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17 December 2019
Respected cycle guides 'The Kennett Brothers' have listed the community created mountain bike trails at Flat Top Hill near Alexandra in their list of top ten rides in New Zealand.
The just published 10th edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides guidebook highlights the brothers' choices for the 'best of the best' trails in New Zealand. The Flat Top Hill trails provide spectacular views and unique challenges for cyclists through rocks and tussock covered hills at Flat Top Hill conservation area. They are the culmination of a working partnership between the local Mountain Bikers of Alexandra club and the Department of Conservation.
"The club has worked with the Department of Conservation over several years to develop the network of trails at Flat Top Hill, and are in the process of getting new trails approved. Our trails have also featured in the Pioneer Mountain Bike race last week, showcasing local riding to the world as part of the 6 day stage race," said Joe Sherriff from Mountain Bikers of Alexandra.
Guidebook author Jonathan Kennett said "The spectacular rocky landscape of Flat Top Hill, combined with gobsmacking trail features, is what pushed this ride into our Top Ten Trails list at number seven".
"Riding with local guide, Phil Oliver, certainly helped us get the most out of the area and left us wanting to return for more. And it's exciting to know the local club has plans to build more trails around Flat Top Hill. Yet another reason to return! We can't wait.
Tourism Central Otago General Manager Dylan Rushbrook said while Central Otago was known for its cycle trails, what wasn't so well known was the amazing trails that surround Alexandra and other parts of the district for mountain bikers, runners and hikers.
"It is great to see these epic trails getting the recognition they deserve. 'Central' really is an outdoor playground for all abilities," Mr Rushbrook said.
Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides - The Kennett Brothers
Since Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides was first published in 1991, mountain bike events, tracks and bikes have undergone a stunning transformation. There used to be no purpose-built tracks at all in New Zealand, so mountain bikers pushed and pedalled their heavy, fully-rigid clunkers into the hills, exploring old mining tracks and stock routes.
Now that we've reached the 10th edition, the bikes look like they were designed by NASA and there are over 1700 purpose-built mountain bike tracks to choose from around the country. It's phenomenal, and discombobulating. So we have focused on our favourite forty rides. The best of the best. They range from fantastically popular mountain bike parks like Whakarewarewa in Rotorua to the inspirational Paparoa Track on the West Coast of the South Island.
You can find the 10th Edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides at any good book store or bike shop, or at www.kennett.co.nz and trail info at www.mtbofalex.co.nz
And among those 40 rides, our Top Ten are:
10. Queenstown Bike Park9. Fowlers Pass, Hanmer Springs8. The Timber Trail, Central North Island7. Flat Top Hill, Alexandra6. Moerangi Track, Whirinaki Forest5. Coronet Peak to Arrowtown, Wakatipu Basin4. Whakarewarewa, Rotorua3. Heaphy Track, Golden Bay2. Old Ghost Road, Westport1. Paparoa Track, Greymouth