The Heaphy is open! - 1st May 2011

The Heaphy is open! The Heaphy Track is a unique and remote,multi-day, mountain bike ride that has no equal in New Zealand. 80 km of single-track starting in Golden Bay and traversing to the West Coast through diverse landscape and vegetation.
After being closed to mountain biking for 15 years the Heaphy Track is now open to mountain bikers from May 1st to September 30th each year (on trial) for the next three years.

Originally it was one of the routes used by Golden Bay Maori to travel to the West Coast where they collected pounamu. A century or two later in the mid 1800's gold prospectors built the current pack-track. After the gold rush the Heaphy became overgrown and seldom used until the North West Nelson Forest Park was formed in 1965. 

By the 80's and 90's the track had become a must-do mountain bike adventure. Around 2000 cyclists are estimated to have ridden it in the last year prior to its closure in 1996 - when the Forest Park became Kahurangi National Park. Legislation precluded bikes on the Heaphy and a lengthy campaign began to regain access. 15 long years later in 2011, a three year trial will commence allowing mountain biking on the Heaphy each winter.
Read more about it here in Ground Effect's very informative newsletter.

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