• Movie inlay2

    Muscle & Dreams – the documentary

    Created by West Coast Film, Muscle & Dreams – Creating The Old Ghost Road is an engaging documentary following a keen group of enthusiasts as they transform an idea for a gold miners road from the 1800s into… Read More

About The Old Ghost Road

In the North West corner of the South Island of New Zealand a ghost has awakened. A long-forgotten gold miners’ road has been revived as a mountain biking and tramping trail – connecting the old dray road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) to the mighty Mokihinui River in the north.  The 85km-long Old Ghost Road traverses majestic native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys.

A proud member of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, the volunteer-driven Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust has partnered with a range of other entities to make The Old Ghost Road a reality. It’s almost as if the engineers from the 1870’s knew we were coming! The spirits of the old miners and track builders are inescapable and four ghost towns populate the route.  The Old Ghost Road is quite literally an 85km-long outdoor museum.

Our volunteers and supporters know that each generation grows up in an increasingly urbanised environment. Our connection to the land dims. Here, on The Old Ghost Road, heritage, wilderness, accessibility and storytelling come together in an unforgettable way. We invite you to join the journey……

OGR on Facebook

For those of you who have ridden the trail recently you would have seen some of our traps dotted along you way. They're not only on the trail but also up and down some of the creeks and rivers. We're keen to share why we do it....meet four of our new whio (blue) ducklings who now reside in Stern Creek. They are doing great so far and we pray they grow to be big and strong. ... See MoreSee Less

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A trail-user comment about the OGR trail when the rain is pouring and mud is a concern. Riders coming from the U.S. might find this useful.

Coming from Oregon, USA we are used to doing stuff in the rain/snow, but were pretty concerned about muddy trail conditions. In Oregon, the single track is world class, but trails close following significant rain in order to keep the mud and rutting under control. The OGR is different. Yes, the native soils in the Lyell Range do turn to mud with abundant rain. But, almost all non-bedrock areas of the 52-mile trail are surfaced with crushed rock! Yeah, single track with crushed rock! Unheard of in the world of U.S. singletrack in remote areas. In the worst places along the OGR, there is even a base layer of tree branches/small trunks (running perpendicular to trail) under the crushed rock layer to elevate and improve drainage. There are a couple pretty muddy sections leading up to the Makihinui Gorge (near the end), but even there the mud is intermittent and not a huge deal. Crews were there laying branches and crushing rock when we passed by (late November 2016). The breathtaking Makihinui Gorge section itself is fantastically built and mud-free including the areas with cliff exposure. We were totally shocked (and impressed) by the kind, amount and quality of the work done on this trail.

The bottom line, if you are worried about mud, don't be, just go for it. You need to be an experienced rider and pretty fit to really enjoy this trail from a bike seat, but if you are you'll have a blast and no problems with mud. The exhilarating switchbacks, occasional hair-raising exposure, and techy climbs are another story :) I mean, you're not just there for the spectacular views right?
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Do I need to take a gas stove to the huts ? Are there gas rings ? ... See MoreSee Less

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How is that snow today? ... See MoreSee Less

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