The Old Ghost Road trip with The Lazy Cow!
Since its completion in the summer of 2016/17 this truly awesome trail has quickly established itself as NZ's undisputed “Jewel-in-the-Crown” The result of a monumental effort by local enthusiasts. At 84kms, this Grade 4* single-track mountain-biking route is NZ’s longest and is attracting riders not only from NZ, but all over the world.
Starting at Lyell, near Murchison and finishing at Seddonville, on the West Coast, The Old Ghost Road has a range of en-route huts providing accommodation for individuals and groups.
We offer special accommodation and catering packages designed to simplify your arrangements. Visit the Old Ghost Road website here and find us under “official partners/accommodation”. Bike touring in New Zealand is increasingly popular and Murchison has local byroads to help you avoid some of the major road-traffic routes.
Other local mountain-biking options include the Nelson Lakes, Reefton and the Deniston Plateau. Road links south (to Hanmer Springs) and west (through the Buller Gorge) provide a fantastic scenic routes for touring cyclists to follow.
Riding the trail
Remote, rugged and long, the Old Ghost Road well deserves its grade 4 (advanced) rating and should only be attempted by riders who are technically competent, fit and totally self-sufficient.
Awe-inspiring return rides can be had from both ends, allowing riders to use their own transport and ride in and back as far as they wish. The full trail is completed in 2–3 days by overnighting in backcountry huts along the way.
The trail can be ridden in either direction, but it is recommended that riders start at Lyell Historic Reserve and travel north. It’s a steady climb through virgin forest to Lyell Saddle Hut, from where the trail continues on to the exposed Lyell Range tops and the highpoint (1280m) before reaching Ghost Lake Hut. To the hut and back to the Lyell is an epic 66km day ride featuring some of the trail’s most spectacular scenery.
The middle section from Ghost Lake to Goat Creek starts with a thrilling 11km downhill into the Stern Valley followed by a sharp up and down again to Goat Creek Hut and the confluence with the Mokihinui River south branch.
The section from Goat Creek traverses giant podocarp forest to Mokihinui Forks and beyond, downstream to the head of the Mokihinui River gorge. This last leg undulates as it hugs the sides of the impressive gorge before delivering riders to the Seddonville trailhead.