Introduction

This backcountry ride traverses through a variety of landscapes and terrains following a historic pack track.

Track overview

Mountain biking

1 day Intermediate: Grade 3

Seasonal restrictions

4WD is recommended on the narrow and steep access road into the Mount Arthur area (Graham Valley Road):

  • after heavy rain as the road is prone to slips
  • in winter due to ice and/or snow.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

Ditte van der Meulen riding the Flora Track. Photo: Dave Mitchell.
Ditte van der Meulen riding the Flora Track

This mountain bike ride traverses through a variety of landscapes and terrains. It follows a historic pack track connecting the Flora carpark (Graham Valley Road end, Motueka River valley) with Barron Flat (Upper Takaka, Golden Bay).

The full trip offers a challenging ride for intermediate riders with a mixture of technical, single track and cross country riding experiences.

The track is mostly downhill if you start at the Flora Saddle end, and is best ridden when dry.

Flora Carpark to Upper Junction

Grade: 2/Easy
Distance: 8.7 km

This is an easy ride on a well formed, wide 4WD track. It's suitable for families and less experienced riders. Although muddy in some sections, it is generally either gravelled or a hard surface.

Upper Junction to Grecian Stream

Grade: 3-4/Intermediate-Advanced
Distance:
6.2 km

This section is more suited to intermediate and advanced riders. It is technically challenging, on rough, remote terrain, and you may need to walk or carry your bike at various points. From Upper Junction to Lower Junction the ride starts as a benched walking track, then changes to a narrow single track from Lower Junction to Grecian Stream. Be prepared for wet, boggy, erosion-prone stream crossings and scree slopes along the track.

Grecian Stream to Barron Flat

Grade: 4/Advanced
Distance: 8.5 km

This section is a former stock route/bridle path.

Barron Flat to Cobb Valley Road

Grade: 3/Intermediate
Distance:
13.4 km

This section of the track isn't in Kahurangi National Park. It's a 4WD track on various different pieces of land, including conservation land, private land and formed legal road. An easement agreement across the private land provides access for mountain bikes to Cobb Valley Road.

Track signs and other markers clearly identify where mountain bikes can be ridden and where they aren't allowed. Towards the Barron Flat end there are several side roads, access driveways and tracks leading off the main route out of the national park and off the legal road across private land. Stay on the marked route and respect the various land tenures, particularly private land.

Getting there

Flora car park is 75 km from Nelson and 36 km from Motueka.

The Motueka Valley Highway links Nelson and Motueka. Turn off this road at Ngatimoti and cross the Motueka River. Turn left onto Motueka River West Bank Road, then right into Graham Valley Road, which climbs steeply to the car park. The last 5.8 km is unsealed and turning a vehicle on the road can be difficult. In summer the road can become rough; in winter a 4WD is recommended as there can be ice and snow.

Car parking

At the Barron Flat end, park your car at the end of the legal road off Cobb Valley Road adjacent to the Waitui Stream, approximately 200 m from the junction of the Waitui and Cobb Valley Road junction. There is clear on-site signage indicating vehicle parking areas.

Know before you go

You can ride mountain bikes on this track:

  • all year round
  • in both directions
  • in a group, provided there is no more than six riders in the group
  • during the day only (from ½ an hour before sunrise to ½ an hour after sunset), to protect two threatened nocturnal species found on parts of the track: the Powelliphanta snail and roa (great spotted kiwi).

This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.

You are not permitted to take a mountain bike:

  • into and out of the national park by helicopter
  • into any huts or shelters
  • off the formed and designated route.

Electric bikes are not alllowed on the track. 

Contacts

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Full office details
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