Buller – Nelson Lakes

Heading slowly back to Picton


Date: 23 Feb 2023
Grade: 2

We thought we should complete the last portion of the Kawitiri trail, the part that ends at Charleston, then follow the road as far as we could, to the lagoon nearly, so we’ve covered the route. We also went up the Nile River and hiked along the trail to the Te Ananui Cave which can only be entered with a guided tour.

Total distance: 27.18 km
Max elevation: 52 m
Min elevation: -5 m
Total climbing: 479 m
Total descent: -476 m
Total time: 04:21:43
Download file: Charleston_.gpx


Date: 25 Feb 2023
Grade: 2

A little trip up to a large Golden Delicious apple tree, and another “first local electricity generating plant in NZ”. The road carries onto the Maruia Pass Rd which is very highly rated, but it would have been too far for a return trip.

Total distance: 43.64 km
Max elevation: 288 m
Min elevation: 168 m
Total climbing: 526 m
Total descent: -524 m
Total time: 03:25:32
Download file: Murchison_25_March_23_.gpx

Rotoroa via Braeburn Track

Date: 26 Feb 2023
Grade: 2

A helluva climb with a great secluded DOC camp to hide in. Photos also include Rotoiti the next night.

Total distance: 34.7 km
Max elevation: 684 m
Min elevation: 182 m
Total climbing: 725 m
Total descent: -448 m
Total time: 04:29:32
Download file: Rotoroa_via_Braeburn_Track_.gpx

North Buller

Ferry delayed = bonus holiday

Charming Creek

Date: 13 March 2023
Grade: 2

While staying up at Seddonville in the very charming ex-school camping ground so we could do the first section of the Old Ghost Rd, we decided to see if we could bike the Charming Creek Walkway. Unfortunately the bike track was washed out too much at one stream so we walked the rest, probably for the best because the track is very rough with old sleepers all the way.

Total distance: 24.21 km
Max elevation: 256 m
Min elevation: 9 m
Total climbing: 636 m
Total descent: -637 m
Total time: 10:31:37
Download file: Charming Creek.gpx

Old Ghost Rd | Seddonville – Forks Hut

Date: 14 March 2023
Grade: 3/4

I’ve often thought the OGR was not my cup of tea and this ride, through the section rated “easy” by the real heroes who do this track, proves me right. As I may have mentioned, I don’t really enjoy Grade 4, so while the scenery might be great, who would know because you have to concentrate so hard on staying alive.

A bonus was meeting Maddy, a fellow travelling biker who was staying at the wonderful Gentle Annie camping ground further down the road, and who posted a request while we were setting up camp that if anyone was contemplating doing this ride in the next day or so to please get in touch. So we did and it was great

Total distance: 48.43 km
Max elevation: 179 m
Min elevation: 16 m
Total climbing: 1152 m
Total descent: -1145 m
Total time: 07:28:01
Download file: Seddonville_-_Forks_Hut_.gpx


Date: 18 Mar 2023
Grade: 2/3

There’s been a bit of a buzz about the Oparara Arches over the last few years. When we were up this way 25 – 30 years ago we heard about the caves from a local who told us where to go and I don’t recall there being any signposts or DOC safety fences anywhere, but I will always remember having to duck as 3 or 4 whio flew close over over us. It’s a bit more organised now, with a information centre and signposts but it’s not really that accessible. The 15km, 400m climb then 200m down again is single lane and very rough, no motor homes allowed, and it won’t ever get crowded as long as they keep it that way. And they will because of the Honeycomb Tunnels here which are seriously protected.

I was impressed by the sign at the bottom of the hill where we had to park the Egg which threatened dog owners with a $100,000 fine for bringing a dog in, even inside your car. Mostly they threaten $200, or even $800.

And it’s a lovely ride through recovering bush, with a lovely short walks to unspoilt caves and a lot of very gratifying comments from the hardy souls who had driven along the road and were seriously impressed by our athleticism.

Total distance: 31.68 km
Max elevation: 428 m
Min elevation: 16 m
Total climbing: 965 m
Total descent: -964 m
Total time: 05:46:30
Download file: Oparara.gpx

Heaphy Track

Date: 19 March 2023

A stroll 6km up and back on a beautiful day

MacKenzie Country again

Back to Mackenzie Country

Lake Ohau

Date: 2 Mar 2023
Grade 2

Easy ride on gravel roads to a place I had never heard of till I got there. A good day

Total distance: 27.5 km
Max elevation: 598 m
Min elevation: 524 m
Total climbing: 509 m
Total descent: -504 m
Total time: 02:22:27
Download file: Lake Ohau top end.gpx


Hooker Lake – Mt Cook

Date: 2 Mar 2023

Comments go here

Total distance: 10.81 km
Max elevation: 901 m
Min elevation: 772 m
Total climbing: 158 m
Total descent: -162 m
Total time: 03:27:44
Download file: Hooker_Lake_Walk_.gpx

Arrowtown Frankton Loop

Queenstown Cycling sans QT

Date: 26 Feb 2023
Grade: 2, maybe 3 in small sections

After yesterday’s effort we decided to reward ourselves with a small flat ride on wide , well-groomed paths. 55km, 760m gain with a lot of ups and downs, with a bonus of a Very Good burger at The Shed in Arrowtown for only $12 – cash or bank transfer only.

65% battery used

Total distance: 54.62 km
Max elevation: 449 m
Min elevation: 311 m
Total climbing: 1046 m
Total descent: -1043 m
Total time: 05:08:56
Download file: Arrowtown_Frankton_Loop_.gpx

Welcome Rock

Brew Chop Day

Date: 25 Feb 2023
Grade: 4

Welcome Rock is a private trail around a peak south of Garston, Southland. It starts at the old Garston Ski Hut and quickly enters the “nationally protected 200 hectare high country hill station” – https://www.welcomerock.co.nz/ – owned by 4th generation farmers Tom and Katie

It usually a $20 fee, so I called Tom the day before we came here to check in and to see if we would be able to drive the Egg to the old ski hut, the starting point up the hill. He advised us not to try so we said “No worries, we’ll bike up”, whereupon he told us that tomorrow was going to be the annual Brew Chop Day, and we could join in. It used to be an annual event but it got too big so it’s now more something that he sets up by request, and he had 10 or so people booked in for it so we could join in. It starts from his farm house at the bottom of the hill, not far in from Garston, and the deal was that instead of the usual $20 fee, all we had to do was bring a cold chop and a warm beer, and at the end of the ride we would get a hot chop and a cold beer.

It starts with Up, and Up and more Up for more than 700m in 7km with no relief. Then it’s mostly flat around the contour line but most of that is on a very narrow and dished single track that traces the edge of an old water race winding in and out of steep valleys, fine if you fall to the left where, in my experience, you roll gently onto your back under your bike, to the right, however, is a near vertical pastureland with nothing to stop you tumbling to the valley floor. The rest of the gung ho real MTBers took off ahead of us and we slowly walked and rode and stopped to enjoy the view – a lot.

And we arrived back at the farm after a very well deserved rapid descent down a gravel road just as the chops were being served, with the other very well rested riders promising us that they had arrived only 10 minutes before us, bless them. I still don’t enjoy grade 4 though