For those wondering what the course is like, well it does have it moments. A total of 3 weeks (spread over 2010) was spent riding and checking out the course (and alternatives when problems presented). Given I had to return to the car after each ride that would mean I have done the ride almost twice ;-)
There is a section (~8-10kms) I haven't ridden. I was just plain too stuffed that day to continue. Free SPOT Tracker hire to the first person to guess where it is ( I will drop hints between now and January).
In general the terrain is quite good (cyclocross riders rejoice?) but there are a few steep hills. That is steep going up and others steep coming down. As I didn't have full Brevet gear on when doing the pre-rides there will be a few sections made more challenging by the weight I suspect.
There is water, mud, rocks, grass (and grass with sharp bits) and everything in between. Some of the puddles(?) on the Waikaia Bush Road will easily swallow a bike and on the Old Dunstan Road the ruts do swallow bikes. But then there is cruising along the Mt Ida Water Race dropping a meter for every kilometer (not quite a screaming downhill then).
There are many tools available today to check out the course remotely, ranging from your reliable standby the printed topo map to 3D video flyovers (see links to the right for these). But remember they are no substitute for the real thing!