Mountain biking in Timaru is a popular activity amongst both tourists and locals. There are a couple of hot spots; popular for riding and even walking – some people even bring their ponies along too!
ASURE Ashley Motor Lodge is located in an area with some of New Zealand's most breathtaking mountain biking hotspots. And after years of being in Timaru, we are certain that these hotspots are the very best. We believe that mountain biking in Timaru is an activity you should not miss, and it is an activity we highly recommend our guests should try.
Take a look at our list of favorite hot spots and our mountain biking cheat sheet to help you plan your next biking experience in Timaru.
Difficulty: Intermediate (grade 3 or less when dry)
Length: 14 km
Average time: 2 hours
Commonly referred to as “The Scenic” by locals; populated with walkers, mountain bikers and from time to time the odd pony or horse. Centennial Park is a park nestled away in a small valley. It has a mixture of native bush, gums, oaks and pine trees. There also is a small lake and a carpark, with a stream that runs through the middle.
How to get there:
There are three points of entry – Quarry Road off Otipua Road, Quarry Road off Claremont Road, and the third entrance is a stone gate on Otipua Road at the intersection with Church Street.
All the tracks are bidirectional so look out for travelers coming the other way. Some of the tracks are also linked up with walking tracks and so look out for pedestrians. Some of the tracks have an optional steep drop, but most of the trails are grade 3 or less when dry (averaging about intermediate skill level). For experienced riders, there are some grade three-four trails around the south side.
Average time: 2 hours
The trail is wide and easy – ideal for beginners! Halfway through the track, it does cross a highway which is always usually busy. It is best to ride this part with care.
Salt Water Creek is often shared with walkers and some of it is called the Otipua Creek Walkway – do not let the names confuse you!
Difficulty: All levels
Average time: 30 minutes
The Temuka entranceway is between the railway line and the police station – in Temuka: about 20 minutes out of Timaru. The track is all dirt and circles the domain, cutting through the golf course. There are a lot of trees which provide shade, making this a cool ride during Summer. This beautiful domain has birds such as owls, ducks, and fantails as well as white pine and gum trees.
Difficulty: All levels
Average time: 20 minutes
You start at the bottom near Piazza steps; follow the Willow-walk, cross the road and follow the Memorial walkway towards the Caroline Bay Community Lounge. You can then take the cliff path up to Bevenue Cliffs and enjoy the view. This spot has beautiful views of Caroline Bay, Dashing Rocks, and the mountains. There is a swimming pool nearby and a playground for children. There is also an aviary with a variety of birds on display.
We are lovers of mountain biking well and truly – and since we are lovers of mountain biking, we have compiled a list of useful tips to help you with your next trip away.
Comfort and protection are key when it comes to mountain biking. In general, most riders opt for baggy clothes such as loose-fitting shorts with lycra shorts underneath and a loose-fitting jersey. Those who are more race focussed tend to wear full lycra. Ultimately, the choice is yours! We suggest wearing what you feel comfortable in. There are some key essentials we believe all riders should have - just so you are prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.
Helmet - The chances of slipping, crashing or falling are much higher for mountain bikers due to the uneven ground. Wearing a helmet is crucial! You can wear a regular helmet or opt for a helmet specifically designed for mountain biking. These helmets tend to have integrated peaks to help shelter the sun and rain from the rider's eyes.
Sunglasses - These are helpful for creating an extra barrier between your eyes and the environment. It is safer and easier to see without the sun, rain, wind, and dirt in your eyes.
Gloves - The handlebar grips are often rough on a mountain bike, but after a while, they can leave your hands a little sore. We suggest carrying some gloves for extra comfort and to help keep your hands from slipping off the handlebars when they get sweaty.
Knee pads - These are stretchy sleeves with padding that go around your knees. They are probably one of the most common accessories and are extremely helpful for protecting your knees against risky or uncertain tracks.
Chamois butter / Vaseline - Useful for long or even short rides to stop chaffing!
Here are some helpful links showcasing the businesses in/around Timaru that you may want to have a look at.
WHERE: 106 Stafford Street, Timaru
PHONE: 03-688 8892
The cyclery has a wide range of information on tap about bikes suitable for the various tracks around Timaru. They have accessories for sale, sports supplements and can offer bike hire which is ideal if you’re doing travel in and around the region.
WHERE: 21 Strathallan Street, Timaru
PHONE: 03-688 9060
Bike Inc is also located in town but has an array of services available to help you prepare for your next ride. Bike Inc can help with puncture and tube repairs, gear and brake adjustments, as well as general and full servicing of mountain, Downhill, road, and BMX bikes.
WHERE: 57 Sophia Street, Timaru
PHONE: 03-684 8900
Accessories, clothing, and components for all riding needs. Bike Barn also has an online store and a wide range of brands including Apollo bicycles, Marin, Mavic, and Merida.
For additional biking tracks further north (Ashburton/Christchurch) or further south: check out the mountain biking guide released by the Department of Conservation - here.
If you ever want to know more about some beautiful spots you can check in to Ashley Motor Lodge while in or around Timaru. Our 4.5 Star Timaru accommodation is perfect for corporate travelers, families, and tourists. We also offer a range of comfortable motel room options to suit any guest, from quiet studio units that are perfect for corporate clients and couples, to large rooms that are ideal for the whole family. We highly recommend you give us a call and one of the team members will be happy to help you with your next trip to Timaru.