Whangarei Mountain Bike Club has big plans for Parihaka Mountain Bike Park. Only a few kilometers from the CBD, the park is an ideal location for people to get out on their bikes explore their local area, and get some health benefits while they are at it. The Mountain bike park is on the eastern side of Parihaka with the main access off Abbey Caves Road. Entry is also possible from the top of Memorial Drive. There is currently a range of purpose-built trails as well as gravel roads and 4WD tracks which cater to all abilities. However with mountain biking increasingly being chosen for active recreation the need for more trails is ever-present.
Currently, the club relies on volunteers to build and maintain the trails. The club recently received a grant from the WDC Community Fund to build a new beginner/intermediate trail linking together existing trails to create a cross country style loop, (the blue line). Volunteers have been cutting the proposed line to maximize the digger time the grant can cover. This will be a welcome addition to the trail network along with several older trails that have been reopened or realigned by volunteers. It is hoped that work on the new trail will begin in mid-May 2020. If you are keen to help out or want to join the club check out their Facebook page for details.
The council is due to start the development of a new car park at Abbey Caves, which will provide additional parking for users of the Mountain Bike Park as well as visitors to Abbey Caves, and toilets. These plans will result in the loss of part of one of the parks few easy trails, Hawkeye, so the council has agreed to recreate a new trail of a similar level in from the existing car park. Watch this space.
A Parihaka trail development plan was drawn up by Trail building company Southstars in 2016 detailing a total of 45km of tracks. The plan included costings and maintenance requirements, and maps of possible trail options over three zones. The club still hopes to extend the network along these lines as and when resources allow. If this plan or something similar can be brought to fruition it is envisaged that Parihaka MTB Park will become a chosen destination for mountain bikers both within the Whangarei District and other parts of New Zealand. Mountain Biking is increasingly chosen by people all over the world for their active recreation, and with that many are looking for new destinations to explore.
Unfortunately, a fire in the park in late spring 2019 destroyed much of the undergrowth at one end of the park. Plans are now in place to replant this winter. The area is to be mulched and sprayed before 20,000 native trees supplied by the Whangarei District Council and the MTB club will be planted. This too will rely on volunteers, so if you are interested in helping out keep an eye on the Whangarei Mountain Bike Club Facebook page.