Watch “KLR Ramblers Ride at Thundercross Valley Dirt Bike Park” on YouTube

Great video from Anton. Thank you.


February – Ride report

The KLR Ramblers Ride was held off-road in February. Our visit to the Thundercross Valley Bike Park was both fun and a learning experience for three of us. I always knew the KLR is a mule. It can do almost anything on its own pace and it was proven again.

We started on the beginners’ loop since none of us had real off-road experience. It was a very good introduction and helped us to put into practice what we already read somewhere or others told us and figured out a few other things, literally, on the go.

That rounds on the beginners’ loop also helped us realize the limitations of our motorcycles. For me, the biggest realization was the importance of the tires. My rear tire turned out to be completely rubbish in muddy sections, so I did not follow Anton and Herman on the more advanced tracks. I will write about the tires in a separate post.

I think we will return to Thundercross for more fun and to keep our off-road skills relevant in the future.

Here are a few pictures about our ride. Click on the thumbnail images for the full-size pictures.

Ride from Auckland to Wanganui

I had four days on my own to spend it on the motorcycle. I used this opportunity to ride from Auckland down to Wanganui.

Since I have ridden the Port Waikato area many times and posted a lot of pictures about it, I started to take photographs just at Raglan.



Sometimes I needed to stop to admire the glorious gravel roads waiting for me to ride.


Glorious gravel roads

Meet the grader machine. It turns the gravel roads to dirt roads for you. :-)


Meet the grader

Obviously, later it will be covered with fresh gravel and compacted.


Freshly graded road

Exciting landscape ahead.


The gravel road begins here (again)

I have found important to have regular stops to refresh myself.


Rest stop

The route cut through a very diverse landscape. My personal favorites were the ones traveling through forests.


Forest route

On long rides in remote areas, you need to have a good plan to refuel from time to time. Gas stations are scarce in some areas.


Morning fuel stop

Traffic jams are common everywhere in New Zealand, but I don’t mind this kind of traffic jam.


Morning traffic jam

I did travel some rarely used farm roads, no need to say these leads through the most beautiful or interesting sections.


Rarely used road

Taumaranui did look like a ghost town.



One of the rest stops to refresh myself and snap a couple of pictures.


Afternoon rest stop

The first glance of the Ruapehu.



Fishers Track was one of the highlights of this trip, but don’t do it alone.


Fishers Track

Close to halfway. The Wanganui River.


Wanganui River

The Wanganui River Road is a sealed road but there are enough roadworks on it to keep it interesting.


Wanganui River Road

King Country with its restless hills.


Restless hills

The Forgotten World Highway (SH34) is one very common element of motorcycle tours. Mostly sealed road with a short gravel section.



An almost empty town, Ohura. with only 120 or so residents.



A lovely spot to stop. Looks like a 17th or 18th-century romantic landscape painting.


Landscape with waterfall

There is no road trip in New Zealand without rain. Here is one which just passed by.



And finally back to the Waikato area.


Waikato area

Here is the route I did from Auckland down to Wanganui.





There isn’t much word on nutrition on your adventure, apart from the extreme food of Mongolian testicle stew or the occasional report of eating dog meat in Mainland China (PRC) and such.


The truth is, this is a very often forgotten topic, or the motorcycle adventurer will grab whatever is available in the local pub. I would say fortunately, there is often no local pub, and you cannot go around on the campsite begging for food. You need to think it through well in advance before you ride out from the comfort of your garage.

I just prepared my rations for a three days trip and I would like to share what I did pack.

In this area a very good starting point is the military born MRE rations. We don’t need to go so extreme, but it is a good starting point. An MRE pack is supposed to be loaded with a good variety of food and all the nutrition and comfort food an adult person needs in physically demanding conditions.

The basics you need to think of are goes like this.

  • vitamins
  • fibre
  • protein
  • carbohydrate
  • calories
  • electrolites
  • comfort items

You need to provide all these not just based on the needs. You should not forget, you are on a trip for fun and not in the military or on a self torturing pilgrimage, so make it pleasant with all the bells and whistles what you can afford within the limits of healthy eating and size.

Talking about size, both weight and volume, you just cannot load a half pig on your bike for a BBQ. Everything need to be packed efficiently and you need to make some compromises.

So here is my food and comfort items inventory for a three days trip in alphabetical order.

  • 5 small apples
  • 5 freeze dried meals (only need some water and heating)
  • 4 roasted peanut and chocolate protein bars
  • Cigarettes (according to your needs)
  • 5 portions of instant coffee (you can replace or mix this with tea bags)
  • 5 packs of crackers with high fiber content (6 in a pack)
  • 5 packs of mixed dried fruit (40 g e.a.)
  • 5 yogurt, fruit and nuts bar
  • 5 isotonic drinks powder pack (I like the orange taste ones)
  • Multi vitamin and dietary supplements (because you still need a boost)
  • 200 ml whiskey (to make your evenings at the campsite colorful as a postcard)
  • Water (if you are lucky, you can get it at the campsite or need to carry)

And how does it looks like packed, ready to go?


For me it is a tried and working combination but you need to consider your individual needs, taste and likes/dislikes. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe.

And here is the menu you can build from these ingredients.

Saturday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Yogurt and muesli freeze dried breakfast
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Saturday morning snack on the road

  • Choc bar

Saturday afternoon snack on the road

  • Choc bar

Saturday dinner

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried Venison risotto
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Sunday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried Cooked breakfast
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Sunday morning snack

  • Choc bar

Sunday afternoon snack

  • Choc bar

Sunday dinner

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried beef stroganoff
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Monday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried creamy carbonara
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee


Auckland in a Nut Shell tour

While we are working at Adventure Riding NZ to bring together the NZ Back Country Discovery Route, it is a pain in the backside to figure out how to get through Auckland with the less possible pain. While the domestic or international adventure riders are looking for much as possible gravel and off-road rides, it is impossible to just jump over Auckland. Especially if you are from overseas, it would be silly to ignore it.

Last Saturday I put together an “Auckland in a Nut Shell” tour to guide the keen adventure rider through some of the notable spots of Auckland. While you cannot find gravel rides in the city, I still made an effort to put as less as possible motorway riding into the tour.

The map

The GPX file

Click here for the GPX file

So, here we go with the description of the tour:

Achilles Point

The route start from Achilles Point just after St. Heliers. Achilles Point is named after a ship called HMNZS Achilles which defeated the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in 1939. You can get a good view from here almost all the places I will mention below.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is a seaside suburb with a small beach and a number of restaurants, cafe, pubs and other eateries. There is also a park where you can enjoy your takeaway coffee and breakfast if you start the tour at the morning.

One Tree Hill

One of the spots where you need to be careful, because you can run into sheep or cow in the middle of the road in the city.  You can get a good view of almost all of Auckland from here, The one Tree Hill Domain together with the Cornwall Park is one of the largest parks in Auckland.

Mt Eden

Named after George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland it is an almost perfect cone of a dormant volcano whose summit is the highest natural point on the Auckland isthmus (196m). If you ride to the top of the hill, you will be at a higher elevation than the revolving restaurant of Sky Tower :-) You also can find a bunch of cafe, other eating places and small shops along Mt Eden Road.

The Auckland Domain and the Auckland War Memorial Museum

The museum is definitely a place to visit if you are interested in the history of New Zealand (with a focus on the Auckland area), natural history and military history. Also recommended to visit the Wintergardens with the Fernery and the two large glasshouses.

Sky Tower

While I titled this section after the tallest building of the Auckland CBD, the route goes through the whole CBD, and the following places can be mentioned along the route (with no particular order).

  • Auckland Art Gallery
  • The CBD waterfront
  • Albert Park
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Viaduct Harbour
  • Wynyard Quater
  • Queen Street


Devonport is a relatively old harbourside suburb of Auckland at the end of a peninsula. Devonport has been compared to Sausalito, California due to its setting and scenery. You can also find the home base of the Royal New Zealand Navy here. Ride up to the top of Mt Victoria for a good over-view of the area and take your time to cruise along the promenade or the small streets with old villas. The small shops and cafes can offer a good place for a break on your tour.

East Coast Bays

From Devonport you head to the north through the East Coast Bays. Many small picturesque beaches, bays and town centers along the way. Take your time and do not hesitate to stop for taking photos or just to enjoy the view.

Long Bay

The end of this route is Long Bay. The coastline is occupied by the Long Bay Regional Park, and the shoreline is the Long Bay Marine Reserve, which opened in 1995. The beach is sandy and swimming is safe. It offers forest walks and scenic cliffs. It is a good place to have a longer break before you are heading to your next stop. Riding through all of Auckland is not as easy as it seems at first look and will definitely will take more time than what you think at first.

I hope you will enjoy your ride through Auckland, and don’t hesitate to drop us a message through our contact page or ask questions or recommendations on the Adventure Riding NZ forums.


November – Ride report

Here are a brief account and a few photos of the KLR Ramblers ride from November.

Ten riders gathered at the Pokeno Fuel Stop on Saturday. The weather was good and everything else did look promising. The first quarter of the ride was just as good as the pre-ride. The conditions on  Klondyke Rd were on the challenging side slightly because the damage by the logging trucks and the not too fine repair works by the forestry company. Later at Port Waikato, we run into a road closure because of a car rally event further up on the road. Thanks to Adrian’s knowledge on the local roads we did find our way back to Onewhero, Wiramarama Rd, Baker Rd and finally we ended up at our pit-stop at Nikau Cave Coffe.

Because the first leg of the route was longer and took more time than we anticipated, after a good coffee and some food we broke-up and some of us headed back to Pokeno, but most of the group set out to finish the unridden part of the ride as it was planned.

I would like to thank Adrian to help us out with his local road knowledge, and Herman and Anton to take part in the pre-ride and leading this ride.

I believe we got the best what Waikato could offer on this Saturday.

This ride was the last in 2017 and we can meet again on 20 January 2018 for the first ride of 2018. We wish a very relaxing Christmas holiday to all of you with loads of fun time with loved ones, friends and on the motorcycle.

Here are a few pictures from the ride.



Taking fuel and adjusting the tire pressure before the ride


At the Pokeno Fuel Stop


At Nikau Cave Coffe


The weather was perfect for the ride


The best what Waikato could offer