What to bring
For a great summary of key planning and preparation matters for tackling The Old Ghost Road, see this video from the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. Whilst the focus is on mountain biking, much of the content applies to any mode of travel.
Your gear requirements will depend on whether you are a day or multi-day user, and whether you’re on two feet or two wheels. The lists below are not comprehensive lists and assumes users will have their own outdoor-suitable clothing and footwear, first aid and personal items, but provides some suggestions specific to The Old Ghost Road experience.
All Overnight Users Should Bring
- Biodegradable toilet paper (composting toilets at Lyell Saddle, Ghost Lake, Stern Valley and Specimen Point huts have toilet paper provided, but the vault toilets at Mokihinui Forks and Goat Creek huts do not).
- Print-out(s) of hut, sleepout or tent site booking(s)
- Cookers and fuel if staying at Goat Creek or Mokihinui Forks huts (these huts DO NOT have gas cooking facilities)
- Sleeping bag (hut bunks and summer sleepouts have mattresses)
- Dishwashing utensils and tea towel for washing and drying the hut crockery and cutlery (biodegradable dish-washing soap is provided)
- Firelighting equipment (i.e. matches and firestarters) for the hut fireplaces
- Candles and/or torch
- Plastic bag(s) for ‘packing out’ your rubbish
- Antihistamines (wasps can be present, particularly in the Goat Creek and Mokihinui Gorge and South Branch areas)
- Sandfly repellent (particularly useful for the low parts of the trail)
- An emergency communication device like a Personal Locator Beacon (most of the track does not have cellphone coverage) and/or satellite phone
- Emergency kit items (as recommended by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council): Emergency shelter/survival bag, whistle, cord or string, sharp knife, bandage and plasters, aluminium foil; pencil and paper.
Mountain Bikers Should Bring
Mountain bikers should be prepared to make repairs in remote areas. Essential items include:
- A comprehensive bike tool with chainbreaker
- Quick release chain link
- Tyre tool
- Spare tube(s) / fresh patch kit
- Spare pair of brake pads
- Pump /CO2 pump
- Spare cleat screw
- Cable ties
- Small length of duct tape
- Reading glasses if you need them!