New Zealand - Off The Beaten Track

In a sport where we seem speed obsessed, testing ourselves against the clock and looking for ways to shave a second off our time, sometimes it pays to slow down. Where riders are always told to look ahead, and keep your eyes in the direction you want to go, stop and look up. It’s not until you take a second that you realise the magic and beauty of these places you’re in!

As a mountain bike guide, I get to spend a lot of time on the bike which is a real privilege. However with bike time comes a certain sense of tunnel vision and single mindedness about the trails you’re riding and the next one you’ve got lined up. With these trail blinkers, we really don’t come to appreciate the world around us, and the magical locations we find ourselves in. And for this reason, on tours I really appreciate taking the time to go for a short adventure after the days riding with the group. Take a little time to relax and visit some amazing local sights and sounds. Here’s a little of what we’ve been doing “after work” recently.

Take a second to look up that river you're crossing. An array of jungle lurks around every corner in the North Island of New Zealand, although luckily without the dangerous wildlife.

If you can drag yourself out of bed on holiday, there's no shortage of views. As the birds start to sing, and the sky turns black to blue, a mist rolls through the lakes and the mountains. Gone by 8am, this is one for the early birds!

Beach walks are a classic! As a small island, New Zealand convineintly has a lot of these. This one was actually pretty busy, as you can see the outline of the two people we met. Endless pure white rolling sand, clean salty water and a views of mountains - does it get much better?

With a decent rainfall each year, New Zealand is home to some great local waterfalls. This may not be a big'un, but come summer this will be prime for a post ride plunge pool swim. Bring a beer, or bring 10, you may just want to stay here all day!

Maori legend has it that a tree once seperated the sky from the land. Looking at the hight and size of these ancient Kauri trees iot's not hard to beleive. This one went on and on and on!

Tree growing out of a tree. If you look closely you can see where the roots would have once been. On the bike it would be another tree to wind around, on foot, its something quite unique.

The sunsets of New Zealand are magnificent. But sunsets over a body of water are even more magical - it doesn't matter whether its the sea or a lake, the water seems to enhance the experience.