New Zealand: The Old Ghost Road | Cycle Systems


New Zealand: The Old Ghost Road

New Zealand Roads

A disappointingly small post must be written about the Old Ghost Road - New Zealand’s longest piece of single track. Sean had been dreaming of this one from the far shores of England. The plan had been to take a Daddy and Son trip of a lifetime and spend three to four days navigating this pristine and challenging piece of wilderness. The mountain huts had been booked. And Julia had been dreaming of some time off to buckle down to the tax return.

However, after our Timber Trail wilderness experience, we were slightly wary now about the level of challenge for a 9 year old boy. Furthermore, from falling off a trampoline (yes curse those trampolines – for bicycling is far far safer), it turned out that Oak had some pretty nasty concussion. 

The ambulance men had looked at his pupils, asked him if he knew his name, and pronounced him fine and sent us on our way. However, as parents both Sean and Julia knew that their son was far from normal. For example, we’d driven for hours to reach the Ghost Road and he’d literally stared out of the window without even a whimper the whole journey.

“Do you want the Ipad, Oak?” We had asked. Worried.

“Huh?” Had come his spaced out reply.

The Ghost Road was most definitely not on the cards.

Plus there was the weather. We knew the wind by now. And the rain and the wind. And some really gnarly at at times very thin single track? Best come back when the boy was a bit older, and both Oak and Sean had better machines to ride this serious trail. Perhaps we could leave you with the promotional video as recompense for our having ridden it then? For we all know by now that promotional videos lie. But. Let’s face it. Even a liar couldn’t disguise how completely and utterly perfect this trail would have been.

This was another place we would vow to come back to. For now, all we could do was buckle up and drive safely and smoothly through the growing drama of the South Island scenery. Traversing winding mountain roads. Scenery so breath taking we literally gasped around almost every corner.


Mount Aspiring Park

Heading further and further down the South Island, we came across cycle tourists so rarely we even stopped to take their picture. They were a smiley lot, in general. Battling the wind and the steep mountain roads and the occasional lorry who cared not one jot for their welfare.


Road Cyclists

Still, onwards we drove towards our exciting destination of Queenstown. Where the mountain biking becomes truly radical. And the downhill ski slopes get over run with intrepid cyclists. And Sean decides to give it a go. Plus the Luge. Sean also decides to try the Luge.

But before that we had one more go cycling a trail in the Franz Josef National Park. Again atrocious weather, lending itself to deep, dark, gnarly forest paths. Heavy and mysterious with mist.

Franz Josef Trails

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