Bikepacking New Zealand’s Old Ghost Road

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Earlier this year we partnered with Yeti Cycles for a trip-based photo shoot on the latest addition to New Zealand’s Cycle Trail collection. The Old Ghost Road carves an 85-km route across the rugged mountains of the South Island’s West Coast. Thanks to a hardy group of volunteer trail builders, what was once a rough hewn mining road is now prime singletrack at a very rideable grade. Today’s riders and hikers can enjoy the use of six huts for protection from the region’s notorious rains (known by locals as The Wet Coast) and biting sandflies. We headed south to Christchurch with Colorado-based pro rider Sarah Rawley and picked up local Kiwi hard-woman Phoebe Coers in Central Otago.

Fun Fact: Phoebe might be the world’s only 20-something woman plumber.

We made our way to the sleepy small town of Seddonville and got setup in the Rough & Tumble Bush Lodge on the banks of the Mokihinui River. Proprietor and OGR founder┬áMarion “Weasel” Boatwright lined us out with his signature ‘world’s best gin and tonics’ on arrival. Next morning we shuttled to the trail’s recommended start in Lyell and began our four-day adventure with an all day climb to the hut at Lyell Saddle. We would spend three nights on the track, allowing time for photography and exploring. Utilizing the huts allows significant savings on weight for bikepacking. The huts perched up at Ghost Lake were a favorite location. The entire trail was fun to ride right down to the very end. Check out the feature story in Mountain Flyer Magazine written by Sarah for full details.

Cheers | Matt & Agnes Hage

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