Kia Ora means ‘be well’ in the Maori language. You won’t find it hard to be well in New Zealand, one of the most spellbinding countries on Earth.
On this incredible 12-day ride, you’ll ride with ghosts along New Zealand’s most epic backcountry track (the now famous Old Ghost Road) and flow through the best rides in the country. You’ll heli drop, boat cruise and shred some of the most thrilling and remarkable slices of singletrack known to Kiwis. Plus, you’ll get to shack up in incredible and unique accommodations, including a cozy hut perched 1200 m in the Victoria Mountain Range, a converted shearer’s quarters with picture-perfect views, as well as a magical ocean-side eco-lodge accessible only by water taxi.
Created by two passionate and highly experienced mountain bike guides, this trip is everything you could possibly dream of… and so much more.
Price is inclusive of all applicable NZ taxes.
Is This Ride For You?
You are an experienced, skilled and fit mountain biker with solid mountain bike handling skills who gets out to ride frequently. You have experience riding in a variety of terrain, and can handle challenging climbs, technical descents, as well as some exposure. You can ride for up to 5 hours over several days. You live for adventure, and the bigger the better!
DAY 1. Arrive in Blenheim, Warm-Up Ride
Kia Ora Mates!
You’ll be arriving into one of NZ’s sunniest, wine loving towns, home to beautiful sauvignons blancs, and sun drenched valleys of the Marlborough Region.
Most of you will have arrived a day or two prior to settle in and recover from jet lag.
Today, your guides will be arriving to meet you at The Blenheim Palms Motel at 10:00 a.m. You will need to be packed up to move to a new accommodation today.
We’ll be offering a ‘Bike Assembly’ session at the bike shop next door this morning. We’ll also be offering an airport pick at 11 a.m. for those flying in.
This afternoon, after the ‘Bike Assembly’ session and rounding up all the crew members, we’ll hit the road and head off to a small local seaside town called Havelock for the night.
We’ll settle into the accommodation in the evening and then get together for a group BBQ and go over the epic adventure ahead!
DAY 2. Queen Charlotte Track & Marlborough Sound
Good morning mates!
We’ll start this trip of a lifetime by heading north to the head of The Marlborough Sounds, just down the road from our lodge.
After driving through the lush countryside, we’ll gear up to ride The Queen Charlotte Track. The Queen Charlotte Track will take us through beautiful native New Zealand fern forests, past stunning green bays and golden sandy beaches.
We’ll ride our way into the heart of The Marlborough Sounds, and enjoy a swim or two with local stingrays in one of the beautiful sandy bays. We’ll then keep on riding and make our way back to the start of the track.
We’ll ride up to a beautiful lookout before returning back to the start of the track. This afternoon we’ll transfer over to an ultimate gem of a local ride called The Wakamarina Track, set in the fern-filled forests of The Richmond Range. This track will get the technical side of riding started, as we tackle some ‘techy’ climbs and rooty narrow singletrack — it’s a hoot!
The afternoon ride will end up in town where we’ll enjoy dinner at a delicious local waterfront restaurant with our new riding buddies.
Day 3. Canaan Downs and Rameka Track
Rising to the sounds of Bellbirds and the crisp, fresh ocean air, we’ll head north to Nelson and Motueka in the scenic Tasman Bay.
From here, we’ll make our way over to the start of Golden Bay, which is a tropical paradise at the top of the South Island.
We’ll gear up for an all-time favourite — the epic Rameka Track.
We’ll warm up with a loop on the super fun Canaan Downs Track first, before descending into some sweet Kiwi singletrack.
The Rameka Track winds through beautiful native bush before heading down through open pasture land, to pine forests before hitting native forest again. You’ll be begging for more! This track has been known to render riders “speechless”.
We’ll ride into the hippie town of Takaka, where any worries are said to be washed away!
Day 4. Coppermine Saddle and Dunn Mountain
Rising early to the smell of fresh flat white coffees, we’ll make our way over to Nelson, where we’ll be embarking on one of Nelson’s most classic mountain bike tracks.
Here we’ll gear up and take on the local’s Coppermine Saddle Track. A grunt of a 1000 m climb, starting in pine trees, riding through native bush and then rising into the dry alpine with views across the Tasman Bay. This ride is a real goodie!
The sweat and tears are all worth it for the flowy, red rock downhill on the Fern Gully Track!
We’ll hop in the river for a swim to cool off, then ride back into Nelson Township for a cold craft brew in one of our favourite apres ride hang outs.
Day 5. Rest Day in Nelson
Today, we get a well-deserved rest day in the funky town of Nelson, as it has lots to offer off the saddle.
Nelson is well known for its mountain biking as well as its art scene and local produce; it won’t disappoint. This is a gem of a town and one of the sunniest in NZ (and the craft brew capital of the South Island, might we add); it has a European feel with loads of cool cafés and pubs. Take a ferry over to the stunning Able Tasman National Park, go for a ride or savor the awesome local restaurants and cafés. The Saturday morning markets make for a great start to your day!
Day 6. Old Ghost Road & Heli-bike to Kirwans Track
After an early start, we’ll head west to the ghost town of Lyell and get ready for a good climb up part of the Old Ghost Road.
Here, we’re heading into New Zealand’s newest and epic backcountry singletracks ever made. We’ll ride up a well graded incline of awesome singletrack, through magical forests and alpine ridge lines of the wild west coast. The Old Ghost Road is NZ’s longest singletrack, comprising of an impressive rugged 87 kms in total. Today, we’ll ride and enjoy a stunning part of it!
This afternoon, we’ll head over to the real wild west of New Zealand, and gear up to fly high in a helicopter! We’ll strap the bikes up and set off in style to the top of The Victoria Range to a sweet hut perched in pure beauty overlooking endless ridgelines of west coast wilderness at its finest!
We’ll be on top of the world mates!
Please Note: Weather and/or riding abilities may dictate the heli-bike to be changed to the Croesus Track. Heavy rain does not allow us to chopper up here. The heli-biking experience requires all bikes to be strapped securely to a rope that hangs under the chopper in flight. Although the bikes are secured with care, it is likely for the bikes to shift during air transport and scratches to bike frames may happen. If you are concerned with your bike getting scratched, you have the option of wrapping your bike with foam pads and duct tape. Renting a bike through the add-ons tab is also an option. Sacred Rides is NOT responsible for scratches or damages to bikes.
Day 7. Kirwans Track Descent
Rising to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and great views, we’ll test our brakes out for our awesome mission ahead!
We’ll be enjoying a 1100 m descent down the premier Kirwans Track. We’ll flow through stunning Beach tree and Fern Gully forests on this epic technical descent!
After our ride, we’ll hop in the shuttle and drive down the Grey Valley heading inland, up and over the Southern Alps to the Craigieburn Forest.
Day 8. Craigieburn, The Edge, The Luge and more!
Rising to the high dry mountains, we’ll get back in the saddle for some epic riding in Craigieburn Forest.
Tackling an uphill gravel road to the bottom of Craigieburn Ski Field, we’ll take a short rest before heading down the well-named Edge trail which leads on to a track called “The Luge”. After the Luge, a short uphill is followed by the new Dracophyllum and Hogsback Track. This is New Zealand’s singletrack at its best mates… a real hoot — sweet singletrack all the way!
We’ll rest our muscles as we drive to the high dry McKenzie Country to the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, also home to the clearest skies in the world!
Day 9. Lake Tekapo & The Hobbit
Waking to the beauty and stunning landscapes of the Mackenzie Country, we’ve got an inspiring singletrack ride to warm up with, which flows through native Tussocks along with incredible views of the turquoise tainted Lake Tekapo.
We’ll then move onto our secret gem of a ride which flows through the best alpine views the South Island has to offer. Imagine riding through high peaks, sheep and flowers on a super fun cross country ride, ending with a cold beer (or two)!
We’ll ride to our unique accommodation tonight — we’ll be staying in a converted shearer’s quarters with views to die for. It doesn’t get more Kiwi than this mates!
A quick lunch break at Tatopani, and we’ll continue riding towards Beni where our van to Pokhara awaits.
Day 10. Queenstown Rides
After leaving this breathtaking place, we’ll head down to Central Otago, home to semi desert-like landscapes, great Pinot Noirs and amazing riding.
We’ll enjoy another postcard drive as we head over the Lindis Pass, and on to the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka. Here, we’ll spend the afternoon riding some amazing, fast, flowing singletrack made by the keen local mountain bike community. We’ll ride Dean’s Bank, a flowy and fun local ride.
After the ride and a cold brew, we’ll make our way up to the Cardona Valley and over to the adventure tourism capital of the world known as Queenstown!
Day 11. Queenstown Epics
Yes, that’s right, we’re diving into more must-do rides in Queenstown!
The riding around here is just too good to not stay for a second day. .. you’ll be drooling and wanting more!
Today, we’re up early for some local Kiwian breakfast in town and a delicious flat white before heading to Coronet Peak for some enduro style rides.
Starting with a good climb overlooking unreal views of the Wakatipu Basin, we’ll then descent onto the famous Rude Rock track. Berms, swoops and pure fun on top of Queenstown.
We’ll end with our adrenaline pumping on the Skippers Canyon trail … high ‑fives all around — need we say more?
Day 12. Queenstown Goodbyes
Our last morning of the trip! Sob, weep, waaaaa!
High five your new riding pals and say your goodbyes.
Today, breakfast will be on your own, as Rider’s departures times and plans vary.
Your guides will be doing drop offs at the Queenstown Airport at 10:00 a.m. or at your hotel of choice in Queenstown by 11:00 a.m.
If staying a few extra days, we recommend staying at the Crowne Plaza.
Until next time!