I sincerely appreciated Ben and Cristina's love and passion for NZ. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime, and I would definitely consider a repeat trip. Nathan Wilcox
 

Why do we require an application?

Our application process is in response to two of the most common questions our Riders have prior to booking a trip with us:

1) Am I skilled/fit enough to participate in this Ride?
2) Will the other people on my Ride be skilled/fit enough?

Ensuring that you - and the other Riders on your Ride - are a good fit for the Ride selected is of paramount importance to us. We want to help you pick the Ride that's perfect for you, and ensure that everyone booked on a Ride is on the right Ride for them. That's why we want to know a bit more about you - your mountain biking history, where you ride, how often, etc... - before we take your money.

We review every application and if, based on your responses, we think you're a good fit, we'll approve your application and you'll receive a link to place a deposit. If we think you might not be a good fit (either too skilled or not skilled enough for the Ride you chose), then we'll give you a call to discuss your preferences in greater detail.

Please note: our application process isn't about excluding anyone, or making anyone feel like they're not 'good enough' to participate in one of our Rides. It's about ensuring that you end up on the right Ride for you, with people of similar skill, fitness and riding preferences. In the end this ends up being a much better experience for everyone.

misty mountain hop mountain bike adventure by Sacred Rides, ranked Best Adventure Rides for 2015 by Men's Fitness magazine

Ranked 'Best Adventure Rides for 2015' by Men's Fitness!

 

Kia Ora means ‘be well’ in the Maori language. You won’t find it hard to be well in New Zealand, one of the most spellbinding countries on Earth.

Experience the raw beauty and sheer variety of New Zealand's landscapes on two knobby wheels as your expert guides take you on a journey of epic proportions.

 

Heli drop, boat cruise and shred some of the most thrilling and remarkable slices of singletrack known to Kiwis. Shack up in incredible and unique accommodations, including a cozy hut perched 1200 m in the Victoria Mountain Range, a converted shearer's quarters with picture-perfect views, as well as a magical ocean-side eco-lodge accessible only by water taxi. Ride with the Ghosts along NZ's most epic back country track, and flow through the best rides in the country. Created by die hard Kiwi mountain bikers, this trip is RAD! If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving the Shire and exploring Middle Earth, this is the way to do it!
 

Can't join us for the full 12-day itinerary? Consider joining our 6-day Stairway to Heaven, or our 8-day Over the Hills and Far Away.

 

Check out this beautiful photo journal of our inaugural trip, this  Rider-submitted write-up and video  and this article in the Bangkok  Post.     

 

CLICK HERE to watch actual video footage from one of our Heli-biking trips!

 

Price is inclusive of all applicable NZ taxes.

 

Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Rating System,  to ensure this Ride is ranked at a level you are confident with.
 

IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?

You are an experienced, skilled and fit mountain biker with solid mountain bike handling skills who gets out to ride frequently. You have experience riding in a variety of terrain, and can handle challenging climbs, technical descents, as well as some exposure. You can ride for up to 5 hours over several days. You live for adventure, and the bigger the better!

  • MTB SKILL RATING

    Strong Intermediate 6/9

    SKILL LEVEL 6 - STRONG INTERMEDIATE

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain.

    You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and blue trails.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    SKILL LEVEL 6 - STRONG INTERMEDIATE

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain.

    You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and blue trails.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System
  • Price CAD | USD | EUR

    $4,495 USDABOUT CURRENCIES

    About Currencies

    The default currency of the Ride, as displayed, is the same as the currency that we pay our local guides and suppliers in. This helps mitigate our risk of currency fluctuation. However, although the price of the Ride is set in this currency, our payment processing system processes in Canadian dollars (we're a Canadian company, eh).

  • FITNESS RATING

    7/9

    FITNESS LEVEL 7

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time.

    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.

    • You exercise on average 6 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    FITNESS LEVEL 7

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time.

    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.

    • You exercise on average 6 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System
  • DEPOSIT CAD | USD | EUR

    $899 USDLIFETIME DEPOSITS

    Our Lifetime Deposit policy protects you from unexpected events that may cause your trip to be cancelled or delayed.

    If you need to cancel for any reason, your initial deposit is good forever and will remain on file with us until you’re ready to use it. You can even pass it on to a friend.

  • RIDE TYPE

    Singletrack

    RIDE TYPES

    • SINGLETRACK:for experienced mountain bikers
    • EXPLORER:for beginner mountain bikers
    • BRING-YOUR-PARTNER:for experienced mountain bikers and their non-MTB-ing partners
    • WOMEN'S:skills camps and Rides for women only
  • DURATION

    12 days
  • DATES

    November-AprilSEE ALL DATES
  • CULTURE LEVEL

    Familiar

    Level Familiar

    • On our Familiar trips, Riders from Western countries/cultures will generally experience familiar languages and cultures, and experiences that are generally familiar.
    • While the riding and activities themselves may be quite adventurous and/or challenge you, you'll still find the overall environment quite familiar if you come from a 'developed' country.
    • If you're looking for something a little more exotic, check out our 'Adventurous' and 'Out There' Rides.

    Level Familiar

    • On our Familiar trips, Riders from Western countries/cultures will generally experience familiar languages and cultures, and experiences that are generally familiar.
    • While the riding and activities themselves may be quite adventurous and/or challenge you, you'll still find the overall environment quite familiar if you come from a 'developed' country.
    • If you're looking for something a little more exotic, check out our 'Adventurous' and 'Out There' Rides.

WHY RIDE WITH US?

  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Guaranteed Departures
  • Lifetime Deposits
  • Risk-Free Booking Window
  • Travel Concierge

Check out our Peace of Mind Policies

Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, adventure travel can be unpredictable and may result in necessary or desirable alterations to the trails we ride, accommodation we stay in and destinations we visit. 

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN BLENHEIM, MEET AND GREET

Kia Ora!  Welcome to New Zealand Mates!

 

You’ll be arriving into one of NZ’s sunniest, wine loving towns, home to beautiful sauvignons blancs, and sun drenched valleys of the Marlborough Region.

 

We’ll be offering airport pick-up at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. from the Blenheim Airport.

 

After settling into your room, we encourage you to unpack and rest up for the adventure ahead.

 

This afternoon, we’ll be assisting with bike assembly outside the main lobby of The Blenheim Palms Motel.

 

If bike assembly is smooth sailing and time permits, we'll head out for a mini ride through the vineyards and stop in for a tasting!

 

Tonight, we'll get together for a group dinner and go over the epic adventure ahead!

 

DAY 2: QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK AND EXPLORING MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS

Good Morning mates!

 

We’ll start this trip of a lifetime off by heading north to the head of The Marlborough Sounds.

 

After driving through vineyards and lush countryside, we’ll gear up to ride The Queen Charlotte Track.

 

The Queen Charlotte Track will take us through beautiful native New Zealand fern forests, past stunning green bays and golden sandy beaches.

 

We’ll ride our way into a remote artistic lodge placed right in the heart of The Marlborough Sounds where we'll spend the night. 

 

DAY 3: SCENIC BOAT RIDE, CANAAN DOWNS AND RAMEKA TRACK

Rising to the sounds of Bell birds and the smell of the ocean, we’ll embark on a chartered boat ride through the sunken river valleys of the stunning Marlborough Sounds.

 

Once back at the van, we'll drive to Nelson and Motueka in the scenic Tasman Bay.

 

From here we’ll make our way over to the start of Golden Bay.  We’ll gear up for an all-time favorite - the epic Rameka Track.

 

We’ll warm up with a loop on the super fun Canaan Downs Track.

 

The Rameka Track winds through beautiful native bush before heading down through open pasture land to pine forests before hitting native forest again. You’ll be begging for more! This track has been known to render riders “speechless”.

 

We’ll ride into the hippie town of Takaka, where any worries are said to be washed away!

 

DAY 4: COPPERMINE SADDLE and DUNN MOUNTAIN

Rising early to the smell of fresh flat white coffees, we’ll make our way over to Nelson, where we'll be embarking on one of Nelson’s most classic mountain bike tracks.

 

Here we’ll gear up and take on the local’s Coppermine Saddle Track.   A grunt of a 1000 m climb, starting in pine trees, riding through native bush and then rising into the dry alpine with views across the Tasman Bay, this ride is a real goodie!

 

The sweat and tears are all worth it for the flowy, red rock downhill on the Fern Gully Track!

 

We'll hop in the river for a swim to cool off, then ride back into Nelson Township for a cold craft brew in one of our favorite apres ride hang outs. 

 

DAY 5: REST DAY IN NELSON

Today, we get a well-deserved rest day in the funky town of Nelson, as it has lots to offer off the saddle.  

 

Nelson is well known for its mountain biking as well as its art scene and local produce; it won’t disappoint.  This is a gem of a town and one of the sunniest in NZ (and the craft brew capital of the South Island, might we add); it has a European feel with loads of cool cafés and pubs.  Take a ferry over to the stunning Able Tasman National Park, go for a ride or savor the awesome local restaurants and cafés. The Saturday morning markets make for a great start to your day!

 

DAY 6: Old Ghost Road Ride and Heli-bike to Kirwans Track

After an early start, we’ll head west to the ghost town of Lyell and get ready for a good climb up part of the Old Ghost Road.

 

Here, we’re heading into New Zealand’s newest and epic backcountry singletracks ever made.  We'll ride up a well graded incline of awesome singletrack, through magical forests and alpine ridge lines of the wild west coast.  The Old Ghost Road is NZ’s longest singletrack, comprising of an impressive rugged 87 kms in total. Today, we’ll ride and enjoy a stunning part of it!

 

This afternoon, we'll head over to the real wild west of New Zealand, and gear up to fly high in a helicopter!  We'll strap the bikes up and set off in style to the top of The Victoria Range to a sweet hut perched in pure beauty overlooking endless ridgelines of west coast wilderness at its finest!

 

We’ll be on top of the world mates!

 

Please Note:  Weather and/or riding abilities may dictate the heli-bike to be changed to the Croesus Track. Heavy rain does not allow us to chopper up here.

 

Please Note: The Heli-biking experience requires all bikes to be strapped securely to a rope that hangs under the chopper in flight. Although the bikes are packed with care, it is likely for the bikes to shift during air transport creating scratches on the bikes paint. If you are concerned with your bike getting scratched, you have the option of wrapping your bike in a foam pad which we will supply, and you will then be responsible for riding out with the foam pad in your backpack. Renting a bike through the Add-Ons tab is also an option. Sacred Rides is not responsible for scratches on bikes.

 

CLICK HERE to watch actual video footage from one of our Heli-biking trips!

 

Day 7: Kirwans Track epic adventure descent!

Rising to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and great views, we’ll test our brakes out for our awesome mission ahead!

 

We’ll be enjoying a 1100 m descent down the premier Kirwans Track. We’ll flow through stunning Beach tree and Fern Gully forests on this epic technical descent!

 

After our ride, we’ll hop in the shuttle and drive down the Grey Valley heading inland, up and over the Southern Alps to the Craigieburn Forest.

 

DAY 8: CRAIGIEBURN, THE EDGE, THE LUGE, DRACOPHYLLUM and HOGSBACK

Rising to the high dry mountains, we’ll get back in the saddle for some epic riding in Craigieburn Forest.

 

Tackling an uphill gravel road to the bottom of Craigieburn Ski Field, we'll take a short rest before heading down the well-named Edge trail which leads on to a track called “The Luge”.  After the Luge, a short uphill is followed by the new Dracophyllum and  Hogsback Track.  This is New Zealand’s singletrack at its best mates… a real hoot - sweet singletrack all the way!

 

We’ll rest our muscles as we drive to the high dry McKenzie Country to the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, also home to the clearest skies in the world! 

 

DAY 9: LAKE TEKAPO and THE HOBBIT

Waking to the beauty and stunning landscapes of the Mackenzie Country, we've got an inspiring singletrack ride to warm up with, which flows through native Tussocks along with incredible views of the turquoise tainted Lake Tekapo.

 

We'll then move onto our secret gem of a ride which flows through the best alpine views the South Island has to offer.  Imagine riding through high peaks, sheep and  flowers on a super fun cross country ride, ending with a cold beer (or two)!  

 

We'll ride to our unique accommodation tonight - we'll be staying in a converted shearer's quarters with views to die for.  It doesn't get more Kiwi than this mates!

 

DAY 10: LAKE WANAKA RIDES

After leaving this breathtaking place, we’ll head down to Central Otago, home to semi desert like landscapes, great Pinot Noirs and amazing riding.

 

We'll enjoy another postcard drive as we head over the Lindis Pass, and on to the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka.  Here, we’ll spend the afternoon riding some amazing, fast, flowing singletrack made by the keen local mountain bike community. We’ll ride Dean’s Bank, a flowy and fun local ride.  

 

After the ride and a cold brew, we'll make our way up to the Cardona Valley and over to the adventure tourism capital of the world known as Queenstown! 

 

DAY 11: SKIPPERS CANYON, RUDE ROCK and ZOOT TRACK

Our ride of choice around these parts starts up on Coronet Peak, offering specatulcar views over the Wakatipu Basin.  We'll enjoy a few laps on the epic downhill track known as Rude Rock, before flowing onto the Skippers Canyon Pack Track.  We'll shred down into the remote Skippers Canyon, before climbing out onto the classic Zoot Track.

 

After smiling from ear to ear from these incredible trails, we'll enjoy some free time in the afternoon for whatever adrenaline activities that catch your eye (there are heaps in Queestown).  

 

We'll have our final farewell dinner and drinks tonight!

 

DAY 12: QUEENSTOWN GOODBYES

Our last morning of the trip, we’ll enjoy one final breakfast.    High five your new riding pals and say your goodbyes until next time. Sob, weep, waaaaa!

 

Your guides will be doing drop offs at the Queenstown Airport at 10:00 a.m. or at your hotel of choice in Queenstown by 11:00 a.m.  If staying a few extra days, we recommend staying at the Crowne Plaza. 

  • 11 nights accommodation in unique, charming local accommodations
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 2 amazing and experienced guides
  • Scenic heli-biking flight to the top of the Victoria mountain range
  • Stunning boat cruise through the Marlborough sounds
  • All transportation, including airport pickup
  • All the epic mountain biking you can handle
  • Cooler full of ice-cold brews and beverages at the end of each day's ride!

Below you will find a comprehensive list of information about this Ride and destination, including Frequently Asked Questions by site visitors and our Riders at the bottom. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for below, click the ‘Ask a Question’ button below.

We’ve Got You Covered +

GETTING THERE AND BACK +

Getting The Most Out of Your Trip +

BIKE AND GEAR INFO AND PACKING LIST +

Destination information +

Important Stuff +

Other Stuff +

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS+

Name Bio My 'Sacred Ride'

Cristina Simpkins
Born and raised in Eastern Canada in Montreal, Quebec- I grew up with a close connection to Nature and It's beauty, through the help of my beloved Father who was a professional landscape en plen air artist. This drew me to develop a keen...[more] I had to think long and hard about this question..... Almost every ride in New Zealand is Epic! Riding in the majestic landscapes of Mt Cook, alongside the " Baaaaaahhhhing"...[more]

Benjamin Laffan
I'm a Kiwi who loves to travel the world, always with my mountain bike.. I have been a adventure guide for the last 15 years in New Zealand and Canada and are looking forward to take you on your next awesome adventure... I believe the Misty...[more] Kirwan's Track in the Victoria Range of the Southern Alps is my favourite ride...It has it all, History, Epic climb, a sweet hut on top, Views for ever, Native grassland on top and...[more]
  • New Zealand mountain bike tours with Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures
Below you will find some of the videos for this Ride. Please keep in mind that some of these videos may have been recorded by our guides and the speeds they are riding at aren't necessarily indicative of the speeds you'll be riding at!
Epic New Zealand (by Steve Holl)
The Old Ghost Road - NZ's longest (and most epic) slice of singletrack
New Zealand with Sacred Rides
Sacred Rides New Zealand 2015
Follow Me - Stevie Smith and Gee Atherton
New Zealand - Yeti Cycles
Always Summer Somewhere. Nelson to Queenstown
Rude Rock aerial footage
Castle Hill Basin, New Zealand

Please note that the following data represents a typical itinerary, and unfortunately there is no such thing as a typical itinerary. Weather issues, road closures, changes to the itinerary to accommodate requests, and other issues may affect the itinerary, so the data below represents an 'average' itinerary, and may differ when you actually show up to ride your bike! Our guides make every effort to stick to the itinerary as posted, though :)

Day Hours of Riding Distance ridden Elevation gained Elevation lost Highest elevation
1 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m m
2 4 hours 40 km 840 m 840 m 450 m
3 4 hours 34 km 300 m 1000 m 1000 m
4 5 hours 40 km 1000 m 1000 m 1000 m
5 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m m
6 3 hours 15 km 350 m 350 m 1300 m
7 3.5 hours 17 km 100 m 1000 m 1300 m
8 5 hours 32 km 1200 m 1200 m 800 m
9 5 hours 35 km 300 m 400 m 1100 m
10 3.5 hours 40 km 400 m 400 m 400 m
11 3 hours 35 km 350 m 850 m 1300 m
12 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m m
Totals 36 hours 288 km 4840 m 7040 m 1300 m
RIDE ADD-ONS
Ride enhancements (MTB rentals, single rooms, etc...)
ADD-ON PRICE
Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental$840.00 USD
Single Room Supplement$780.00 USD
1-hour post-ride massage$170.00 USD
Sleeping bag rental$35.00 USD
Other
ADD-ON PRICE
Donation to Bikes Without Borders$20.00 CAD
2017
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, March 4, 2017 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,495.00 899.00 USD Book Now! Sold Out
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, April 1, 2017 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,495.00 899.00 USD Book Now! Sold Out
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, December 23, 2017 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,595.00 919.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
2018
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, January 20, 2018 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,595.00 919.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, February 10, 2018 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,595.00 919.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Blenheim Airport (BHE), 10 am Saturday, March 31, 2018 Queenstown Airport, 10 am 4,595.00 919.00 USD Book Now! Guaranteed
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-OUTSIDE MAGAZINE 2014