Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Great Southern Brevet

After the successful inaugural Kiwi Brevet of 2010 a number of riders expressed interest in doing it all again (?). Many were keen for a new route and so a move to the lower South Island seemed logical. With many summers spent in the Lakes and Central Otago a route was developed quickly. After waiting for the Banks Peninsula and Wanganui Brevets to take their course the date was set for Waitangi week 2012.

The intention is to take in as much of the central High Country while avoiding more trafficed main roads. This time round will be more opportunity to commune with nature and less with cars. Of course that also means more time climbing up for those great views!

The route is a mix of high country pastoral tracks, historic gold mining tracks, early settler routes and even a touch of rail trail. A Google map will be posted soon but to whet the appetite the following is a list of tracks:

Begin Tekapo
Tekapo-Pukaki River Road
Black Forest Road (Private road, do not ride this before the event)
Broken Hut Road
East Manuherikia
The Mt Ida Water Race
The Central Otago Rail Trail (taking in Ida Burn)
Thomson Gorge Track (sometimes known as The Sunshine Road)
Cardrona Valley Road
Cardrona - Roaring Meg Pack Track
Bannockburn and the Nevis Crossing
Waikaia Bush
Old Man Range and Prospect Hill
The Old Dunstan Road (including Rohan, formerly know as Poolburn Reservoir) 
The Central Otago Rail Trail (again)
Naseby - Kyeburn Diggings
Danseys Pass
Hakataremea Pass
Finish Tekapo

There is one section with land access to be negotiated and the rest uses public or Conservation Area access. Once the route is up on Google feedback and suggestions are welcome. Some fine tuning will be in order as more local knowledge is bought to light. The Cardrona section was originally via Lowburn but a wise man told me bikes and Spaniards don't mix well for great distances! The majority of the route has been checked but as departure time grows near detail directions will need updating so input is invited.

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