In December 2019 the Paparoa Track on the West Coast of the South Island New Zealand was officially opened. So in December last year Damian Stones, his son Zack and Damian’s old mate Zane did a roadie to ride the Paparoa Track.
Even before I rode this trail, I’m sure like a lot of people, I wanted to see this track succeed in many ways. Most significantly as a memorial to the 29 men that lost their lives in the Pike River mine on the 19th of November 2010. Secondly, the success of this trail will bring many benefits to the West Coast community as it is now firmly on the map as a backcountry riding destination (alongside the Heaphy Track, Old Ghost Road and the West Coast Wilderness Trail).
This track is the 10th ‘Great Walk’ to be built and is designed to be mountain biked as well, meaning at present this track is the only Great Walk alongside the Heaphy Track that can be ridden.
Situated in the Paparoa National Park and at 56 km long, this single track travels along the Paparoa ranges linking Blackball to Punakaiki. This trail travels through contrasting landscapes from high alpine tussock land through to luscious west coast rain forest.
Big thanks to Zane and Zack for putting time and energy into this trip and a big shout-out to all the trail builders that worked hard in difficult conditions to build this trail.
Also, I’d like to thank the sponsors, specifically Santa Cruz Bicycles N.Z for the maiden voyage of the Megatower and Shimano for all their superb components. Special thanks to Absolute Wilderness and CLIF Bar for providing energy-fuelled food.
Damian Stones Sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
My Ride Richmond
Ground Effect Clothing
Pro Bike Gear
Sea To Summit Gear