New Zealand has been in the MTB press of late and there's good reason for it. New Zealand is a Mountain biker's paradise. Landscapes so diverse in terrain and mountain bike trails the same. Mountain biking hot spots from Auckland to now world famous Queenstown, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch the list goes on. So much trail goodness in between to satisfy every Downhill, Enduro, Cross Country and back country mountain biker.
The New Zealand Government and DOC the (Department of Conservation) now also see how great mountain biking is with more new trails be opened for Mountain bikers as we speak. Local support in trail building is coming from Trail Fund NZ helping fund the local trail networks and building of more sustainable trails. It's not just the now that is great riding in New Zealand, but the future of mountain biking in NZ is in great shape.
The guys at JustMTB took me along to document their test tour to see how everything falls in to place and to session some epic trails!
To start off our trip we hopped on a water taxi for a brisk trip across the beautifully blue Queen Charlotte Sound, it dropped us off ready to hit the trail.
We were a long way away from anything close to a city and it felt great.
The track had some amazing scenes and some even more amazing riding, here Dorian gets his way around the banking.
Next up on the trip was Old Ghost Road, an old Gold Miners road revived into a Mountain Bikers dream, we unloaded the van and got to it.
At points we were climbing scree trail with a 300M drop to the side, it's not for the faint-hearted.
After 4 hours of climbing and 1000+ Metres we made it to Lyell Saddle Hut, a perfect stopping point before we began climbing the rest of the way to the top.
The graphic they chose for the Rockfall sign really tells a story about the trail, luckily that section was quite short.
A few hours of climbing later and we had made it to the top. Here Aaron picks his line down the perfectly sculpted ridgeline.
After conquering the mountain Aaron was too stoked to have made it to the top he began to offer his bike to the trail gods.
The view from the top was incredible, with single track dotting the mountainous backgrounds.
After five hours of climbing we were ready for the descent, an hour plus of fast paced and exciting downhill was ahead of us, from open wide trails to single track lines through the trees Old Ghost Road has everything.
The craftsmanship of the trail is absolutely second to none, carving trail into steep native bush takes a good amount time and effort and they made it all worth it for views like this.
Up next we took a trip to the Flockhill Boulders near Craigeburn Forest Park, here Dorian scopes out our line choices for the fastest way there.
The Boulder field was like a natural freeride park, so many options to pop off rocks, rail wallrides and send it from boulder to boulder.
The amount of lines was endless with some crazy high speed descending to go with it too.
Cutting in your own line whilst you ride can get wild at times in these unridden outbacks, but it leads to some epic moments.
Next up we made it over the the home of New Zealand Enduro Craigeburn Forest Park, world famous for its amazing trails formed from walking trails to masterpieces of singletrack. Here Dorian rails the snow capped lines.
The amount of hours that have gone into these trails have all been worth it for the feeling of flying through the mountains.
The Craigeburn hero dirt was the best I've ever ridden making for perfect riding conditions, here Dorian makes easy work of the trails natural features.
The selection of trails was incredible, everything from wide and loamy to rooty and steep.
We then made the trip over to NZ's most well know trail centre Queenstown, at first light we made the trip up to Fernhill Loop.
The clouds rolled in as we made our way down only to open up to bright Sunshine a few minutes later in typical New Zealand weather fashion.
Making the trip to the out back and less ridden of Queenstowns trails is definitely worth it, here Dorian races his shadow to the end of the trail.
It would'nt be a Queenstown visit without a quick rip down the Skyline trails to finish the tour, the Gondola up was definitely a relief after all the previous climbing.
We finished our tour after having completed 10 days of solid riding and over 300KMs of quality trail to return home to show off what you can get up to on a JustMTB tour.
So whether you're a World Cup Pro or you just love to ride, New Zealand has it all. Mountain Bike events litter the calendar, with amazing races in stunning locations through out the country. There's good reason New Zealand mountain bikers are on the rise to World Cup podiums.
Like most New Zealand is on your bucket list of places to visit, don't just visit.. come and ride!www.justmtb.co.nz
is your discovery ticket to New Zealand.
And you can view the full image gallery here: JustMTB Tour Gallery