The 8th annual Burt Munro Challenge was held in the surronding area of Invercargill in Southland, New Zealand. 6 race disciplines held in Burt's sandpit over 5 days, creating a fantastic & exciting Festival of Speed, honouring Burt Munro, his World's Fastest Indian and his family. It was great to chat with Burt's son John, 2 daughters & niece at our Invercargill Hotel accommodation

Garner's Kiwi Motorcycle Tours & Rentals NZ organised a GS (Gravel Surfers) tour to tie in Burt's Challenge. 8 days of riding a blend of unsealed backcountry and sealed roads (staying off the main roads) and the "Burt", as it is locally known.

We run these tours with a small group of max 5 riders and 2 guides, We only operate these trips as fully guided tours as some of these roads are dry weather/4WD only roads & closed over the winter months. Some fords can be unpassable if rain has fallen recently. Safety is everything and local knowledge very important. We changed our route on the way down as one section was deemed unpassable due to recent rain & late spring snowfalls on the tops. We selected an alternate sealed route down the Clutha & through the scenic Catlins.

We rode a series of 10 unsealed roads varing in length from 13k's to approx 80Ks, some in areas that if you have a problem there is no cell phone coverage or AA recovery. We started off on the Goat Track, a local alpine gravel road just 45 minutes from our Nth Canterbury base, finishing off on day 8 riding back over 3 unsealed sections covered on our way south on our 1st day. It doesn't matter how many times I ride these roads, they are exciting & always different due to weather & seasonal changes.

Day one: GS & The Burt tour.

The Goat Track. Riding through the Canterbury foot hills of the Southern Alps

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  • JamesL
  • 2012-11-29T06:42:06-05:00

Looks and sounds like a fun tour, nice that the sun came out


We left the Mandeville base in cool overcast weather, rain was on the cards. On reaching Porters Pass, some 45 mins from base, the weather turned into bright sunshine, with all the rubbish left behind.