Humans are designed as land dwelling beings. We have neither the wings needed to fly, or gills and fins to swim. However there is something intrinsically fascinating with beating nature at its own game, experiencing something that by all accounts we should not be able to experience. Although flying is no longer a novelty, it’s the ways in which we’ve adapted it to our needs that yields some great opportunities.
Delivering riders to unique locations is our speciality
Heli biking in New Zealand is a great example, creating some amazing opportunities & accessing the most remote land areas, those that would otherwise take 3 days to ride to. Flying in a helicopter is a unique feeling, floating above the birds, yet low enough to provide a unique perspective of the world making it look like a toy town. The experience of dropping onto the highest mountain peak from above, yielding stunning 360 views is breathtaking to say the least, and something everyone should experience at least once. Surrounded by a vast expanse of nothing but nature, the experience is a million miles from reality of everyday life. A place where you could be in an alternative world – where life is stripped back to basics – no kids, no mortgage, no work emails, just unadulterated and selfish time for yourself!
Endless backcountry. Trout rich streams and deer filled hills dominate the area
Once the helicopter has left, a certain eerie silence surrounds you. Perched on one of the highest peaks in the area views abound from every direction, a huge expanse of land devoid of human activity, untouched for many thousands of years providing a glimpse into what it would have been like to visit New Zealand 3000 years ago. Big mountains enveloped in native bush and shale covered volcanic peaks dominate mountain summits, while pristine rivers full of trout and animal rich wetlands cover the valleys. Listening to the whistle of the wind and the calls of nature, theres no car engines or rush hour traffic out here, simply a blissful hidden world not enough people get to enjoy.
The landing site, surrounded by nothing but mountains
The hel biking trail, a 10km manmade singletrack descending shy of 1 km seems to create the perfect gradient for a singletrack mountain bike adventure. Fast flowing and technical in places, the trail will not fail to make you feel like a hero, even riding it for the first time. A smorgasboard of soil and trail features see that you’re treated to unique riding experience. Starting up on the desolate and scree covered peak, the trail provides a host of options – theres a start point and an end point and many ways to race your friends down the hill in a multi line frenzy.
Multi line options, pick a line and race your mates across the scree
After a few hundred meters surfing over scree a more defined singletrack appears. Rock strewn and lined by tussock grass, it’s somewhat a lottery to cut corners or clean jump sections of trail. Riding sensibly is rewarded by some fantastic corners that spit you out at mach speed should you be able to hold your nerve. Short climbs give riders a chance to get back their breath and provide a good opportunity to congregate and high five, telling stories of crashes escaped.
Fast flowing loamy singletrack is perfect for trains of riders whooping and hollering
Dropping into the final descent, the trail becomes 100% loamy dirt. That perfect dirt that tickles your legs as your rail hard through corners, roosting a spray of light soil into the air. The trail steepens up throughout this last section, flowing down the contours in a number of fast and tight corners before dropping into a straight chute at the very end. Almost like slalom skiing the corners come up fast and one after another, cutting them is not an option but leaning your knee into the tussock grass that whips over your kneepads is an unusual pleasure.
Tussock lined singletrack, just before it goes downhill again
Meeting the helicopter at the bottom, there’s time for another lap to get your fill. It’s a rarity to find such a long man-made trail without even a braking bump, where tyre track are minimal, but that’s the magic of heli biking.
Big smiles after a fun lap down the mountain
Heli biking in New Zealand is a unique adventure and something that not enough people try, an experience of a lifetime that you’ll take wherever you go, and make riding buddies green with envy. Mixing superb riding with private, picturesque and well maintained trails yields a combination for an amazing day out on the bike. A must do bucket list activity, why not add it onto your Native North or Alpine South Tour!