Tuesday, March 04, 2008

kaiteriteri trails

(family holiday road trip, took the bike). Marahau. rode the Kaiteriteri trails, in the forest behind kaiteriteri. small business owned by a nice couple who are based in Marahau, (Marahau Abel Tasman Beach Camp Offices), charge $3 for concession and $3 for a map. not many trails in there, lots of 4wd/gravel road mainly, with firebreaks (steep washed out clay (interesting technically)). i noticed and explored a few wee trails that werent on their maps and talked to them about it later, they said lots of those end up down on private land. i reckon the scope of this area is huge, but then, just about everywhere i've driven in the last couple weeks has shown me untapped areas of potential. the best i reckon is taller pine or fir forest that has been thinned and had the lower limbs removed, leaving wide open spaces of pine needled forest floor with a few loggy bits around... that, or stuff thats been logged, and just planted. get in and dig your trails on that land amongst the seedlings, before all the gorse and broom takes off again, and then the trails are there to keep open while the forest grows around them. there's soooo much scope for example up the back of Anakiwa, just at the start of the linkwater-portage road, there's whole hillsides that are stripped bare and just newly planted. the opportunity for mtnbike based tourism (especially around there cos of the QC bikers) is rife.

anyway. rode from Marahau, along road towards Kaiteriteri, climbed, then hit the forest tracks. climbed a bit, explored a side track a little, then back up it, then climbed more and bombed down "Big Mama's Kitchen", lots of interesting jumps, rugged wash-out fire break style riding, fun descent but all too short. climbed the gravel road again and down "Mama's Kitchen" again... here's switchy next to one of the jumps on Mama's Kitchen...
then back up the road, exploring another potential singletrack a wee ways til it got too overgrown, then back up that. got divebombed by a Kingfisher, then back up the gravel road, past the "kitchen" and on up and up and up along the tops, much further than i'd thought, but not bad, and lotsa views down over kaiteri and out towards the Mot estuary.

then down the Rock Face... what a track. this thing starts out fire break, gets steeper and steeper and steeper til near vertical, washed out massive bike and person eating holes that were not navigable,
(pic looking down Rockface, out over Kaiteriteri...)
steps cut into the sides for walking down cos it was so steep, then eventually it gentled out enough to ride. down and down and down. one or two little ups, ducking overhanging gorse left right and centre, a few well marked choices/forks in the trail, and finally this beautiful tight twisty little singletrack that ducked into regen forest and burned it up down eventually to the Kaiteri-Riwaka road... one hill to climb and then fast road descent into Kaiteri. got there, into my togs, bike on beach, and swam the sweat and gorse inflicted blood away... T, O, H and Jo came met me and we swam and had a family day on the beach.

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