550_Robin and bike


The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust considers it a privilege to be able to complete what the old timers always envisaged. With this comes a strong sense of responsibility and a desire to help reconnect (and connect) people to this landscape and environment – to truly come to respect it, love it and enjoy it. We will be developing such ‘stewardship’ ideas and opportunities during the construction phase of the project ready for implementation when construction is complete. If you have an idea – let us know!

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

  • We encourage users of the Old Ghost Road to adhere to the principles of ‘Leave No Trace,’ as follows. (Courtesy of Leave No Trace New Zealand.)
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimise campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others

Please note: There are no waste disposal facilities on the track. Carry out all rubbish you generate.

Environmental Impact of The Old Ghost Road

The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust is working hand in hand with DoC to ensure that the highest quality user asset results with the lowest possible impact on the environment. Several factors place this project in a uniquely positive position in that regard:

  • Half the route – and the challenging half at that – was constructed 130 years ago. In the Lyell and Mokihinui Gorges we are engaged in restoration works only.
  • In the tussock sections we follow wherever possible existing disturbance/bare ground.
  • The grassy, open valleys of the Stern and Goat Greek catchments are followed for 8 kilometres, minimising impact while maximising sun and vistas.
  • By not touching the upper Mokihinui South Branch, that prime whio habitat is left undisturbed.
  • The 8 kilometres of route through the Mokihinui Flats meanders amid giant beech and rimu, preserving these magnificent species.

Approvals and Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)

An Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) has been undertaken in order to identify and quantify the effects associated with trail construction and operation and as importantly, identify mitigation for these effects where required. A copy of the project AEE can be accessed via the link below:

The Old Ghost Road Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE).

The project was considered and discussed as early as 2006. A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Department of Conservation in early 2009. It can be accessed via the link below:

Memorandum of Understanding – Department of Conservation and the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust for creation of The Old Ghost Road.

Several more years of investigation, planning and low-level work resulted in the signing of a formal Management Agreement with the Department of Conservation to undertake construction, maintenance and operation of The Old Ghost Road.