NZ week 2 Marlborbough Sound & Nelson

P1180421 Queen Charlotte Track and the tracks around Nelson
After driving up to Picton on a wet miserable Sunday we restocked with food Monday morning in Picton.
We then headed out towards the Queen Charlotte Track and the Marlborough Sound.
Monday Afternoon we booked in at Mistletoe Bay camping area for 2 nights and headed out for a ride to the end Southern End of the Queen Charlotte Track It was an easy ride about 13 km to Anakiwa and back.
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The view down on Mistletoe Bay and a Weka in the bush beside the track.

Tuesday we headed the other way and rode about 18 or 19km (or I should say pushed and walked and rode)
The up-hills were a little too steep and consistent to ride in a lot of places. We did 18km in about 6 1/2 hour.
The views were great and the riding was good fun, the pushing was okay and worth it for the positives.

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A typical view of the track and Annette on the top of the saddle with the two sounds on either side.

Our turn around point with Picton in the Background

Wednesday we drove to Nelson and Rode at the Hira Forest in the afternoon.
We rode to the top of the trail of the long and rode Slingshot, Wiggles, Waggles and back to the car.
at the top, with Trig in background, ready to ride down Slingshot

Thursday we headed out to do the Dun Mountain Loop, also known as Coppermine. This followed the route of the first railway in New Zealand in 1862. A horse drawn railway up to a Proposed Coppermine high above Nelson. Then down the other side to the Matai River on a purpose built mountain bike track. The actual track up was partially closed due to logging so we had to climb a slightly steeper road 800m up over nearly 10km. Then through a round bush path called "Black Diamond Ridge" which was about 60% pushing and maybe 40% rough riding to meet the "Dun Mountain Trail". A few more km to the Coppermine Saddle and then a fantastic ride down the MTB track.

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Riding up Fringed Hill with Nelson in background. The start of Black Diamond Ridge.

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An easier section of Black Diamond ridge track. At the top of Coppermine Ridge. The bare mountain and the track down was a very rocky but well formed trail.

We had met a group of Kiwi's on the Dun Mountain Track and they had organised a Shuttle for Friday to do the Rameka Track down to Takaka. It was rainy and windy when we set off from the main road along Canaan Road for the 11km to the start of the track down

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The start of the Rameka Track all clean. The old growth forest with roots and rocks water crossings.
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Then a view down the long descent to Takaka. At the bottom a section of new track, out bike now filthy.

In the afternoon we stopped at Kaiteriteri MTB Park for a ride. There were some great tracks.
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climbing up the switchback after switchback that is the corkscrew track.

P1180479 And then the start of the new Jaws Descent!

The tracks were so good at Kaiteriteri that we stayed there Friday night and rode there again Saturday.
We did the climb up Ziggys then Corkscrew with its dozens of well formed (and perfectly banked) switchbacks to the lookout over the Abel Tasman National Park. Jaws had only been open a few weeks and it was an exciting and well formed track. Great Fun so we climbed again for a second run. We were advised by a few separate riders that Skull Duggery was probably too tight for a tandem but we decided that it was best to see for ourselves and apart from one looping switchback it was all fine, quite narrow but easily negotiated. It was nearly 4pm when we finally stopped for lunch so a second ride didn't happen. We drove back to Nelson of the night.

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The view from the top of Corkscrew. About to start on the "old school" Skull Duggery"

Sunday we were back in Nelson and headed up from the Matai River Camp to "Codgers" where we rode primarily 2 recommended trails: Firball from the top down to Brook Street and then back up to do Turners (which was steep and pretty much at our limit) and back to Camp. After a long lunch we did Hira Forest again from the top of Wiggles, Waggles, Waterloo and to the bottom of Willow Lane.
P1180498 The view from the top of "Codgers" and the start of "Firball" with Nelson in the background.