Heaphy bike track transport

Heaphy Bike Track

Karamea to Brown hut (South-west to North-east).

The track Kohaihai sshelter

Track starts off with a 1.7km long 100 metre climb before the 1.7km descent back down to the beach. This track carries on for a further 15km to the Heaphy hut itís a mixture of single track in bush or nikau palms or out on the sand. There are lots of swing bridges to negotiate along the way with a few rocky stream crossings to forward and several sections of sandy beach, which I would say that in rough weather at high tide parts of which would be impassable (as there were lots of sea debris completely covering the track). The same would go for torrential rain would make the streams possibly impassable. Progress is not fast especially if you have a larger group when it comes to the swing bridges. The 17km to the Heaphy hut took us about 150 minutes.

Scotts beach Biker on beachHeaphy hutFirst leg

Heaphy hut to Lewis hut

The single track follows the river bank as easy good riding and has 2 large swing bridges to cross. Took us approx 70 minutes.

From Lewis hut to Mackay hut

The track starts the 12km 700 metre climb. It starts of as a good flowing single track as you get higher the track becomes rockier and more technical, lots of creek crossings and bike push /carry sections numerous small wooden bridges to pop your bike up onto can be tiring the higher you get. This climb took us 180 minutes approx.
N.B.. All up awesome tracks lots of technical sections joined up with long flowing sections. Riders need to start early in the day other wise they will run out of daylight, our group are all competent riders that are pretty fit, we didnít have to many stops of any length just time for photos and a snack etc so 6 to 7 hours of daylight are needed dependent on your group size ( any mechanicals or crashes would have a major impact on your daylight time )

Mackay hut to Saxon hut.

Next day is a mixture of single track, board walks, underwater sections small creeks to forward, quite a few un-rideable rutted sections that are easier to push your bike around, generally flatter country about 200 metres of climbing over the distance took us about 90 minutes.

Gouland Downs Gouland DownsGouland DownsGouland Downs

Saxon hut to Gouland downs hut is a 6km 100 metre descent trough similar terrain to the previous 12km there were 2 swing bridges to negotiate though and this leg took us about 45 minutes.

Gouland downs hut to Perry saddle hut is a 7km 250 metre climb on a very rocky benched track through a range of different landscapes, lots of stream crossings this took us about 90 minutes.

From Perry saddle hut to Brown hut car park you continue to climb for another 2km to the highest point on the track and a lookout point with awesome views in all directions You then start your 16km 800 metre descent to browns hut this is a wide rocky track with plenty of off camber sections and extra rocky bits to test the skills, always need to treat the blind corners carefully because of the speed you are doing and the chance of trampers and bikers coming the other way. This took us approx 120 minutes from Perry saddle hut.

Gouland Downs Gouland Downs Gouland Downs

N.B..Riders will need good/modicum fitness and carry all the standard spares and tools along with bad weather gear; we encountered three different weather systems over the 2 days of the ride. This ride is not easy and less fitter riders might be better to do it in three days or more. Riders will still need to be self sufficient and capable of fixing their bikes, punctures, broken hangers and wheels along with worn out brake pads are common. Track ranges from grade 3 to grade 4, all up from road end to road end about 80kms taking about 13 hours including a few short breaks etc.

Awesome adventure I would do it again and I have recommended it to many riders since returning home.

Written by Ross Mepham (centre)




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