This Queen’s Birthday weekend I was off Mountain Biking on the Heaphy. The five of us headed up to Maruia on Friday Night after work, getting us part way up the road to Karamea. Saturday the weather wasn’t looking great, cold and overcast but at least not raining… good weather for the final stretch of driving to the start of the track. By midday we were biking.
It was pretty cold standing around getting ready but the minute we started biking it warmed up pretty quick, and it was time to start taking layers off! It was a really interesting and exciting track to bike along, nothing like anywhere in New Zealand I could think of. Lucky for us we were undercover of the rain forest most of the way to Lewis hut, our stop for the night.
It rained hard during the night. It was always forecast to rain on the Sunday and the sound of the rain on the hut roof made me a bit hesitant about spending the following day biking in the rain… but soon enough after 5 mins riding it was time to take the jackets off again. It was a pretty solid ride up the hill but we rolled into James Mckay Hut at around a 11am for an early lunch, then cruised along the tops in the sunshine to Saxon hut for a second lunch. Following that there was some more interesting riding into Gouland Downs hut, which we reached mid afternoon.
Our plan was to ride all the way to Perry Saddle and then back to Lewis hut again but by the time we got to Gouland Downs hut we were pretty happy not to bike up hill for another 7km, so after a quick stop we were back on the road/track again, this time chasing the remainder of the daylight. There was one really big downhill waiting for us from James McKay hut to Lewis and it went on forever. It was such a long way part way I needed a bit of a rest stop! Just on sunset we rolled into Lewis and prepared for another nights sleep before heading back out to Karamea the next day.
Monday morning once again was a little chilly to start with and once again, Hilary and myself had to stop 5 mins in and take our jackets off while Boyd cruised on ahead. It was a really enjoyable ride back, technical in places but not so technical that it make for good flowing riding. Soon enough we caught the other two girls who set off a bit earlier than us, and just before lunchtime we were back out to Karamea, and back to Christchurch before 7pm that night!
A whirlwind trip, with a lot of kms covered on some pretty cool tracks, in a unique area. Another good weekend all-round!