Day 32, Friday 22 September 2017
Klondyke Road is a gravel road running through the Onewhero Forest northeast of Port Waikato. It’s a good sealed road at the eastern end, but the 15 km at the west are gnarly gravel. I suspect not much traffic uses this road other than logging trucks.
The gravel is unevenly distributed, so some areas have deep gravel and others have none, with slippery mud or even more slippery bare clay. There are deep wheel ruts, extremely uneven surfaces, and in places the corners are cambered to suit big trucks taking the corner at 80 km/h, which is not so suitable for a motorcycle in deep gravel travelling at 20 km/h. There are some spectacular views over the countryside and Waikato River, and also some stark views of valleys denuded of all vegetation by the loggers. There are few places to pull over to take photographs, although as I didn’t see a single other vehicle on this road today I could have just stopped in the middle of the road.
This is probably the most difficult road I have ridden on. If I’d been on my sports-tourer I probably couldn’t have done it. On the adventure bike I struggled, but I am new to this bike and I expect I will quickly get better. Adventure Riding NZ (requires signup) rates this road as intermediate/beginner difficulty, but I would not recommend this for beginners, especially immediately after rain as I encountered it.
I have a great feeling of satisfaction from riding this road!
Distance travelled: 174 km. Total distance so far: 4307 km