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Motorcycle Adventures around Taupo
If jumping on a motorbike, the wind blowing through your hair with nothing but you and the open road ahead is your idea of heaven, then nothing beats Taupo’s miles of scenic roads that make it a bikers dream.
By Eve Pearce - Guest blogger.
Home of the Taupo Motorsport Park, excitement on two or four wheels is all part of the fun when visiting the area, so whether you are rider, pillion or just passionate about bikes, there is something for everyone.
Fantastic scenery awaits in the Great Lake Taupo region.
There is never a bad time to visit Taupo weather wise, but bear in mind busier months will be around the school holidays or between November to April when the weather is warmer.
New Zealand is well prepared for travelers so there are plenty of places to stay and relax after a long day's ride, whether it’s a luxury hotel or if you would prefer to get back to nature and camp out. Hostels and motels are great value for the budget conscious but try and pre-book as these can become very popular during peak seasons.
Always plan your route carefully. Take a detailed map with you and note the distances to cover, locations of hotels, gas stations etc. Inform others of where you are riding to and expected arrival times. If you are planning on touring on your bike, then remember that you will have limited space for luggage and it will make the bike heavier, making it more difficult to handle.
If you are hiring a bike then many will include panniers but it's worth bringing a rucksack or sports holdall as well, minimizing non essentials wherever possible. Make sure you also bring appropriate clothing and safety gear. Even in summer months, Taupo can be very wet, so leathers, waterproofs, a good pair of biking gloves, boots and of course your helmet is essential.
Whether you are local or travelling from abroad, ensure you have the appropriate documentation with you; a fully valid bike license, passport, booking confirmations and tickets. With plenty of travel and motorcycle insurance comparison sites at the touch of a button, there is no excuse not to have the correct cover, especially if you are planning on hiring a motorcycle as most companies will require some or all of this. Never compromise your safety; you don’t want Taupo to be the last place you ride.
A ride for everyone
With so much to see and do in the area, there will be a biking experience for everyone to enjoy. You can have a guided tour to take the worry out of planning your trip and open up the throttle as your tour guide shows you all the best routes and sights, ensuring you experience the very best Taupo has to offer. Even if you don’t have a license but want to enjoy the fun, there are companies offering chauffeur passenger tours. As your experienced rider and guide does all the hard work, you just hold on tight and enjoy the ride of a lifetime.
Track days at Taupo Motorsport Park
If you would prefer to get off the road and hit the track, there are plenty of track days you can experience at the Taupo International Race Track. Track days cater for riders of all calibers where riders split into groups depending on experience and are then free to go as fast or slow as you like! Technical help and advice is also on offer as experience instructors are on hand to advise on riding position, tire type, suspension and brake settings. This is a very popular attraction so book up in advance to avoid disappointment!
Riding hints & Tips
In general, the roads are in good shape around Taupo, but depending on the route you have planned you may encounter conditions you may not be used to, so take your time and if in doubt, turn back and plan an alternate route. You may also come across water crossings.
If you do, don’t go rushing in; check for large boulders and holes and if necessary, get off and push the bike through to avoid falling in. Water levels can quickly rise and subside, so if you do find yourself stuck, the best thing to do wait rather than risk getting water into the engine and then being stranded for a considerable longer time.
The police force in New Zealand have a zero tolerance attitude towards speeding and you can get fined for just doing 2-3kph above the limit. The same applies to drink driving; as well as being socially unacceptable, biking can be a dangerous activity so you want to have your wits about you at all times and not be impaired by alcohol. Don’t risk it, not even for one drink.
Riding at night is also to be avoided. With little or no lighting on the roads, you are better of with your feet up and relaxing for the evening. Animals will also be more active at night time; hitting an animal in any vehicle isn’t pleasant but on a bike can be disastrous, so as they come out to play you should stay away. Lastly, get plenty of rest, if you are tired then stop and take a break. Falling asleep while driving or riding is one of New Zealand’s biggest killers so take no chances.
Your biking experience through Taupo will be an experience of a lifetime and one you want to remember for all the right reasons. The beauty and tranquillity of the area is unsurpassed and after your adventure here, you will find it difficult to find anywhere better to ride.