New Zealand

New Zealand’s newest bike path a two-year labour of love for previous boat skipper

Barry Sarginson has been living in solitude for the past couple of years in Central Otago.


BarrySarginson has actually been residing in privacy for the previous number of years in Central Otago.

Former boat skipper and tourist operator Barry Sarginson is approaching retirement.

But prior to he does that, he left the convenience of his Queenstown house and moved into a separated hut with his 2 pet canines to go through both the busiest and most serene duration of his life.

Sarginson has actually been developing a brand-new backcountry mountain bicycle track out the back of CoronetPeak, due to open on March 5.

It has actually taken him 2 years on his digger with little support to produce the 56- kilometre Coronet Loop, which boasts access to Greengates Saddle, Deep Creek and Coronet Creek, neither of which have actually been open for public gain access to prior to.

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The 56-kilometre Coronet Loop boasts access to Greengates Saddle, Deep Creek and Coronet Creek.


The56- kilometre Coronet Loop boasts access to Greengates Saddle, Deep Creek and Coronet Creek.

The path will release as part of the 2022 Motatapu race – which has more than 4000 rivals throughout a number of occasions – however then will be open to the general public. The bulk of the brand-new track has a grade 3 trouble ranking, with some harder areas.

Sarginson operated in tourist for the majority of his profession, and in later years on Queenstown icon the TSS Earnslaw, as its skipper from time to time.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit New Zealand coasts and worldwide tourist stopped, he needed to take a look at other alternatives. Short of the superannuation phase, he was on the task search once again.

Sarginson has been working for eight months a year for the past couple of years on the new cycle trail.


Sarginson has actually been working for 8 months a year for the previous number of years on the brand-new cycle path.

“Before Covid-19, I was skippering boats in Queenstown and Fiordland, driving buses, all flexible roles.”

When he saw the chance to handle the task of flattening out a distinct remote track for numerous cyclists to delight in, he leapt at it.

“If people can see 10 or 20 per cent of what I’ve seen here, they will go away inspired by this environment,” he stated.

“There is a great deal of farming and gold mining history. And the alpine plants and animals— it’s fantastic.

“I have actually completely enjoyed it. Out in the tussocks, I call it the tussock time, and I like it to bits.”

The life of privacy isn’t long term, however he has actually been content with his 2 canines, Tess and Polly.

“I don’t mind it at all, and it is surprising who passes by, walkers mainly in the recent times. Once the trail is connected there will be a lot more visitors.”

A life of solitude: Sarginson’s humble hut and home.


A life of privacy: Sarginson’s modest hut and house.

Smack bang in the middle of no place, tucked behind Coronet Peak, Sarginson frequently shares the small hut with a couple of undesirable visitors too.

“Oh, I share it with the possums some nights, I don’t mind. I have made it quite comfortable, and we haven’t had many frosts, so it’s all cool.”

Cool is an understatement when speaking about winter season temperature levels in these valleys.

The winter season are so cold that the task of developing the brand-new track can just take place 8 months of the year.

“This has suited me to the ground, getting out here on the digger,” Sarginson stated. “It is just nice being out here in the hills.”

The track is because of be completed in time for the Motatapu race on March 5, and will be passed through by 200 capable cross-country riders, then open up to the general public. Sarginson will rely on gold mining after that, “if the water is warm enough”.

Race owner Gemma Peskett stated the brand-new track was an excellent action up from the occasion’s most popular race: the mountain bicycle flight kind Glendhu Bay to Arrowtown.

Jo McKenzie-McLean/Stuff

SKODA Motatapu Mountain Bike Race 2017.

“There are some tough climbs and fast descents, accompanied by more technical terrain and challenging course length, which will appeal to an intermediate to advanced rider,” she stated.

Fellow co-owner Craig Gallagher stated there was a hunger for something various because the inaugural race occurred in 2005 with simply 1000 rivals.

“With three out of our five events already sold out, and only a few spots left on the 47km mountain bike, we are in a great position to add this to our roster and give our participants another epic sporting experience.”

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