A new multi-day Enduro will launch in New Zealand next March. Billed as a “real enduro adventure”, the NZ MTB Rally it's a whole week of discovering trails and good times on 2 wheels. Definitely worth adding to your to-do list!
THE ORGANIZERS OF THE RACE
NZ MTB Rally is a 6-day adventure in enduro format, crossing the yet unknown “Top-of-the-South” region of New Zealand. As you would expect, it features world-class trails in a pristine environment, but with a well-rounded interpretation of the “trans-enduro” format that includes some truly extraordinary logistics: multiple Heli-Drops, a day of boat access , and numerous ascents with 4×4.
The Rally route features a route that winds through 3 national parks, with a mix of historic backcountry trails and purpose-built MTB trails. Simply put, it's an enduro stage race with lots of shuttle transfers. It's a route that feels like you're embarking on a journey rather than simply moving from a bike park.
Even though it's a race, our expectations are that at least half of the starting list of 120 bikers will be here for the adventure, fantastic trails, beautiful scenery and the desire to party; not necessarily keeping an eye on the final times.
BIKE SHUTTLES UNIQUE IN THE WORLD
Il NZ MTB Rally aims to stand out with a very high level stage race and truly complicated transport logistics (complicated from an organizational point of view, certainly not for the biker who has to take part in the race). 2 days of heli-drop during the week, 1 day with “Boat-Shuttle” (if you can call it that) and finally Land Cruiser 4x, will probably be the main feature for many.
HOW MANY KM PER STAGE?
The typical day includes on average 800 -1300 m of ascent and 2300-3000 m of descent. During the week, on average we have around 70% of stages on natural trails and 30% in bike parks. Even if the natural routes are often groomed like in a bike park: and uncontaminated nature will do the rest!
DIFFICULTY OF THE ROUTE
Everything is done “blindly” and by sight. Technical evaluation is especially difficult on backcountry trails that were not originally “purpose-built” for MTB. And these types of trails are the bread and butter in New Zealand! Sometimes you can expect a few exposed sections or narrow paths and, if it's wet, lots of slippery roots to keep you focused. If you really want a rating, expect 40% blue, 40% black and 10% dark black trails :)
Introducing the Nelson headquarters. Don't you know her? It's probably the best New Zealand location you don't know exists. New Zealand is already a dream destination for many, but the competition introduces a region that has managed to remain hidden despite its reputation for quality among more knowledgeable (local) Kiwis. The starting and ending point of this circular route is Nelson, at the tip of the South Island. It is more or less halfway between Rotorua to the north and Queenstown to the south. A little off the beaten track, on a small island. We thought it was the perfect place for this epic adventure.
Our area is best known for its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, wild mountain landscapes, national parks, golden sand, wineries and craft breweries which are typically packed with regular tourists during the New Zealand summer. Our region's warm, stable climate regularly tops New Zealand sunshine hours charts. We bet you didn't know that Nelson is an IMBA certified gold level riding centre; one of only six, worldwide.
And, as if that wasn't enough, you will also pass through a mining area from the 1800s, with the classic unique lunar landscape, bare, red-stained and harsh. Numerous paths cross it and have since been perfectly adapted by professional trail builders. Just for your driving pleasure. It's terrain that feels strangely alpine but sits just 1000 meters above sea level. From above you can almost see and taste that cold beer on the beach waiting for you, far below.
WHAT DOES REGISTRATION INCLUDE?
Registrations are offered as an all-inclusive package, including catering, logistics and accommodation. In over 10 years of running Trans-Savoie we have learned that tented camps are wonderful on a nice day; not so much if it's raining cats and dogs. The novelty/fun of sleeping under the tent, combined with busy days on the bike, tends to wear off around day four, at which time you usually want a proper mattress and the ability to wear shorts while standing. With this in mind, we have come up with comfortable bunkhouse style accommodations at each location with 3 or 4 bikers sharing per room. All other logistical aspects such as airport transfers, baggage transport and mechanical support are all covered. The organization offers (limited) low-budget options for family/partners or friends who want to follow the race without participating.
WHAT TO DO IN NEW ZEALAND?
If you're planning on taking a long trip to New Zealand, there's more you can do. The NZ MTB Rally is set for 9-16 March 2024. This date comes just after the NZ National Enduro Champs (Nelson) on 2-3 March and finishes just in time to head straight to Crankworx in Rotorua (16-24 March).
Generous funding from our sponsors and incredible technical support from the Nelson Regional Development Agency has allowed us to achieve this at a price highly competitive with other multi-day enduros, despite additional operating expenses such as helicopters, boats, 4 ×4 and adequate beds (instead of curtains).
ALL-INCLUSIVE (90 SPACES) – NZD$3600 (approximately €2.000)
SELF-SUPPORTED (25 SPACES) – NZD$2250 (approximately €1.250)
Full details are available www.NZMTBRally.com with all the registration information. Registrations are open for both e-bikes and traditional MTBs. In the meantime, dream while watching the Trailer video.