PTR: Naseby For­est

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: MATT NAUTHE PHOTOS: MIKE BLEWITT

Cen­tral Otago is renowned for its moun­tain bik­ing. With oo­dles of trail, it has built a solid rep­u­ta­tion as one of the coun­try’s must-do moun­tain bik­ing des­ti­na­tions. Tucked away in the foothills of the Mount Ida range, the Naseby For­est trails are a hid­den gem in a re­gion of moun­tain bik­ing jew­els. Just a short de­tour off the high­way, add this to the itin­er­ary if pass­ing through the re­gion. It’s a worth­while in­clu­sion if you’re in the area for the Otago Cen­tral rail trail or hap­pen to be kick­ing about and in need of a sin­gle­track fix. The trails have a very dis­tinct feel thanks to be­ing con­tained within a for­est. This is a pleas­ant change as most of the other trails in the re­gion are quite ex­posed to the el­e­ments. The en­tire trail sys­tem is built the old fash­ioned way, with hand tools by a small group of very pas­sion­ate lo­cal rid­ers. They have per­son­al­ity that is miss­ing from the big­ger ma­chine built trails - they vary in width, there are roots and off cam­ber lines that are fun be­cause they are dif­fer­ent. Liken it to the quirky un­cle at the fam­ily gath­er­ing, fun in a slightly off kil­ter way. Be­ing lo­cated in a work­ing for­est, trail builders work closely with forestry to reroute, add or close trails to ac­com­mo­date the ar­eas that are due to be felled. The trails range from easy routes along aque­ducts, to steep lines with com­mit­ting en­tries and ex­its. Naseby it­self is a cool lit­tle town as well – some­where plenty of peo­ple have a hol­i­day home. The lo­cal pub does a good meal, and is a great place to warm up af­ter a ride in the cooler months of the year.


Naseby is sit­u­ated eight kilo­me­tres off State HWY85, a two-hour car jour­ney east from Queen­stown. Once in Naseby the trails are ac­cessed from the end of Earne Street in the centre of town.


Pine for­est vibes that are rem­i­nis­cent of the older trails in Ma­jura Pines, Can­berra. There is lots of rolling ter­rain with fun corners, short tech­ni­cal de­scents, some roots and some rocks - all with mul­ti­ple lines to make the area begin­ner friendly. Add speed into the mix and the trails take on a life that will keep more ad­vanced rid­ers en­gaged, tight­en­ing up the corners and cre­at­ing cool gaps over the rises and roots. Not to be missed is the Sand­pit trail, the old­est stand­ing sec­tion and quin­tes­sen­tial to the Naseby For­est ex­pe­ri­ence. This sec­tion is ab­so­lutely di­alled, us­ing the nat­u­ral fall of the land. It play­fully uses all the drainages con­vert­ing it into a nat­u­ral roller­coaster that you ride all the way back into town.

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