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Bay of Plenty trail reopens ahead of summer peak season
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has announced that the Pakihi Track, which travels 20 killometres through thick forest, south of Ōpōtiki in the eastern Bay of Plenty, has reopened in time for the summer season. The historic track is part of the Motu Trails National Cycleway.
Track repairs have taken place at a number of slips and washouts, as well as general track maintenance.
DOC Operations Manager Jade Kinghazel is proud of her team’s work commenting that “we’re rapt to have the Pakihi open again. A whole lot of people have been keenly waiting for this.
"While there’s been a lot of work on the track, it’s crucial to know the Pakihi is an advanced track for experienced riders. The track itself is evenly graded but the surrounding hills are very steep. Slips and windfalls are common, and in many places there are drop-offs beside the track.
"Pakihi is a track to ride with real care on a bike that allows you to comfortably handle an uneven and rocky trail. Treat it with respect and it’s a fabulous experience.”
Kinghazel advised that walkers and runners are welcome on the Pakihi Track, so less confident cyclists have the option of going on foot.
“There’s also a DOC hut at halfway which makes a great lunch or overnight stop.”
Many cyclists tackle the Pakihi by riding a 90 km loop from Ōpōtiki. Others take a shuttle van from Gisborne and start riding from high on the Motu Road back towards Ōpōtiki.
As the sport of bike-packing continues to grow in popularity, an increasing number of riders are including the Pakihi as part of a far longer journey, such as from Gisborne to Matawai on Rere Falls Trail.
Motu Trails is one of 22 Great Rides on Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
For more information about Pakihi Track go to www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/east-coast/places/opotiki-area/things-to-do/pakihi-track/
Image of Pakihi Track. Credit: Neil Robert Hutton
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