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Old 08-11-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
Mapping the next ride...
glitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 15,731
Default NZ '17...Beaches, Boulders + Bloody Good Times

C'moooonn, we've gotta go, man!
"You know, I've got a mate over there, does some work for a local bike-mag and has a sort-of beach-shack we might be able to stay at...maybe"

Things started to come together after digging out the old maps from previous trips.
Ditching the common belief of the Northland consisting of the Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga and a patch of Kauri-trees, there's
a hell of a lot of stuff to be seen, superb roads to ride, endless gravel and beaches to be explored, outstanding vistas to be had.
The coffees are good everywhere, the tucker still mainly deep-fried, the folks are friendly and generally helpful, always up for a yack with a traveler.

That should keep us happy for a week or so...

The bikes came through Hakan again, even though he doesn't own the fleet anymore.
Things are beyond the normal rental-formalities after all those previous trips and I'm glad for it.... apart from the personal relationship that has built along the way. Hell of a nice guy, too.

4am near Melbourne Airport, and Crusty is going all out to squash 11days-worth-of-gear into the carry-all.

That Northland brew gave me the shakes....
Doug and his old mate (with family). We had no idea what was to come...

The BackYard Steaks+Ribs next door to the first-night digs in North Auckland came as a total surprise...and set some pretty lofty standards!


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Old 10-11-2017, 03:23 PM   #2
Mapping the next ride...
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Posts: 15,731
Default Re: NZ '17...Beaches, Boulders + Bloody Good Times

Doug's mate Geoff and 2 more locals, Tim on the Katoom and Peter on that 80's-something wannabe-chopper (Suzuki 650 Savage) picked us up in the morning to show us around their neighbourhood for a day....while doing a roadtest of that SWM SuperDual 650 for the upcoming issue of the KiwiRider Magazine at the same time.

Off to the gannet-rocks at Muriwai on the west-coast via Riverhead and the backblocks....

Geoff trying to explain to Ant how we got there.

No fear, no feeling...this isn't exactly Hawaii out there.

Bouncing back+forth through the guts of the island, East + West coasts are less than 50km apart. I can't believe how that ancient 650 cruiser-thumper-rustbucket gets punted through the countryside... tar or gravel, no matter. Incredible!

Lunch under blue skies at Puhoi Pub, one of the local biker hangouts.

Want bar-risers for the prissy, little ADV-bike??


And those timber-bits will be chromed by next week

After that the skies cloud over again and we're off towards Kaipara Flats via Ahuroa Rd., West Coast Rd.+ Komokoriki Hills Rd.,

a sweet mix of gravel and some tight, sealed stuff. The Kaipara Hills Rd. is on the menu...and I can't wait for that one!

Kaipara Hills...LOVE 'EM!!

Tim taking the SWM for some magazine-shots

Dropping towards the West Coast again...

They DID say it rained for the last 6 weeks!!
Made the fence posts grow beards.

A little later we're on the East Coast again...Mangawhai Heads lures with a coffee and icecreams.

Is it?? The "dog of Mangawhai"? Guess we'll have to wait for the article in the mag...

Flax bush about to flower... it sure is spring around here.

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Old 10-11-2017, 04:04 PM   #3
Mapping the next ride...
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 15,731
Default Re: NZ '17...Beaches, Boulders + Bloody Good Times

Mangawhai Rd. ? tacking south again.
I'm not sure, but certainly enjoyed NOT leading and checking maps/ signs etc.
Definitely going south though....the day was getting long and there was a brewery waiting!!

At "The Sawmill"....

...and made that dinner-stop as well, while at it. Some nice pizzas the guys knocked up!

The late-afternoon-light hides the biggest "OHHH-AHHH" of the day :
The "Beach-Shack"

Tucked into the steep hills just above the coastline sits a 120acre private estate with a handful of properties, a kilometer of steep, private concrete drive leading onto the spines of the hills...

...straight into HEAVEN!! Take a seat!

The sun sets behind the flax and pine trees as

the dribbling, cold shower from the garden hose in the howling wind behind the shed is just too much for most (softcocks! )

...the well-insulated living-quarters lit up by candles hide a classic, MINT Honda XL350 as the local brew flows, the story of "The Jims " emerges and some sordid past is dug up by the old mates.

Oh man....what a night!!

The wind howls us into sleep....bellies aching and still cracking a big smile.
Day1....outta the ballpark!!

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Old 10-11-2017, 07:30 PM   #4
Sir Francis
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Myrtleford
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Default Re: NZ '17...Beaches, Boulders + Bloody Good Times

Would you trust this lot with your bikes?

Ant and the SWM.

The run to the brewery.


Follow me, I know the way.....

104 (142/70/147/10/193/105/63/211/305/471/635) days and counting...
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:33 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Jakarta, Bali and sometimes Melbourne
Posts: 438
Default Re: NZ '17...Beaches, Boulders + Bloody Good Times

After the demise of Photobucket (the free version) I'm trying Google Photos again - let me know if you can't see 'em.

Day 1

I even got an "Ant" number plate! Thoughtful work from the rentals team.

Tim explains to the group why he's wearing that thing on his head

Who knew about the surf culture here? Not me

Checking the sights in the hills

The view from Jeff's driveway

Last speck of sunset

Cracking first day.

Last edited by ant; 12-11-2017 at 02:54 PM.
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