Please notethat a major flood in mid 2021 has taken out the vital McArthur swing bridgewhich means you can’t currently complete the full ride.However, it is still possible to cycle the trail from either end.
From the alternative Maling car park, the trail heads directly into a mountainous area. Gently winding over a pass and into the magnificent Waiau Valley, the trail follows a huge, braided river passing varied sights including the rocky gorge at Saddle Spur and sweet Pool Hut. A short detour leads to Lake Guyon, a peaceful spot for a picnic, swimming, or overnight stop in the historic hut.
Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Official Website
A detailed description of this Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here.
The Homestead Run end of the trail is mostly grade 2–3 (easy–intermediate), but the rest of the trail has some grade 4 (advanced) terrain with stream crossings and some steep sections.
The full trail is suitable for fit, experienced, self-sufficient mountain bikers with a mountain bike that is in good condition and well maintained. You will need to take suitable gear, and enough food.
Although the trail is signposted, carrying a map and personal locator beacon (PLB) is recommended; these can be hired from local outdoor gear shops. There is no mobile phone coverage.
The best time to ride is from November to April. Being a remote ride through high country, however, it’s essential for cyclists to check in with the locals about the latest conditions and weather forecast. Always check the weather before you begin the cycle journey.