Cycle Guides on tour: The Around the Mountains Trail

Walking NZ, Oct 2015
What do cycle tour guides do when they’re not working? Go on a cycle tour of course. This was the case for the team at PureTrails NZ, who managed to score an absolutely stunning few days of mild autumn weather at the beginning of May to ride the new ‘Around the Mountains cycle trail. Here Hilary Weller relates their experiences…The trip from Christchurch south to Arrowtown was a jovial day, offering the chance to sit back, relax, jest, and swap ‘better work stories’… Read article



Happy Trails

The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age Traveller, Feb 2015
Rob McFarland eats and drinks his way along one of New Zealand’s newest cycle routes. “That’s not a hill, it’s a wrinkle,” says John with trademark understatement as we survey the ominous incline ahead. The rest of the group have sensibly chosen to remain in the van and start today’s ride at the summit. I, fuelled by male bravado and three Weet-Bix, have decided to keep him company, blissfully unaware that next month he heads to France to cycle 2000 kilometres… Read article


The Cycle of Life

The West Australian, Aug 2014
Hilary Weller, the founder of New Zealand bicycle touring company PureTrails, reflects on childhood memories and unimaginable destinies….As a youngster growing up in Perth in the 80s, I cut my teeth learning to ride my bicycle, “the green machine”, on our regular family outings, cycling a 13km circuit around the bridges spanning a stretch of the Canning River. Together mum, dad, big brother and I would set off from our home in Booragoon, cycling…Read article



Exploring the Northern West Coast by Bike

Latitude Magazine, Dec/Jan 2014
“There’re a few fords on this stretch,” says our cycling guide. We are near Springs Junction on the first day of our 5-day guided cycling trip in the northern stretch of the West Coast. I listen to the guide and visualise the fords as gentle ripples over a concrete road. Wrong. This is a rough backcountry road and the fords match the surroundings. I peddle gaily through the first four fords but then meet No 5, with more serious boulders. A front wheel collides with a rock and I subside, slowly but surely… Read article



Chocolate Box NZ: The best way to see the Mackenzie Basin

The Waikato Times, Feb 2010
“There are times while cycling the Mackenzie Basin when it is difficult to escape the feeling you’re riding straight into a chocolate box lid. Or, as one cyclist put it, that you’re “part of the postcard”. The grandeur and scale of the dusty velvet, all-surrounding mountain ranges, turquoise rock flour lakes and sparsely populated plains, all topped with azure skies, wisps of cloud and distant snow lines, is well known to most New Zealanders, many of whom… Read article


Seniors reborn on their bikes

The Press, Jan 2008
Formerly a high-ranking criminal investigator, JIM MILLAR, nowadays spends more time in the South Island’s great outdoors, notably with fellow baby boomers and their bikes in the Mackenzie Country. Some have not ridden for 50 years but relish the challenge.
From the shade of a willow tree with a coffee in my hand, I trace the hazy outline of the distant Southern Alps. Tucked away in a corner of the Mackenzie Basin, the contrasting… Read article


Walking and adventure tours for the senior active traveller

‘Active’ Probus Magazine, Summer 2004/05
Sitting at my desk with the cat sprawled out over papers, the sun streaming though the window on a lovely Christchurch sunny day, seems like a world away from last week ‘in the office’. That’s because last week, ‘the office’ happened to be the aqua-blue waters of the Marlborough Sounds; the yellow sandy beaches of Golden Bay; the beech forests and majestic peaks of the Nelson Lakes National Park; and the lush rainforests of the West Coast… Read article


Active Pursuits with PureTrails

ThirdAge New Zealand, Nov/Dec 2004
Sue and Hilary Weller are a Christchurch based mother/daughter team running PureTrails New Zealand, a relative newcomer to the tourist industry, which offers thirdagers more active holidays in the South Island.Sue’s daughter, Hilary, was doing a tourism module for a post-graduate business diploma at Lincoln University and working part-time for a backpacking bus company when she came across a couple of older backpackers who… Read article