Exciting day for bikers as coveted track opens

Last updated 13:00 01/02/2013

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Nelson mountainbikers will be among those riding the first section of The Old Ghost Road in the Buller district which has its official opening tomorrow.

The Old Ghost Road is a multi-use trail that stretches from the ghost town of Lyell in the Upper Buller Gorge to Seddonville, 48km north of Westport on the West Coast.

The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust is behind the trail.

The opening day will see 84 walkers and cyclists flown by helicopter to the top of the Lyell Range for a celebratory journey back down.

Public places on the trip were filled on the first day it opened.

Jonathan Kennett, New Zealand mountainbike guidebook author and project manager for the New Zealand Cycle Trail, has described The Old Ghost Road as "the most spectacular multi-day mountainbike adventure in New Zealand and the mountainbikers' equivalent of the Milford Track".

A ceremony in Westport on Sunday will formally mark the opening of the trail's first stage which has taken six years to achieve.

Festivities begin at 9am at the Lyell campground tomorrow and the event is weather dependent. The Sunday ceremony starts at 10am at the NBS Theatre at 105 Palmerston St, Westport.

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- The Nelson Mail

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