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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help on: October 30, 2014, 10:08:14 PM
Adam Alphabet


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« on: October 30, 2014, 10:08:14 PM »

Hello Kiwi's,

Pending approval of a work leave (pretty much guaranteed at this point) I'll have about 6 weeks off from November 17th to December 27th.

I'd like to visit New Zealand again for about a month from about the 20th to the 20th (+/-). I cycle toured (touring bike, panniers, fishing rod, camping tarp) the South Island in 2010, with hang out days in Wellington and Auckland. This time around I'd like to spend my time exclusively on the North Island and focusing on mountain biking.  I would fly into Auckland, put my bike together and start from there.

**Tentative thoughts/goals are to focus on touring to mountain bike destinations/trail networks, posting up for a number of days, exploring trail networks unloaded as day rides, shredding, eating, drinking, being merry, and then touring to the next mountain bike destination. repeat.

I'd like to use the cycle ways outlined in the Tour Aotearoa route as my main connectors (where possible) as opposed to 'road' riding the whole time but am not opposed to riding highways.

Obviously I'd be hitting up Rotorua and Taupo....

Now the questions (thanks in advance!)

If you were putting together a trip of this nature.....
1) what trail towns/networks would you absolutely recommend?
2) are there any guide books that would give me a heads up on any of this or am I better to just get trail info/maps at each spot?
3) are there any other North Island points of interest that would be worth riding to to check out? I'm not much a tourist for museums and art galleries and monuments, I just like to ride, eat, walk around cities exploring, surf a bit where possible...

Bike Setup: will be geared towards mountain biking first and touring second. So my regular steel hard tail 29er that I ride year round. Probably put some gears on it to make the touring part less mundane, 120mm susser fork or rigid I haven't decided yet. And then bikepacking bags of my creation. I'll have full camp kit so sleeping out will definitely be in the plan.
Abilities: My local trails are the North Shore in North Vancouver so technical, steep, greasy is what I know. From the touring side of things 150km days are about the max as I want to try to avoid time in the 'no fun zone', I'm on vacation after all. Smiley

I've done enough of these trips that I don't need/want to plan exhaustive daily itineraries etc.. just need some dots to connect and maybe some lines to connect em if you know of any good ones.

Thanks a bunch all.
Adam.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 02:05:51 AM
tanadog


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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 02:05:51 AM »

Kennetts new book just out today http://www.kennett.co.nz/shop will cover pretty much everything you need to know.

Rotovegas, Taupo, Wellywood.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 02:29:42 AM
Adam Alphabet


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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 02:29:42 AM »

Kennetts new book just out today http://www.kennett.co.nz/shop will cover pretty much everything you need to know.

Rotovegas, Taupo, Wellywood.


Thanks Tanadog, timely release. Pretty easy to find copies of those over there? book stores and bike shops or is it mostly online orders?
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 08:59:26 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 08:59:26 AM »

I'm hoping to see a copy of the Kennetts book soon, too.  I don't know how much they cover it, but I have been daydreaming of this:

http://trackleaders.com/teararoa

It seems like it may be much like my last adventure (the CDT), in that it's not done, has some sections most would consider 'too burly' for bikes, and it's not so clear which sections are even open to bikes.

Addy -- with your light setup you might think of exploring some of it.  And post up here to let us know how it goes, either way....
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 10:21:58 AM
Jilleo


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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 10:21:58 AM »

I was considering the Te Araroa Trail for a fastpack adventure for 2016 or 2017 if I can't make another long trail dream happen (Great Himalayan Trail.) I'm guessing you've done at least as much research as I have (not a lot yet), but it does not seem like a trail anyone will ever want to drag a bike across the entire length ... except maybe you guys. Wink

It seems logistically difficult as a self-supported hike as well. Lots of water crossings, some packrafting (maybe not enough to bother carrying a packraft the entire way), overland travel, lots of hacking through thick brush, if you're not on exposed rocky mountainous sections you're on mud or sand, etc. But it also has long road detours that would be nice to knock out quickly with a bike.

Would be cool if you tried it. Depending on the timing, maybe we'll see you out there, probably glad we're not carrying bikes. Wink
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 11:06:03 AM
Adam Alphabet


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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 11:06:03 AM »

I'm hoping to see a copy of the Kennetts book soon, too.  I don't know how much they cover it, but I have been daydreaming of this:

http://trackleaders.com/teararoa

It seems like it may be much like my last adventure (the CDT), in that it's not done, has some sections most would consider 'too burly' for bikes, and it's not so clear which sections are even open to bikes.

Addy -- with your light setup you might think of exploring some of it.  And post up here to let us know how it goes, either way....


Looks like a pretty rugged route to be dragging a bike over, although some of it would be spectacular. I got lost in your guys CDT posts for a couple hours last night. Amazing journey you guys accomplished Scott, much congrats. This route looks like it'd be right up your guys alley. I remember following Joe and Sheryl from Zpacks as they were on their journey. They thru hiked it end of 2012 into 2013. Pics linked.

North Island: https://plus.google.com/photos/106405242027708744767/albums/5910638921593978897?hl=en_US
South Island: https://plus.google.com/photos/106405242027708744767/albums/5910889150163197313?hl=en_US
Gear List: http://www.zpacks.com/about/te_araroa_gear.shtml

Ahh the day dreaming begins.. Scott do you know of any GPS tracks for the route? It'd be cool to load something just to go exploring for a couple days here and there while I'm out there.
Thanks for the stoke guys.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 12:01:59 PM
tanadog


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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 12:01:59 PM »

Quote
It seems like it may be much like my last adventure (the CDT), in that it's not done, has some sections most would consider 'too burly' for bikes, and it's not so clear which sections are even open to bikes.


Most of Te Araroa is closed to bikes and I would say that even more of it would be way too hard to even contemplate taking a bike on. NZ bush is pretty hard core. Sure, there would be sections that would be nice riding, but not much.

A really good South Island route was done way back.... http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/hotrides/13/off-the-beaten-track
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 01:08:35 PM
ScottM
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 01:08:35 PM »

Looks like a pretty rugged route to be dragging a bike over, although some of it would be spectacular.

Ahh the day dreaming begins.. Scott do you know of any GPS tracks for the route? It'd be cool to load something just to go exploring for a couple days here and there while I'm out there.
Thanks for the stoke guys.

They have a pretty complete set of tracks on the main Te Araroa trail site.  I compiled them all together for the base line on the tracker I linked above.  Just have one hiker on there right now.  I can get you a complete GPX file if you'd like.

tanadog -- Simon Kennett and David King seemed to think the majority was open to bikes, but that much is not suitable for them.  I guess much like the CDT, things are improving over time as new trail gets built.  It seems like many new sections are due to be completed soon -- even the brevet that Simon's brother is putting on in 2016 (Tour Aotearoa) is waiting for a couple key sections to be complete.  That seems to be a pretty tame (as far as technical MTB goes) routing, so I'm assuming the new sections are pretty bike friendly.  I find reference to people loving to ride some of the newer sections, nearer population centers, anyway.

Jill - Yeah, I haven't dug super deeply into it -- more in the daydream stage.  It seems like there might be room for a route that uses more of the trail than most people ride, and more that is on the Tour Aotearoa.  But trying to do the majority of the bike-open trail could prove to be folly.  It's always hard to know, because I bet I could line up dozens of CDT locals who would have told us thru-riding some of the sections we did ride is simply not-feasible.  Yet, I have heard hiking in NZ can be a class-4 affair a lot of the time.  Maybe we'll end up fast-packing it, too.... Smiley

FWIW, here's David King's recent reply to me regarding bike access:

Quote
Yes, the trail is open to bikes in places and restricted in others (and as you said doesn't make sense because of the terrain in some places). I believe the trail itself doesn't have restrictions but it has negotiated easements (access) across many sections of private land. The terms and conditions of these easements vary but in general they do not forbid bikes.

The main obstacle is the sections that are rough, and remote, and bikes probably don't make sense. Having said that I have done a few of these sections and they can be a real epic (lots of bike pushing) but plenty interesting.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 03:56:03 PM
Adam Alphabet


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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 03:56:03 PM »

They have a pretty complete set of tracks on the main Te Araroa trail site.  I compiled them all together for the base line on the tracker I linked above.  Just have one hiker on there right now.  I can get you a complete GPX file if you'd like.

I'll dig around on there for a bit, see what I can find. Thanks for the heads up. I'll chat with folks when I'm over there if I'm near the route to see what's available for bikes, what's reasonable, etc..
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 01:15:14 AM
tanadog


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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 01:15:14 AM »

Re mtb - ability of Te Araroa. Simon would have a good feeling for it. My knowledge of the north is a bit vague - so can't comment. However in much of the South Island would be off limits (National Parks) or not worth taking a bike. The new trail that is being built in NZ is cycle trail that the Tour Aotearoa will use. Te Araroa is mostly a collection of existing walking tracks and access agreements to get through private land - AFAIK there is no new "trail" being built - at least down south in my neck of the woods. Also worth noting that down here the trail is in many cases a route - there is no trail on the ground. I walked from Lewis Pass to St Arnaud a few years back and 3 days of that there was little marked trail - and definetly no foot trail to follow. You be carrying a bike on yr back for that section!

There are good options for mtb bikepacking in the South Island - but there is little info out there and it takes some creativity and local knowledge to put together a good route. If yr committed to that idea you could spend a few (3+) weeks doing the length of the South Island that would include awesome singletrack, remote travel and fantastic scenery.

 Yes the Tour Aotearoa will be a "rigid" tour - more akin to a TD and not remote at all.. Some great riding and I reckon awesome scenery (I'm in!). I think it will be a great insight into NZ culture and the range of environments...

If you want to know more, PM me. I'll be offline for the next week in the hills ....

Brian
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #10 on: November 13, 2014, 11:08:49 AM
jibbett88


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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2014, 11:08:49 AM »

Hi guy's
I am planning a similar trip in Feb/march. I am planning on using the Kiwi Brevet route as a starting point and then looping south to Queenstown on the coast road. Does anyone have a gpx file of the brevet route?
Thanks in advance
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #11 on: November 13, 2014, 11:22:09 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2014, 11:22:09 AM »

Check the kiwib website.  If not I have at least the .kml used for the tracker that I can send you.  It'll be lower res, so I'd check the site first.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #12 on: November 13, 2014, 05:03:24 PM
RonK


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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2014, 05:03:24 PM »

You may find the Tour Aotearoa route - top to bottom of interest. The latest track notes are here.

On the Kiwi Brevet route, the sections of most interest will probably be the Molesworth Road, Rainbow Road and St James bike route.

Heading south to Queenstown from the Kiwi Brevet route, you may find the Great Southern Brevet route interesting...I rode several sections a couple of years ago, the Southern Highlands are probably the most scenic part of the South Island. My tip is to take a telescopic fishing rod and some lures and flies.

There is a link to a course map .gpx file here.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 07:21:46 AM
jibbett88


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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 07:21:46 AM »

Great stuff, thanks for your help on this. I think I will combine the Kiwi Brevet and great southern Brevet loops. That should keep me entertained for a while!
Do you think I would get away with using a silk sleeping bag liner and down jacket to sleep in March time? I'd like to avoid carrying a full sleeping bag if possible.

Thanks

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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 11:18:08 PM
tanadog


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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 11:18:08 PM »

Quote
Do you think I would get away with using a silk sleeping bag liner and down jacket to sleep in March time? I'd like to avoid carrying a full sleeping bag if possible.

That would be chilly - locals would be using a bag for sure. In March daytime temps will be 15-20deg c, night time 5-10c. Once yr down south will be a bit colder and snow is definitely on the cards. I'd be packing a summerweight  bag for sure + down jkt as backup.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #15 on: November 18, 2014, 03:28:06 AM
NathanM


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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2014, 03:28:06 AM »

Hi Adam

If your after any GPX tracks of any of the NZ cycle trails let me know.
Ive got a fairly solid collection of those along with many more throughout NZ.

Only 2 weeks ago I rode from Wellington to Auckland via the network of cycle trails. we covered about 1200kms over 7 days, self supported bike packing setup.

So if you've got any questions let me know

Nathan
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 02:30:23 AM
jibbett88


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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 02:30:23 AM »

Hi Nathan,

Do you have any GPX tracks from Taupo down to Wellington?

Thanks  Josh
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #17 on: November 19, 2014, 08:57:48 AM
Adam Alphabet


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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2014, 08:57:48 AM »

Thanks so much, PM sent Nathan.
Adam.
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #18 on: December 02, 2014, 03:21:28 PM
Adam Alphabet


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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2014, 03:21:28 PM »

Hey guys,

Just checking in with a couple notes.
The Kennett books are really good. Between the lot of them and some library time you can put together some nice routes.
I took the train out of Auckland to avoid traffic and got off at Tikinini. I've been using the tour Aotearoa route as my guideline as they've got some good connector options figured out off the main highways to connect the good stuff. The Hauraki Rail Trail was nice, smooth, easy and pleasant, nice farmland rolling. From there through Hobbiton and over to the beginning of the Waikato River Trail which was really fun. I wasn't sure what to expect but it's mostly singe track and quite diverse, with some cool bridges. Enough for resupply to make it not too difficult and some super fun flowy trails with really great camping opportunities.

From the end of the Waikato I got on the highway north to Rotorua where I'm going to chill for a couple days and go ride the Whakawarerare without my bags which I'm super stoked on. From there the hot springs route towards Taupo, the Great Lakes trail and over to the Timber Trail. I'll check in when I get a chance.
Cheers!
Adam
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  Topic Name: New Zealand (North Island) Ideas/Help Reply #19 on: December 04, 2014, 09:28:54 AM
Yagi


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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2014, 09:28:54 AM »

I'm super jealous, Adam.  Sounds like a fantastic trip.  We need pictures, buddy.  I haven't lived vicariously through somebody else for a couple weeks now.  Wink
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