Father’s Day weekend saw the 43rd running of the iconic Cold Kiwi motorcycle rally, hosted by the Ruapehu Motorcycle Club.
This year saw the rally move to a new site, after the previous site in Horopito (which was incredibly muddy last year) had worsened due to a Dairy conversion by the landowner.
The new site is situated only a few kilometres from Waiouru on the road to Ohakune and offered plenty of flat camping on free draining paddocks. This was aided by the work from Dion Weedon (Hymech Ruapehu) and the landowners who worked tirelessly in the build-up to create good roads that went right up to the camping area.
Good weather forecasts and the lure of a drier site meant many riders decided to return to the rally to see how it looked and the response was amazing. Nearly 800 riders arrived despite some rain on the Friday and made the new Waiouru Site their home for the next few days. Friday night saw entertainment from a Taranaki 3 piece called The Blistered Fingers who put their own spin on some classic rock gems.
Saturday morning woke clear and crisp with many up early to capture photos of the frost covered tents and bikes or climbing to a higher vantage point to get a clear shot of Mt Ruapehu in the background.
Graeme “Spyda” Staples filled the day with a hill climb that is now actually a decent hill, some hilarious slow games and the activities were punctuated by the burnout competition on the freshly laid concrete pad.
The return of the wheelie competition was well received as there is now enough space to run the high-speed event. Saturday night was a quieter affair with Bullfrog Rata and his band, including Janine Knapp, entertaining into the night with their blend of Blues and Rock. Many chose the early night in anticipation of the ride home the following morning.
Comments about the new site were overwhelmingly positive with most determined to return next year and bring more riders with them. A huge thanks to the Christian Riders who assisted the RMCC all weekend on the main gate as well as offering breath testing for anyone leaving the site to ensure everyone’s safety.
The 44th Cold Kiwi will be held on Father’s Day Weekend, August 30th to 1st September 2019. Book the time off now!
Words by Mat Northway | Photo by Grant Collier