Ahhh, summer is finally here. The bike is clean, the road is grippy, and the sunshine is endless (at least we hope!). We’ve been thinking long as hard over the past few months on where we’d like to find ourselves riding this summer, and we’ve finally settle on our Top 5 road to take on.
Words: BRM Pic: Brad Boniface
SH25 – The Coromandel Loop
It is as big a sin as any to not have ridden the iconic Coromandel Loop, and one of our very own BRM staffers falls into that camp. (lies, lies, damnable lies, I have too, and I have the Gold Rider certificate to prove it!) But seriously, if you live in the North Island, why wouldn’t you ride the Coromandel loop? There’s something for everyone of this 256km (Kopu to Kopu) stretch of tight turns and beautiful vistas. Make it a weekend excursion and pull in to stay the night in one of the many beach towns on the way, or turn and burn the whole loop in one day. No matter how you do it, you’ll enjoy every twist of the road ahead.
SH43 – The Forgotten World Highway
This is a unique road, and at BRM, we don’t use the ‘u’ word lightly. No other State Highway has the distinction of passing through a genuine republic (since 1988) and this is one of the last main highways in the country to still have large sections still unsealed. With the locals pushing to lay down the tar along this awesome stretch of road, time is running out to experience roading the way it used to be, and as far as Customs is concerned, it is nigh on compulsory to stop at the unpronounceable capital township of Whangamomona to purchase your passport and have it officially stamped.
Queenstown’s Devils Staircase and the Crown Range Road
We’re lumping these two gems together because they can so easily be completed on the same trip. With one, you can enjoy picturesque views of Lake Wakatipu while snaking your way into Queenstown for a bit of action and adventure, while the Crown Range is everything a fun twisty road should be. Make sure you fuel up in Queenstown though, as prices for gas are steep in Wanaka!
Russell and Kaiikanui Roads to Helena Bay to Russell
This northern gem is what Northland is all about and adds a whole new dimension to a family trip north. With this in mind, doing this run on a bike would be better than just spectacular, it’ll be epic! As the TomTom flies, it trims half an hour of travel time between Whangarei and Russell, but you don’t do this route for the time saving. Savour the smell of the sea as you sling yourself through some seriously squiggly scenic roads. Be mindful of gravel and be prepared for a bit of a challenge, this is definitely a boredom buster of a route as you exit SH1 at Whakapara to Helena Bay, Whangaruru and Parekura Bay, but man, it’s worth it!
SH1 Blenheim to Christchurch
We’d normally never recommend getting on State Highway 1, but with the promise that this stretch will finally be opened again in time for Christmas now fulfilled, we reckon it’s a good time to make an exception. With the landscape dramatically different after the 2016 earthquake, the views along this stretch of road will be stunning, and vastly different to what they once were. Make sure to stop in and support the local communities who’ve been doing it tough along the way!