Thursday, August 28, 2014

BRR Taranaki Tunnel Tour Part One

Last weekend was our monthly BRR gravel ride but with it starting pretty early on Sunday morning in Stratford, I like a few others made the trip up to the 'naki on Saturday.  In my case I got to cadge a bed and a feed off my sister and catch up with my nephews and niece which was a bit of a bonus.

After depositing the dog at my folks place (where I'm sure he was helpful to Dad when they working on the bus) I raced home and swapped from the car to the mighty Vee and hit the road.  It wasn't too bad a day but from about Bulls there was a nasty little breeze to prevent the motorcyclist from getting too hot in their riding gear.  Also missing from the ride was the nice view of the mountain that I'd enjoyed a fortnight earlier.

On Friday night I'd decided that it would be cool to see if I could find a few back roads (preferably gravel) to take in on my way up and after a bit of poking around in Mapsource and on GoogleMaps I ended up with a route that I thought would offer up a change from the main roads.

Firstly I turned off to take my usual diversion around Hawera but then instead of popping out at Normanby I zig-zagged my way East of the main road and found a lot of new roads.  Most were all sealed but a lot of them were deliciously windy and there was one that even had "saddle" in it's name which of course means "fun".

In my route planning I discovered a lot of other roads tearing off into the wop-wops but didn't take any of them as they all seemed to peter out somewhere.  A couple will definitely be worth looking at in the future as there are lakes and rivers tucked away up there.

Unfortunately the only decent bit of gravel was on Wingrove Road and it wasn't a very long stretch.  It was quite fun though as it started off pretty open and fast before a small climb up over a hill surrounded by a forestry block.  Add in stock on the road and it felt like a mini-adventure...

Further on up the road I took in a small section of the start of the Forgotten Highway before turning off at Toko onto some more new roads taking me closer to the farm.  The roads got a fair bit skinner and a lot more windier - I was really hating it...

At Stanley Road I turned right as that's where my GPS said to go but couldn't help but notice the no exit sign.  I decided that as I was pretty close to my destination a little diversion was ok even if I did have to turn around and backtrack - besides, the GPS said I could get through...

The road eventually became gravel and a short time later I came to a gate.  More on this later, but I decided to be good and turned around.  I then (because I am the trusting type) decided to let the GPS find a new route up to the farm.  This involved more tight and windy roads (dagnabbit) but I eventually ended up in the right place right on time for lunch - mint!


  1. All that and you still managed to get there for lunch (on time!) Love the cloud cover =D