Kahurangi National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Mountain Biking on the Heaphy Track

The Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” is now a Great Ride. Mountain Bikers are now permitted by the Department of Conservation to ride the Heaphy Track between May 1 and November 30.

“Great Walks/Rides are DOC’s premier tracks through some of the best scenery in New Zealand. The huts on the Great Walks/Rides are of higher standard than other tracks and most have gas cooking facilities, fresh water, bunk beds with mattresses, wood burners, toilets etc.”

The Heaphy Track is the only multi-day ride through a National Park in New Zealand. The 80-kilometre course through the Kahurangi National Park traverses dense beech forests, expansive tussock plains and boulder outcrops of the Gouland Downs, takes in the limestone cliffs along the Heaphy River and through the nikau palm groves and white sandy beaches along the West Coast to Karamea.

Heaphy Track Sections

Riders should be well prepared for inclement weather conditions as the region is known for sudden storms, associated floods, occasional snow falls and strong winds, as well as for sunshine, clear blue skies and warm, calm days. Please carry wet weather gear and warm clothing as well as sun protection, first-aid kits, plenty of water, food supplies as well as spare parts, puncture repair kits etc. Be prepared for all eventualities, as it is a long way from the middle of the track if help is required and it is important that riders take responsibility for their own safety and wellbeing.

Riders can travel the track in either direction, but most are planning to start in Collingwood and finish in Karamea. After reaching Kohaihai Shelter at the end of the track, the Karamea Connections bus driver can pick riders up and deliver them to cold beer, hot showers, great food and comfortable beds at the many accommodation, entertainment, food and beverage services in Karamea.
(See accommodation and transport listings)

Mountain Bikers can also do day or multi-day rides into the Kahurangi National Park from either end of the track. The Karamea end of the track is particularly spectacular and riders can spend a couple of nights on the track in either the Heaphy, Lewis or MacKay huts and cycle out again. This approach solves the issue of transport logistics as you return to where your vehicle is parked.

Hut bookings are essential and can be made at Information Centres, i-Sites or online through the Department of Conservation.

Online: www.DOC.govt.nz
Phone: 03-546-8210
E-mail: bookings@doc.govt.nz

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