In 2008, Jonathan Kennett and his partner Bronwen Wall bought 50 hectares of marginal farmland in the Rameka Valley as a response to climate change. They soon discovered that the original Rameka Track (built in the 1850s) actually runs right through the property!
Volunteers soon cleared the top 400 metres of the historic Rameka Track and then veered downhill, building a new track called Great Expectations. This is a 3-km, grade-3 track that runs all the way down to Rameka Creek. It’s a two-way track and has a mellow, flowy feel to it.
In 2014, volunteers finished a 2-km long, tight and technical grade-5 track called The Odyssey. It has many challenges and can only be ridden downhill. The Odyssey starts from near the top of Great Expectations and dives down to Rameka Creek, where a connecting track leads to The Klicks (see below).
The Klicks have been built by the Golden Bay Mountain Bike Club and run between Rameka Creek and Rameka Creek Road. They are about 2 km long and are full of grade-4 fun.
The Historic Rameka Track
In 2015, a collective of 60 people purchased the land neighbouring Rameka. Almost 4 km of the historic Rameka Track runs through the land to the top of Great Expectations. Volunteers cleared the overgrown track between 2016 and 2018 to open it up to the public.
This track is a continuation of the famous Rameka Track that starts at Canaan Downs, and leads through Abel Tasman National Park and along the Pack Track to the entrance to Project Rameka.
All tracks lead to the Totara Carpark, near the bottom of Rameka Creek Road. From there Takaka township is only 15 minutes away. At the bottom of the Rameka Creek Road, you’ll reach the seal at a T-intersection with several letterboxes. Turn left and then left again at the next intersection, following orange markers through to Central Takaka Road, then turn right to coast down to Highway 60. Go straight across the highway to Dodson Road for a quieter back route that brings you back onto the main road about 1 km from Takaka township.