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Friday, August 23, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 23 August 2019

Just a very brief update this time, as wes are flat tack working on the 10th Edition of Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides (yes, it is hard to believe!).

Storm closures

A few people have been asking us “what happens if storms close a part of the route?”.  This is most likely to happen on the Maungapurua Track or the Waiuta Track, but it could also happen on the West Coast Wilderness Trail, or even the highway.  In this case, you should first see if there is an alternative route listed in the guidebooks. If there isn’t, then you take a look at the Tour Aotearoa Facebook Page, because as soon as a closure happens we will be posting reroutes on it. 

Throughout this time, when the weather may be at it’s worst, you need to be excercising your own judgement and keeping yourself (and others) safe!  There will be a solution, there always is. But it might involve waiting for a track to reopen, or finding a way of getting across a bridge that has been washed out (last summer a huge dump truck was taking cycle tourers across the Waiho River on the West Coast for $20 each while the highway bridge was being rebuilt). Think laterally, and take your time to make good decisions.


There are now 940 entrants and the first eight start waves are full.  But there are places available on other starts. We need to spread riders out so that transport and accommodation is not congested in Northland.

7am, 17th Feb: FULL
8am, 18th Feb: FULL
9am, 19th Feb: FULL
10am, 20th Feb: FULL
11am, 21th Feb: FULL
12 noon, 22th Feb: FULL
1pm, 23rd Feb: FULL (could squeeze a few more in)

7am, 3 March: FULL
8am,  4 March: 70 entries
9am, 5 March: 25 entries
10am, 6 March: 10 entries
11am, 7 March: 9 entries
12noon, 8 March: 18 entries

Please check your details on the public start list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/
And if you still haven’t entered, the process is explained below.

Transport from Auckland to Cape Reinga

Real Far North Tours are offering bus trips from Auckland Airport to Cape Reinga next year (pick up also available from Whangarei and Kerikeri). Riders will be given the opportunity to do last minute shopping for food at a supermarket in Kaitaia, and then taken to a camping ground 6 km from Cape Reinga. There will be large tents set up for riders to use at the camping ground, with mattresses for those who need them. The cost will be $200 all up. Bookings essential.
Contact: realfarnorthtours@gmail.com

GPS Tracking of the event

Every rider, or group of riders, must have a gps Spot Tracker for the event. Many of you will already own one. These have three great advantages:
  1. In an emergency you can call for help
  2. Your friends and family can follow your progress from anywhere in the world
  3. We can see if you’re following the TA course.
Shane from Maprogress has now set up the registration page for Tour Aotearoa at https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/event/register.

Whether you have a tracker or not, you need to register with Maprogress to be shown on the Tour Aotearoa webpage that Shane has developed. And if you need a spot tracker you can buy/hire one on top of that.

Note: If you own a SPOT NZ (trackme.kiwi), it is not compatable with the TA site at Maprogress, so you’ll need to borrow/hire another one that is compatible.

Entry Process

There is no entry fee, but you do have to pay at least $100 to a charity and offset your carbon footprint. Once you’ve emailed touraotearoa@kennett.co.nz the receipts, along with your name and where you’re from, we will confirm your entry (obviously there will be no refunds if you pull out later).


You can choose your own registered charity, but it must be registered – all the bonafide charitable organisations are. Pay $100, or more, to that charity in lieu of an entry fee, and send us a copy of the receipt. Simple!

A good charity to donate to is the Waikato River Trail: https://www.waikatorivertrails.co.nz/page/donate-now/


Carbon offsetting is what needs to be done to pay for your travel pollution now rather than deferring the cost to future generations. I believe most northern hemisphere riders will have their heads around this concept already. Some airlines already offer offsetting as a service, but I'd like you to use Ekos or Enviromark because they are independant.

The carbon offsetting for your travel emissions depends on how far you are travelling to get to the start of the event and back home again. It will be approximately:

Londoners = 8 tonnes = $300
Australians = 2 tonne = $60
New Zealanders = 0.4 tonne = $30

Dr Sean Weaver from Ekos has calculated the average emissions for entrants from different parts of the world and set up a page especially for the Tour Aotearoa, so that you can offset very quickly:

Things change

There are several new sections of trail being built at the moment, on the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Fox Glacier Track and more! So the TA2020 will have significant changes!

There are also at least 100 changes to services along the TA course, with some businesses closing down, and others opening up.

All the changes will be included in the next edition of the Tour Aotearoa Official Guides, which will be released in November. We will also provide updated GPX files on the website.

Until the next update, I hope your planning is going well.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

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