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2024 Dirty Turismo

✍️📸 Nita Maaka - DT Mastermind

Rewind to over 9 months ago and Chris Marer and I started planning the (Dirty Turismo) DT 24! Then Chris goes and breaks some ribs for shits & giggles just weeks before National Ducati Rally (NDR), and I’m left heading the tour, damn – really wished I had taken more notice of where we were last time I was in the South! Anyway, we all meander to Te Anau for a group of 5 tour. Some newbies including Chris Sinclair (DDX), Ian Gibbon (T7), original crew Phil Herdman and Murray Deam on Multistrada’s and of course myself on my new DDX.

DAY 1: Te Anau - Mavora Lakes – The Nevis – Clyde. 183ks

Heading into Mavora Lakes the reality of adventure riding hit the crew at about 2 minutes into the ride, it was 8am and 0 degrees, with a blinding sunstrike all the way to the lakes! Well, if that doesn’t set the tone for the Dirty, I don’t know what will.

The team were amped to get on the Nevis, after a quick climb to the historic Ski Hutt, we ambled down the valley to the infamous 31 water crossings. The first few we took slowly to make sure everyone was getting their water wings on, then it was a race to each one after that! Coming out at the northern end we reach a height of 1275 metres with a fantastic view of the valley. A successful day with no mishaps – was a good start to the DT!

Nevis

Nevis

DAY 2: Clyde - Old Dunstan (W) - Lake Onslow – Old Dunstan (E) to Naesby. 338ks

Repairs on Murray’s bike meant he would meet us at the halfway point, so we ambled off to the Old Dunstan. The track was a good ride until about halfway, and Ian realised he had lost one of his side bags. After a quick check back on the track and no bag in sight we continued into a white out with sideways sleet rain – it was miserable – in fact my comment was I had “rain dents on my eyes! Finally meeting up with Murray in the lowlands meant we had a couple of nice little gravel roads then tarseal all the way to lunch – well deserved and appreciated!

The east end of the Old Dunstan was pleasant, especially with the rain behind us and the sun shining all the way through. Was a great ride, great views, and then I had to tow Phil for the last 50 odd kilometres into Ranfurly, no petrol in the tank is not helpful. But we made a steady run at 100 k/phr – always sticking to the road limits! Once filled Chris realised, he had a puncture, so a quick snot job with more air in the tyre and we were underway again. Once we hit Naesby the lads got ready for dinner at the local pub for the BEST steak and dessert on the whole trip, I unfortunately was full of the flu – so crawled into bed with 2 hot water bottles to recover as quick as I could.

Old Dunstan & DT Tee

Old Dunstan & DT Tee

DAY 3: Naesby – Dunstan – Hakataramea Valley – McKenzie Pass – to Geraldine. 260ks + 84ks on breakout

Naesby

Naesby

The crew were really starting to get comfortable on the tracks, and quick on the gravel, a fast run over the Dunstan to some nice flowing gravel roads through the Haka’s and McKenzie pass – we made some really good time on the trail and the weather was holding nice. Heading into Geraldine Chris and I decided to do a Grade 3 run over a couple of stations outside of town.

We unloaded our luggage, and we were off to an unknown track, with the only advice Chris M could give us was “not multi friendly” ….mmm what’s a grade 3 again?

The two stations were Lochabar (854 hectares) and Blue Mountain (9500 hectares) one boundary runs onto the other and it was an absolutely amazing part of the country to go through! While Lochabar was an easy trail, Blue Mountain got quite technical very quickly. Steep loose gravel climbs with switchbacks at the top, fast downhills only to come to a bike length creek crossing straight into another steep climb – and you couldn’t see where it went until you rode it! Chris and I managed the track well, took in the views and made for a quick run back to Geraldine. It’s these tracks that test you and teach you the most about your riding skills. Smiles all round it was well worth the effort and was the trophy run of the day!

Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain

Lochabar

Lochabar

DAY 4 – Geraldine – Kumara West Coast. 260ks

This day was predominantly tarseal to get to the West Coast, a little offroad at Lake Lyndon then onto Arthur’s Pass where we ran into the Turismo crew heading inland. At the very end of the day we had a nice offroad meander into Kumara, however Murray had a tussle with some wet track and went down. We backtracked the short way to our accommodation, keeping an eye on our fallen crew member.

Riding road was ok to get to our destination, but we were amping to ride more offroad, maybe a little challenge in there somewhere??

Arthurs Pass

Arthurs Pass

DAY 5: Kumara - Hanmer Springs. 370ks

You know when you have been riding a few days and things are all fine and dandy – until they are not! We had 50 k’s of track to ride to get us to Moana, couple of hours max – Yea Right!

The first part of the track was a replay of The Nevis, but with more water. There were water holes everywhere, the track was slippery, and it just seemed to go on forever – this was my happy place, not so much for Chris!

Once we got through the first part – thinking that was the worse of it, we got to a blocked road – but good ole Kiwi thinking – just make a track around a bloody big boulder in the creek, ride up to the boulder and man handle the bike around and out the other side. A great team effort to help each other through.

Some nice tracks then a forestry gate where we had to lie our bikes down and push them through. Never done that before with bikes over 200kg, however the toughest trek was still ahead of us!

The last but most challenging track was a thick bush track, the climb was steep, wet and loose and it just kept on giving! And where there is an up, there is always a bloody down – same track conditions but now we were all getting very tired and this is on the worst part. Ian had an off on some wet grassy track, it was the greasiest part to ride – but was far better than the rutty loose metal with boulder holes either side.

Gate 2

Gate 2

Through water  &  Phil

Through water & Phil

I think it would be fair to say, this was the most technical trek to date and Phil & I were in our element! Fortunately, we came across some young lads who were hunting and they informed us we were just about through – great the light at the end of the tunnel!. We finally got to the end and realised it had taken us 3 hours to ride 50k’s, what an accomplishment! The ride to Moana was fast as none of us had eaten breakfast and it was now lunchtime! Food was consumed with very little chatter!

On the road we were heading to Hanmer through the Lewis Pass, nice quiet roads meant for some road play. That is a special part of the country that is smooth and quick, the appreciation of adventure riding really shines through when we ride that messy 50ks in the morning, only to ride the Lewis in the afternoon – best day ever!

DAY 6: Hanmer Springs – The Rainbow – Blenheim. 240ks

We had breakfast in Hanmer as the trek was known and we had all day to do it. Phil decided to ride with Murray on the road so the remaining three of us took off. Now running a trip like this you must make sure everyone is ok, handling the terrain well and are also having a good time.

Since I knew the only real challenge was at the other end, I decided to gun it on the trail and let the Desert X stretch her legs and have a bloody good ride – well considering I was nearly at 90% back to the world of the living I wanted to make the most of it!


So, once we got into the Rainbow I pretty much gunned it to have some quality fast time with my DDX that I had really started to gel with. I made one stop about a third in and the lads caught up. We rode out pretty much together from there, seeing others on the trail, then the lovely people at the end to pay our funds. The Rainbow has magnificent views, at 6,468 hectares is not the biggest station we had rode on – but the land truly lives up to its name.

Overall we managed around 2000k’s - the DT24 threw us some curve balls, in all we lost one side bag – but Ian managed to get this picked up and sent back to him via Adventure Riding FB page, Murray had a puncture before the DT started, but this held up well during the whole 6 days, Chris got a puncture at Ranfurly but again another bung of snot stayed in place the rest of the trip, Phil ran out of gas, but a quick tow into town had him sorted, Murray had a fall – he was worse of than we had expected but is on the mend now with some sore ribs, and me – well I manage to ride 4 days full of the flu – didn’t eat for 48hours, but rode every day and really enjoyed the trip with new riders, new laughs and new experiences. Wanted to say a huge thanks to Chris Marer for putting the treks together, and being on hand for advice, thanks to the crew for making it a brilliant trip – I really enjoyed seeing you all with huge smiles on your faces!

Till the next one – hope to see you out there! Go the “Lawless Adventurers”!!

The DT gang!

The DT gang!



 

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