In the North West corner of the South Island of New Zealand a ghost is awakening. A long-forgotten gold miners’ road is being 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 will traverse majestic native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys.
Working with the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, the volunteer-driven Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust is partnering with a range of 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. No less than five ghost towns populate the route. The Old Ghost Road is quite literally an 85km-long outdoor museum.
The Old Ghost Road is a work in progress (refer to our Trail Status page for updates).
Our volunteers and supporters know that each generation grows up in an increasingly urbanised environment. The connection to the land dims. Here, on The Old Ghost Road, heritage, wilderness, accessibility and storytelling come together in an unforgettable way.
This website – and the work of the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust – focuses on the backcountry sectors currently under development. We invite you to join the journey.
Nice to see some pretty inclement weather from the last few weeks is giving some respite (before it comes again over the next few days!). Sunrise from Ghost Lake hut yesterday during another volunteer campaign being held with support from Trail Fund NZ. Keep up the great work guys. Photo courtesy of Rhys Bowen. ... See MoreSee Less
Please note that volunteer spaces are limited. Secure your place now by emailing email@example.com
Pictured are the last wonderful group that attempted - various times - to volunteer, only to be thwarted by weather. Thanks Kersti Vaino, Sean Bonar, Stuart Pescini, Stephen Draisey, Jack Pickering, Rhys Bowen and Hana Badando. ... See MoreSee Less
Welcome to another update (#5) on our fundraising campaign to complete The Old Ghost Road. We are constantly blown away by the support we receive from you all – whether donations, words of encouragement, or both. Thank you.
We have an exciting new opportunity in front of us! A significant contribution has been pledged to the project when we reach the $55,000 mark. At $48,820 raised, we’re almost there! Can you help us reach $55,000 in the next few days so we can secure this donation and provide the impetus needed to drive this campaign ever so closer to the finishing line? If so, please donate here. givealittle.co.nz/cause/oldghostroadacrossthefinishline
Another major development of our fundraising campaign is that the dollars raised to date are helping by keeping us in the game – thus ensuring the prospect of having to cease trail construction stays away for the time being. This has bought us more time and as a result, we have been able to extend the duration of this campaign to the end of April. Your generosity is already bringing benefits and increasing our chances of continuity and timely completion of The Old Ghost Road.
If you wish to discuss an idea or make a suggestion or sponsorship proposition, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for your continued support.
Regards, The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust
Track Spotlight: The Old Ghost Road Hut Building Team (refer photograph above).
As those of you who have ventured on The Old Ghost Road well know, the effort to construct it has been immense. Constructing the huts along the trail has been a monumental part of that effort. Ever built your own house and been challenged by the logistics? Try doing that that in the middle of the wilderness without the ability to pop down to the nearest Mitre 10 for another box of nails.
The hut building programme on The Old Ghost Road has only been possible via the courage, skill and commitment of three main players - Marion Boatwright, Art Corn and Dale Robertson (pictured from right to left). Four brand new hut complexes – built over an 18 month period – have been delivered at the hands of this team. Each time they’ve disappeared into the field for up to a month at a time, only emerging when the job is done. This has involved enduring all sorts of climatic conditions and hardships, not to mention sandflies…….and did we mention they have done this as volunteers? For those fortunate enough to stay in the Lyell Saddle, Ghost Lake, Stern Valley or Specimen Point hut settlements, we encourage you to spare a moment’s thought for the heroes that made these possible.
Comments from some of our fabulous recent donors:
"Did the enduro up there a few weeks ago - epic!! Such a good intro to this awesome project & can't wait to get back to ride the whole thing . Keep up the fantastic work."
"Love the track - visionary project. Ride on."
"I SO enjoyed my adventure, (joining three unknown but very friendly, women from another part of NZ), tramping the track Dec 2013." ... See MoreSee Less
We're running a short volunteer week after Easter - Monday 6th April to Friday 10th April 2015 inclusive and are calling for volunteers. Accommodation will be based at Ghost Lake hut. Food, supervision, equipment and helicopter transport (to and from) provided. Physically fit and keen candidates should apply to email@example.com