Ghost Road Update
This news from The New Zealand Cycle Trail. Last year the Old Ghost Road was recognised by an influential UK travel publication as the number three trail in the world. Not only did this catapult Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail onto the world stage, but it provided early confirmation that our journey to provide a "network of world-class cycling experiences" was on the right path. Word is now out that the high dam on the Mokihinui River will no longer be built, which vindicates the decision to blaze a trail at river level through the Mokihinui Gorge.
In addition to the team working through the gorge, there are three more teams of trail builders working on the alpine sections of the trail. Not only is the going tough, due to steep faces and hard rock that needs to be drilled and blasted, but parts of the trail can only be accessed by helicopter, meaning 7 day shifts and staying in high altitude camps above the tree line.
The dedication of the Old Ghost team is impressive. With winter approaching they are not laying down their tools. Instead the teams are relocating down in the South Mokihinui River to build the trail along the river flats to join up with the team heading up the gorge. The trails they have created are a joy to ride. They are smooth and the down hills are fast. But what sets this trail apart are the views from the ridges. It feels like Lord of the Rings country and you literally are on top of the world.
There are now 4 huts, spread at 20km intervals around the trail. In true spirit of the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust, these huts have set a new standard for the mountains, being fully insulated, with double glazing, decks and amazing views. They were built by sponsorship provided by their partner Solid Energy, and even more amazing, the Trustees provided all labour at no cost to the trail.