Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


New Six-day MTB Adventure To Showcase Best Of Te Tauihu

9th to 16th of March

Billed as a “Proper Kiwi Backcountry Enduro Adventure”, The NZ MTB Rally is a full week of trail discovery, adrenaline and good times on two wheels.

With a focus on some of the Top of the South’s best destinations, the event aims to lift the region to the top of any MTB enthusiast’s bucket-list.

The event’s six-day itinerary combines world-class trails in a pristine environment with an exciting new take on the classic ‘Enduro’ race format.

This enhanced format will include multiple heli-drops, a boat-access day landing at Cable Bay, and many 4x4 shuttles. All these exciting logistics will be delivered via partnerships with established local businesses.

Much like a motorsport rally, the NZ MTB rally’s circular itinerary comprises timed race stages and untimed connecting ‘liaisons’. It follows an original route; sandwiched between three National Parks, taking in a blend of historic backcountry tracks, DOC-managed paths, and purpose built MTB trails.

Event Director Ali Jamieson is excited about the potential.

“Our region is well known for its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, wild mountains, national parks, wineries and breweries and increasingly we are seeing MTBing added to that mix. Nelson is an IMBA-certified gold-level ride centre; one of only six, worldwide. Events like this can see Nelson proudly compete with renowned destinations like Rotorua and Queenstown.”

“Nelson was confirmed to host the MTB Enduro World Series (EWS) in 2021 until COVID travel restrictions forced a last-minute cancellation. The NZ MTB Rally has stepped up to fill that gap, but with something refreshingly original and accessible to any keen rider or racer. We can barely wait to show the world what it’s been missing!”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Ali has 20 years of experience running similar events in Europe and alongside an MTB guiding company. He first discovered Nelson by chance when he visited as a tourist in 2013.

“From the moment I set foot in Nelson I knew this place was something very special and could hardly believe that I’d never heard of it before as an MTB destination. I’m beyond excited to finally bring our long-time vision to life in the form of The NZ MTB Rally and to introduce our region to a whole new audience of international cycling enthusiasts from around the world.”

Demand for the 120 starting slots was high, with all spaces selling out within hours of their release last August.

75% of participants travel from outside NZ and all but one participant is visiting from outside of our region; a fantastic win for Nelson’s tourism industry.

“Economically, the event will be spending around $400,000 on local accommodation, caterers, transport, hospitality, media and other support functions. We estimate additional local spend associated with our event’s attendees to be a further six figures.”

The organisers received Economic Event Funding from Nelson City Council in order to assist with the administrative and marketing costs of establishing the event. Fiona Wilson represents Nelson-Tasman’s interests in this area.

“The NZ MTB Rally has the potential to boost the profile of our region to a high-value tourist audience which we expect to translate to direct revenue to local businesses. We also know that many participants will travel here with family and friends, and extend their stay before or after the trip.”

Nelson’s Mayor Nick Smith is looking forward to the event, too:

“Cycling is in Nelson’s DNA. It’s been wonderful to be part of the development of mountain biking across New Zealand. In the 90s, when I was minister for conservation, I led changes that resulted in MTBing no longer being banned from national parks. The economic benefits are clear, and Nelson City Council is happy to sponsor The NZ MTB Rally.”

With the recent dry weather; fire risk and prevention is critically important for a safe and successful event. The organisers are in regular contact with FENZ and NCC Parks Service and have contingencies in place should their preferred route become inaccessible due to fire restrictions. Fingers crossed that the rain forecast later this week comes through!

If you’d like to get involved with the event, volunteering opportunities are available on the NZ MTB Rally website. The recommended spot for spectators is at the Maitai Golf Club on Friday 15th March between 1pm and 4pm, from where you can cheer riders over the line as they complete their final stages of the week.

You can follow the event’s daily news reports online via their social media accounts @NZMTBRally and their website,

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.