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Tags:
Level: Advanced
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,063/1 ft
Total: 3 riders
 

Mountain Biking Bullock Track

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#43 of 381 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#4436 in the world

The Bullock Track is normally ridden as part of a loop so should probably be called the Luck-at-Last Mine Circuit. Often the whole loop is referred to as the Bullock Track and that's what is described here! Whatever the name, it's a great half day back-country adventure ride with heritage interest.

The loop includes a lot of forestry roads, a few kilometres of nicely benched walking track and a few kilometres of good old-school down hill singletrack. And of course, there's the Bullock Track itself which is just under four kilometres long and down hill almost all the way. It was build and used by miners last century on their way to the Luck-at-Last gold and silver mine. The whole circuit is around 20km depending on where you start and finish, not to mention variants.

Here is a blow by blow description of the whole circuit starting and ending at the trailhead of the Whangamata Ridges Mountain Bike Park.

*** Ride up Causeway Road for 2km. It climbs! You're passing the entrances to some great singletrack!...
*** Turn right into Durrant Road and go 2.5km. More workout!...
*** Turn right into Ridge Road and go 2.5km. It's steep - great workout! At the top you've gained almost 300 vertical metres from the car park...
*** Turn left into the Bullock Track itself (at the sign post!) and ride down it for almost 4km. It's starts off easy but needless to say you couldn't drive bullocks down it after the ravages of the last hundred years. It gets quite technical (at least grade 4) in places. You'll encounter roots, drops (less than a metre), exposure (thanks to a couple of slips), rocks, narrow gaps between trees, streams, and ruts. In some places it's quite fast and flowing. Be sure to stop for a quick look at the Luck-at-Last Mine shaft (It's horizontal so the correct word is "drive"). Soon after that you'll reach the bottom at Ivan's Junction (signed). The way out is right but be sure to go left for about 50 metres for a look at the mining relics of the Luck at Last battery...
*** Luck at Last Battery Track . After this 3km walking track - great riding alongside the river - you'll come to a car park...
*** Follow Taungatara Road to the top of a hill and switch back to your right up Ridge Road after about 4km...
*** Hop over the gate and climb up Ridge Road to the top. It's another great workout as it climbs relentlessly nearly 200 vertical metres in a kilometre to the top. In another 2km you'll see the sign for Double D...
*** Follow Double D till it joins the D track. These two tracks are old hand-made grade 4 singletrack. They get better as they go down - and they are down hill all the way! You'll love them....
*** Follow Otuwheti Road back to the car park, branching off for two short singletrack diversions called Stuck Tractor and Short Thrill as you go. You'll see their signs...

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Drive out of Whangamata on highway 25 towards Tairua for 5 kilometres and turn left into a gravel road that will lead you up through the forest for 200 metres to the car park of the Whangamata Ridges Mountain Bike Park. Alternatively ride out of Whangamata for 3km on highway 25 towards Tairua and turn sharp left into the unsigned Ridge Road. Jump over the gate and ride up to Durrant Road where you join the forestry road from the mountain bike car park.
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Jim Cummings (on Jan 5, 2017)
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  • Jim Cummings
    ****

    If you like a good workout combined with great singletrack, historical trails, coastal views, pine forest, river valley, technical trail, fast flowing trail, archeology, heritage and interesting historical relics then the Bullock Track is for you!!! You'll be either sweating or smiling all the way - it never gets boring! You'll get height, a feeling of remoteness and heaps of satisfaction. You do need to be fit and able to handle a grade 4 track. By the way, I'm talking about the whole loop, not just the 4km section that is the Bullock Track proper.

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