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Reefton rides

Historic and hospitable Reefton is home to some of the West Coast’s best mountain biking.

Old tram lines and pack tracks cut by early adventurers form the base of today’s trails, many close to the centre of this charming gold rush era town. Adventures vary from easy gravel trails and smooth single track, to technical backcountry rides. Visit the Reefton Visitor Centre for trail maps and information.

Reefton Lookout: Zig-Zag Track

For the best views of the the ‘town of light’ Just 1 km south of town, this gradual climb on a forestry road takes you to a lookout with stunning views of Reefton and the ranges. Then it’s all downhill on the sweet Zig-Zag Track which pops out at Rosstown Road, a short spin from Reefton.

● 8 km | 1 hour | Grade 3 (intermediate)

● Easy to access, great views

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Biking the Zigzag Track in Reefton. Credit to

Kirwans Track

Rusty relics, long descents Confident mountain bikers will enjoy the ride up to Kirwan’s Hut, which climbs up to 1,000 metres for panoramic views of the ruggedly beautiful Victoria Range, before dropping into 10 km of technical descents. Look out for the Kirwans Reward Mine, an aerial ropeway and the Lord Brassey stamper battery, reminders of the region’s mining past.

● 19 km northeast of Reefton

● 14 km one way | 4-6 hours | Grade 5 (expert)

● A big climb rewarded with a long downhill

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Waitahu Valley

An easy stretch through stunning beech forest A gentle 4WD track that heads along the picturesque Waitahu River through beautiful beech and rimu forest. Pass crystal clear river pools, before reaching the Clematis Suspension Bridge.

● 7 km | 1 hour | Grade 2 (easy)

● Easy forest ride, with mining relics en route

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Big River tracks

A big day’s ride to a gold mining ghost town Journey back in time on the Big River tracks as you make your way to Waiuta, a remote West Coast ghost town. Reefton to Big River is a challenging ride on a rough 4WD track, flanked by lush forest (look out for kākā, New Zealand’s native parrot). Enjoy lunch or an overnight stay at Big River Hut. From here, continue on to Waiuta on flowing single track, with smooth, gentle downhills. Wander around Waiuta, a once bustling mining town now eerily quiet since the West Coast’s largest gold mine closed down in 1951.

● Grade 4 (advanced)

● Varied terrain, from rough 4WD to technical singletrack

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