Mountain Biking the Heaphy Track NZ
Guest blog by Ritchie Bath - Pushbikes/Giant Bikes NZ Ambassador
There is something special about turning the cell phone off, joining some good friends and pedalling your way through stunning parts of NZ. If you have not explored the Heaphy Track on the South Island I can assure you it will not disappoint.
The Heaphy Track is one of the NZ ‘Great Walks’ and as mountain bikers, we are fortunate enough to have access to this stunning ride between May and September each year.
The 87km track runs between Brown Hut in Golden Bay and Kohaihai which is 14km from Karamea. It is important to note that the track is not a loop track, however, can be ridden in both directions.
There are a few things I love about riding this track
Ride Options and Planning
The ride has 7 huts, ranging from basic old style huts to lodges with gas cookers and solar LED lights – no power but they have flushing toilets, pots and pans are provided and all have amazing fireplaces to warm you up after a hard day. If one thing is for sure, you will be comfortable in the evenings!
Since it is a fair drive from Christchurch to Karamea, I would suggest travelling and either staying in Karamea the night before you start or at most, riding into the Heaphy Hut (1.5-3hr ride for your first night).
I have always stayed at the Last Resort in Karamea on either end of the trip. Amazing service, super friendly local team and so handy to the start of the track (14km ride if you opt not to drive). http://www.lastresortkaramea.co.nz
Great options from dorm style rooms to higher end units. Department of Conservation also has some fantastic info for Mountain Bikers. http://www.doc.govt.nz/heaphytrack
Training, Preparation and Equipment Suggestions
The riding is not overly technical, and there are always options to walk the bits you are not comfortable riding, however, the ride will be more enjoyable the more confident and comfortable you are on your bike.
I would highly recommend pulling a group of friends together and exploring this iconic NZ MTB ride. Combine it with the recently opened ‘Old Ghost Road’ for the ultimate West Coast Adventure. If you would like any more help planning your trip or if you have any questions about the track, feel free to contact the team at Pushbikes who can put you in contact with me. Thanks for reading, take care out there and I wish you all a great summer on the bike.