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5
Challenging
Activities
  • 8 day mountain bike
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel/motel
  • 3 nights remote backcountry hut
  • 1 night lodge
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days$3785NZD

Hit the trails with confidence

100% refundable trips
Receive a full refund under our covid-19 T&Cs

$200 Deposits
for all new bookings on all trips

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 14 people


Trip Code: SOG6587

Trip highlights


  • Hosted by renowned Australian adventurer and mountain biking identity, Huw Kingston
  • MTB a "Great Walk" along the famous Heaphy Track
  • Follow in the tracks of the early pioneers and ride the exhilarating and historic Old Ghost Road
  • Overnight in the remote Ghost Lake Hut
  • Soak in the hot pools and enjoy New Zealand’s premier thermal resort in Hanmer Springs

One hell of a week’s mountain biking with some of the best Kiwi singletrack and touring on offer.

In the latest version of his Sweet South Island Singletrack tour, join Huw Kingston on this mountain biking journey from Nelson to Christchurch.

We’ll warm up on the trails around Nelson for a couple of days before riding two absolute classic overnight tours. Two days and one night on the Heaphy Track and then three days and two nights on the incomparable Old Ghost Road.

After all that enjoyment and exertion we'll head to Hanmer Springs for some hot spring relaxation (and more singletrack of course!) before the tour finishes in Christchurch.

Comfortable twin share accommodation and mountain huts will be there at the end of each day as we rest up, reflect and refill.


Riders will meet at the Harbourside Lodge in Nelson in the early evening. We will be greeted by our special tour escort Huw Kingston, and meet our guide and fellow riders. There will be an opportunity to go for a group dinner to a local restaurant (own expense).

Meals:  Nil

Official Day 1: This morning the tour meets in our hotel reception after breakfast at 8.00am. If you are bringing your own bike, please make sure you have it assembled when we pick you up. If you are hiring a bike, there will be a chance to test and fit your hire bike. Starting from the edge of Nelson the trails wind their way through the Codgers Mountain Bike Park, where we have chance to test our bikes on some of the easy trails. We start climbing up along the alignment of New Zealand’s first railway (operating 1862-1901) up through pine forest, then thick native bush, over streams and past historical monuments before emerging into the alpine mineral belt near the summit of Dun Mountain. From Coppermine Saddle at 878m there are stunning views before taking a bermed single-track descent that drops for over 10km, emerging at the Maitai Dam. The last 10km of the ride follows the Maitai river on single-track cycle trail right back into the heart of Nelson. We return to our accommodation for a second night and head for a beer and our first official group dinner. We will learn more about the itinerary for the week ahead and undoubtedly hear some of Huw's entertaining stories. Cycling Distance: Dun Mountain Circuit - 38km

Meals:  B,D

After a hearty breakfast, we drive 1 hour to Kaiteriteri, a small town which is the launch pad for adventures in the famous Abel Tasman National Park. This morning we'll enjoy riding the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park. With more than 25 trails weaving through both native forest and open terrain there's something for every skill level. Some grunty climbs and flowing descents will give us panoramic views over the golden beaches and vivid blue sea below. In the afternoon we are free to continue riding, to relax, or to join another adventure activity. Options could include sea kayaking, paddling a traditional waka (Maori canoe), canyoning or enjoying a hike on the Abel Tasman walkway, your guides can assist with bookings. Later we head to taste some local produce, Motueka is situated in premier hop growing country and a number of craft breweries have sprung up around the town. We'll have dinner and talk through the logistics of tomorrow's ride on the Heaphy Track and what to pack.

Meals:  B,D

We depart Motueka and head over Takaka Hill towards Collingwood in Golden Bay, a drive of around 2.5 hours and the start of our next two days on the stunning Heaphy Track. We’ve got some climbing to do today but the views make it worth all the effort. Beginning at the eastern trail head at Brown Hut, the track zigzags through beech forest up to the Aorere Shelter where we can take a rest. Then we make a short detour to a view point called Flanagan's Corner, which is the highest point of the track and gives impressive views over the Kahurangi and out to Golden Bay, on a clear day we can see the North Island. At Perry Saddle we pop out of the bush and sidle through patches of beech forest to reach Gouland Downs, a wide expanse of grasslands and tussock. We enjoy the views of the open tops, and a section of flatter riding as we cycle to James Mackay Hut, crossing a number of streams and passing some interesting limestone outcrops. Your guides will prepare a hearty alpine dinner as you settle in for the night. On a clear evening we'll have views out to the Tasman Sea and Heaphy River mouth. Cycle Distance: Browns Hut to James Mackay Hut - 42km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, after breakfast, we descend off the plateau through beech trees and into more diverse west coast forest. We pass Lewis Hut and cross several bridges including NZ's longest swing bridge, which spans the Lewis and Heaphy Rivers. As we approach the Heaphy Hut we have spectacular views of the river mouth, and the wild ocean framed by the iconic Nikau Palms and ancient Rata trees. The final spectacular leg of this trail takes us along the white sandy beaches interspersed with sections of beautiful bush. On reaching Scott's Beach we have one last climb over Kohaihai Saddle before descending to the Kohaihai River and the end of todays ride. We load up the bikes and transfer 1.5 hours to our comfortable accommodation in Seddonville. We will enjoy a warm bush shower and a hearty meal cooked by our hosts at the epic Rough and Tumble Lodge. Cycle Distance: James Mackay Hut to Kohaihai River - 37km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have a drive of around 2 hours to the start of our next three days on the stunning Old Ghost Road. Stretching 85km the Old Ghost Road mirrors the pathway of some 19th century tracks intended to connect gold fields in the Buller Gorge and the Mohikinui Valley. The route was never completed as the terrain was deemed too rugged. It was only opened in 2015 after years of modern engineering was able to drive a track through. Beginning at the southern trail head, the site of the gold-rush ghost town of Lyell, we’ll start to climb through beech forest. We follow an old dray road up to the Lyell Saddle Hut, passing 2 earthquake slips where an entire hillside fell away in 1929 and some rocky fords, we ascend 765m. The track steepens and climbs through the primeval bush to reach the open tops for dramatic views in all directions. Our narrow and rocky trail sidles across the face of Mt Montgomery, we pass the aptly named Heaven's Door and descend through stunted alpine forest to reach Ghost Lake Hut. At 1200m above sea level in a stunning setting, it is the perfect point to ‘call it a day’. Once you get there, we think you’ll agree. We'll enjoy a relaxed evening at the hut overlooking Ghost Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges. Cycling Distance: Lyell to Ghost Lake Hut - 30km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today our ride descends rapidly from Ghost Lake through rock gardens with tight turns to reach the spectacular Skyline Ridge. We carry our bikes down the Skyline Steps before some fun, fast and sweeping singletrack into the Stern Valley. The trail continues to meander on through the Earnest Valley and zigzags up through a large boulder field named The Boneyard to Solemn Saddle. From here it’s on down to the confluence with the Mokihinui River South Branch and the old Goat Creek Hut. From Goat Creek, riders will wind their way through towering podocarp forest to the Mokihinui ‘Forks’ and then on to the Specimen Point Hut site 3km downstream towards at the head of Mokihinui River Gorge. We enjoy a second night on the Old Ghost Road in our cozy hut. Cycling Distance: Ghost Lake Hut to Specimen Point Hut - 38km

Meals:  B,L,D

From Specimen Point, the Mokihinui squeezes into a tight gorge and below us are rushing green waters and deep clear pools. The trail is an incredible construction, cut into the base of cliffs which at times arch over the track. Narrow swing bridges overhang massive drops and the old miners’ road is rejoined for the undulating ride through the spectacular Mokihinui River gorge to the end of the trail. At Seddonville we meet up with our transport, load up the bikes and have refreshments at the Rough & Tumble lodge. We then set off on our journey over the Lewis Pass to Hanmer Springs (a drive of around 4 hours), where there will be chance to have a soak in the thermal hot pools. Tonight we have our final group dinner to celebrate our week's cycling adventure. Cycling Distance: Specimen Point Hut to Seddonville - 17km

Meals:  B,D

This morning there will be the option to ride some of the trails in the Hanmer forest. Graded from easy to advanced there is some fun singletrack for everyone. We then have a snack in one of the cafes in town and head back to Christchurch. Riders can be dropped off at their accommodation or taken directly to the airport. Those who bring their own mountain bikes can be taken to the Adventure South NZ depot to pack down their bikes into their bags/boxes for transport. We can expect to be in Christchurch around 4pm.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 4 nights hotel/motel accommodation on a twin or double share basis with ensuite facilities
  • 1 night lodge in quad share with ensuite facilties
  • 3 nights in remote backcountry hut with shared facilities
  • Experienced qualified mountain bike guide/driver
  • Private vehicle transport
  • One entry to Hanmer Springs Hot Pools
  • Water and snacks while cycling
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation and Old Ghost Road Trust
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Mountain bike hire (including helmet) - Quality full suspension bikes can be hired from NZ$500/week
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own standard bike drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

With a passion for the great outdoors, Huw Kingston has spent the last 30 years undertaking long human powered journeys in wild places across the world. He has numerous awards to his name including the Australian Geographic Spirit of Adventure Award and was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Worldwide Responsibility Pioneers following his campaign against bottled water and plastic waste. Huw is also ambassador for Save the Children Australia and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of numerous adventure and travel articles and has organised MTB events and tours for over two decades.


Accommodation


Bike information


Grading

Challenging  
5

The Sweet South Island Singletrack Adventure is graded challenging. You will need a very good level of fitness and some technical mountain bike skills both ascending and descending. Although the tour is fully supported there are 5 days of the tour where there is no vehicle access and you must be comfortable riding 6-8 hours per day in all weather conditions. We are not looking for skills in jumping gaps, drops or features but you do need to be comfortable riding single track which will be rocky, sandy, muddy, rooty or a combination.


Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$3785NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - 4 nightsNZD$395
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Sweet South Island Singletrack (Heaphy) trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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