One of New Zealand's premier Biking and Tramping tracks

by The REJIGIT Blog

The Old Ghost Road is situated on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. An 1870’s gold miners’ dray road has been re-established and reinvented as a 85km mountain biking and tramping trail traversing an impressive scenic route offering a magnificent wilderness experience. The trail begins at Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge, 50 minute drive from Westport) to the Mokihinui River in the north (40 minute drive to Westport). The terrain  includes native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and steep valleys and the single-track, multi-day trail is classified as a Grade 4 (advanced) mountain biking trail.

The trail opened in 2015 and is managed by the not-for-profit Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust  which partnered several other organisations to create it.

Significant initial establishment funding was provided by the New Zealand Cycle Trail project together with contributions from numerous other donors.

Donations can be made to the Trust via their Givealittle page

Typically, bikers will spend two to four days travelling from South (Lyell) to North (Seddonville). Travelers are able to stay in shared huts with cooking facilities for a maximum of one night per hut and huts must be booked in advance online for the entire journey ($140 per person for a complete journey of 1 – 4 nights).

Lyell Camping Ground to Lyell Saddle Hut (875m)

18km - Biking Time 3 – 4 hours, Tramping Time 4 – 6 hours

Lyell Saddle Hut to Ghost Lake Hut (1200m)

12km - Biking Time 2.5 – 4 hours, Tramping Time 3 – 5 hours

Ghost Lake Hut to Stern Valley Hut (400m)

13km - Biking Time 2 – 3 hours, Tramping Time 3 – 4 hours

Stern Valley Hut to Goat Creek Hut (400m)

14km - Biking Time 2 – 3 hours, Tramping Time 3 – 4 hours

Goat Creek Hut to Mokihinui Forks Hut (first come, first served) (160m)

8km - Biking Time 1 – 2 hours, Tramping Time 2 – 3 hours

Mokihinui Forks Hut to Specimen Point Hut (135m)

3km - Biking Time 0.5 – 1 hours, Tramping Time 1 – 1.5 hours

Specimen Point Hut to Seddonville Trail Head (110m)

17km - Biking Time 2 – 4 hours, Tramping Time 4 – 6 hours

Lyell Saddle Hut

The trail remains open during winter for the intrepid


Images via Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust, Marcus Kuchiak