Day 351 on the Road
Downhill Thrills at the Waitangi MTB Park!
Today we are mountain biking in Paihia at the epic Waitangi MTB Park. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then simply head over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we are experiencing the downhill thrills of the Waitangi MTB Park.
Today we are having a super busy day. We joining the team from Paihia Mountain Bike Rentals and discover some of the best mountain biking tracks in Paihia, and then we’re gonna be finding the best hot chocolate in New Zealand, and finally we are gonna show you where is the best place to check out the sunset in Paihia. Let’s get started.
While Robin is busy not driving we arrive at the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park.
It’s an active pine forest. It’s got one of the biggest kiwi populations because about 20 years ago they started transmitting the birds.
After meeting Tiff who is the lady behind this community mountain bike park we are hopping into the van to check out more of the area and some of the awesome tracks.
Although driving around the Waitangi MTB Park isn’t the usual experience, it’s actually a good way for Rob to check out the new tracks that they have been working on cos he’s got a broken arm and he won’t be able to ride today.
So we have Tuatara a grade 2 track running down the start of the hill. We have Ngatui a grade 4 track named after the local Maori tribe up here.
After the mountain biking crew are dropped off at the top of the trails we get to take the fun way down starting with a trail called Kiwi Flow. It was named after the kiwi dogs that sniffed out the kiwi habitats in the area so they could avoid damaging them when making the mountain bike trails.
All the mountain bike trails here are purpose built so they are packed with loads of features like dips and drops to catch some momentum if you’re a beginner like me or to catch some air if you’re advanced like everyone else.
The mountain bikes that we’ve rented from Paihia Mountain Bike Rentals are really awesome with full suspension make it super cruisy to get down these mountain bike trails and actually some of the money you pay to rent these bikes goes toward maintaining the tracks here so that’s pretty awesome.
Meanwhile while Laura is taking the fun way down with everybody I am taking the way down by car just because my arm is broken so apparently I can’t mountain bike. It’s not cos I didn’t ask cos I genuinely did. But Tiff is giving me a lot of insights on how those tracks were built and the process they are currently doing cos they are always maintaining the tracks and even building new ones.
The really cool thing about the Waitangi mountain bike park is that all the trails link up together super well, so after surviving all those downhill sections we get to a more easy-going trail called the Holland Days Loop. This is more of a family-friendly ride with lots of twists and turns to still make it fun but there’s not much risk.
This trail has lots of rocky sections as well as a few sculptures to check out along the way. It winds in and out of the pine forest and finally we make our back to the car park where we start today.
Back at the car park Robin and I decide to have a quick lunch while looking at all the wildlife around us and deciding what to do for our second activity of the day. While we are eating it reminds us of a place that we wanted to eat in Russell.
Cos we’re taking the ferry to Russell. If you remember, a few days again in Russell it was terrible and raining but now we’re going to Russell at sunset and hopefully the yummy place is still be open cos we were both really tempted by it the first time.
Since there are plenty of time left in the day and Laura and I can’t stand still, this afternoon we’re gonna be heading to Russell. The weather is absolutely gorgeous and is gonna be contrasting a lot with what happened to us last time we went to Russell. If you guys remember, we did Russell Mini Tours and toured all around the area but it was pouring down with rain check out the cards above for that episode. Today we are just checking out the city centre and where the best hot chocolate in the whole of New Zealand are served.
To head to Russell without a car the best option is to catch a ferry. There are ferries running super regularly so there is never going to be a long wait plus, the journey is absolutely gorgeous. Especially in the afternoon when the light is so beautiful and gives us so many shades over all the islands surrounding us.
But after the short ride we are finally arriving to the town of Russell. It’s a really small area and believe it or not once it was the capital of New Zealand.
So if you guys recall, when we went to Russell the first time we saw that little shop that serves apparently the best hot chocolate in New Zealand but it was closed cos well, there was no one around since it was pouring down with rain. So today, we have the opportunity to try them again. So when you order a hot chocolate or any other drink for that matter, you get a bit of a selection of chocolate – so it takes us quite a wee while to decide on what we are going to be treating ourselves to and then we sit down and enjoy.
I have to be honest, the treats do not disappoint. As soon as I bite into one of those chocolates, it’s pure indulgence. We are in chocolate heaven.
But as the sun is going down, we have to get our plan in motion, yes we are planning to get the cheapest sunset cruise in the country today. If you time your ferry return from Russell to Paihia or to be fair, from Paihia to Russell, whatever you prefer, with the sunset, you will be able to have a stunning view on an amazing sunset in the Bay of Islands for only pennies.
The Bay of Islands consists of 144 islands and the sunset is right in between all of them it makes for an absolutely amazing spectacle and from the water, it’s even more gorgeous.
Everyone of the boat is gathering on the top deck not to miss anything of this beautiful view and the sky is actually changing colour right before our eyes as the moon is finally rising and shining to its bright silver. It was an amazing cruise and super cheap.
I don’t want to jinx it but none of my bikes have ever had a puncture.
Aw Johnny touch some wood, man. That is not good you really gotta do it. You’re gonna have a stop and get a tree now. I’ll go close to a sign.
You’ve got to touch wood! Put your hand out.
I didn’t get close enough.
Can’t have that.
This is the most serious about superstition that I have ever seen anyone right here.
Well, it’s really important to me what goes on in here.
And I just want to point out something that here glasses are made of wood so that would have been so much easier. But that would have been much less funny. So I didn’t let them know.