Rocky Ridges

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Route Overview

General Overview
The Rocky Ridges Exploration Route has been designed for the serious adventure rider looking for the ultimate lower South Island Exploration Route. It is made up of the best routes offering 11 days of jaw dropping vistas and epic riding terrain.

This Exploration Route is the result of over 10 years of adventure riding research with many riders saying that if you only ever ride one New Zealand route, this is absolutely the one to do.

Because all the routes are publicly accessible, it removes the hassle of organising private land access allowing you to focus solely on riding. Simply pack your bike, turn-key and set off on the most epic route New Zealand has to offer.
Start/Finish Point
The route was designed to ideally start at Fairlie and end at Fairlie but it can just as easily be ridden in a clockwise direction from any of the leg start/stop points.
Terrain includes
This route includes everything from immaculate Tarmac through to challenging Grade 5. This includes sweeping gravel roads, 4X4 trails, stream crossings, river crossings, steep inclines and rocky terrain.

The grades vary throughout the trip offering tarmac and gravel sections to recover from the technical sections.
2,767 km
Max Fuel Leg
282 km
Ride Time
This Exploration Route consists of 11 legs with each leg representing a full day of riding. If you feel like having a rest day or you simply want to extend your trip, it is possible to split some of these legs and extend this route. It is important to note that some of these legs cross rivers that are subject to flooding. If heavy rain or snow melt cause rivers to rise, some can be impassable. In this case you may have to add extra time to wait for rivers to recede if you want to stick to the route and not add in any detours.
This route is focused specifically around DOC huts and camping. It is essential to have a tent and camping equipment with you for this Exploration Route.
Access Permission
This route is constructed with public access roads and tracks. No permission is needed.
Access Limitations
While the roads and tracks utilised in this Exploration Route are public access, many are closed for safety reasons throughout the winter period. The window to ride this Exploration Route is between November 1st and April 30th however to minimise the chance of flooded rivers and slowing progression through the route it is highly recommended to avoid volatile early Spring weather and ride this route in the more stable months of February, March or April. Safety information regarding terrain cautions and river flooding is provided with each individual leg.
Preparation and Safety
THIS IS NOT AN EASY ROUTE! This route is intended for riders with good riding skills who have well setup bikes for long distance adventure riding, a comprehensive toolkit and spares, good general mechanical knowledge to repair bikes on the trail, the ability to undrown bikes, quality camping and survival gear, an emergency beacon or rider tracking device, and a sound understanding of the risks that come with entering remote High Country areas. While this route is possible to ride solo it is recommended to ride in a group for safety.

Legs in this Exploration Route

Leg 1 <span>(14 photos)</span>
Leg 1 (14 photos)
Leg 2 <span>(17 photos)</span>
Leg 2 (17 photos)
Leg 3 <span>(20 photos)</span>
Leg 3 (20 photos)
Leg 4 <span>(16 photos)</span>
Leg 4 (16 photos)
Leg 5 <span>(19 photos)</span>
Leg 5 (19 photos)
Leg 6 <span>(14 photos)</span>
Leg 6 (14 photos)
Leg 7 <span>(13 photos)</span>
Leg 7 (13 photos)
Leg 8 <span>(25 photos)</span>
Leg 8 (25 photos)
Leg 9 <span>(13 photos)</span>
Leg 9 (13 photos)
Leg 10 <span>(20 photos)</span>
Leg 10 (20 photos)
Leg 11 <span>(7 photos)</span>
Leg 11 (7 photos)


Review by se950


Video by RMOTO

Riders that have completed this Exploration Route