First ever long-range trip - would appreciate advice!

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Sytadel, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Sytadel

    Sytadel Adventurer

    Aug 16, 2012
    G'day fellas,

    I'll be coming over in early May for a gig and to hopefully see a bit of your beautiful country. I've been riding for about 18 months and this will be my first real long-range trip and, in all honesty, my first real experience with twisty roads. Also I've only ridden 250ccs here, but I'll be on a 650cc V-strom there. The goal is to stick entirely to blacktop. I'm from Australia's west coast and we simply don't have anything like this. My goal is to take it easy, sightsee, and get a feel for the small towns of the North Island.

    Current plan is to do the following over eight days:

    Auckland -> Whitianga (, about 240kms, mostly hugging the coast.
    Whitianga -> Tauranga ( incl stopover in Pauanui, hopefully do most of the riding in the morning and spend the afternoon having a swim at Tauranga.
    Tauranga -> Gisborne ( incl stopover in Rotorua, hopefully have a chilly dip in Gisborne
    Gisborne -> Napier ( incl stopover at Mahia Beach for another swim.
    Napier -> Mount Ruapehu ( incl stopover at Taupo. Will ideally camp at base of Mount Ruapehu but if conditions are unfavourable I'll double-back to Taupo.
    Taupo -> New Plymouth ( going via Wanganui. Hopefully get most of the riding in the morning and do a bicycle ride through New Plymouth in the afternoon.
    New Plymouth -> Te Rauamoa ( I can't find any info about this place, but the loop there looks like a beautiful ride.
    Te Rauamoa -> Auckland ( Goal is to bee-line back to Auckland for an afternoon of sight-seeing. Also seeing a concert that night.

    Most days are <350km and I budget myself at about 70km/hr.

    Accom will be a mix of couch-surfing and camping.

    I'd love any advice - am I missing any amazing roads? Any days where I haven't given myself enough time? Any sights/towns I've just narrowly dodged I can't afford to miss? Most importantly: Is it too ambitious? The goal is to work myself up to a tour of south-east Asia so this is my attempt to get some practice at riding under more challenging conditions than what one is exposed to in Perth.

    Cheers guys :)
  2. trustme

    trustme Long timer

    Jun 11, 2007
    Auckland , New Zealand
    On the last day leave a little earlier & take SH22 from Raglan to Tuakau. The run up the main highway is boring as.
    Are you going Tauranga / Gisborne through the gorge or around the cape. Gorge is cool , the cape is a brilliant road but it takes a while . If you want to go via the cape ,bypass Tauranga, run through to Ohope beach just past Whakatane & stay at the Top10 motor camp which is right on the beach. Nice fush & chup shop over the road for tea & not such a long ride to Gisboring [ it's nice really ]
    You are covering some great roads , have a great time .
  3. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    May 17, 2004
    Rotoiti, North Is, New Zealand
    That looks like a pretty good plan to me. Takes in a lot of nice stuff without being too ambitious. Your route goes right past my place on lake Rotoiti just out of Rotorua, you are welcome to come & stay if I am home.

    Te Rauamoa is more commonly known as Kawhia. The campground is quite nice, right on the edge of the harbour. Good fush & chups there too.:D

  4. Sytadel

    Sytadel Adventurer

    Aug 16, 2012
    Cheers guys!

    After some reflection I think I will take SH22 back to Auckland.

    Also decided to go to Mount Ruapehu before Taupo as apparently the road from Napier to Taihape is particularly good. This takes Wanganui out of the trip but adds more squiggles :)

    Wasn't sold on the coastal ride to Gisborne - besides, I'll have been glued to the coast for two days at that point so adventuring in to the gorge will be new to me. I have literally never been through that kind of terrain before.

    Offer duly noted clintnz - what a part of the world to live in!!

    Will be sure to do a full ride report after the trip in May.
  5. jafar

    jafar Been here awhile

    Mar 8, 2008
    Waiuku, North Island, New Zealand.(godzone)
    Coast road via east cape is a lot of fun, fuel can be an issue though. :evil

    Taupo to New Plymouth via Taumarunui & Whangamomona is a nice ride, some hard packed gravel on SH 43 but nothing too difficult :D