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Local MPs Dr Nick Smith and Maureen Pugh today welcomed news that the Heaphy Track mountain biking season is being extended by two months in spring to run from 1 May to 30 November.

 “The Heaphy Track is New Zealand’s ultimate multi-day mountain biking experience. It traverses dramatic and diverse landscapes from mountain forests, to expansive grasslands and wild West Coast beaches,” Dr Smith says.

 The New Zealand Conservation Authority has approved an amendment to the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan allowing the longer seven-month mountain biking season that will run for the first time this year. The mountain biking season previously ran for five months from 1 May to 30 September.

 “This positive announcement will be particularly welcomed in Karamea and Collingwood. These small centres have benefitted from people who have biked the track each winter period when fewer visitors have been around,” Mrs Pugh says.

 “This confirmation of the Heaphy as a long-term mountain biking winter track is exciting for both the Nelson and West Coast regions. It is these sorts of unique experiences that help define the lifestyle and adventure that makes this part of New Zealand such a great place to live and visit.”

 Mountain biking on the Heaphy Track has become particularly important for small tourism businesses in Karamea and Collingwood. The Heaphy mountain biking track is world renowned as one of the premier routes, and alongside Tasman Great Taste Trail, Old Ghost Road, West Coast Wilderness Trail and Queen Charlotte makes the Top of the South a mecca for mountain bikers,” Dr Smith concluded.

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