Taranaki Two day Tunnel Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 4Skins, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The plan was for the touring party and wives to rendezvous at the Waitomo Caves Hotel on January 1st for a slightly belated New Year celebration before heading off into the back country for two days. The Orange Roughy and I left Wellington and steered a course up the middle of the island avoiding Highway 1 as much as possible.

    This is that bit or road with the papa cliffs just before Mangaweka up the road a bit from Peep-o-day. Uncle Rog is most familiar with it!
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    This is on Link Road through the stunning Pureora Forest
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    There'a a DOC camp there where we saw this novel family transporter
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    and up the road a bit you'll find a signpost to the long-abandoned Crawler Tractor in the forest 200m walk from the road.
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    Note the large hole in the crankcase.
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    The view in the hole shows the reason for the breakdown and abandonment many years ago.
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    Oscar and Mike came via the Putaki Republic, wherever the hell that is???
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    We made it into Waitomo a few minutes after the rest of the party and checked in.
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    This is where the plan started to vary a bit as Oscar didn't feel too good, thought he might of had a crook pie for lunch.
    So the rest of us celebrated new years day:freaky and Oscar rested to gather his strength for the next day.
    #1
  2. Teep

    Teep Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    The last Cat 2-ton I saw was in 1968 at the Peoria plant, it had just been restored to like new condition and it was an antique then. They would have loved to steal some parts off that one and they had to actually recast some of the parts to restore it.

    Garry
    #2
  3. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Everybody but Oscar surfaced for breakfast and it became evident that he was hardly fit to be upright on two feet let alone on two wheels so we ushered him home, the Orange Roughy piloting the spare bike. Who needs a grumpy bastard on tour anyhow, and to quote the trash dwellers own footer "Adventure begins when your plan goes to shit".
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    Having lost half the day we cut a track straight to Awakino, missing the planned route down the west coast roads. We gassed up and left civilization at Ahititi to tackle the first gravel road for the day, Kiwi Road.
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    The Kiwi Tunnel
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    And the Pehu Tunnel
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    South East of Urinui there's a paper road and a private bridge over the upper reaches of the Waitara River.
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    After a courtesy call on the farmers we linked up two no-exit roads. It's really rugged but beautiful country.
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    Being a river that floods easily and often, the bridge is solid steel and never moves in a flood.
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    The approaches however get a bit washed out and so getting up onto the deck can be a bit tricky.
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    She just needs a new battery and a fresh tank of fuel and she'll be good as gold.
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    Technical director is contemplating 2012 rulebook update...
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    After passing through Matau and a bit more gravel we crossed the Whangamomona Saddle and entered "The Republic".
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    This was about my 20th visit to 'Fonga' but a first for 'Orange Roughy' and Michael.
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    We were joined for the evening by another readhead who just happened to be in the area and he bought me up to date on the latest in shearing equipment.
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    Dinner was good honest country fare. Michael was really pleased with his battered banana pudding.
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    #3
  4. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    We were joined by local guide and organiser of many Taranaki adventure events, Brucey Marshall on his 'easy option' WR250R. He lead us south on Whangamomona Road which starts like this...
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    Needless to say the 'road' is in not-too-good a shape with many ruts and bog holes.
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    It is about 16km through to Aotuihia following the Fonga River
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    There are a couple of short tunnels
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    Orange Roughy had to hop off in a few places and captured this priceless moment ...
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    Brucey shows how it's done properly...
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    I eventually got it sorted...
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    One minute you're nowhere, nek minnit you're somewhere. The 'Bridge to Somewhere' is about 20km as the crow flies but about a day's travel by road/boat to the famed 'Bridge to Nowhere'.
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    4Skins contemplates the question of the day; WHY?
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    Brucey then led us east through some new-to-me country via Aotuhia Station...
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    This old house had seen better days
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    So had the old International Truck
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    We found this old swing bridge and stopped for a break
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    Nobody was brave enough to go all the way!
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    4Skins, the dirty bastard with the brave Orange Roughy hanging on!
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    We eventually came out to SH43 east of Marco where Sylvia was ensconced in a good book. Brucey had bought petrol for us too as the LC8s were getting low.
    Through the last of the tunnels, the 'Hobit Hole' then through the Tangarakau gorge.
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    #4
  5. tri boy

    tri boy Been here awhile

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    No nuke zone
    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #5
  6. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Our route continued east toward Taumarunui with our guardian angel Sylvia producing a lunchbox full of sandwiches and a flask of coffee at a picnic spot by the Wanganui River near Te Maire. Here, there is a bridge over the Wanganui, the only one in fact between Taumarunui and Wanganui itself.
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    We crossed the bridge and followed the river downstream to Kirikau, then up the valley to Makahiwi Station. After another farmer courtesy call we proceeded west through the station to a forestry block and out onto public road again west of Owhango.
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    Here's the same gateway in 2003 on another adventure...
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    And in about 1999, my first time through. See Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu in background...
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    And finally out onto SH4 at Raurimu
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    From there we all went to Ohakune for dinner and a well-earned sleep (and very cleverly slept while it pissed down).
    Even Lowry turned up again (just happened to be in the area) to keep up the read-head count.
    #6
  7. mattherat

    mattherat it was like that when i got here

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
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    Location:
    sydney australia
    beautiful scenery, great pics, that first video was hilarious. :lol3 :lol3
    #7
  8. Greengo

    Greengo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
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    Location:
    Lake Ann ,Mi
    Beautiful countryside nice pics. wish it was summer here :D
    #8
  9. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    It wasn't all that funny at the time, I can tell you! My RH mirror is still in the bottom of that hole too.

    Day 3
    Next day, the grey sky lifted, we farewelled the gentlemen of adventure and headed south down the Whangaehu River Road.
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    More classic trucks
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    Church near Mangamahu
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    #9
  10. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum Precious Snowflake

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
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    Location:
    Missouri
    Great pictures of a beautiful country. Thank you!
    #10
  11. 4Skins

    4Skins Johnny to most...

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    482
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The only thing that remained was the major clean-up. I am pleased to report the the Givi bags held the mud at bay. I have just finished washing the last of the Taranaki mud down our driveway. Brucey reckons the remnant stain will be there for 6 months yet.:eek1

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    Thanks to the other ladies and gentleman adventurers for another memorable excursion.

    Johnny & OR.
    #11
  12. junkmanjoe

    junkmanjoe Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    NZ Wairarapa bikers heaven.
    4skins, mate i feel for ya.

    EddieB and i we went through the old whangamomona road on a rainy day,
    it took us nearly 3hrs to travel 20kms, next time we in there i pick up your mirror. im on good terms with that very same bog hole..

    great report, and if your 990 can do it then my 950 will too..

    JMJ
    #12
  13. Frodo

    Frodo On the way to Mordor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
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    Location:
    Kapiti, New Zealand
    4skins

    Enjoyed the ride report immensely. Like JMJ, I wonder why Brucie didn't help lift your bike out of the hole!

    I thought that this caption "She just needs a new battery and a fresh tank of fuel and she'll be good as gold" referred to the photo above!

    I plan to ride those roads before it gets too wet - I now know which boghole to avoid!

    Cheers
    #13
  14. junkmanjoe

    junkmanjoe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    508
    Location:
    NZ Wairarapa bikers heaven.
    there is photos of eddieb and i in the whangamomona rd in my album.
    look in the king country ride folder



    JMJ
    NZ
    #14
  15. Broo C em

    Broo C em Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    NP, Taranaki, NZ
    re "Like JMJ, I wonder why Brucie didn't help lift your bike out of the hole!"

    Becoz a gentleman likes to keep his boots clean & dry, not like that wallowing dirty-bastard 4skiNZ !
    (As a special concession at least I went around to lift on the high side after the cameras stopped rolling ;-))

    What is not realised by folks who arent familiar with this 'road' is that 4skinz puddle swim was by far the more preferable downside from the line he chose along the top/left side ~ to his immediate left was a HUGE vertical drop down into the river bed! A real frightener.

    Toodle pip now
    BrooC :norton
    #15
  16. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Nice RR and great puctures 4Skins. :thumb

    Hoy BrooC!
    #16
  17. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
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    On'ya, Bruce!


    Ya big-bore KTM crew ride like fckn girls.

    Just like here in Cannydah!


    :rofl


    :kat


    :thumb
    #17
  18. Michaelfish

    Michaelfish Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
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    I like the old trucks!:thumb
    #18
  19. cbelbin

    cbelbin Air - Bino

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
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    Location:
    Raglan, NZ - trail ride mecca
    Where was the invite? I've got a Dominator now and would have tagged along for the muddy bits. Just did a ride report on a daytrip we did friday..have a peek.
    Cheers.
    #19
  20. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Great record of a dynamite trip! Especially liked the old trucks & tractors and the bog & tunnel videos.
    NZ sure is spectacular -- all that in just a 2-day excursion. Thanks!:thumb
    #20