Old Ghost Road
- Cycle Trails & Mountainbike Parks
A place of rural charm, gold mining heritage and stunning natural landscapes, the Old Ghost Road stretches a whopping 85km over mountains and valleys, and through rushing rivers, rewarding riders with breath-taking views of open tussock tops, braided streams and lush native forest.
The goldmining era of the 1870’s to 1910’s saw a pack track built at either end of what is now the Old Ghost Road, connecting Old Dray Road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) with the mighty Mokihinui River. Once thriving with activity, the Old Ghost Road is now populated by seven ghost towns, attracting visitors from near and far for quite a different reason to that of the past.
Resurrected as a mountain-biking and tramping track, the remote and untouched wilderness of the Kahurangi backcountry combined with relics of days gone by has created one of New Zealand’s most popular mountain-biking experiences.
Waterfalls, rocky tops and forest cloaked valleys are just some of the words used to describe this varied, exciting single-track. A 2-3 day ride, the route is best ridden over the Spring and Summer months when you can make the most of the early rising sun and long, warm days. During winter, it can be pretty cold and the presence of snow raises the avalanche risk.
There are plenty of huts along the track offering the opportunity to recharge, from those located high in the mountain ranges to those nestled amongst rushing river valleys. It’s possible to book helicopter transport to drop you at the highest points or hop aboard a shuttle for transfers to either end of the track.
How to get there: You can access Old Ghost Road from the Lyell campground in the Upper Buller Gorge, just off SH6. Alternatively, at the other end on the banks of the Mokihinui River there is a carpark at the trail end near Seddonville on the West Coast.
Photo credits: (1) Richard Rossiter, (2-10) Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi.