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  #1  
Old 22 Dec 2008
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north island new zealand in 9 days

Would anyone be able to recommend a good route around the North Island to do in February 2009? We have 9 days up our sleeves, have just bought some new Suzuki DRs, and are keen to see some parts of the island we haven't seen before. Growing up just south of Auckland, I've already seen a fair bit of the Coromandel and Northland. I'm wondering what other areas people would put on their must-do lists. We'd be keen to hit as many gravel roads and off-the-beaten track little spots as we can (and, given the time of year, beaches and other swimming spots will be fairly high on the agenda, at least for part of the trip). We'll be camping and bringing all the gear we need, although our actual off-road riding experience will be fairly limited, so dirt tracks/metal roads are probably about as rough as we'd want to go.
Cheers!
Rob
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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 2008
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numerous tracks

There are numerous tracks you can take depending and how challenging you want, a good resource for public tracks is DOC (Department of Conservation)

they have a list of tracks here:
www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/parks-and-recreation/activity-finder/four-wheel-driving/4wd-north-island.pdf

It's probaly also worth joining as it costs around £30, they have 100s campsites all over new zealand and you can stay for free when your an member.

I would also recommend foxton beach drive and a beach drive in wellington starting at owhiro bay, fantastic track, will see loads of seals and maybe some whales and devils throat is a great place to ride over of stop and see all the 4x4 trying to make it over.

New Zealand Tramping Tracks - FREE walks, hikes, hiking, tramps, tramping around New Zealand - Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk
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  #3  
Old 22 Dec 2008
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I hitch-hiked/backpacked around the East Cape and remember the map showing various tracks into the mountain valleys. Worth a look-see even if it's just for the fantastic coast drive (the only metalled route in the area then {'04}?).
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  #4  
Old 23 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcagol View Post
There are numerous tracks you can take depending and how challenging you want, a good resource for public tracks is DOC (Department of Conservation)

they have a list of tracks here:
www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/parks-and-recreation/activity-finder/four-wheel-driving/4wd-north-island.pdf
Most of the tracks listed there are probably a little extreme for someone who is only looking for dirt & gravel roads.

I'd go for a run down around East Cape if you haven't ridden around there before, it is all tar but it's a great ride with plenty of gravel side roads to explore, (eg, East Cape proper) If you've been there, done that you could have a look at the old Motu Rd to Gisborne or the Waikaremoana Rd through the Ureweras to Wairoa, then carry on south to Napier (take the inland route from Tutira to Napier), then cross over the Napier-Taihape Rd, Taumaranui, Whangamomona, explore some Taranaki backroads & tunnels then head home up the coast via Awakino, Marokopa & Raglan.

Cheers
Clint
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  #5  
Old 9 Jan 2009
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ClintNZ route plan is a good East to West coast suggestion - some great scenery!

Have just done Wellington to Cape Rienga to East Cape to Wellington in 6 long days of riding - can be done, but you don't get much tie off the bike!

What kind of mix are you looking for in terms of on/off the bike, and where are you going to be starting from?
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  #6  
Old 12 Jan 2009
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If you are interested have a look here. Last week we did pretty much the same route that Clintnz has suggested, minus the Taranaki section.

Annual Rally and East Cape Tour

We were very lucky with the weather, but February should be even more settled. Enjoy your ride.
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  #7  
Old 12 Jan 2009
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Good question Rob, ive lived in Wellington for 15 years and always opt for the South Island, its on the "must do" list, some great tips and links from everyone else though, Ta
my only note is the roads in the South of the North Island are a bit blah, probably upset some of you now, its not intended, just my opinion.

Anyway, look for a book called New Zealand Motorcycle Atlas, by Peter Mitchell, it has some good routes in there, all pretty easy though, but fun. Oh and check out the DOC web site for camp grounds, some bargin prices ($3 - $10 per night) and some with pretty good facilities,

Take care
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  #8  
Old 18 Jan 2009
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Check out this site. Full of great tracks and GPS routes

Also have a look at the Adventure Forum on Kiwi Biker - New Zealand motorcycle community

If you make it to the South Island, PM me, I'm sure I can take a day off work.........
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  #9  
Old 19 Jan 2009
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Thanks for the awesome feedback guys. It's really appreciated. Figured out some sort of route now, incorporating a lot of the ideas people suggested.

I've sketched our route on google maps if anyone's interested. Getting on the road this Friday, so will have a better idea of whether it's a good route by Sunday 1st February...

Google Maps
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  #10  
Old 20 Jan 2009
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Rob, if you want even more gravel there are a couple of changes you could make.

The first, which adds about 40km of gravel without lengthening the route by more than a few kms is to take Whakarau Rd from Moutohora (just south of Motu township) to SH2 just west of Te Karaka. It is a narrow, winding gravel road, similar to Motu Rd.

The other adds some distance to the total route length, doing a detour between Rotorua and Murupara via Te Teko. From Te Teko to Murupara take Tahuna Rd, Galatea Rd, Pokairoa Rd, and Kopuriki Rd. Matahina Village Rd which is shown on Google Maps no longer exists. Pokairoa Rd is gravel.

Enjoy your ride. It looks like a good route you've selected.
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  #11  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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I am not sure I would bother riding right around Mt Egmont. The only real attraction there is the mountain. If you go inland via Stratford you can ride the forgotten world highway through Whangamomona and then cut back across to the coast to carry on. Near Stratford is also a vistor's centre halfway up the mountain, that's worth looking at.

Of course you could just loop back inland to Stratford, after you've come around the mountain.
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