Does riding through pristine indigenous bush with only the call of native birds for company sound like a good idea?
Well, do we have the perfect mountain bike trails for you.
The Hokonui Water Race Trail and its associated tracks are only a five-minute drive from Gore. Forged among untouched bushland, you can start your journey at three locations –
- Pope Road
- Domain Road
- Dolamore Park
If you look carefully, you can still see the remnants of the water race the main trail is named after.
The history books tell us the water race was dug by hand out of the bush in the late 1890s. It took water from Whiskey Creek to a gold dredging operation, started after local farmer James Humphries discovered gold when sinking a well on his farm near the Waimumu Stream.
On a fine day, breaks in the canopy on the higher trails produce spectacular views of Southland’s lush farmland to Bluff Hill and Stewart Island.
Here are details about the trails. You can download a map of the trail and walking tracks in the area using this link.
New trail name (Official)
Trail grade number/colour
Bike / Walk
(Times are for walking unless otherwise indicated)
Hokonui Water Race Trail
Pope Road to Domain Road
Domain Road to Dolamore Park
45 min bike / 2.5 hours walk
10 min bike / 25 min walk
One of the great rides in Southland. Climb through lush native bush and then wend your way around the side of one of Southland’s most iconic landscapes. You’ll encounter part of the old Hokonui water race, before the easy descent into Dolamore Park.
This two-way trail offers a fun flowing cross country ride for everyone. Optional features on the side of the trail reward those looking to switch up their ride.
A short singletrack trail linking the Hokonui Water Race Trail to the start of Te Matara, Tāne-mahuta, Jump Line, and Pīwakawaka.
10 min bike / 30 min walk
A short two way side trail to a lookout with a great view of Kelvin Peak. Also gives access to Lookout Singletrack Descent Trail.
Lookout Singletrack descent
A short, natural, twisty singletrack. Roots are slippery when wet but still rideable. Joins onto the Hokonui Water Race Trail.
Fast drops, jumps and berms. All features include ‘B’ lines or ride arounds. One of the best trails in Southland, we think.
Technical native bush single-track at its finest. Wet roots, rocks and mud. Steep in places but full-on fun.
A steep short trail with roots and sharp corners. Fast in the dry, real challenging in the wet but always fun.
A short steep technical trail with a significant drop near the start and large root clusters. Can be very slippery when wet.