11 years ago I rode the Central Otago Rail Trail. At that stage it was 2 years old, and I met only foreign tourists. The Trail helped them fall in love with our landscape, its history and our people. In subsequent years Aucklanders heard about the Trail, and have contributed to its spectacular success in delivering many millions of $ annually to boost the local economy.
These Aucklanders often contacted Cycle Action on their return to our city, having rediscovered the joys and freedom of cycling. While I don’t have the stats to prove it (yet), I believe they are part of the renaissance of cycling for transport and everyday trips being recorded in many parts of Auckland.
This summer’s gorgeous cycling weather has encouraged me to take friends to ride 3 amazing new cycle routes. In each case I have been guided by The Kennett Bros’ delightful and authoritative cycle touring book. We have explored :
- ‘The Missing Link’ between Dargaville to Poutu. It’s part of the Kauri Coast Trail which will soon be part of the National Cycle Trail (NCT). Lots to see and do!
- ‘The Old Coach Road’, part of the NCT which takes you from Ohakune to Smash Palace at Horopito. Not to be missed!
- ‘Mountains to the Sea’, also part of the NCT linking Ohakune to Whanganui via the Bridge to Nowhere and the Whanganui River. Days of wonderful cycling, landscapes and history.
Next weekend I’m off riding the Timber Trail from Pureora to Ongarue, a new route.
Before Easter I will make time to blog about each of these trips, as they are every bit as good as the Central Otago Rail Trail. They’re a bit more challenging – but I did them easily, and I’m not known for my fitness (apart from that of my tongue). I’ll tell you about memorable restored country hotels and other accomodation we enjoyed (including Mellonsfolly Old West Town), cafes, landscapes, history, stories and people we met along the way.
In the meantime, block out Easter to try one of these Cycle Trails. It will keep you going on a high thru’ winter and give you stories to tell your friends for weeks to come. And it will show that Aucklanders are not just café cyclists who can only do day trips!