summer, sun and fun

Jan and Ziggy mountain biking in the back country, West Coast, NZ

Slip, slop, slap – that is what we were all taught growing up in New Zealand when it comes to sun – the sun protection motto – slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat.  Ok, so with that in mind we slipped on a mountain biking top, slopped on some sunscreen and slapped on a mountain bike helmet – then headed for the hills with our mountain bikes on a glorious West Coast summer afternoon.

Jan & Nico back country mountain biking, West Coast, NZ

We headed out the back of Greymouth – Marsden area and to the start of the Cockeyed Creek track.  This is generally a 4WD track traversing the creek, little climbs and rocky sections.  There is a bit of a parking area at the end of the road where the creek comes out and we headed on up the trail with the dogs at our wheels.  The track was well overgrown and unfortunately due to quite a bit of rainfall this winter/spring there was much debris that had been washed down overflowing on the trail and creating numerous obstacles.  It made the going a bit hairy in places.  The creek crossings had changed since the last time we were out this way – probably a couple of years ago now.

creek negotiation back country mountain biking, West Coast, NZ

Stephen and I persevered but after about 3/4 hour we finally cut our losses and decided to head back.  The fallen obstacles were getting more frequent and the creeks were getting deeper and harder to cross.  I didn’t actually mind it – all part of the adventure but Stephen was getting a little grumpy as he ended up getting poked in the eye and then smacked in the mouth with his bike while traversing over a fallen tree.

The dogs were enjoying themselves – it was very hot so the creek crossings were a welcome relief to the boys.  Back at the car the road veers to the right and heads up into a forestry block.  We decided since we’d had to cut the Cockeyed creek trek short we’d go for an explore up the forestry road – see what we could find.  It was an easy gravel 4WD road in comparison to the back country trail of the Cockeyed creek so made for much easier riding.  As usual with the forestry blocks in the back of Greymouth, it did meander up hill but it was reasonably gentle.

back country mountain biking, West Coast, NZ

This area had long been logged and was now being worked over by the gold miners.  Originally it would have been mined for gold in the early 1900s but now with today’s technology all the old areas are being turned over again and the tailings being reworked – also with the price of gold it definitely makes it a worthwhile exercise.  We meandered up the road for about 1/2 an hour and then came across the gold miners and their machinery so decided to head back.  It was such a hot day, the dogs had had about enough by now anyway.

They were pleased to get back to the vehicle and we all headed to the creek for a quick dip.  It was nice to be able to wash some of the grit and grim off before travelling in the car.  The dogs got right in the creek and were swimming around enjoying the relief of the water.  Stephen took a dip also – I wasn’t so keen, just to my knees was enough for me.

Back home to relax in the sun and await the arrival of our next guests.  Hope they enjoyed their day in the sun as much as we did……

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the West Coast, north of Greymouth with the help of their two friendly dogs Nico and Ziggy.  They love to get out and explore the area and would be happy to share their experiences and advice with you.  Check out their activities page or other blog postings for further information or contact them direct.


About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
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