Backcountry Riding Inspiration: Old Ghost Road + Heaphy Track

Want a taste of backcountry riding in New Zealand? Then check out this short film made by Damian Stones and Erik Hall, as they navigate two of the South Island’s most epic trails: the Old Ghost Road and the Heaphy Track.

The intrepid duo decided to combine the two tracks into one mammoth, six-day loop over a couple of beers. To make life more challenging, they rode in mid-winter!

The Old Ghost Road and the Heaphy Track are located in the West Coast region of the South Island. They’re both Grade 4 rides, meaning they’re only suitable for fit, experienced mountain bikers. Careful planning and preparation are essential.

Old Ghost Road
85 kilometres of riding through native forest, open tussock tops and remote valleys. You’ll cross 21 bridges and encounter four “ghost” towns. The trail is typically ridden over two to four days, from Lyell in the south to Seddonville in the north. There are six huts located along the route.

Heaphy Track
A tough, challenging ride that’s open to mountain bikers from 1 May to 30 November each year. The 78km track features numerous swing and suspension bridges, steep slopes and changeable weather conditions. You’ll need to be a competent rider, capable of tackling six hours plus on technical single track. Plan to spend two nights on the track, and carry all your food, clothes, overnight gear and bikes tools.

And they’ll be yet another reason to haul your mountain bike to the the West Coast from 1 December 2019 when the Paparoa Track opens. Built as a memorial to the 29 men who died in the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster, the track will become New Zealand’s 10th Great Walk and will be open to mountain bikers all year round.

We’ve got great mountain bikes available for hire for any of these rides, or check out our second hand bike sale page.

Have a great week,