A New Zealand Top to Bottom Route

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by oldbeer, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. DaveNev

    DaveNev Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    Northland, NZ
    I see a loop variation to avoid Awakino Gorge S.h. 3. Turn off to the north and follow Taumatamaire Road. It has a big hill, and did have notorious mud, 1920s.
    Warm now, but quite wet!
    merry xmas
    Dave N
    oldbeer likes this.
  2. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Here is an epic video of a 3 week trip through NZ, using some of the T2B routes. Well worth a look. Best viewed on a big screen.



    Enjoy
    Kempy, Muzz67, C-Dub and 2 others like this.
  3. painkilla

    painkilla MeTaL HeD

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    in front of you
    my wish is for a route like this but on paper roads only, it would be cool if we had like UK green laning networks across farmlands.. cant see why we cant
    enduro0627 likes this.
  4. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    That would be because "farmlands" = people's private property. Those that are publicly owned eg Molesworth have heaps of access.

    If you are looking for places to ride that are a bit more challenging then both adventureridingnz or remotemoto websites have lots of tracks. You just need to sign up and you're off. If you're still in Tauranga they try riding over Thompsons Track. More brown than green last time I looked on youtube but a paper road.

    If you're desperate for a green field fix then look out for a local trailride and do that. They are cheap and fun and usually very well run. Check out silverbullet website for what's on.

    Point I'm trying to make is while there isnt and most likely never will be a "greenlane" network in NZ, there's heaps of options out there.
    BOOTLACE, Mc107 and painkilla like this.
  5. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    I havent had much time to progress this what with life etc, but I am planning to gradually fill it out as time goes by. After the forthcoming Labour Weekend Ride, I should be able to add a lot more detail for the north of the north section.
    young1 and bigkuri like this.
  6. justabum

    justabum Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Wairarapa
    Hey guys,

    Great route. Thanks.

    Even showed me some routes to try close to home.

    Between Whanganui and Pamly is a bit of a slog. You could easily loop across from Whanganui to Fordell to Rataiti to Mangaweka to Rangiwahia to Apiti to Pohangina and then Ashburton is well worth the time, and there are a bunch of other options in there.

    Or even just Whanganui to Fordell to Rataiti to Vinegar Hill and a squirt to Fielding that way

    But then you could endlessly loop back and around and find more great roads I guess.
    Better to save something good for the ride home.

    Cheers
  7. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Hey thanks for that. Agree we have some work to do in that part of the trip. We did get some suggestions a while ago but havent had the time to go and suss it out properly. Ive ridden it once and know we can do better. Its on the list.

    The T2B route isnt designed to get you to every great road but to take you from A to B on as many back roads as possible. The loops idea is that if you have time in any given area you could spend a day (or 6) based in one place and pick up some local highlights before moving on. Optional extras if you like. So we're always keen to hear about people's favourite day rides in any given area. We can add them pretty easily.

    I'm happy i have enough info to do that for Northland now but havent had the time to write it all up. The rest of the country is a work in progress. Contributions of favourite day rides in any area are very, very welcome.

    So when you get on top of your new patch feel free to send in suggestions.

    And of course there is always B2T to think about.:1drink

    Cheers
  8. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    So here is the first of a couple of posts on the NZT2B. These are going to end up a bit random unfortunately unless I can find a way to "sticky" them to the top of the thread, so that they stay in order... Mods???

    Concept
    This is a route from top to bottom of NZ that is more or less direct that includes lots of gravel back roads and avoids busy highways as much as possible. We include them occasionally when they are great to ride on. The route is divided roughly into 14 relatively easy days of riding with average distances of 222km in the North Island and 344km in the south island. This is because the central mountain range in the South Island means roads tend to be more point to point and don’t allow the meandering course possible in the North Island. The day distances are based on average riding speed of about 40kmh on gravel and about 70kmh on seal. That might sound a bit slow but NZ roads are typically very twisty and hilly and especially so on the gravel roads. It’s what makes them fun to ride. All of the routes are on public roads and no special permission is required on any of them.


    Ability
    Anyone can ride these routes. There’s nothing particularly challenging, just fun and generally quiet roads. If you are not used to gravel riding then this is the place to practice!! These roads are generally very quiet and so the major risk factor is yourself. Look out for wandering stock. There are lots of more challenging rides off the main route, especially in the South Island


    Loop rides
    We have included some for those with time to explore and some of these will have some more challenging options, as described in the individual section threads. Because it’s not practical to just join up every good road, some of the loop rides include real gems that we were not able to incorporate sensibly in the main route.


    Shortcuts
    It’s inevitable that riders will at some point run out of time and need to take some shortcuts. They are generally obvious from the routes but they are mentioned anyway
  9. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Day 1 - Cape Reinga to Kohukohu Ferry

    See B2T for how to get to the first section of the route, from Auckland.

    Chances are your Day 1 started somewhere like Kaitaia and you rode up the road or the beach to the top. Te Paki is where you will turn off if you want to ride down 90 Mile Beach. Riding down the Te Paki stream is fun, my suggestion is that you keep to the stream bead, its wide and flat (if it’s not raining heavily) and fine to ride on, best you don’t stop though. There’s usually a band of soft sand where the stream peters out before you get to the main beach. It’s an option to just ride the stream, turn round and come back up to the road.

    If you are coming down the beach then checking tide times is very important. Ideally start your run as soon as the tide falls enough for you to pass down the beach. There’s one point in about the middle (called The Bluff) that will be difficult to get past if the water is too high. As long as you get there while the tide is falling then you may just have to wait a little while. It’s about 1.5 hours run taking your time so its not too bad. There’s a power washer at the Mobil station in Kaitaia, to clean at least some of the sand and general beach crap off your bike.

    Personally I would be very careful of the beach on a stormy day with big waves. Waves can come from different directions at once. Wave patterns combine to create the “sets” of waves well known to surfers. Every now and then all the patterns can combine to produce a very big "rogue" wave. Lots of people die on this coast every year for this reason, caught by a rogue wave when fishing from the rocks. Once you are in the water it is very difficult to get out as you cannot stand up in the backwash from the beach. You have been warned, treat the beach with the respect it deserves.

    Whether you have come down the beach or the road the route will take you to or close to Ahipara. If you went up and down the road then this is a good spot to go and have a look at 90 Mile Beach and if you feel so inclined ride on and off again. Ahipara has a very nice campground and there is lots of holiday accommodation here available on line. It’s a much nicer place to stay than Kaitaia itself.

    The route then heads south past Herekino and Broadwood down to the Hokianga ferry terminal at Kohukohu. There’s a good backpackers here (The Tree House) There is accommodation on the south side of the Hokianga Harbour after you get off the ferry. Ferry shuttles back and forth on the half hour or so, cheap and efficient. Recommended.

    The route is all sealed road until the last section, Paponga Road which is gravel (and very nice too) So, if by now you are desperate for a bit more gravel riding then here are some options.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xxZr8mJUYYCb9GJ20NJBqVzuU8H8l5mc&usp=sharing

    The northern portion of this map will take you about a day to ride. If you don’t have time to do all of it then see if you can get to Fern Flat Road then return to SH1 via Peria Valley Road. Lunch and gas available at Kaitaia and Taipa on the east coast otherwise options are a bit limited. Note that this loop ride will take you on a short section of SH1 that is locally known as the Mangamuka Hill. It’s a great piece of road, very twisty uphill and downhill, so good you will enjoy it on any bike. A common reaction is to turn round and ride it again, especially if there was any traffic on it the first time. Treat yourself!

    Another shorter side trip is to ride out to Mitimiti on the west coast. Not spectacular but still interesting. There are lots of things to do around the Hokianga Harbour, both north and south side. There’ s also Panguru and Pawarenga Harbours, but these are dead end roads.

    Typical gravel on Fern Flat Road
    SM-A520F - 20191027_102349.jpg

    Southern end of Paponga Road
    SM-A520F - 20191027_180127.jpg

    Treehouse backpackers
    SM-A520F - 20191025_151934.jpg

    Mitimiti Beach
    SM-A520F - 20191026_115516.jpg

    A crowded Hokianga Ferry
    SM-A520F - 20191028_090151.jpg
    clintnz, eri, Night Falcon and 2 others like this.
  10. eri

    eri Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1,621
    Location:
    ak,nz
    simi.d likes this.
  11. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,470
    Location:
    Melbourne/AUS
  12. eri

    eri Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1,621
    Location:
    ak,nz
    gold!

    thanks, tonight's research
  13. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    You could also look at the route the kiwi groms took. With a few exceptions unless you're as bold as they are.
    simi.d likes this.
  14. eri

    eri Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1,621
    Location:
    ak,nz
    simi.d likes this.
  15. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Just in case anyone else is thinking of having a crack at the T2B instead of an overseas trip, remember we are always looking for suggestions of how to improve it. Don't be shy. But make sure you ride at least 1.5m apart:)

    I have posted up some words for Day 2 on the other site, ill copy them over here later.

    Comments welcome, but especially constructive ones, on either site.
  16. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,708
    Location:
    Tamaki Makarau, Aotearoa
    Day 2 – Kohukohu to Paparoa


    Main Route
    This ride takes you down the middle of the North Island, well away from the main roads except for a short section on SH12 through Waipoua Forest, which is a great ride anyway. There is an alternative if you don’t fancy the State Highway and want a bit more gravel.

    Starts with a nice ferry ride over the Hokianga to Rawene. There’s early morning coffee either in Kohukohu, or from a caravan at the ferry on the North side or several places in Rawene. A great place to sit and watch the world go by. Best to make sure you have enough fuel for the day before you leave Rawene, no more gas on this route until Paparoa

    Then it’s off toward the west coast on SH12 but turning off to head into the Waiotemarama Gorge Road to cut a corner of SH12 on a gravel road. This turning is just before Opononi and Omapere so if you have accommodation booked there then it’s not far to double back.

    Once through the Gorge you are back on SH12 and climb up in to the Waipoua Forest, home of Tane Mahuta, our largest remaining kauri tree. It’s not far off the road and quite a sight. Remember to wash your footwear on the way in and out.

    As you approach Donnellys Crossing the route turns east into Marlborough Road, which rises through the bush and then onto the old Kaikohe Road over crests with great views and eventually onto Waimatenui Road, which is a great piece of gravel running past forestry areas, farms (watch out for stock on the road – have not ridden this route yet without meeting one sort of beast or another) and alongside the Waimatenui River down to Twin Bridges. This is a great place for a stop and leg rest and even a swim on a hot day.

    From Twin Bridges south you are back on the sealed roads until Karaka Road, just of Tangowahine Valley Road. Then it’s great gravel on Somerville and Kirikopuni Valley Road down to SH14. After only 4kms on SH14 the route heads south again on Pukehuia Road and you are back on gravel on Omana Road. It’s just my opinion but this next section down to Paparoa and Maungatoroto is some of the best in the North Island. The roads are generally in good condition, the scenery is great with lots of ridges, native bush and rivers and streams beside the road. While you are enjoying this little gem of NZ's backroads, spare a thought for those not aware of it will be following lines of logging trucks and/or milk tankers down SH1.

    The route turns east along Paparoa Station Road a minute or so short of Paparoa itself, where there’s a gas station, a café and a pub.
    While the second section of the route ends at Paparoa there are not many accommodation options here and so those in a hurry might press on. If not try Dargaville, see below


    Alternate Routes

    Mataraua

    If you don’t mind missing out on the Waipoua Forest then you can turn east on SH12 after leaving Rawene and then turn south just past Taheke onto Punakitere Road, then Otaua Road, Wharepunga Road and Mataraua Road This last road skirts the Mataraua Forest and becomes Kaikohe Road as it crosses the Mangakahia River. Follow Kaikohe Road up to Waimatenui Road and then you are back on the route. All gravel after you turn off SH12 at Taheke.


    Twin Bridges to Paparoa
    If you are short of time or need a break from the gravel options, then stay on the sealed road from Twin Bridges to Maungatapere. (The Office is a nice coffee and lunch spot). Then find your way to the Paparoa Oakleigh Road and follow that down to SH12 at Paparoa. Fuel and pies at Maungakaramea. This is a very quiet alternative to SH1 and personally always take this route when travelling north. You miss some great gravel, though.


    Accommodation
    Apart from the “big” towns like Opononi, Omapere and Dargaville there isn’t much in the way of accommodation on this section. There is a DOC campsite at Trounson Kauri Park, not far from Donnellys Crossing and a nice campground at Kaihu, a bit further south from Trounson on the same road. These are however not far from Kohukohu so if you stayed there at the end of Day 1 this would leave Day 2 a bit short.

    Another option is to head west on SH14 to Dargaville where you will find plenty of motel style accommodation. From here you can head back to the main route of look at some gravellicious loops through the Northern Wairoa area.

    Failing all that head on across to Mangawhai for lots of airbnbs and similar, plus a couple of campgrounds. Kaiwaka on SH1 has accommodation at the pub (3 Furlongs)



    Day Loops
    Here is my suggestion for a little extra gravel while passing through this area.

    Northern Wairoa Day loop – 142kms assuming ending in Dargaville. https://goo.gl/maps/ZckiCE6sMoaJQ6pH6

    It traverses some of the main route but it’s all worth doing more than once so enjoy!!

    Comments welcome as always
    Oaters likes this.
  17. C-Dub

    C-Dub Clean Air Hog

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    800
    Location:
    Littleton, Colorado
    Excellent!