Just out of the bush.
Just out of the bush.
On a good weekend ride.
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 GPX file
So, here we go with the description of the tour:
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The details of the November ride as follow:
There will be one auxiliary rider. He or she will leave the start last and will be the last in the pack. You can also contact the auxiliary rider on mobile-phone if need. We will select this rider later and share the phone number with you at the start.
Be prepared to ride on gravel (in various conditions) and sealed public roads. All kinds of bikes are welcome not just KLR650.
Save the date on your calendar and download all the information what you need.
The GPX file:
If you are riding with us, we will assume, you have read, understood and accepted our “Legal disclaimer”. Click here to read the legal stuff.
The KLR Ramblers ride for October was the Northland Rally on Labour Weekend. It was a long and definitely a fun ride. Unfortunately, Joao needed to turn back, because of a nasty electric fault on his motorcycle on Saturday morning.
Anton was the only rider who made it from Auckland to Cape Reinga on Saturday at the end.
Sunday morning three of us started the ride to Kerikeri and there two more riders joined the pack on the way back on Monday.
We were happy to see Mark joining the first leg of the ride on Monday and the last part on Monday.
Thank you for all of you (in alphabetical order: Adrian, Anton, Herman, Joao, Mark and both Rob) to joining the ride. I am looking forward to riding together again sometime.
Here are a few pictures from the ride.
(Click on the pictures for the full-size image.)
After the first “floating above the road” video, I did try to make a more lively video about the ride today. I hope it can make people excited about “adventure motorcycle riding”.
I know it isn’t a project which can compete with around the world documentaries, but I don’t want to do that at all.
It can still tickle the adventurer in everyone because all these, what you can see on the video is just at our door step. If you can spare 2-3 hours once in a month and put aside $3000-$4000 for a second hand motorcycle (it can be even cheaper if you are not afraid of doing some fixing and maintenance by yourself), you can ride the very same roads and much more.
I really hope you will enjoy the video.