a super scenic cast limestone country filled with some of the best trails NZ has to offer. Start off with The Canaan Loop for a sweet warm up , the single track here winds through Native Beech Forest and open fields with beautiful big skies over Golden Bay Country. Some twisty tight and technical sections we’ve you through some super fun sections of The Canaan downs, a popular music festival area in summer season. The main issue is access to this track. unless your a fitness freak and are keen for a pre ride up the Takaka hill ( 1300M) and then a 15km gravel road with a good 300M of elevations even before you start the single track- you’ll want to organize a shuttle or be smart and go guided so you don’t have to worry of all the logistics, and just focus on maximizing your riding time followed by post ride brew time.
The Old Ghost Road – Hut to hut alpine mountain biking
If you haven’t heard of this one, well your probably not that dial’d in with how awesome new zealand mountain biking really is. This track is New Zealand’s longest single track , over 85km’s long stretching from the wild alpine to the wicked West Coast Rainforest. Its rideable from hut to hut and is a true backcountry epic. Access is from Lyell and old Ghost Town and the ride brings you over some of the south island most beautiful country and holds a super sweet amount of rich history and hardship, worth riding the track in itself for a good lesson or two about what hard work really is. The main draw back when your thinking of riding The Old Ghost Road , is again the logistics to the start and end of the trail as its not a loop, but finishes or starts on the other side of a massive mountain range. Its also become one of NZ’s most popular MTB Tracks( within good reason) so getting it right with booking in time is a bit of an art, alongside with how your backcountry preparation skills are for being prepared for the Wild West Coast wether that often adds to the capital A of adventure 🙂
Craigie Burn Trails
Theres a lifetime of epic ride in the Top of The South island, but who wants to read forever. lets head further South and were now talking about Craigie Burn Mountains. Situated on the Eastern side of the divide is some of Kiwi’s most loved mountain bike trails comprising over a full days worth of singletrack. We like to ride there for a good 5-6 hours or so, but definitely you could spend two days there and still be drilling to re ride it again and again. Think weaving rooty single track, beach forests, epic views of the alpine basins of mountains and killer descents through a multitude of open vistas, technical terrain and flowy turns. There’s a sweet way to ride all of these trails to maximize your stoke levels.
West Coast New Zealand , Paparoa Track the newest alpine backcountry hut to hut mountain biking experience.
Does that liner say it all? Not quite because this new Backcountry MTB Track in New Zealand is like no other. It even gives The Old Ghost Road a run for its money….. The South Island’s newest hut to hut Mountain Bike Trail in the remote Paparoa wilderness of the wild West Coast. It’s so new its only opening December 1st 2019 officially, but we’ve savoured a few slices of its epic ness as we are passionate about bringing riders to more hard to access rides, offering people more of a local’s vibe when they come mountain bike New Zealand.
The trail consists of hut to hut mountain biking, swerving through thriving wild rainforest and breathtaking views. Alpine tops and limestone karst providing a truly remote feel the your mountain biking experience. And the huts?! Where else can you ride hut to hut with such a variety of trail and landscapes as such?!
With a few tips like this for your trip to mountain bike New Zealand, you may need to consider taking a few more days or a week extra to truly ride most of its awesome trails. We only touched upon the top of the South Island, even with a taste of Craigie burn but to be honest its just the tip of the Iceberg when considering the multitude and variety of riding New Zealand Mountain biking has to offer.
Happy Riding Mates,
New Zealand Single Track Adventures – South Island
-Specialists in multi day mountain bike adventures –