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February 2020 Issue
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Paparoa Great Walk named NZ’s top ride

The Paparoa Track Great Walk has been rated the country’s best mountain bike ride. Photo: Jason Blair

In their latest, 10th edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides, the Kennett brothers rated the Paparoa Track as number one out of their top 10 rides in New Zealand.

After two ‘assessment rides’ for DOC, Jonathan Kennett said: “I thought that second ride, last November, was the best day of mountain biking that I had done all year, and I did a lot of mountain biking to revise the book. 

“The new sections of track have been extremely well designed for fit, experienced, grade four (advanced) riders. This means all of the gradients are relatively easy to walk. Many people will prefer to tramp the track simply to have more time to appreciate those amazing vistas as well as the unique botanical communities they will pass through. But I am sure it will also be quite popular to cycle. 

“People have been mountain biking the Croesus Track since the late 1980s. In fact, I would guess that miners probably rode into Garden Gully (in the Croesus) in the depression years, when work gangs kept the track in good condition.”

The Paparoa Track Great Walk opened last November, but a large landslip has closed the middle section of the track. It is hoped the track will be fully opened by April. 

The Kennett’s full top 10 list:

  1. Paparoa Track, Greymouth
  2. The Old Ghost Road, Westport
  3. Heaphy Track, Golden Bay
  4. Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
  5. Coronet Peak to Arrowtown, Wakatipu Basin
  6. Moerangi Track, Whirinaki Forest
  7. Flat Top Hill, Alexandra
  8. The Timber Trail, Central North Island
  9. Fowlers Pass, Hanmer Springs
  10. Queenstown Bike Park