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Level: Beginner
Length: 19 mi (30.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +692/744 ft
Total: 1 riders

Mountain Biking Wharfedale Track

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#107 of 382 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#8,386 in the world

The Wharfedale Track is the relic of an historic road dating to the late 1870s. It was never completed and fell into disrepair. It has come back to life as an interesting hiking and mountain biking track through beech forest. It's well benched into the hillsides and the gradient is generally well controlled. It climbs very gradually to Wharfedale Saddle but there are undulations where washouts have occurred over the years. From the saddle it generally eases down to Dobson Stream where you'll come to the Wharfedale Hut after 15kms.

The track is generally quite tame and well surfaced but there are some stream crossings, roots, rocks and other features to keep you alert here and there. Overall though, this is a back country ride you do for the peace of the outdoors, the songs of the birds, and the good of your soul rather than the excitement of technical features. If you want to stay at the hut you'll need to bring food, cooking gear, tooth brush and sleeping bag. If you do stay overnight at the hut consider hiking up to Black Hill Hut and beyond to the tops where the views are stupendous on a clear day.

From the Wharfedale Hut you can continue a few rougher kilometers on to the end of the Wharfedale Track where you'll come to a bridge and the start of the Townsend Track. Some fitness riders start from Oxford, ride the Wharfedale Track then the Townsend Track, then take the road through the Ashley Gorge back to Oxford for a circuit of over 75km. The Townsend Track is a four wheel drive track over farmland which leads out to the Lees Valley. It crosses the river twice and may be closed during lambing etc. Call DOC, Waimakariri, on 03 313 0820 before tackling it.

Most people have a picnic lunch at the Wharfedale Hut then turn back.

First added by Jim Cummings on Mar 16, 2017. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
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Getting there
From Oxford drive west on highway 72 for 3km then turn right into Woodstock Road. In about 10km turn right up Ingrams Road and follow the Wharfedale Track signs. You'll be on a rough gravel road for several kilometres and go through four gates and two fords till you reach the View Hill car park. The distance from Christchurch is about 55km.
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bryanmmch (on Jun 6, 2019)
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  • John Shaw

    Always a pleasure. Just rode in to the Wharfedale Hut and back to View Hill Road. The track is in excellent riding condition. A couple of trees down just beyond the saddle. It's always a pleasure riding there - a mix of everything. Do take insect repellent as the sandflies at the Dobson Stream (where we had lunch) were on us in a flash. No wasps to be seen as yet.

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  • Jim Cummings

    You'll almost certainly hear bell birds and tuis as you take this ride through Oxford Forest - not to mention the hum of a million wasps if you're there in summer. It takes a bit of effort to drive to the start but once underway, it's not a bad back-country ride through beech forest. Mostly it's easy but you'll meet some challenging bits from time to time. It's fun to go with friends, a bottle of wine and a pack of cards and stay at the hut overnight.

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