I’m generally a little cynical when someone says they’ve done “the best ride ever”. Often these comments are best taken with a pinch of salt, at least until you’re able to get to experience the trail yourself. So, with the gauntlet laid down we headed to the Moerangi track in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s like a step back into Jurassic Park – giant old growth trees pushing through the canopy to hold the sky up, huge ferns line the trail and millions of tiny ferns litter the rest of the forest floor, scattering their arms open invitingly. And this goes on for miles, and miles and miles, further than the eye can see. Even across the gorges and chasms, is more of the same Jurassic park goodness.
Within the forest itself, it feels as though you’ve gone back into a couple of thousand years, riding through thousands of years of native natural bush, you almost feel this is the sort of place the last few remaining dinosaurs could be hiding out undisturbed. The utter silence when you stop is eerie, yet beautiful - you literally hear nothing but occasional bird song and animals rummaging around on the forest floor. It just makes you realise how far from the worries of real world life this place is.
The trail itself is most beautifully constructed; originally cut in by deer hunters, the trail has a fantastic flow that encourages you to keep on pushing your speed. Being an ancient beech forest, the trails are leaf littered and loamy, giving an untouched feeling to the area, in fact we didn’t see a single other soul in the 50Kms we rode. Following the hillside, flowing like a river we came to a few corners that sharpened up significantly exposing fantastic views across a gorge with a tiny river below. The descent down from the saddle is reminiscent only of a forest bobsleigh run –ripping down old bench cut single-track dodging trees and drifting into the natural berms, it seems a shame to miss out on the beauty around you but this section is just to fun not to hammer down.
I’ve got to say I was blown away by the place, the Moerangi track is 50% about the riding, and 50% about the magical wonderland you’ve found yourself in, but has to be said 100% worth doing!