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Steph Johnstone

Wanaka Trail Ride 2021 is GO!!

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Good news, dirt lovers one of the South Island’s best trail riding events is confirmed for 2021. The Wanaka Trail Ride is locked in for Saturday, March 27, 2021, and pre-registration will be opening soon. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event.

We know 2020 hasn’t exactly been bursting with good news, but as we turn our backs on one of the most extraordinary years ever, we’re excited to bring you some good news (finally).

The Wanaka Trail Ride is set to run its sixth event on March 27, 2021. The location is locked in, the courses team are out setting trails, and pre-registration will be open from Monday, February 1, 2021.

Lock March 27, 2021 into your diary and start fine-tuning the bike.

riders at wanaka trail ride

Six years of Wanaka Trail Ride

We can’t wait to get back on the trails after missing 2020’s event (thanks, Covid). As always, the event is run by volunteers to raise funds for Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House, Wanaka. We couldn’t do the event without the incredible team of volunteers as well as the station owners at Deep Creek, Long Gully and Lindis Peak who so kindly open their gates to hundreds of trail riders each year.

The 2021 Course

The dedicated trails team have had the tough job of heading out on the bikes and fine-tuning the course. With over 100 kilometres of tracks, we will have something for everyone from peewees to technical single trails for advanced riders.

As in previous years, the event provides a range of courses to keep riders of all abilities happy. The family and intermediate trails are ideal for beginners, young riders or novice riders looking to move up a notch from beginner trails. The advanced and expert trails are ideal for experienced riders who want to get off the main tracks and feature single-track hill climbs, descents and trails through steep tussock country.

A peewee track for junior riders will run throughout the day, giving the grommets a chance to have a go under supervision from a parent.

junior riders wanaka trail ride

Here’s how the tracks are shaping up

> Family trail – approximately 15 kms of trails. You can combine this with the intermediate trail, approximately 45kms.

> Intermediate trail – approximately 20 – 45kms in total. At the top station (halfway) you can choose to continue on or loop back to the family trail.

> Advanced and expert trail – approximately 35kms in total, consisting of 7 trails approximately 5kms each.

Wanaka Trail Ride 2021: What’s new, what’s the same?

As in previous years, we’re keeping the focus on creating a family-friendly event where young riders have the chance to cut their teeth, and expert riders can enjoy challenging single trails. On exclusive backcountry terrain, riders have options ranging from fun green runs for family riding to intermediate and advanced runs, as well as our enduro-style expert trails. Find out more about the trails here.

The big change this year is no side-by-side vehicles will be allowed to enter the event.

This means no Can-Am style vehicles. With so many young riders, the speeds that side-by-side vehicles are able to reach potentially becomes a safety issue. As in previous years, quad bikes are allowed to enter the Wanaka Trail Ride.

wanaka trail ride bike rider

Continuing to support our community

Your support of the Wanaka Trail Ride goes directly to fundraising for Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House, Wanaka. Over $140,000 has been raised over the last five years, enabling the two schools to improve facilities and access wonderful new learning resources. We’re thrilled to have Tarras School back on board who will be taking care of parking on the day and helping to raise funds for their school. We are continuing to acknowledge this as an ANZAC event, so $1 from every entry is donated to the local RSA.


The Wanaka Trail Ride event is a 100% volunteer-driven event and has been a part of the Wanaka community since 2015. It is thanks to the commitment of over 100 passionate volunteers that an event like this is possible. Parents, trail riders and friends come along to donate their time and energy to their local community.

In a nutshell, this is a great event to support, and we welcome you to join up and become a volunteer.

Some roles require technical riding skills but others require no knowledge of trail rides whatsoever! If you can help out with baking, registration, catering, track marking and signage, bike marshalling or comms we’d love to hear from you. If you have a family member riding on the day, spending some time helping out as a volunteer is a great way to meet new friends and pass the time.

peewee riders

Here’s what you need to know for the 6th annual Wanaka Trail Ride

This year, the Wanaka Trail Ride will be open to motorbikes and quad bikes, no side-by-side vehicles.

Online registrations open: February 1 2021.

Rider packs available for anyone who has pre-registered online: March 26th 2021, Wanaka Primary School

Register at Wanaka Primary School: You can also register at Wanaka Primary School 4-7 pm on Friday, March 26.

Wanaka Trail Ride: March 27 2021

Registration on the day:  Available at Base Paddock from 7:30 am, March 27.


Become a volunteer here

About Wanaka Trail Ride

Once a year, the Wanaka Trail Ride has exclusive access onto private high country farmland at Deep Creek, Long Gully and Lindis Peak Stations for spectacular all-abilities trail riding. The event caters to all levels of riders, and all funds go back to our community. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date for our next South Island trail riding event.

The Final Sweep….

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The Wanaka Trail Ride is run by a dedicated group of individuals on the committee, and extended organising team. The team feel privileged to be part of this successful fundraising event for Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House Wanaka, which has also become a fantastic community event. They would like to acknowledge the following people:

First, a huge thank you to the land owners, Sharlene and Denis Nyhon, as well as Lucy Annan and Simon Maling. It is with their continued support in allowing us to run this event on their land, that the riders are given the incredible opportunity to ride a great variety of track options amongst such phenomenal scenery, usually unaccessible to the public.

To the sponsors, this event would not be possible without your support. These businesses, and individuals play such an important part in the Wanaka Trail Ride by providing time, services, products, expertise, and monetary donations. Please support them where you can.

To all of our wonderful volunteers, thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into making this event a success – it is truly appreciated! And finally to the riders who chose to attend this event – thank you for supporting the fourth annual WTR!

We hope you had an epic day out in the hills doing what you love. We hope to see you back next year.

The Final Sweep….

Organisers couldn’t have hoped for a more brilliant day for the 2018 WTR. It started with a fresh Autumn morning, until the sun came up over the hills, thawing the tracks, allowing for an awesome day to be had by all involved.

The event continues to be a significant fundraiser for Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House Wanaka, and the committee look forward to contributing further funds to to the $80,000 that has been raised over the previous three years. Confirmation of the fundraising efforts will be given soon!

Of the 761 riders out on the tracks, a little under 400 pre-registered allowing for a smooth registration process on the day. Riders who pre-registered and collected their packs the day before, appreciated being able to hit the tracks as soon as they arrived at base paddock. The tracks team spent hundreds of hours in the weeks leading up to the event planning and marking out the trails. They were pleased with what they were able to achieve, most notably the addition of new trails for advanced riders as they went back to base paddock, taking pressure off the the family track, while still allowing them to ride at their level.

Signage on the tracks was improved with colour coded arrows and this addition was well received by the riders. The riders definitely took advantage of what the day and tracks had to offer, and there were many happy punters coming down off the hill – it was awesome to see the buzz throughout the day in base paddock!

Rider feedback:

“Thanks for putting on a fantastic event, one of the best days riding i’ve had in ages. Hats off to how well it was run, from online registration to some brief detail at the start of advanced loops. Well worth spending 7 hours to get there, and home again!”

” Wow! Absolutely 100% enjoyed the day, the scenery at this time of year is beyond epic. As this is the first time I have been I don’t regret it one bit….amazing country and I feel so privileged to be able to experience it.”

As the ANZAC ride, it is important for us to continue to acknowledge the significance of this day. Thanks to the riders that chose to attend this event, we were able to donate $761 (one dollar from every rider) to our local Upper Clutha RSA.

157 volunteer roles were filled by over 100 volunteers!! A lot of these volunteers don’t have any links to either of the two schools, but they offer so much to the enjoyment and success of the event. The range of people within our community coming together for the event included bike enthusiasts, parents and grandparents, members of Students in the Community, teachers, and those just keen to lend a hand.

Wendy Bowie Photography images:

Thank you to Wendy for volunteering her time on the day as our photographer. She captured some great moments from the day! You can view the images, and purchase some memories by following this link:

 Vision Workshop video:

We had Ollie Larkin, a 17yr old full-time film-maker from Wanaka out at the 2018 WTR. Check out his awesome coverage of the day on his website Vision Workshop  or on the WTR Facebook page

There has been some really positive coverage in the media about the 2018 WTR. A reporter from Stuff joined us on the day, check out his video report here

GOLD SPONSORS: Level Construction – Pukka – Foursquare Wanaka – Maungatua Contracting – Stonewood Homes Wanaka

SILVER SPONSORS: Aspiring Helicopters – Ecco Landscapes – Hirepool Wanaka – Mistyflip – Vision Workshop – Rotoworx – New Zealand Fine Touring Group – SnowMoto New Zealand – Wendy Bowie Photography – Wanaka Motor Cycle Centre

BRONZE SPONSORS: Alpine Auto Centre – Cardrona Alpine Resort – Cut-It Kitchen and Joinery – Highlands Motorsport Park – Clubhub – Custom Digital – Mons Royale – Puzzling World – Tyreland Wanaka – Wanaka Marine & Sport

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTERS: Amigos Aspiring Pharmacy Bayleys Wanaka Caltex Wanaka Davidson Honda Infinity Investment Group Jay Simon Lake Bar Mckeown Group Lakeside Apartments Mitre 10 Moto South South Fuels Subway Wanaka The Spice Room The Wanaka Sun Trout Bar Upper Clutha Messenger Wanaka Auto Repairs Wanaka Wastebusters Wanacare Pharmacy Workplace First Aid

VOLUNTEER SUPPORTERS: Alchemy Cinema – Paradiso – Coffee Shack – Double Black – Fedeli – Good Spot – Hammer and Nail – Kai Whaka Pai – Patagonia – Relishes – Soul Food – Subway Wanaka – Urban Grind – Vice Cafe – Volunteering Central

A full sponsor logo list can be found on our supporters page 



The Anzac Ride

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The Wanaka Trail Ride is quickly becoming known as the ANZAC Ride on the trail ride circuit. This year we’re further acknowledging the ANZAC spirit by adding the respected poppy symbol to our rider number stickers and our volunteer/marshal high-vis vests. We’re proud to support our local RSA by contributing $1 from every rider registration to the annual ANZAC Day poppy collection.


A Tale of Two Tyres, by Fletcher Chisholm

Once I got my bike started for the first time, I got to race around the section for a while. Then Dad said we should take it down to Timaru Creek and I was like, “oh, yeah.” I asked Dad how he would catch up with me, he said we would take the quad bike.

We drove down to Timaru Creek. It was quite a gnarly drive where we went with big droppy bits and steep bits that had lots of rocks on them. We went through all that and then we came to a forest. We followed the track.

Dad started up his quad and I started my bike and we rode off. It felt great just riding my motor bike in the open. A few bumps, a few small crashes – there was this really sandy bit that makes you wobble – but still a lot of fun.

We rode for like 2 hours with Dad filming me every now and then. Unfortunately, on about my 30th time down the track, my bike broke down and I had to push it back over that sandy bit, up a hill and back to the ute. I copied what I had seen on motorbike videos about how to push a bike uphill. I forgot though that mine wasn’t going and it made it harder to get up the hill.

It felt very pleasing to have my own bike finally! I wasn’t anxious or scared anymore, just pure “wooooooohoooo, I’ve got my bike now!”

Editor’s note: Since Fletcher’s epic first ride on his own bike, he suffered a gnarly injury on his BMX. We’re not sure how long he’s going to be out of action, but we understand he may not be able to ride at WTR 2018. From the trail ride crew, we’d like to wish you all the best for a speedy recovery, Fletcher!



Pre-registrations go live on Monday 12 March. If you pre-register, you get the benefits of better pricing options, you save time on the day, and you have the chance to win spot prizes.

The first spot prize is awesome…Wanaka Motor Cycle Centre is donating a front tyre to the value of $80-120! When the first 50 registrations are in, one of these 50 people will win this great prize. Will it be you?

Regular prize draws will be held right up to the event. Everyone who has registered will have a chance to win at each draw. So the sooner you pre-register, the better your chances.

We’ll continue to take new registrations at the pre-registration pack pick-up on Saturday 21 April. Alternatively, you can register on the morning of the event.

Online pre-registration
Adult (16+)
$65 incl. lunch
$55 excl. lunch
Junior (under 16)
$20 incl. lunch
$10 excl. lunch

Registration on the day
Adults: $65 excl. lunch
Junior: $20 excl. lunch

NB. Children using the pee-wee track only ride for free


Thank you to everyone who has signed up to volunteer so far. We still need more help! Without our awesome volunteers, this event would not be possible.

Are you travelling to Wanaka with your friends or family but not intending to ride? Join the volunteer crew! There are many roles to choose from and you can choose one to suit you.

Volunteers don’t need to commit to the whole day. We need people for parking/traffic control, catering, pee-wee track marshals, or come at the end of the day and help the team break down Base Paddock.

WTR is a fun event to be a part of and we’ll make sure you’re well looked after!

Track marshals wanted

Are you a confident trail bike rider? Want to get out on the tracks, support your fellow riders, as well as fundraise for local children?

We had some great interest at our info session, but we’d love to have more marshals on board. If we get enough of you, we hope to offer a half day’s ride in return for a half day’s marshalling. But first, you need to sign up or register your interest.

Can’t help on the day? Get out there in the weeks leading up to the ride and help our team mark out the trails!

*** If you sign up to volunteer before Friday 12th of March, you go in the draw to win a family pass to Cinema Paradiso  ***

Sign up to volunteer at: or contact Gillian, our Volunteer Manager:
Tel: 021 500 394


It’s been a hot, dry summer but with recent rain around the region to dampen down the high country grass, the track team can safely get out mapping the trails mid March.

The aim is to lengthen the family track and replace half of the single trail with new terrain. A map of the trails will be made available when this is completed.

Marking of the tracks will begin around Easter right up until event day. In an effort to continually enhance your experience out on the trails, this year we’ll be introducing different coloured markers and arrows to define family, intermediate and advanced tracks.


Thank you to our two Gold Sponsors, Stonewood Homes Wanaka and Maungatua Contracting for their continued generosity heading into the 2018 event.

Thank you to our other confirmed sponsors whose contributions we truly appreciate:

Silver Sponsors
Aspiring Helicopters
Ecco Landscapes
Four Square
Hirepool Wanaka

Bronze Sponsors
Alpine Auto Centre
Custom Digital
Puzzling World
Tyreland Wanaka
Wanaka Marine & Sport
Wanaka Motor Cycle Centre

Additional Supporters
Bayleys Wanaka
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cinema Paradiso
Davidson Honda
Highlands Motorsport Park
Infinity Investment Group
Lake Bar
Lakeside Appartments
Mitre 10
The Spice Room
Trout Bar
Upper Clutha Messenger
Wanaka Auto Repairs
Wanaka Wastebusters

If you would like to assist in sponsoring this event, please contact:

Wahoooo, I’ve got my bike now!

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Fletcher gets his first bike!

This year we’re starting a new column that takes a kid’s perspective on the Wanaka Trail Ride. To help us on our quest to inform and occasionally entertain, we’ve recruited young Fletcher (age 9), who recently got his first bike and is happy to share his thoughts. Thanks, Fletcher! Love the smile, mate!

In the week leading up to getting my motorbike, I felt quite excited and anxious. I was a bit scared I would crash and get hurt when I got my bike but I was also looking forward to giving it a go.

This wasn’t my first time ever riding a motorbike. It was however my first time on an 80cc. I had ridden my friend’s Yamaha yet never had a bike of my own. I really wanted my own bike so I could have a bit of fun and didn’t have to go and ask my friend if I could borrow hers.

I had waited for ages for Dad to come home with my motorbike. I had been counting down the hours. The funny thing is I didn’t even notice Dad coming home. My sister told me he had.

I rushed up to Dad, said a quick hello then opened the back of the ute to see my motorbike. My little sister said “sick!” I, however, was a bit worried about the oil coming out of my new motorbike. Dad had put it on its side to bring it home and it was leaking.

We got it out of the ute and pushed it over to the shed. We cleaned it up and did a check on it. We checked that it had petrol, that it had enough 2-stroke oil and that it had clean air going into the engine.

Then Dad taught me some of the essential motorbike safety rules like how to switch my motorbike to reserve if I ran out of fuel. And if I crashed, and I couldn’t get my bike started again, that I should holler for help. Then I learned how to get it started.

“Wooooooohoooo, I’ve got my own bike now!”

Next time, Fletcher is going to tell us how his first ride on his new bike went. Just remember, Fletch, just 75 more sleeps to your first Wanaka Trail Ride!

WTR 2018 – The Essentials!

  • WTR 2018 is happening on Sunday 22nd April – Be sure to enter the date into your calendar!
  • Same online registration system as last year
  • Online registration opens from Monday 12th March
  • Pre-register online and WIN


We’re continuing with the same successful online registration system as last year. This means you can WIN and SAVE!!

All riders who register online go into our regular draws to WIN prizes from our sponsors. You save time too when you pick up yourregistration pack, which is available on the day before the event for those who register online.

Otherwise you can collect your pack when you register on the day of the ride at the base paddock

(opens at 7:30 am).

Online registration opens from Monday 12th March 2018.  Registration link:

2018 Prices

Online registration:
Adults (16 years+)$65 including lunch
$55 excluding lunchJunior (under 16 years)
$20 including lunch
$10 excluding lunch

Registration on the day:
Adults: $65 excluding lunch
Junior: $20 excluding lunch

NB: Children using the pee-wee track only ride for free



We’re encouraging friends and family of riders to join in as volunteers. There’s an info session for marshals at Rhyme & Reason bar inWanaka in a few weeks. So if you’re interested in marshalling or marking out the tracks in the weeks prior to event day, come along and meet the managers and crew.

Click here to find out more or email Gillian at (ph: 021 500 394) for more info and to make sure you get an invite to our info session.

There are roles for everyone: pre-event, baking & catering, parking, registration, track marking & signage, bike marshalling, first aid, and photography!

“Was such a buzz to be able to help at this extremely well-run event, making money for our local kids! Thank you for involving me.”

– Volunteer


Same price, new trails!

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Wanaka Trail Ride date confirmed for 2018

Organisers of the Wanaka Trail Ride are thrilled to announce that preparations are well underway to host the 4th annual ride on Sunday April 22nd 2018.

The unique event offers an all-abilities trail bike ride over Deep Creek, Long Gully & Lindis Peak Stations, giving riders the rare opportunity to explore private high country farmland while taking in views over the Southern Lakes and Central Otago districts.

“The amazing feedback from this year’s event will help to make next year’s ride even more epic,” says Trails Manager Grant Cagney. “The tracks which include family, intermediate, advanced and expert trails, as well as a pee-wee track, are being reviewed, tweaked and extended to give riders varied and challenging tracks to explore.”

“We’ll keep many of the loops with stunning views over Lake Wanaka and Hawea towards Mt Aspiring National Park and down over Lake Dunstan, and plan to extend the family track giving younger riders more trails to explore, as well as adding a new single trail to challenge expert riders to the max.” says Cagney.

Entry prices will remain the same as 2017 with incentives to pre-register and registration opening 6 weeks prior to the ride. “Our pre-registration process ran like clockwork last year resulting in a smooth start to the day for riders with no queuing required.”

Wanaka Trail Ride was established in 2015 as a joint fundraiser between Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House Wanaka.

All funds raised from the Wanaka Trail Ride are split between the two schools. In addition, one dollar of each entry fee is donated to the local RSA in recognition of the event taking place on ANZAC weekend.

Wanaka Trail Ride by the Numbers

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859: The record number of riders who took part in WTR 2017!

Event organisers were thrilled to receive a record 859 registrations this year, easily eclipsing the previous two editions of the ride which is now in its third year.

“When the Wanaka Trail Ride started, we set a goal of 300 registrations,” says WTR organising committee member Hamish McLean. “Now in the third year, we’ve hit 850! Thank you to all the riders for their support, we hope you’ve had a great time.”

Rider feedback has again been positive, with several veteran riders quick to comment that the views from the trail summits are some of the most stunning of all trail rides they’ve been on.

Riders of all abilities came from around the South Island to enjoy the family friendly atmosphere of this annual fundraiser for Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House Wanaka.


113: The number of roles filled by 102 volunteers

Volunteer manager Gillian White wishes to express her sincere thanks to all the volunteers who generously gave up their time to ensure the success of the event. “We couldn’t put the event on without our volunteers,” she says. “We strive to ensure they have an amazing experience too.”

“Everything ran so smoothly,” she says. “That’s down to lots of preparation from our core crew and each and every volunteer out there who all brought so much to the event.”

Gillian was also quick to offer her thanks to those volunteers who helped out despite not having any connections to either Wanaka Primary School or Montessori Children’s House.


100+: The number of kilometres of trail over 3 stations

Over 100 kilometres of trails were opened to riders by the generous landowners of Deep Creek, Long Gully and Lindis Peak Stations. A special thanks to the Nyhon and Annan families without whose incredible support this event would not be possible.

This year this stunning Central Otago trail bike ride had more advanced and expert trails, as well as continuing with its popular ‘peewee’ course for beginner riders.

The result was a diverse bunch of riders with a range of skill levels from novice through to hard-core riders who enjoyed an extensive trail network that extended almost to the Lindis Pass.

Landowner Lucy Annan was happy to be out with her family taking in the atmosphere of the event. “It’s great to have so many people here exploring this unique area that they wouldn’t normally get to see,” she says. “There’s an incredibly diverse group of people here and I love getting an insight to the culture of trail bike riders.”


19: The number of Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors of our event

The WTR organising committee sincerely thanks the 19 sponsors whose support helped to make the event such a great success.

And just so you know who they are:

Gold sponsors

  • Maungatua Contracting
  • Stonewood Homes

Silver sponsors

  • Aspiring Helicopters
  • Ecco Landscapes
  • Four Square Wanaka
  • Hirepool Wanaka
  • Jodie Rainsford Photography
  • Mistyflip Web Development & Advice
  • Pukka Signs, Design, Print & Web
  • Rotorworx
  • Wireless Rentals

Bronze sponsors

  • Alpine Auto Centre
  • Challenge Wanaka
  • ClubHub
  • Custom Digital
  • Lakeside Property Services
  • Puzzling World
  • TyreLand
  • Wanaka Marine & Sport

The WTR organising committee would further like to thank the following supporters:

Amigos – Bayleys Wanaka – BP Wanaka – Caltex Wanaka – Cardrona Alpine Resort – Davidson Honda – Double Black Café – The Good Spot – Highlands Motorsport Park – Infinity Investment Group – Kai Whaka Pai – Lake Bar – Lakeside Appartments – Mitre 10 – Moto South – Patagonia – Soul Food – Southfuels – Subway – The Green Room Flower Company – The Spice Room – Torpedo 7 – Treble Cone – Trout Bar – Upper Clutha Messenger – Vice Food Company – Volunteering Central – Wanaka Auto Repairs – Wanaka Motorcycle Centre – Wanaka Wastebusters – Wanaka Helicopters


10: The number of letters in ‘Safety First’

Despite the large turnout of riders, everything went smoothly on the day, with no major incidents. “The Wanaka Trail Ride is renowned for the systems we have in place,” says Incident Control Manager Brent Arthur. “Riders know they will be looked after personally and we are there for them.”

Much of the success of the event is due to the planning, says event manager Nicolle Masters. “We owe a lot to the dedicated track and safety managers who make this event happen,” she says. “Putting in the hard yards in the lead up, arriving well before riders on the day and leaving long after they’ve gone home.”


2: The number of schools to benefit from fundraising

The money raised from WTR 2017 will be split between Wanaka Primary School and Montessori. “It’s important to have tangible outcomes from fundraising events,” says Duncan Stewart of Wanaka Montessori’s Board of Trustees.

“Last year the money raised funded a new kitchen for the Bambini class and this has had a hugely beneficial impact on children and teachers,” he says. “This year we are looking forward to redeveloping the outdoor area with the funds.”

Wanaka Primary School board member Hamish McLean says the school will be using the funds to develop their new outdoor ‘Fit Trail’.

Are You Ready to Brraaap?

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Last Days to Pre-Register, Save and Win!

The tracks are marked, marshals primed, catering organised, health & safety prioritised, signs raised, helicopter’s hovering…

Wanaka Trail Ride is ready for you…


Are You Ready for Us?

Here’s a quick check list to cover all the important pre-ride basics:

  • You’ve pre-registered. If not, you’re missing the chance to save and win
  • You’ve shown your bike you love her!
    • Check motor oil
    • Check air filter
    • Check coolant and brake levels
    • Check chain and sprocket, lubed the chain
    • Clean the contacts
    • Check for loose nuts, spokes, etc.
    • Check control levers
    • Set the sag
    • Check the frame and footpegs for cracks
    • Check tyre pressure
    • Bleed the forks
  • Gas!
  • Read “Hammer and Tongs”


Hammer and Tongs

Just to be sure you have a great time, WTR’s own Grant Cagney has some sage advice for anyone who needs to be back at work on Monday.

“You don’t want to go too hard too fast right from the start,” he says.

Not that Grant wants to put a cap on fun, his words are intended for the wise. Like many well seasoned riders, he’s probably learnt a thing or two from others’ experiences, as well as his own.

“When the gates are open, you’ve got this bunch of bikes already there. The riders are rearing to go like a stampede,” he says. “It becomes a bit of a race for some of them.”

But standing back from the stampede are many other riders who are happy to give away the holeshot, secure in the knowledge that WTR is an all-day adventure ride. “They don’t rush to the gate,” Grant says. “Tearing around like a mad thing all weekend, you’re quite likely not going to end up at work on Monday.”

“If you go hammer and tongs right from the start, you’re probably going to have a bad day,” he says. “You’re best to build your speed, get into the swing of it and get comfortable on the bike.”

We figure he’s got a point. After all, there’s more than one way to brraaap. And come Monday, we’ll all make it to work.


Perfect for Pee Wees

Rumour’s been spreading that WTR is host to arguably the best Pee Wee track in New Zealand. Just sayin’.


Not So Fast!

Before you consign this newsletter to your trash, a little housekeeping. Please keep your speed down when passing properties on the gravel road on the way to the event. Much respect to the local residents!


WTR Teams Up for Poppy Appeal

Wanaka Trail Ride has pledged its volunteer hours to Serve for NZ: Anzac Day. In fact, we’ve pledged 500+ hours over Anzac weekend from over 80 volunteers!

Your entry to WTR 2017 is not only supporting Wanaka Primary School and Montessori Children’s House Wanaka. Because the event falls on Anzac weekend, we’re going to donate $1 of every entry fee to the Upper Clutha RSA’s annual Poppy Appeal. Lest we forget.


That Was So Last Week

You might not have heard, but last week we hit 100 registrations! Which means two lucky winners each received motorbike oil from Southfuels.

Congratulations to Mark Evans and Toby McLeod.

And good luck to ALL other registered riders for the next prize pool!

Keep the registrations coming riders…Our next prize pool will be drawn when we hit 150 when we’ll be giving away a free registration and a bike helmet. When we get to 200, there’s a $50 Torpedo gift voucher up for grabs!

So remember to pre-register by Saturday 22nd April for your chance to win.

All pre-registered riders can save time on event day by collecting your WTR packs from Wanaka primary school on Saturday 22nd April from 4–7 pm. We’ll also be taking new registrations and payments then as well.


Wanaka Trail Ride, 23rd April 2017 – Pre-register Today to Save Money and Time on the Day!

We’re just a few days out from our 2017 trail ride so here’s a final reminder for you to pre-register online to take advantage of our discounted entry fees.

Click on the link to take you straight to our registration page, easy as!

Need another reason to pre-register?

Here’s one:

Ride price on the day is $65 (adult) and $20 (child) excluding lunch, or $80 (adult) and $34 (child) including lunch (burger, drink and chocolate bar).

But, pre-register online today and pay for your ride with lunch for only $65 (adult) and $20 (child). Save !$$!

Here’s another:

If you pre-register, you automatically are entered our prize pool for some great giveaways!

And another:

All pre-registered riders have the opportunity to pick up their registration packs from Wanaka Primary School between 4 to 7 pm on Saturday 22nd April.

How good would it be to just turn up Sunday morning, jump on your bike and be ready to head out the gates on the go!


If you can’t pick up your registration pack on the Saturday, your pack will be pre-labelled for easy collection on the day at the separate fast-track registration tent set up beside the base paddock.

The cut-off for pre-registrations is Saturday 22 April so get in now to pre-register.



The Last Good Ride

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Winter is just around the corner, and with it’s arrival the sun is soon to set on your two-wheel excursions. But before you park your bike in its shed, consider the bounty of a backcountry adventure most people never get to experience.

Against a backdrop of remote high country wilderness, Wanaka Trail Ride 2017 is fast looming as the last good ride for a while, says trail director Grant Cagney.

“After Anzac weekend it starts to freeze up or get wet if you’re in the lower country, so it’s the last real ride of the season around here.”


Backcountry Bounty

High and exposed in places, Wanaka Trail Ride ride offers some great scenery over Deep Creek, Long Gully and Lindis Peak Stations. “A lot of people never get that opportunity to see out back of a high country farm,” says Grant, a veteran rider who has overseen all three editions of Wanaka Trail Ride.

“On the bike is a great way to get to that country without having to have a huge walk,” he says. “You’ve got the freedom of being able to ride out there on your own and have a look.”

But be sure to bring a warm jacket. Some riders from more coastal areas of the country may be surprised with how cold it gets at the top of these remote Central Otago trails.


A Trail for Every Rider

The Wanaka Trail Ride is an all-abilities trail bike ride. The tracks include family, intermediate, advanced and expert trails, as well as a pee-wee track.

With more than a hundred kilometres of trail, it’s a big ride with a trail for every rider, Grant says. While much of the trail will be familiar to returning riders, those prepared to tackle a tougher ride can expect some new territory. “The main family loops and intermediate loops will remain the same, but the advanced trail will feature some new terrain.”

In its first two editions, Wanaka Trail Ride has already been a hit with a broad cross-section of the riding community.

“It’s interesting to watch the different types. You see the families, girls and boys, mums and the dads.”

“You get your young, keen types. They often give it heaps, go out early, ride quite hard for a couple of hours. They’re often done by lunchtime, I think they’re probably worn out.”

“You see lots of families who are just ticking along quite quietly.”

Heading off in different directions at a pace to suit the individual rider, the groups are well spread out, Grant says. “Even with 700 riders it’s not that busy. There’s enough trail so it doesn’t get too cluttered.”

Laying Down the Challenge

Among the fantastic feedback Wanaka Trail Ride has received for its two previous events, it’s a bit of a sticking point that some of last year’s riders say they missed the challenge they were looking for.

Keen to set the record straight, Wanaka Trail Ride organisers are urging all riders to study the trail maps to avoid overlooking some of the more challenging loops. “We’ve got John Melville who’s really good at going out and finding the challenging tracks,” says Grant.

“There’s one ride that goes right from the bottom to the top and it’s not really a track. It involves riding through rock and scrub and it’s pretty challenging. I don’t think ten bikes got to the top of it last year.”

“There’s not many people who could ride the whole track more than once,” Grant says. “A friend of mine who is a fast rider rode every trail and had to really push to be able to ride all of the track in one day.”

“If you can ride all of the available track in one day, you’re pretty good.”

But if you’re thinking of giving your kids their first experience of the intermediate or advanced loops, Grant recommends riding the trail yourself first especially if you’re unsure of their ability.

“The intermediate loops are quite big and if you get them up there, it’s a long, rough climb to the top and if they can’t handle it, you can’t go backwards.”


Wanaka Trail Ride, 23rd April 2017 – Pre-register Today to Save Money and Time on the Day!

We’re just two weeks out from our 2017 trail ride so here’s a further reminder for you to pre-register online to take advantage of our discounted entry fees.

Click on the link to take you straight to our registration page, easy as!

Need another reason to pre-register?

Here’s one:

  • Ride price on the day is $65 (adult) and $20 (child) excluding lunch, or $80 (adult) and $34 (child) including lunch (burger, drink and chocolate bar).
  • But, pre-register online today and pay for your ride with lunch for only $65 (adult) and $20 (child). Save !$$!

Here’s another:

  • If you pre-register, you automatically are entered our prize pool for some great giveaways!

And another:

  • All pre-registered riders have the opportunity to pick up their registration packs from Wanaka Primary School between 4 to 7 pm on Saturday 22nd April.
  • How good would it be to just turn up Sunday morning, jump on your bike and be ready to head out the gates on the go!


  • If you can’t pick up your registration pack on the Saturday, your pack will be pre-labelled for easy collection on the day at the separate fast-track registration tent set up beside the base paddock.

The cut-off for pre-registrations is Wednesday 19 April so get in now to pre-register.

First Prize Pool Winners Announced! (Still More Chances to WIN)

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Fantastic news!

We have reached 50 online registrations and have drawn our first prize pool!

And the winners are:

  1. Bryce Shirtcliffe – registration fee refunded

  2. Michael Morris – a Cardrona Family Day pass

  3. Bryce Cleveland – a 1 year membership to Highlands Motorsport Park

Congratulations to these winners, we truly appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at MTR 2017.

Thank you to Cardrona Alpine Resort, and Highlands – Experience the Exceptional for these prizes.

Still more chances to WIN!

The next prize pool will be announced very soon, once registrations hit 100. So if you haven’t pre-registered yet, get online now and be in to WIN!