Strategic plans

As we wait for the 2019/2020 riding season to kick off, the Trails team thought it useful to share some of the strategic planning going on behind the scenes in conjunction with a range of stakeholders with interest in the Craigieburn/Castle Hill Basin area.

Over the last year, we’ve been working on identifying some of the challenges with how the track network has developed under what has been a relatively small voluntary effort, and we’ve welcomed some enthusiasm from other groups to get involved and share the load.

We’ve also been working with DoC on developing some strategic planning on both new track proposals and also maintenance schedules. To that end, DoC and the Trails team have convened a number of meetings with other stakeholders such as the local skifields, representatives from groups as diverse as local tramping groups, orienteers, school groups, concession holders, Forest & Bird, Walking Access Commission, WERT, other landowners in the Basin, etc.

Consultations with all those groups continues, but we thought it useful to share drafts of some of the proposed tracks and track maintenance schedules to show that even over the quieter months, there is activity and enthusiasm to continue with ensuring that the Craigieburn Trails continue to evolve and grow in a sustainable way.

Wallaby sightings

We know the Craigieburn Trails are fun, but apparently a wallaby was spotted this week enjoying The Luge!

Environment Canterbury would like to hear directly from anybody who has spotted wallabies in the area.

Please contact Jason Hawker at ECan on 027 228 2596 ASAP if you have any info.

Wallabies are legally confined to the zone between the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers, but have been sighted as far afield as Marlborough, Dunedin and Amberley.

Working with Gravity Canterbury

Christchurch’s Gravity Canterbury mountain bike club are keen to help with maintenance and ideas for future development in the Craigieburn Valley. Given their enthusiasm for events like their Craigieburn Enduro races, we’re looking forward to working with them on track maintenance and development in the future.

We have plans therefore to team up for a work party this autumn on the Cockayne Alley track. The date is yet to be confirmed, we will give everyone plenty of notice.

Pirate track management

DOC are very concerned about the number of pirate tracks in the area, and they have recently erected signs and felled trees to close a pirate track near Camp Saddle.

The Craigieburn Trails team are keen to work collaboratively with all users in the area. This started with the stakeholder meeting held at Castle Hill Village in June 2018 which identified a range of issues and future needs.

Key outcomes from that meeting included:

  • Understanding that demand for more challenging tracks is increasing rapidly
  • A need to move quickly to engage with the pirate builders and incorporate their ideas in our plans for new trail development

DOC and the trails committee are currently working on tackling this problem, including:

  • A strategic plan which includes a future trail development, both within the valley and further afield
  • An ecological survey to identify which areas of the valley are suitable for increased usage and which are not
  • A clear process, that the public can be directed to, around ideas for new trails

It’s important to spread the word that pirate trails impact on the environment and could jeopardise future access to this fantastic area.

Trans NZ Enduro running on Craigieburn Trails 25/26th February 2018

The Trans NZ mountain bike event is returning for its 4th year to Craigieburn.  We would like to inform all those public users that use these trails of the event and the schedule for next week to ensure you have all the information and can choose to avoid the tracks to make your day more enjoyable out there!  This is enduro style so only certain trails we use are being timed/raced on.
Day 1: Sunday February 25th
  • Climbing to Lyndon Saddle from Craigieburn Road (untimed) 9am – 10am
  • Luge (timed/racing) 9.45am – 11.00am
  • Drac: first descent (timed/racing) 10am – 11.30am
  • Rest of Drac: (untimed) 10.15am – 11.45am
  • Cuckoo Creek Trail (timed/racing) 11.45am – 1.30pm
  • Drac from bottom of Cuckoo to Cheeseman Road (untimed) 11.45am – 1.45pm
  • Cheeseman Road (untimed) 11am – 3pm
  • Cheeseman DH / Cockayne Alley down to Creek (timed) 12.45pm – 3pm
  • Hogs Back Track (both timed sections and untimed sections) 1.15pm – 4.00pm
  • Finish – Village Green
Day 2: Monday February 26th
  • Dickson’s (timed) 8.15am – 10am
  • Edge track into lower Craigieburn trail (timed) 9.45am – 12pm
  • Coal Pit Spur (timed) 10.15am – 12.45pm
  • Please try to avoid the trails we are racing on during the times outlined above, for everyone’s safety – especially our own
  • Please avoid shuttling up Cheeseman Road between 11am – 3pm on Sunday February 25th for the safety of the riders on the road
  • Please avoid using the trail to Castle Hill Village (village end of Hogs) between 1pm – 4pm on Sunday February 25th (there is now a new up-track you can use to avoid this part of the trail)
  • Our DOC user fees comes to approximately $2,000 for this event, of which we are continually trying to work with them to see that these fees go back to the trails/clubs/communities in which we run the event
  • But as yet this is not the case; so we work directly with Castle Hill Village / Craigieburn Track Committee as we want to see some money going directly back into the trails.  So on top of the DOC fees we donate $15 per person back into the trails from this event. The Craigieburn Trails will get a donation of $2,000 from us that can be seen to go back into the trails of the area
  • We truly appreciate the support of the locals and absolutely love spending time in the area every year
Please don’t hesitate to contact me, Megan, if you have any questions or concerns with any of the above. Notices of the above along with maps are now at the major trail heads until the event at the weekend. There is a wedding in the Village (Alistair Lodge) this same weekend as well, so we suspect the village (and trails) are going to be extremely busy.


Megan Rose
Trans NZ

Photos of the 2017 Trans NZ Enduro action on the Craigieburn Trails by //

Hogs Back Track/”Easy Out” workparty; Saturday 2nd December

Welcome to Spring 2017 on the Craigieburn Trails.

We have a workparty coming up on the first weekend in December building the new 2.5km “Easy Out” track on which initial construction is about to start.  This track is being put in as an uphill only track (for bikes anyway; walkers will be bidirectional) at the Castle Hill village end of the Hogs Back Track.

The Ground Effect crew will be on the scene in person(s) this time continuing their amazing support for the Craigieburn Trails.

When: 9am, Saturday 2nd December 2017
Where: Carpark at the Castle Hill Village end of the Hogs Back Track
Bring: Wheelbarrows, shovels, water, suncream, snacks/food, enthusiasm!

For more information or to RSVP, please email us at .

See you there!

E-bikes on the Craigieburn Trail network

We have been vaguely thinking for some time that we should formulate a policy covering the use of e-bikes on the Craigieburn Trails.

You can find our current position on permitted e-bikes here (also accessible under the Track Use/Code of Conduct menu), but it can be summarised as pedal-assist e-bikes with a motor up to 300W and no throttle are permitted on the Craigieburn Trails.

We had considered a free t-shirt for every e-bike rider, but decided against pursuing that idea… 🙂

Trans NZ Enduro racing on Craigieburn Trails, 28-29th February 2016

Please be aware that the Trans NZ Enduro will be competing on the Craigieburn Trails on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th February 2016.

Riders & walkers are advised to avoid the timed race sections of the tracks listed below and on the attached maps, and to watch out for increased uphill rider traffic on the other non-timed sections.

Trans NZ Enduro - Day 1

Sunday Feb 28th

Up Lyndon Saddle and down The Luge: 9am – 11am
Along Dracophyllum Flat and up Cheeseman Skifield Road: 10am – 1pm
Down Cockayne Alley and joining in the final end of Dracophyllum Flat to Timm’s Stream: 11.40am-2pm
Hogs Back Track first half: 12.30pm-3pm
Final descent into Castle Hill Village: 1pm – 3.30pm

Trans NZ Enduro - Day 2

Monday Feb 29th

Up Hut Creek/Bridge Hill: 8am – 9am
Down Dicksons: 8.30am – 10am
Up Craigieburn Ski Road: 9am – 11.30am
Down Craigieburn Edge and lower Lyndon Saddle Track: 10.15am – 12.00pm

The Craigieburn Trails team are pleased to work with DoC and the Enduro organisers in facilitating this race; there is a levy paid by each competitor which goes 100% directly back into track maintenance and future development.

Contact Megan 021-069-7707 or if you have queries/concerns.