Mountain biking in Reefton, New Zealand
Reefton mountain biking
The best wilderness riding in history!
From Reefton, hand crafted pack tracks, dray roads and tram lines thread the luxurious beech forest into the Goldfields of Quartzopolis. This riding is the best wilderness riding you’ll find in history. Pick your preference for challenge and adventure and you will be rewarded. You may try an easy ride around town, or set your sights on a destination into the wilderness of the Victoria Forest Park. There is a selection of trails from grade 2 (beginner) to Grade 5 (advanced). The tracks may include one or all of the following: smooth single track, swing bridges, mud!, gravel roads, rock!, beautiful moss and ferns, logs! boardwalks and back country huts.
“The Reefton area has some of the most valuable historic relics a mountain biker could hope for – benched, perfect gradient single tracks through beech forest” – Ruth Connor, The Mad Keen Mountain Biker’s Road Trip
Mountain Bike Tracks
You can go mountain biking in four different areas around Reefton:
- Blacks Point/Murray Creek Tracks – Short, sweet rides 1-5hrs long
- Kirwans and Waitahu Valley Tracks – Includes rides from 2hrs-fullday/overnight
- Big River/Waiuta Tracks – Full day adventure riding
- Local Reefton Tracks – 30 min-2hr rides near town
Reefton’s Quartzopolis Mountain Bike Challenge – 4th March 2017
Quartzopolis Classic – Murray Creek Race & Kirwans Heli-Bike
Quartzopolis Challenge Mountain Bike Race – Trails flowing through these historic goldfields are used in the annual mountain bike race from Reefton to Waiuta.
Quartzopolis dirt brevet – If you want a real full on, wilderness, mountain bike experience check out this multi-day (or one very long day) epic through the Goldfields of Quartzopolis
While you ride and explore the trails you will discover mines where the quartz was uncovered and large machinery and structures used for the extraction of gold. Explore and discover the Kirwans Reward Mine and aerial ropeway, the Lord Brassey Stamper Battery, the Energetic Mine site and the 600m deep Big River Mineshaft and Poppet Head, along with numerous other relics along the way.
Plan and prepare
Some of the tracks around Reefton take you into some very remote places. Go prepared with a first aid kit, bike repair kit, and backcountry clothing and equipment. Take care crossing the river near Big River Hut after heavy rain. Remember to follow the Mountain Bikers’ Code when riding any of these trails
Terrain and Grading
You may try an easy ride around town, or set your sites on a destination into the wilderness. Either way you set the standard. There are grade 2 (beginner) tracks to Grade 5 (advanced). See Mountain Bike Grading. The tracks may include one or all of the following: smooth single track, suspension bridges, swing bridges, mud!, gravel roads, rock!, beautiful moss and ferns, logs! boardwalks and back country huts.
See an overview of Reefton mountain biking in the NZ Moutain Biker Magazine article:
The Quartzopolis Goldfields Journey dirt-brevet-epic:
For very keen adventure riders, this journey links up all of the Reefton mountain biking areas together in one very long ride. There are four DOC huts along the way or you can avoid carrying any overnight gear and stay in Reefton township at the half way point.
Starting in Reefton ride along the main road towards Greymouth then turn off up to the historic town of Waiuta. Explore the amazing recent history here, then follow the single track to Big River Hut and mine site. The Big River 4WD track will lead you back to Reefton.
Have a breather (or overnight stay) then make your way to Blacks Point. Choose the Murray Creek Track then link this up to the “Devil’s Tail”. Turn up Valley at the Clematis Swing Bridge and follow the rough 4WD track up the Waitahu Valley up to Montgomerie Hut. The next section of track up to Kirwans Hut takes you past the impressive Lord Brassey Stamper Battery. You will appreciate the excuse to stop and explore the gold mining history along the way.
Saving the best for last, the final leg of the mountain bike Quartzopolis Goldfields Journey is the flowing downhill of Kirwans Track. It is about 20km riding back along the main road to Reefton. Whew!
Download the 2012 Reefton Mountain Bike Guide here
Quartzopolis Challenge mountain bike adventure race
The best ride in history.
The 2012 Quartzopolis Challenge was held in fine conditions which resulted in a dry track and some fast times. Check out some of the pictures snapped at the top of the saddle below.
Reefton – Big River Mine – Waiuta Historic Township. 35km – 60% historic road, 40% pack track.
The inaugural Quartzopolis Classic Mountain Bike race was held in 2011. The race was organised by The Department of Conservation, the Westland Mountain bike Club and the Reefton Community and Around 100 competitors turned up
These photos were taken in the 2011 Quartzopolis Classic Race: