Flora Saddle to Barron Flat Track
Mountain bike - Beginner
Mountain bike - Easy
Mountain bike - Advanced
Ditte van der Meulen riding the Flora Track
The Flora Saddle to Barron Flat mountain biking track is a one day backcountry ride that traverses through a variety of landscapes and terrains. It follows a historic pack track, connecting the Flora carpark (Graham Valley Road end, Motueka River valley) with Barron Flat (Upper Takaka, Golden Bay).
The full trip offers a challenging ride in a backcountry environment for riders of intermediate skill level (Grade 3), with a mixture of technical, single track and cross country riding experiences. (The track is mostly downhill and so less difficult if you start at the Flora Saddle end).
Flora Carpark to Upper Junction (8.7 km)
On a fine day, an easy (Grade 2) ride on a fairly flat, generally well formed, wide 4WD benched track, suitable for families and less experienced riders. Although muddy in some sections, it is generally either gravelled or a hard surface.
Upper Junction to Grecian Stream (6.2 km)
More suited to intermediate (Grade 3) and advanced (Grade 4) riders. It is technically challenging, on rough, remote terrain, and you may need to walk or carry your bike at various points. From Upper Junction to Lower Junction the ride starts as a benched walking track, which then reduces in width to a narrow single track and is of a lower standard from Lower Junction to Grecian Stream. Some parts of this track are boggy or prone to erosion and there are several stream crossing and scree slopes
Grecian Stream to Barron Flat (8.5 km)
A former stock route/bridle path, with a gentle gradient and terrain (intermediate, Grade 3).
Barron Flat to Cobb Valley Road (13.4 km)
(Outside the national park) - a 4WD track on various land tenures, including conservation land, private land and formed legal road (easy, Grade 2). An easement agreement across private land provides access for mountain bikes to Cobb Valley Road.
Roads from Nelson and Motueka meet the Motueka River at Ngatimoti where a bridge crosses to West Bank Road.
The unsealed Graham Valley Road climbs steeply to Flora car park where there is a toilet and information kiosk.
On-demand transport services are available to or from the car park.
The last 5.8 km of road is unsealed and turning a vehicle on the road can be difficult. In summer the road gets corrugated and in winter there can be ice and snow.
Road distances to Flora car park: 75 km from Nelson, 36 km from Motueka.
Mountain biking and cycling
Plan and prepare
Mountain bike rules
You can ride mountain bikes on the Flora Saddle to Barron Flat track:
- all year round
- in both directions
- in a group, provided there is no more than six riders in the group
- during the day only (from ½ an hour before sunrise to ½ an hour after sunset), to protect two threatened nocturnal species found on parts of the track: the Powelliphanta snail and roa (great spotted kiwi).
You are not permitted to take a mountain bike:
- in or out of the national park by helicopter
- into any huts or shelters
- off the formed and designated route.
Signs and other markers clearly identify where mountain bikes can be ridden and where they are not allowed. Towards the Barron Flat end there are several side roads, access driveways and tracks leading off the main route out of the national park and off the legal road across private land. Please stay on the marked route and respect the various land tenures, particularly private land.
At the Barron Flat end, please park your motorised vehicle at the end of the legal road located off Cobb Valley Road adjacent to the Waitui Stream, ~200m from the Waitui and Cobb Valley Road junction (see the map for the exact location). There will be clear on-site signage indicating vehicle parking areas.
Please remember that this mountain biking track is being shared with walkers and trampers, and other bikers who may be coming the other way. It should be ridden in accordance with the Mountain Bikers Code.