New trail widens appeal

by Kent Caddick

Selwyn’s growing reputation as a destination for mountain bikers has been enhanced with the opening of a new trail in the valley below the Porters ski field area

The new 2.3km track will appeal to riders of all abilities and complements existing tracks in the neighbouring Craigieburn Range, which have been garnering international attention.

Porters summer activities coordinator, Jason Collins, said the opening of the new track is part of their drive to make the Porters area a year round visitor experience. 

“With the development of the Porters Lodge below the ski field, we now have the facilities for people to stay on-site and enjoy what there is to offer, both in the winter and now in the summer. The benefit of the lodge being operational all year round means we can also provide full time employment for more of our staff who can work on the ski field in the winter; then assist with the running of the lodge and the mountain bike track in the summer.” Mr Collins said the lodge, which can accommodate up to 39 people in group or family rooms, provides a base for riders wanting to explore the other mountain bike tracks in the region. “People can stay here, ride our track, then use the lodge as a base to try the other tracks in the Craigieburn and Castle Hill area. “We are running a shuttle bus with a bike trailer, which can take people staying at the lodge to other tracks in the region.”

Selwyn mayor, Sam Broughton, a keen mountain bike rider himself, is delighted at the new development at the Porters Ski Area.

“It is a great addition to the region and complements tracks that are already operating in the area,” Mayor Broughton said. 

“The quality of the trails on offer is attracting visitors not only from New Zealand, but also internationally.

“With Porters Lodge now operating all year round there will be a positive flow on effect to townships on SH73, like Springfield and Castle Hill.”

Jason Collins said the recently revamped base area at Porters Lodge also has four powered sites for self-contained camper vans or mobile homes to park up.

The new mountain bike trail at Porter Heights will appeal to 
both novice and experienced riders

He said the new Porters Flow Trail mountain bike track has been designed to appeal to a range of rider levels, from families to advanced riders.

“The track has a 1km climb followed by a 1.2km downhill trail and will suit both the novice and experienced rider. My father, who is in his late 60s, tried it out and thoroughly enjoyed his ride. “With a vertical climb of 120 metres, the mountain bike trails are wide and smooth, full of berms, rolls, pops and hips and are designed and built by experienced trail builder Cameron Bisset from D&E Track and Trail.

“Porters Lodge is also a great spot for non-riders to sit in the sun, enjoy a drink and something to eat, while being able to watch the riders on the track.” 

For more information on the new Porters Flow Trail mountain bike track and Porters Lodge go to porterslodge.co.nz, email: lodge@skiporters.co.nz or phone 03 318 4011