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 September 30.
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 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.