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.





KLR Ramblers ride – February

15/02/2018 10:00- The ride is on! I just did talk to James and the conditions on the tracks are good and as we expect a good weather for the next three days, we will have the ride at Thundercross Valley Bike Park.


The details of the February ride as follow:

  • Date: 17 February 2018
  • Time: 10 am
  • Meeting point: Thundercross Valley Bike Park (See the details below.)
  • Where are we going? Nowhere :-) We will ride there on the tracks of the park.

Have you thought about riding the 42 Traverse, the Fishers Track or one of the similar, more technical routes? This is a good opportunity to bring your adventure bike to an off-road test and practice in a controlled environment with the fellow adventure riders.

The location will be the Thundercross Valley Bike Park. Thundercross is conveniently located 90km from central Auckland. Set in 750 acres of easy rolling to the steep countryside in the Franklin District, the Park boasts breath-taking scenery that has featured in television commercials and movies. Click here for the location on the map.

The entry fee is $30 for an adult (please bring cash). Women and girls can ride for free. You can choose from the learners, trail/enduro, and the MX tracks according to your skill set.

If you are not confident to ride your own motorcycle on the tracks, you can hire one, including protective gear. Click here for the prices.

What you need are approved helmet, boots, gloves and you will need googles because of the dust. Back protection is a good idea. There is a full range of gear available for hire at $10 an item, or $50 for a full set.

Your choice of tire is up to you but you will find that unless you have a tire of a semi knobbly pattern you will really struggle.

This event depends on the weather and the track conditions. I will talk to James Fowlie on 15 February and post here if we are good to go or the ride is postponed.

Please register on the Adventure Riding NZ event website so we (and James) will know how many of us will ride.

Don’t forget to bring your sandwich and we can have a lunch there together.

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.


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


Dakar 2018 – The Final, Stage 14

And here is the end, the 2018 Dakar race is over.

The top 10 rides were

Pos No. Rider Brand Team Time
1 2 Austria Matthias Walkner KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team 36:33:37
2 47 Argentina Kevin Benavides Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +0:32:00
3 8 Australia Toby Price KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team +0:39:17
4 3 Spain Gerard Farrés KTM Himoinsa Racing Team +0:49:17
5 19 France Antoine Méo KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team +0:59:05
6 20 United States Ricky Brabec Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +1:18:10
7 40 France Johnny Aubert Gas Gas Gas Gas Motorsport +1:49:34
8 10 Chile Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +1:53:19
9 68 Chile José Ignacio Cornejo Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +2:05:57
10 61 Spain Oriol Mena Hero Hero Motosports Team Rally +2:13:07

Here is the summary of the final stage.

Dakar 2018 – Stage 12

So far 37% of the motorcycle riders are abandoned the competition for various reasons. Some was struggling with mechanical issues, health problems lead to early finis for others and accidents also contributed to this loss.

Stage 12 was planned to be the longest section of the Dakar rally this year with a whoping 791 km including a 522 km timed section.

Before this stage organisers was not able to secure the special section of the route for the motorcycles from the air, because of visibility problems. Later they decided to put the motorcicle riders on the same timed section as the cars and trucks but finally, due to safety concerns, stage 12 was cancelled for the motorcycles. Now, the riders are facing an enormous 900 km liaison section on Friday.

The leaders can feel a little more secure now in regarding they positions, and the chasers are lost an opportunity to battle for the top positions as only two stages remaining from the 2018 Dakar Rally.

Since there is nothing else to report on today, here is Lyndon Poskitt’s video and commentary from stage 10.



Dakar 2018 – Stage 11

Today was the second marathon stage of Dakar 2018. The route stretched over 746 km of terrain with a 280 km special timed section. Different from previous stages, the vehicles were released on the road in a mix. Cars, motorcycles and trucks alternately in 3 minutes intervals. Battling the white sand dunes almost all day, the riders will spend the night without mechanical assistance and carry on tomorrow morning. The least impacted will be the riders in the “malle moto” class in my opinion.

Malle Moto is a class for riders, who compete without a team of mechanics. The literal translation means “motorcycle trunk”. There are less than 20 riders in this category and Lyndon Poskitt is one of them. After riding all day, they need to do the servicing of the motorcycles with only tools can be packed into a relatively small box.


I think these riders carry the original spirit of the Dakar rally.

Here is an article from Lyndon about malle moto.

Check out all the action for motorcycles in the official stage 11 video.