- New Zealand
- The Queen Charlotte TrackMountain biking the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds
- History on the Heaphy
- Suppressing the Competitive UrgeMountain biking in Malborough
- Northern ExposureMountian biking the Coromandel
- Hurunui Hot SpringsWinter mountain biking to Hurunui Hut in the Lake Sumner Forest Park.
- Craigieburn Conservation ParkMountain Biking Craigieburn
- The Brevet ClubGuy and Laurence recount the suffering and intrigue of the inaugural Kiwi Brevet... a 1100km mountain bike race around the top half of the South Island over six days. Informal with self-enforced rules, no entry fee, unsupported, and... well, hard.
- Wharfedale TrackThis is arguably the best and longest stretch of single track in Canterbury
- Double FencelineThis classic trip snakes along the summit ridge of Banks Peninsula.
- One Night StandsOvernight mountain biking trips in the South Island
- Fool's GoldMountain biking in Central Otago
- All that Glistens... the Croesus and Moonlight Gold TrailsMountain biking on the South Island's West Coast
- Otago GoldMountain biking - Bannockburn, Central Otago
- Loop de LoopGreat mountain biking can be found in most corners of this flat earth and New Zealand boasts its fair share of classics.
- Magnetic WestMulti-day mountain biking, Kaikoura to the Tasman sea
- Romping Round the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough
- Rambling Around the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough, Arapawa and D'Urville Islands
- Off the Beaten Track An off road traverse of the South Island on mountain bikes
- At Peace with PureoraMountain biking around the Pureora Forest in the Central North Island
- Taranaki for NeophytesMountain biking in Taranaki
- South Pacific
- West meets EastAfter riding all morning through the tail of a typhoon, we didn't want to slosh into a Japanese restaurant in that state. I tried drying out by standing under the vent outside the kitchen. I got no drier, but now I smelled of noodles...
- Tien Shan TraverseWhat do you do in the middle of the mountains when two large, thuggish Chinese men get out of a car and stride purposefully towards you? You smile and say thank you for the stale bread and peaches they are offering you!
- One Gear, One Continent, One Hero.Hero Cycles is the world's largest manufacturer of bikes, spitting out a whopping six million a year. You're unlikely to find one at your local bike shop but as any seasoned traveller can attest, they are the 'people's car' of India.
- Laid-back LaosMountain bike touring in Laos
- The Road to MandalayCycle touring in Myanmar
- Vietnam on Thirty Dollars a DayCycle touring in Vietnam
- A Short Ride in the Hindu Kush Cycle touring in Pakistan
- On a Wheel and a Prayer FlagCycle touring in Tibet
- Shanti Shanti - Across the Himalaya by BikeCycling across the Himalayas
- Biking the Hidden HimalayaCycle touring in North West India
- Pedalling Patagonia"Wow! Amazing! You're cycling to the bottom of South America. Is it all downhill?" Alan and I looked at each other in amusement and suggested that we expected a few uphill sections.
- Cycling Cuba with Fidel and Ché
- Dirt Roading in Colombia'The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay', promises Colombia's latest tourist advertising slogan, printed over glossy photos of idyllic Caribbean coastlines, perfectly preserved colonial towns, rolling, lush coffee plantations and a Latin couple dancing hot cumbia.
- Famous Potato Recipes from Idaho
- My Private Idaho
- Donde Estan Los Pollos
- Alaska - the Last Frontier The Alaskan Iditasport Human Powered Ultramarathon
- In Search of Maple Syrup and a Decent National Anthem Mountain biking in Canada
- All You Can EatMountain Biking in Northern California
- Caffeine and Singletrack in the USA Mountain biking in South West Colorado
- Bici Dolomiti Cycle touring around Italy and the Dolomites
- A Slice of Swiss CheeseMountain biking in Switzerland
- London Calling The London Cycle Show
- Stairway to Heaven - biking Spain's Camino de SantiagoCycle touring in Spain
- Albania for BeginnersIn the summer of 2009, our route from Greece to Germany crossed the small country of Albania...
- Fat Tyre Touring in ItalyCycle touring through Italy.
- Corsica- touring the scented isleCycling in the Mediterranean
- A Scottish Coast to CoastCycle touring in Scotland
- Crouching Tiger - Cycling Ireland's South West Coast Cycling Ireland's South West Coast
- The Italian Job Mountain biking around Lake Garda
- Double DutchA cycle tour of the Netherlands.
- A Rather Big Swedish RaceMountain bike racing in Sweden
- French ConnectionCircumnavigating Mont Blanc on the "Sentier Pedestre" hiking trail.
- A Month in Provence Cycle touring in the South of France
- A French PilgrimageTouring with the Tour de France
- End to End, the Long WayCycle touring in Great Britain
- Steve's SabbaticalCycle touring in France
Romping Round the Marlborough Sounds
Dave Mitchell, UnderGround Issue 18, February 1999
Updated 29 June 2011The Marlborough region at the top of NZ's South Island is a mecca for mountain biking - you could lose yourself there for a fortnight and still find new trails to explore. In this second hit of our exposé of the area we'll delve into some of Marlborough's legendary singletrack.
The Queen Charlotte Walkway provides more ego-flattering track than is healthy for a single man. I must have ridden it a zillion times but still enjoy fronting up to the trough of indulgence and pigging out. So last year when we rounded up the usual suspects for another sortie, we opted for a few variations on the standard fare. Hailing a water taxi at Picton, we overloaded it with mountain bike paraphernalia and chugged out to Ship Cove. From there we hiked over to Anakakata Bay via a rough track optimistically named the "Gold Trail". Alas 100% non-rideable - it would have been a torrid carry and bush-bash. A few hours later we were reunited with our bikes and gear which, courtesy of the water taxi, were patiently waiting for us on the wharf.
Accommodation was a treat in the Bay's delightful old homestead. After fighting over the preferred bunks, we set out to explore the environs on our treadlies. Imbibing the yellow and gold sunset while overlooking Port Grove and Cape Lambert made for a jolly fine pre-dinner aperitif.
Off to Cape Jackson the next day. A cruisy ride on undulating farm track -interrupted by snack stops, scenic attractions and mushroom picking. The harvest was so bountiful we had to leave behind a cracker, which was almost the size of Kathy's helmet. The lighthouse hangs out at the end of a fingernail masquerading as Cape Jackson. Plenty of opportunities for high school science experiments with vertigo inducing cliffs on either side. It was a clear day and you could almost see over to the working classes in the North Island. The return track took us past an old goldmine and the rusting remains of a stamping battery. Hey - it does it for me! Then down to Waimatete Bay to entice some paua back for tea. Combined with the mushrooms and some fresh fish provided by our hosts, we created quite the epicurean climax to a brilliant day.
You can (and should) take two to three days to savour the delights of the Queen Charlotte Walkway but we figured it would be a giggle to do it as a day ride. Our hosts dropped us off early at Ship Cove and we zipped along the track to arrive eight hours later at Anakiwa. Hyped with singletrack adrenalin we crashed at Outward Bound with our friends Kate and Kim.
Apart from the Queen Charlotte, there's also the Nydia Bay ride; and the Onamalutu to Whakamarina trip. Both are classics, although at the harder end of the scale.
The Nitty Gritty> Maps: NZMS 260 Q26
> Track: Farm 4WD and some walking tracks - can be windy and exposed. Not very long, steep or technical - just great fun and very different.
> Transport: Cougar Line (03) 573 7925; Endeavour Express (03) 573 5456; Dolphin Watch (03) 573 8040; Arrow Water Taxis (03) 573 8229.
> Accommodation: Cape Jackson Homestead. Phone Ron and Christine Marriot (03) 579 9125.
> For other enquiries, try the Picton Information Centre, (03) 520 3113 or DOC Picton (03) 520 3002.
> The guide book, Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides ($39 from Ground Effect) has a comprehensive section covering Nelson and Marlborough. Costs $39 from Ground Effect.
> Tony Lilleby and the Nelson Mountain Bike Club also produce an excellent guide called "Hot Rides" which covers the Nelson/Marlborough area. Available from the club (PO Box 82, Nelson, NZ) or at selected bike shops.
> Follow the Mountain Bikers' Code. Respect Others; Respect the Track; and Respect the Rules.