The newest 25 kilometres of The Old Ghost Road will open on Saturday 27th April, 2013. This section of the trail starts near Seddonville (48 kilometres north east of Westport) and follows a restored historic pack track through the Mokihinui River Gorge before wandering on new trail through the forested river flats of the Mokihinui River 'South Branch'.
"This section is a perfect contrast to the Lyell section we opened in February,” says Phil Rossiter, chair of the MLBT. “While the Lyell section climbs steadily to alpine tops, the northern Mokihinui section stays true to the river. The views are fantastic and the thousands of hectares of ancient forest traversed are pure magic.”
The Mokihinui Gorge has a colorful gold mining history. Jonathan Kennett, New Zealand mountainbike guidebook author and project manager for the New Zealand Cycle Trail, describes says “the historic trail up the Mokihinui Gorge is New Zealand’s most spectacular tribute to the pioneer track builders of the 19th century. The fact that it has been reopened, is also a tribute; to some of the most determined and talented track builders of the 21st century.”
The MLBT will also open the newly constructed 'Specimen Point' hut 16 kilometres into the trail from the northern end. This hut complements the existing and recently refurbished Mokihinui Forks Hut 4 kilometres further up river. Reservations for new huts along the trail can be made here.
Three bridges have been constructed across the infamous 'Suicide Slips' as well as two key creek crossings. Further bridging is planned for additional creeks. Users still need to exercise due caution with creeks that require fording.
The section opening will be celebrated with a ride and walk organised by the Buller Cycle Club, and Ultimate Descents NZ is offering an exclusive preview of its exciting new range of bike/hike and raft products on the Mokihinui River with the option of an exhilarating return journey down the Mokihinui Gorge by raft.
In May, the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust aims to open the “Rocky Tor” section of the Old Ghost Road along with another new hut settlement at 'Ghost Lake'.
For further information: