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Christchurch, New Zealand

mikebl's picture

By mikebl - Posted on 28 June 2014

I was back in NZ this week and talking to some mates about MTB.

They pointed me at this article and the fact it is like 5km from the centre of town.....

I started MTB in Chch 20 odd years ago, and back then it was a sweet place to ride. There have been many tracks put in since then and some very regular events.

They have a winter night race series which attracts upwards of 150 riders each race!

With this new development it will be pushing Rotorua as the go to location for MTB in New Zealand.

Can't wait to get over there with my bike!


Pete B's picture

My brother lives in Chch and does the night race series along with a multitude of other enduro events including the Littleton Urban Downhill. It's a great place for MTBing, the variety and amount of trails is staggering. I've never been to Rotorua but it's on my 'to do' list.

all74's picture

Hey I'm in NZ right now! No bike....bummed. Saw a cool thing at the airport in Christchurch though, bike assembly stands! I'll be back with my bike for sure.

Simon's picture

Basically a city on the plains at the base of 500m vertical volcanic caldera. Known as the Port Hills. Glad that chairlift may finally be happening, been a while in the planning.

The summit road runs along the top and has heaps of shuttle trail options to run down or plenty of tracks to ride up to make a circuit.

Great views to the sea, or down the other side into Lyttelton Harbour or across the plains to the southern alps rising up to 3600m above sea level.

Trails range from flowy XC, all mountain to DH. Cool features such as see-saws to cross fences so the sheep don't get out. Just watch for sheep poo getting flicked off front wheel. Had one freak incident where a poo pellet got lodged up my nostril...

Good local boutique brewery's in city below. Flights to their direct have been cheap since earthquake as tourism well down.

Good day trips out of city too. Craigieburn/Broken River near Arthurs Pass has fantastic alpine trails that rise above tree line and cross massive scree slopes. Amazing views as located in the middle of the alps. Summer shuttles at Mt Hutt too. Also Hanmer Springs has flowy XC single track and thermal hot pools in town.

Great rock climbing too at Port Hills and near Broken River at Castle Hill.

Queenstown and Wanaka are about 5-6 hours south.

I did a lap there with my wife and a mate and his wife.

Did Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka (eg Sticky Forest), Fox Glacier and Pancake Rocks for site seeing, Hanmer Springs, Craigieburn and back to Christchurch.

Alternate days of riding with vineyards and site seeing.

Hired a 4wd and then got a bike trailer from Natural High.

Lived in Christchurch for 10 years before moving here.

mikebl's picture

Yeah, I spent about 10 years in Chch too back in the late 80's.

I did pretty much all the trails/tracks around the port hills and had some great times.

I mapped out some rides I used to do, and got to about 50km for the big Sunday ride I did each week.

I used to be able to get up the Rapaki gully, hooking up with the dirt road about 3/4 way up, then all the way to top. Then turn around and go down the same way.
All in 19 minutes.
A lot of it was fitness back then (early 20's), and some skill, with a little bit of "bullet-proof" mentality...

I doubt I could get up the road in 19 minutes now Sad

I remember a sweet trail in Hanmer we hit. No idea what it was called, or even where it is now after so long....
But it had the sweetest downhill, must have been about 20-30 minutes of perfect single track flowing downhill. It just kept on going. Biggest smiles on our faces for at least an hour after that.

I'm looking forward to the development of the MTB park, and will for sure take my bike over for a ride once it's open.


Simon's picture

Ouch, we don't have hills like that here.

Got lazy enough one trip back with time to spare on my own where I considered making taxi van bookings to meet me at bottom of Bowenvale until I convinced a mate to ditch work for the day and ride with me.

Taxi company were happy to do it once they stopped laughing at me.

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