Friday again, and we’re looking forward to another beautiful sunny weekend away on the bike! For today, we’ve dredged through some old copies and found a pearler – the Top 5 Roads we love to ride… Happy reading!
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 settled on our Top 5 roads to take on.
SH26 – 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 on 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.
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
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 (* post-script, was it though? – Ed), 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!
Any time out on the bike is a good time in our books (when everything goes according to plan, of course), and we are incredibly fortunate to have so many beautiful roads to ride here in New Zealand. Somewhere around a staggering 80% of our ‘roads’ aren’t even sealed, just begging for the adventure riders to be out exploring them at any opportunity! But for those dedicated to finding all the ‘secret’ sections of asphalt, now is the perfect time to be putting some miles under the tyres…
(* The roads listed in this article may have changed since this article was printed in BRM #163, if you know of any changes feel free to let us know!)