• Motupipi Hill in Takaka, where conservation coexists with recreation on a series of unique cycle trails (Alistair Hughes)

The Motupipi Hill Cycle Trail

November 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Golden Bay, in the Nelson Tasman region, is a remarkably beautiful part of New Zealand. The area has long offered rich opportunities for tramping, rock climbing, sailing, kayaking, caving – a vast range of outdoor activities to be enjoyed within a stunning natural setting. All were catered for bar one notable exception, one that has [...]

  • View looking south across Grovetown lagoon and boardwalk

Grovetown Lagoon An Oxbow Lake With Abundant Bird Life

November 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Provincial, small-town New Zealand folk are well known for ‘coming together’ to achieve common goals especially when those end objectives benefit the community as a whole. Natural habitat restoration projects are particularly good examples of this community spirit with the end result seeing improvements in the quality of natural environments and subsequently creating better habitats [...]

Stunning Mountain Vistas on the Ride to Welcome Rock.

November 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I was welcomed to Welcome Rock long before the trail of the same name appeared on the high-country hills behind Garston. It just so happened several years ago that our neighbour was the sister of the station owner, and she invited me to their farm after I returned from overseas cycling adventures. I soon learnt [...]

  • The rusted steel frame of the SS Gairloch

The Sea Question

June 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

There is something about a walk on the beach that soothes the soul. I find if my mind is busy and I need to clear my head, a walk along Oakura Beach seems to work wonders. By the time I’m a short distance down the beach, the expanse of ocean stretching to the horizon with [...]

  • Entering the Roxburgh Gorge is near-perfection

Gorging on Greatness

June 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

Which to choose: staring all day at a computer in order to keep the Great Rides App in shape, or steering my bike through a river gorge to keep myself in shape? Today I choose the latter, so leaving early morning from my home on the shores of moody Lake Wakatipu I head to the [...]

  • Above: The quaint Ohakune Railway Station which is still in use Left: On the old viaduct and appreciating the new one beyond

A Great Ride – A Ride in the Park

November 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

So it was that on a cool autumn day my wife and I headed to the centre of the North Island. We were conscious of an ex-tropical weather system that was bearing down on the region, threatening to thwart our plan. Our plan was to have an easy ride together on day one, riding the [...]

  • The beauty of the landscape is a real highlight of the trail (OCRTM and Tim Hawkins)

The Granddaddy of Greatness

July 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Ask any kiwi cyclist what they know about the Great Rides and they will inevitably refer to the Otago Central Rail Trail. It’s already legendary. As I prepared to travel to Central Otago I pondered the notion of whether this trail had earned its status simply due to being the first of the cycle trails, [...]