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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

The Old Ghost Road

New Zealand Cycle Trail

West Coast, South Island

Planning on riding the Old Ghost Road? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip. 

The Old Ghost Road is an iconic 80 kms cycle trail follows a historic gold miner’s route that connects the old dray road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) to the mighty Mokihinui River, north of Westport.

The trail is named after the spirits of the old miners and track builders that seem to loom over the route as it passes through seven ghost towns.

The first 17.5km of The Old Ghost Road, from the Department of Conservation (DoC) campground at Lyell to the Lyell Saddle, is rideable. Mountain bikers and trampers will now find a well benched trail winding in and out of valleys at a four percent gradient past ghost towns, small mountain streams and through the giant beech forests of the Lyell valley. A new 12-bunk hut at the Lyell Saddle will be opened for public use in 2013. At 35km return – the second half of which is entirely downhill - this provides an excellent taste of what is to come.

A new section of The Old Ghost Road has just opened(3rd and 2nd February). This section of the iconic trail starts at the picturesque Lyell Historic Reserve (110 metres above sea level) in the Upper Buller Gorge (SH6 between Murchison and Inangahua) and ascends to the Lyell Saddle (recently built home to new hut accommodation purpose-built for trail users) and then on up to lofty heights of the Lyell Range at just under 1300 metres above sea level. The section of trail being opened terminates at Mt Montgomery..

Ultimately The Old Ghost Road will form a 160km circuit encompassing two mountain ranges, three river systems, and seven ghost towns, connecting the Mokihinui to the Lyell via Seddonville, through Charming Creek, the Stockton and Denniston plateaus and the Mackley Road.

Accommodation is in the DoC campground in Lyell or several back country huts along the way (all yet to be built except for the completed Lyell Saddle Hut).

This is serious back-country outing that will provide an iconic outdoor experience. Be prepared for any weather or circumstance on this trail.


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