"The top of the south has some of the best riding in the country. There’s a huge range of trails and I think it’s just getting better and better."
top Must Dos
Fresh Marlborough oysters
Hit the road
Tackle an epic bike ride
Bike Molesworth Station
One day Mondo Kopua can be on an adventure mountain bike ride on the Whites Bay, Mount Robertson and Rarangi loop, picking lines over tree roots and rocks on the thrilling descents. The next day he can be cruising up the Taylor River to the junior mountain bike track with his 6 and 8-year-old sons, or riding up the Leatham or Branch to camp overnight with his family.
The president of the Marlborough Mountain Biking Club loves the diversity of Marlborough’s trails, saying there’s plenty to satisfy the most adventurous and skilled, as well as those looking for a gentle cruise. “The top of the south has some of the best riding in the country. There’s a huge range of trails and I think it’s just getting better and better.”
When he arrived 20 years ago, he and friends would drive an hour to Anakiwa every week, in order to ride on the Queen Charlotte Track before an obligatory swim in the Marlborough Sounds, or head to Havelock to ride forestry tracks.
These days they don’t need to drive at all, with the Wither Hills and the Mountain Bike Park on Blenheim’s back doorstep providing 40 hectares of tracks. They’re just part of the network of rides winding up and down through the province, including a myriad of multi day rides.
Mondo met a woman last summer who was in Marlborough for a series of rides, including the Mt Robertson loop, the Queen Charlotte Track, the Nydia Bay ride and the Wakamarina Track. She ended by riding to French Pass and back, and then heading over the Maungatapu Track to Nelson. “She was riding, hanging out at beaches and rivers, camping and swimming along the way.”
For his family, mountain biking is a great way of seeing more of the province he loves, including Molesworth Station, which they plan to explore more of this summer.
“The thing I love about Marlborough, which you see when you cycle it, is the diversity of the landscape. We’ve got high country like up the Awatere Valley, then the Richmond Range, the Marlborough Sounds and all the rivers. Personally I’m an open country, high country farm sort of person. I love getting up in the hills.”