GHOSTS IN THEM THAR HILLS

Monday, 01 May 2017 12:00

The best cure for the post-holiday blues is to book another one. If you’d like to go a little off the beaten track for your next break, let us entice you to the land that time nearly forgot.

The Old Ghost Road, in the north-west corner of New Zealand’s South Island, is an 85km trail through native forest, open tussock, river flats and moody valleys.

The former gold miners’ road, which connects four ghost towns from the 1870s, has been recently revived and reopened as a mountain-biking and hiking trail. It’s been brought back to life by a group of volunteer organisations that are passionate about getting people away from their urban, desk-bound lives and helping them reconnect to the natural world.

You can do it at speed on a mountain bike or on foot (the Old Ghost Road Ultra marathon is scheduled for 24 February 2018), but there’s no need to rush. Most walkers do the trail over four nights and five days, staying in rustic accommodation. There are extremely cute four-person cabins with double bunks, as well as traditional dorm-style huts and tent sites for the truly rugged.

The best time to tackle the Old Ghost Road is October to April, which gives you just the right amount of time to get yourself organised. Find out more here.