Rotorua Mountain Bike Park, NZ with Kids

Rotorua Mountain Bike Park, NZ with Kids

When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.

In this story we are riding in the – Rotorua Mountain Bike Park (Whakarewa Forest) in Rotorua on some of the beginner to intermediate tracks with Sam 13 yrs old – who mountain bikes recreationaly and Hollie 11yrs old – who mountain bikes occasionally but is becoming more confident in the mountain bike environment and Mum and Dad who are intermediate mountain bikers. 

Where is it. The main entrance to the park is off state highway 5. Waipa Carpark. There are other car parks available to offer easier access to other parts of the mountain bike park

What is there? Simply great facilities. Masses of car parking but don’t be fooled it still can get quite full, toilets/showers, cafe, wash down station for bikes, bike hire and repair, Map boards showing the multiple trails for all riding levels, skills park.

Shuttles are also available to take you and your bike further into the park. Check out all the info – where/how/times etc here. Tickets can be pre-purchased or you can pay by cash/eftpos/visa on the bus. A great way to get the kids further into the park.

Dodzy Skills Park Rotorua Mountain Biking goRide

Dodzy Skills Area

Shuttle and bike trailer Rotorua Mountain Biking park goRide

Shuttle bus and trailer taking all ages up into the park.

Biking cleaning station Rotorua Mountain Biking Park

Bike wash down…so easy and your bike is ready to ride for next time.

Is it doable?

This park has something for everyone. It is a matter of working out what will work best for your family.

Biking Distance: The length of this ride is entirely at your discretion you have an extensive network of tracks spread out over a large area.  These tracks range from grade 1 through to grade 6 advanced. It is about you picking the level that suits your family. Trails range from approximately 0.5km through to 4km.

Biking Surface/Biking Skills required/Level of biking fitness: The surface, the level of skills required as well as your fitness requirement will depend on the level of difficulty of that particular trail. Match the trail to your requirements.

Can you ride with Kids Attached: Some additional support may help get the kids riding in the Rotorua Mountain Bike Park.

  • For independent riders : The Towhee Tow Rope may help assist getting them up a hill, or keeping up with the siblings.
  • Attached to your bike: The Shotgun offers you the ability to enjoy the mountain biking park with your younger kids. You will need to ride to your ability making sure you are keeping them safe.  A rear bike seat could also be used by an experienced rider on Grade 1 or Grade 2 Trails.

Some of the Trails that our family experienced and enjoyed.

For younger and/or less confident riders:  From the Waipa Carpark there lots of fun little loops to create on the Kids Loop/Tahi/The Dipper/Pig Track. Bike along the Very Safe Trail and gain access into Ball and Chain/Purarenga and Yellow Brick Road Trails. The Dodzy Skills Park can be a great place to have a play. You can tailor the skills area to your level of skill development.

For intermediate riders: There are just so many options -that is the joy. Here is a few we loved Challenge,Tokorangi, Turkish Delight, Split Enz, Roller Coaster,B Rude not 2 and more. Basically you need to come and give them a go and find your favourites.  We all enjoyed the intermediate trails everyone in our family got something from them.

Feeling Comfortable

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to feel comfortable. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day’ on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

Water – you will need enough to last the time you are in the park…there is always an option to return to the carpark for a top up if required.

goUnders- Kids Padded Bike Underwear

Protection – As they are in a mountain biking environment there is a  chance for accidents – bike gloves, covered arms, covered legs, good helmets are some protection options.  Please make them wear shoes.   Comfort on the seat can be a big factor so consider padded bike underwear – goUnders for Kids, see photo to right.  Worn under their shorts or leggings these ‘undies’ protect soft tissue & prevent chaffing.

As you are riding for a period of time…the weather can change make sure you carry options for keeping warm, dry and protected from the sun depending on the time of year you ride and the conditions on the day.

Food –  A muesli bar or a bit of chocolate can be a great motivator or reward as well as some sustenance to keep them riding.

Being Safe

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to be safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day’ on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.

Map There is a map board at the carpark and maps can be purchased.The trail is well signposted with name and level of difficulty once in the park. My kids had great fun planning what trails we were going to ride.

First Aid – Carry a basic biking first aid kit in your bag or on your bike.  Have a more comprehensive kit in the car or a refill pack incase serious patch ups are required.  Grazed knees, elbows and irrigation for eyes are the most common minor biking accidents.

YouAm I safe to Mountain Bike Ride? A checklist to complete that ensures YOU are safe to goRide.
Bike – goRide pre-ride bike safety check – is it safe? A simple checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order.

Having Fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride. There is so much fun to be had on a bike – the pace you go, being close and connected with nature, your ease to detour from the trail…I wonder what is around this corner, and your ability to stop and get off your bike means you get to discover all sorts of things along the way. Sometimes you will know about and plan to enjoy things and then there are those wonderful surprise discoveries.

Some things to look out for on the

  • Dodzy Skills Park is a great play area on the  bike for all levels.
  • Let the kids lead the way.  Let them find the tracks and work out what signs and names they should look for along the way.  The signs in this mountain bike park are really well done so are perfect for those new to map reading.
  • If you get high enough there are some neat views over the lake to enjoy
Rotorua Mtn Bike Park resized
Riding the trails Rotorua Mountain Bike Park goRide

Does it fit?

Does the ride fit with what you want to achieve?

The extensive network of varying trails in the Rotorua Mountain Bike Park makes it easy to match to your needs. Match the difficulty of the trails, match the time spent on the trail to your needs and enjoy.

Did you ride the … ? Did you have a great day on the bike?

What went well? What could you work on next time? It’s all about taking steps and small gains…oh the places you’ll go, the things you will see.

  We would love to here about your ‘great days’ on the bike.

get Inspired and goRide – Rotorua Mountain Bike Park with Kids

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Taupo MTB Park with Kids

Kaiteriteri MTB with Kids

Christchurch Adventure Park with Kids

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Biking The Old Coach Road with Kids

Biking The Old Coach Road with Kids

When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.  In this story I am going to introduce you to riding the Old Coach Road with Kids.

Where is it?

The Old Coach Road Bike Trail is located in Ohakune in the centre of the North Island.  The trail traverses between the town of Ohakune and Horopito.

What is it?

The Old Coach Road was a section of the main trunk railway line that in the early 1900s was incomplete. So between 1906 and 1908 passengers would have to disembark from the train to travel by horse and coach through the Old Coach road largely covered in cobblestone. The road also provided access to completing this missing section on the main trunk line and in 1908 with the railway line complete the services of the road was no longer required. You now get to enjoy the road by bike (or by foot) and appreciate the history of this area as well as understand some of the challenges and hardships faced in these times and be impressed by their successes and achievements.

Is it doable?

Biking Distance? The old coach road is 15km one way or can be ridden as a there and back trip for a 30km round trip. Shuttles are readily available from Ohakune and they will drop you and your bike at Horopito  allowing you to leisurely make your way back to Ohakune. This is definitely the way to ride. Horopito is about 500ft higher than Ohakune therefore offering more of a downhill experience.  You would need to allow 2 hours plus if enjoying one way and 4 hours plus if riding the round trip.

Biking Surface? The biking surface is variable. It includes a wide trail sometimes grassy/muddy farmland, sometimes old cobblestones to a compacted surface that can contain a few rocks and tree roots. There is also single track to enjoy.

Biking Skills required? This is NOT a technical ride. Some of the skills involved are riding uphill, downhill, cornering and picking a riding line to avoid some obstacles but generally there are not too many obstacles and there is plenty of space to avoid them.

Level of biking fitness? This will either be a 2 hour ride or a 4 hour if doing the round trip. Do you have the endurance levels required? If riding in the downhill direction then fitness requirements will be less though remember there is still some uphill.

Can you ride with Kids Attached? The Towhee Tow Rope could be the asset you need to get some younger kids riding on their own bike through this ride… at least stashed in your bag with the ability to pull it out if needed.  The Mid mount – Shotgun Mountain Bike Seat is a good option for riding with younger kids attached and a rear bike seat are all options on this trail for those who are experienced riders.

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Feeling Comfortable

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to feel comfortable. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day’ on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

Water – you will need enough to last the length of your ride.  There is no tap water available along the trail.

goUnders- Kids Padded Bike Underwear

Protection for the Kids – As they are riding a bike for up to two hours plus and there is a chance for accidents – bike gloves, covered arms, covered legs, good helmets are some protection options.  Please make them wear shoes.   Comfort on the seat can be a big factor so consider padded bike underwear – goUnders for Kids, see photo to right.  Worn under their shorts or leggings these ‘undies’ protect soft tissue & prevent chaffing.

As you are riding for a period of time…the weather can change make sure you carry options for keeping warm, dry and protected from the sun depending on the time of year you ride and the conditions on the day.

Food –  A muesli bar or a bit of chocolate can be a great motivator or reward at the top of a hill and as we mentioned above they will have to do some uphill biking.

Being Safe

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to be safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day’ on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.

Map The trail is signposted along the way. You can follow the signs from Ohakune Railway Station along station road and onto Marshalls Road to the Marshalls Road carpark where you can access the trail. If being dropped at Horopito there is really only one way to go…  so get on the trail and ride.

First Aid – Carry a basic biking first aid kit in your bag or on your bike.  Have a more comprehensive kit in the car or a refill pack incase serious patch ups are required.  Grazed knees, elbows and irrigation for eyes are the most common minor biking accidents.

YouAm I safe to Mountain Bike Ride? A checklist to complete that ensures YOU are safe to goRide.
Bike – goRide pre-ride bike safety check – is it safe? A simple checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order.

Having Fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride. There is so much fun to be had on a bike – the pace you go, being close and connected with nature, your ease to detour from the trail…I wonder what is around this corner, and your ability to stop and get off your bike means you get to discover all sorts of things along the way. Sometimes you will know about and plan to enjoy things and then there are those wonderful surprise discoveries.

Some things to look out for on the Old Coach Road.

This ride is filled with history. Some of that history can be read along the way on information boards as well as viewed in the viaducts and tunnels. There are certainly many little stops to enjoy on the way. Taonui Viaduct, crossing the Hapuawhenua Viaduct, entering the curved tunnel.

More can be read about the history and things to see: Department of Conservation and the official Old Coach Road website.

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Looking out to the Hapawhenua Viaduct

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Crossing the Hapawhenua Viaduct….don’t look down!

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The Taonui Viaduct.

Does it fit?

Does the ride fit with what you want to achieve? 15 km one way of stunning single track and some  farmland riding. Predominantly downhill but definitely some hill climbing involved.  If riding a return trip – there and back – 30km of riding and more uphill riding involved. There are lots of great things to discover and enjoy along the way. Also all those good things you get from a bike ride, sunshine, fresh air, feeling healthier, feelings of achievement – you did it! You never know what else you might discover.

If you won’t have your bike with you if you are visiting Ohakune there are bike hire options available.

Did you ride the Old Coach Road ? Did you have a great day on the bike?

What went well? What could you work on next time? It’s all about taking steps and small gains…oh the places you’ll go, the things you will see.

  We would love to hear about your ‘great days’ on the bike.

get Inspired and goRide -Riding The Old Coach Road with Kids – a great day on the bike.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Day Ride Stories

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Spooners Tunnel with Kids

Spooners Tunnel with Kids

When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride at a fun destination, like Spooners Tunnel with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.

In this story we are riding to Spooners Tunnel on The Great Taste Trail in Nelson with Rhea 13yrs old – mountain bikes occasionally, Isaac 10yrs old – mountain bikes occasionally
Beginning of trail up to spooners Tunnel. Great Taste Trail.Spooners Tunnel – Where is it?

Located 30mins from central Nelson on State Highway 6, just past Wakefield.

Parking can be difficult right at the base of Spooners Saddle so about 500m before the track leaves the side of the road is a large open area for parking.  Opposite Belgrove Tavern.  Don’t block the track entrance with your car and be considerate of the local residents.

Spooners Tunnel is part of The Great Taste Trail.  A section called Belgrove to Kohutu.  For a story on biking from Nelson to Kaiteriteri along this trail with kids go HERE.

If you need to hire bikes see Trail Journeys in the Millers Acre Centre, 37-39 Halifax Street…or Torpedo 7 on the corner of Rutherford & Bridge Street, Nelson.

Save

Is it doable?

Riding towing kid up to Spooners TunnelThe ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with.

From the carpak join the Great Taste Trail heading southwest.  Please be careful as this section is right next to the main road and there is a couple of crossings of the 100km highway.  The biking surface is compact dirt with gravel…Is It Doable?

It is 500m to the start of Tunnel road from the carpark.  The northern end of the tunnel is approximately 4.5kms up Tunnel Road.  Then the tunnel itself is 1.35km long.  So the one way ride to the south end of the tunnel is roughly 6.35km, return 12.7kms.  The track is grade 2, easy, a gradual gentle uphill climb to the tunnel entrance, making the return trip all downhill!  It is two way so watch for riders descending at speed.  It is also multi use so expect to see walkers as well.

SPOONERS TUNNEL 1.35KM

The tunnel itself continues along the same gentle uphill gradient.  It has no lighting and is extremely dark inside.  You will definitely need bike lights.  It is also noticeably colder than the outside temperature so even on a sunny day you will need to add a layer.  It can take a while to adjust to your dark surroundings so keep the kids close and just keep chatting to them.  This is a popular local ride so expect to see other riders or walkers.  The tunnel is about 3m wide so it is possible to pass others – it can be very hard to judge exactly where an approaching light is so remind the kids to keep left and watch the tunnel floor in front of their bike wheel.  In other words warn them not to stare into the oncoming lights.

Spooners Tunnel Information Board

Information Board at entrance to Spooners Tunnel

Kids approaching entrance of Spooners Tunnel

Entrance to Spooners Tunnel

Using lights in Spooners Tunnel

Lights are needed to safely ride through the tunnel

ADDING SOME MORE

Once through the tunnel it is possible to continue along the recently opened section of The Great Taste Trail which will take you 6km through the Noris Gully Reserve.  There are lots of open grass areas which would be ideal for a family picnic.

Feeling Comfortable

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel comfortable. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

Water – you will need enough to last the length of your ride.  There is no tap water available along the trail.   There is a port-a-loo (toilet) at the southern end of the tunnel.

goUnders- Kids Padded Bike Underwear

Protection – As they are riding a bike there is a  chance for accidents – bike gloves, covered arms, covered legs, good helmets are some protection options.  Please make them wear shoes.   Comfort on the seat can be a big factor so consider padded bike underwear – goUnders for Kids, see photo to right.  Worn under their shorts or leggings these ‘undies’ protect soft tissue & prevent chaffing.

As already mentioned it is cold in the tunnel so carry a warm layer to put on before you go through.

Food –  A muesli bar or a bit of chocolate can be a great motivator or reward at the top of a hill and as we mentioned above they will have to climb.

Being Safe

Safety Spooners TunnelIt doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.

Maps –  There is a map board at the main entrance – see photo above.  We recommend staying on Tunnel Road then it is a simple return trip.

At the southern end of the tunnel there is a great little advice board but most riders are approaching from the northern end…

  • a light is requires
  • keep left and stay on cycle path
  • 15kph max speed
  • slow when approaching others
  • prepare to stop when meeting others
  • travel in numbers

And a seperate sign warns that the sides of the tunnel are covered in soot… Do Not Touch.

First Aid – Carry a basic biking first aid kit in your bag or on your bike.  Have a more comprehensive kit in the car or a refill pack incase serious patch ups are required.  Grazed knees, elbows and irrigation for eyes are the most common minor biking accidents.

YouAm I safe to Mountain Bike Ride? A checklist to complete that ensures YOU are safe to goRide.
Bike – goRide pre-ride bike safety check – is it safe? A simple checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order.

Having Fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride.
There is so much fun to be had when out exploring on a bike

  • Let the kids lead the way.  Let them work out distances as they ride up Tunnel Road
  • Stop in the tunnel and turn off your lights to see just how dark it is!!
  • Make a day trip of it my taking lunch to have

Does it fit?

Are your kids capable of riding this distance…I think most kids would be capable of this ride.  Listen to them and stop when they need to.  The return trip down the hill is so easy they won’t even need to pedal.

For this particular outing we were testing out the Tow Whee tow rope which worked really well.  The gradient is gentle enough for most adults to be able to pull someone along.

Can you Ride with Kids Attached?

This is a simple ride on a well maintained wide track so is ideal for riding with all types of kids bike seats or trailers.  The only barrier to this type of riding is the design of the gates – seen on a lot of NZ Cycle Trail rides.  The photo below shows the design and how awkward they would be with a bike trailer or rear bike seat.  I think most trailers would have to be detached and lifted over the gate.  There is one of these gates right at the beginning of the ride as you start on Tunnel Road.  The gate in the photo is after the tunnel heading out along the valley.

Bike passing through gate on Great Taste Trail.Did you ride Spooners Tunnel ? Did you have a great day on the bike?

What went well? What could you work on next time? It’s all about taking steps and small gains…oh the places you’ll go, the things you will see.

  We would love to hear about your ‘great days’ on the bike.

Spooners Tunnel with Kids

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Craters of the Moon – Taupo

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with Kids

Codgers Mountain Bike Park with Kids

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

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A Bike Tow Rope – Make Riding Easier for Kids

A Bike Tow Rope – Make Riding Easier for Kids

Families that ride bikes together have to deal with a range of different abilities and likes.  As the saying goes you can generally only perform to the level of your weakest player.  Maybe you choose not to ride in certain places because you know it will be too hard for little legs to cope with.  Things that normally put you off will probably include hills and distance but weather conditions that were unexpected can cause an upset as well.  Could a bike tow rope make riding easier for kids?

We think the answer is YES.

Tow-Whee In Use

Great for multi day trips & touring

Tow Rope in Mountain Bike setting. goRide

Great for climbing hills when mountain biking

Kids TowWhee -- No Background PNG

Extremely lightweight & portable Tow Whee Tow Rope

HILLS

Tow ropes are a perfect match to helping kids climb hills.  Hills can be a big barrier to going on a bike ride at all, especially if there is a big one right at the beginning of the ride.  Kids simply do not have the power or stamina to go very far when the gradient is steep.  Kids bikes have smaller wheels and also do not have the gear range that adult bikes have.  Both these things make keeping up during a climb hard work if not impossible.

Using a tow rope to assist on hills can also be really helpful over multi day riding when the youngest member of the family can start to feel more tired or struggle to keep up with older siblings.   This can be more of a problem if the younger rider is a girl trying to match the strength of her pre-teen or teenage brother/s. A rope can be taken as a “just in case” if tiredness or time become an issue.

DISTANCES

Deciding to take kids for a long ride can involve some degree of risk.  Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate that feeling of risk by taking a tow rope that could be easily attached if needed.  It can be hard to tell how capable your kids are of tackling a bigger distance than they usually ride.  A negative experience can be a real block to getting them out on their bikes again.

The accumulative effect of distance involved in multi day riding is another one hard to judge.  Keeping them well fed and watered with plenty of resting is key. Again, as with hill climbing, if they are attempting to keep up with older siblings a tow rope can be a real asset to your whole family enjoying their riding.

WEATHER

We all like to think that when we make plans the weather will play along and be perfect.  Unfortunately it does not always do this.  Wind in particular can be hard to predict.  Certain areas are known for certain types of prevailing wind patterns so riding can be managed.  Battling into a head wind is never any fun.  Riding through pouring rain isn’t much better.  Having a tow rope to pull a child along at a faster pace so that everyone is not exposed for longer than necessary is a great back up to take along.  Most families don’t choose to get themselves into these weather situations but if you have planned for a family biking holiday and dates are not flexible you may just find yourself in one.

Multi day riding has the opportunity to throw all sorts of weather at you depending on it’s length.  A tow rope is a simple solution that will give you more confidence in your safety out on a trail.

Quick Loop Connected

Designed for safe use with bikes

Safe Use of a Tow Rope

A bike specific tow rope will have several features that make it safer to use than other choices.  People use rope, old tubes, strapping… to try and assist their kids while riding.  So what makes a bike tow rope any better?

  • the durability and strength of its attachment points that will be specifically designed to take weight
  • it’s rebound or stretching ability will be amazing compared to anything else.  It will be designed to always have tension when two bikes are following one another.  This means no drooping and getting caught in wheels
  • the pull will be soft and the feeling smooth rather than a sudden or jerky ride
  • designed to be easily and quickly attached and detached a bike specific tow won’t waste any of your precious ride time
get Safe and goRide –  A Bike Tow Rope – Make Riding Easier for Kids 

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

How to Attach a Bike Tow Rope

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A family biking holiday in the Central Otago town – Naseby

A family biking holiday in the Central Otago town – Naseby

Naseby was once a gold mining town servicing 4000 miners, now it is home to 120 permanent residents. However, this quiet Central Otago town comes alive in the summer as families come to their baches and the campground fills up. Kiwis come to enjoy the simple summer lifestyle, a lifestyle that is reflected in the Naseby town tagline – Naseby ‘2000ft above worry level’ and there is one item they certainly don’t forget to bring – their bicycle.

Naesby town sign and tagline goRide

Naseby Town Tagline

Old building Naseby

Settled in 1863 Naseby has many historic sites and buildings

What does Naseby have to offer as a biking holiday destination?
Naseby Forest – Mountain Biking Trails

A network of trails from beginner to experienced. The trails weave there way through the privately owned Naseby Forest. With the campground and the safe swimming dam on its doorstep the trails were enjoyed by groups of kids, families, couples and friends. Plenty of day trippers also come to Naseby to explore the trails.

The best thing to do is turn up and go explore trails that suit your technical and fitness requirements. There is something for everyone. Best enjoyed if you are wanting an area of trails to pop in and ride for 1/2 hour through to a few hours.

I want to give mention to the family favourite – the Mount Ida water race that winds its way along the stunning Hawkdun Range. This has achievable terrain for all and is always great no matter what the weather. Built back in 1873, this wonderful engineering feat was used for sluicing gold and now provides much needed irrigation for local farmers and tracing its path is enjoyed by many riders.

Before you get going you do need to check to see if the forest is open. If there is logging or the risk of fire is high, the forest will be closed.

Dansey Pass

This one is for enthusiastic riders. A 26km (oneway) often narrow and windy road initially sealed but quickly turning to gravel to the top of Dansey Pass (935m) . The pass provides a link between the Waitaki Valley and Central Otago (the road offering entry to this area from the north for early gold mining traffic).  It is a well graded climb through high country farmland covered in outcrops of schist and tussock covered hills.

The road is reasonably remote but it is used by those that farm this land and through peak times by travelers. I choose an early morning ride to bet the traffic and any wind. A few vehicles passed me on my journey and I did have a compulsory rest as I shared the road with sheep being moved between paddocks.

Along the route there is the treat of Dansey Pass Coach Inn (about 20km) from Naseby. Built in 1862 and as with many things built in this time…there is a story to tell, and what a great place to enjoy that story.

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The Top of Dansey Pass

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Some oncoming traffic

Central Otago Rail Trail.  Day trip – Multiple Day Trip

Naseby (though about 9km off the Rail Trail) is quite central along the Otago Rail Trail so really any part of the trail is only a short drive away. Both Middlemarch and Clyde, the start and finish of the trail (depending on the direction you ride), are both about an hours drive from Naseby. All of the Rail Trail is family friendly and because the trail is well serviced really it is about working out what your family wants and are capable of doing. There are some great day trip options to be had, or you could do some multi days. Our family favourite, for a day trip, is the Poolburn Gorge so we suggest this should be on any day trip that you do. Read through some further information here to help your family plan some riding on the Otago Rail Trail.

Riding up to Poolburn gorge

Helping each other as we ride towards the gorge

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Riding across the bridge

Poolburn gorge

About to head through one of the 2 tunnels in the gorge

Bike around the town of Naseby

OK it is not going to take you very long but there are plenty of historic sites and buildings to enjoy. Information on the town and its heritage can be obtained from the volunteer run Information Centre.  Stops could include:

  • one of the historic hotels
  • the very much enjoyed cafe – there is always plenty of bicycles lined up outside
  • the domain to join in with the kids cricket games that frequently take place
  • the playground and tennis courts
  • many historic buildings
  • the curling rink

The kids will just choose to bike, to go explore, to get around. The slow pace makes it a pretty safe place to bike.

It is a different experience to some of the other busier Central Otago towns. But an experience that should be treasured, one that can be enjoyed by the family and you definitely need to bring your bikes!

get Inspired and goRide –  The Central Otago town of Naseby – a family biking holiday.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

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Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay – Queen Charlotte Track – Riding with Kids

Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay – Queen Charlotte Track – Riding with Kids

When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride at a fantastic destination, like from Anakiwa (the start of the Queen Charlotte Track) with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great adventure’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.

In this story we are riding from Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay (part of the Queen Charlotte Track) with Sam and Hunter  13yrs old boys –  who mountain bike regularly. Hollie 11 year old girl – who mountain bikes occasionally but has a good level of fitness. We choose to bike pack (carry some gear) and stay the night at Mistletoe Bay and return to Anakiwa the following day.
Anakiwa at start of the Queen Charlotte Track – Where is it?

The Queen Charlotte Track is  located in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Anakiwa can be accessed from

  1. Havelock – 21 minutes drive along the scenic but windy Queen Charlotte Drive
  2. Picton – 32 minutes drive along the scenic but windy Queen Charlotte Drive.

The Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay section is a dual use track (open to both walkers and bikers – all year round)

Anakiwa: ( start of the Queen Charlotte Track)

Anakiwa is home to the Cobham Outward Bound School and some permanent residients and holiday homes

           Facilities available at Anakiwa

Parking. There are parking options at the start of the track though the popularity of the track at summer can make parking a little limited at times.

Toilets. Toilet facilities are available at the start of the track as well Davis Bay.

Bike washing – A bike Washing Station is available

Accomodation – Anakiwa Lodge and baches/houses for hire

If you need to hire bikes the closest option is Sea Kayak Adventures – their base is on the corner of Queen Charlotte Drive and Anakiwa Road, just minutes from the start of the Queen Charlotte Track in Anakiwa. Mountain Bikes can also be hired from Wilderness Guides in Picton.

This stunning coastal track is the result of a unique partnership between the Department of Conservation (DOC), Marlborough District Council and private landowners. It is  For more information on biking the complete track see

  • http://www.qctrack.co.nz/on-the-track/bike-the-track/
  • https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/marlborough/places/queen-charlotte-sound-totaranui-area/things-to-do/tracks/queen-charlotte-track/
  • Great NZ Ride App available from Apple or Google Play.

Is it doable?

The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with.

The length of this ride is 12 .5 km one way so 25km return. This is a single track through bush.

The riding surface varies from compacted dirt to tree roots and rocks to negotiate. This is definitely a mountain biking track which can get muddy. There are rocky creek beds to go through and wooden bridges to ride.

The riding terrain – the ride is undulating. However the overall trend is a gradual uphill of approximately 6 km no matter which way you are riding to the lookout and then 6km down again.

Fitness level required. An reasonable good level of fitness is required to bike the undulating and uphill/ downhill nature of the track and for the distance of 12.5km

Type of bike. Mountain bike with gears

Alternative options for day rides  Riding to Davis Bay and return. Riding to the lookout and return. There is also the link pathway that is being developed between Havelock and Picton and including  Anakiwa. Find out more information here

Our Adventure:

Day One

Left Anakiwa 11:30am – Biked to Davis Bay -stopped for a snack and hacky sac game. Biked to the lookout for a late lunch. Enjoyed the downhill from the lookout and arrived at Mistletoe at 2:30pm .

Stayed at Mistletoe Bay in the accommodation facilities. There are options of cabins, cottages and camping. Everyone enjoyed a well earned ice cream followed by a cold but refreshing swim off the jetty. There are a few small walking trails from the bay to enjoy as well as the stunning and peaceful environment.

Day Two

Left Mistletoe Bay 10:30am biked to the lookout for lunch. Down into Davis Bay for another hacky challenge before arriving back at Anakiwa at about 1:30pm. Where we washed our muddy bikes and more food was required ( I had left some additional food supplies in the car). Before heading home with happy slightly quiet kids )from being a little tired)

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Stopping – on the track

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A well deserved rest stop at the lookout to enjoy the view and re-fuel.

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Stopping and getting off the bike to enjoy some discoveries along the way

Feeling Comfortable

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel comfortable. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

Water – I suggest you carry enough water for the whole length of the track. There would be option of a refill at Davis Bay campground (this is a short distance from the track)

goUnders- Kids Padded Bike Underwear

Protection – As this a mountain biking trail it is wise that riders have some protection to minimise the consequences of any falls. – bike gloves, covered arms, covered legs, shoes, good helmets, are some protection options.   Comfort on the seat can be a big factor so consider padded bike underwear – goUnders for Kids, see photo to right.  Worn under their shorts or leggings these ‘undies’ protect soft tissue & prevent chaffing.

Food –  This ride is about 2- 3 hours duration with kids – one way so taking food for the ride is required. Whether that be lunch and/or plenty of snacks.

If doing this as overnight trip as we did you need to consider dinner/ breakfast as well as supplies to get you through the return riding the following day. As space is always tight on the bike I always leave plenty of supplies in the car for a picnic of refueling after completion of the track. There is a shop with supplies at Mistletoe Bay so a simple dinner and breakfast could be pulled together from what they have available.

Being Safe

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.

Maps –  The ride is well signposted and you can’t go wrong follow the trail in front. When you get to Torea Saddle you have to bike down the long driveway into Mistletoe Bay. Which is fun on the way down but don’t remind the kids that if you are returning the same way or contnuing on that they will need to bike up the hill as well.

Carry a basic biking first aid kit in your bag or on your bike.  Have a more comprehensive kit in the car or a refill pack incase serious patch ups are required.  Grazed knees, elbows and irrigation for eyes are the most common minor biking accidents. Cell phone and ideally a personal locator beacon should be carried.

YouAm I safe to Mountain Bike Ride? A checklist to complete that ensures YOU are safe to goRide.
Bike – goRide pre-ride bike safety check – is it safe? A simple checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order.

Having Fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride. There is so much fun to be hard on any adventure.

If the weather allows there is swimming at Davis Bay and Mistletoe Bay (both tidal beaches). We rode in October and decided to take on the challenge of a chilly swim. Though cold…you never regret a swim so there were smiles all around

Ice Creams and drinks are available at the Mistletoe Bay Store. Simple but well loved rewards.

Enjoying the views/ spotting the Ferry/ watching boats and any kayakers or Outward Bound participants.

Mistletoe Bay is an eco village practising sustainability. These facilities are utilised by schools for school camps and educational experiences. Therefore are educational opportunities in walks and in the surrounding environment.

Kayaking is also available in the Bay

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Does it fit?

The facilities available at Mistletoe Bay make this a great adventure by adding in an overnight. Biking and staying somewhere the night can be quite a unique experience.  If enjoying as a day ride – going there and back on the same track provides a good level of flexibility – you can choose the length of ride that will suit you and your family.

Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay (Queen Charlotte Track) with Kids – get Inspired and goRide

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Craters of the Moon – Taupo

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with Kids

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

Women and families learning
Ride more places
Types of Riding
Riding Gear footer