6 Jun 2013

Mountain bikers hope for permanent Heaphy Track access

10:23 am on 6 June 2013

The right of mountain bikers to ride one of the country's great walkways is under scrutiny.

A trial allowing cyclists winter access to the Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park at the north-west tip of the South Island is coming to an end.

The 78km tramping track in the top of the South Island was opened up to mountain bikers in May 2011, creating a two to three day ride for advanced mountain bikers of Grade 4 to expert standard.

So far, more than 4500 cyclists have made of use of the track each winter, when the track is at its quietest.

The majority of moutain bikers and trampers agree the trial has been a success, and hope the Department of Conservation will give cyclists permanent access.

At the end of September, DOC will compile a report on the three year trial which will be sent to the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board for analysis.