IntroductionThis backcountry ride traverses through a variety of landscapes and terrains following a historic pack track.
The access road into the Mount Arthur area (Graham Valley Road) is steep and narrow and prone to corrugations and slips – check any alerts for road status. During the winter months a 4WD vehicle is recommended to access Flora carpark. Chains may be needed if snow and ice are present
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
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
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
Distance: 8.5 km
This section is a former stock route/bridle path.
Barron Flat to Cobb Valley Road
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.
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 Ngātīmoti 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. 4WD is recommended at all times of the year.
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.
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.