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New Zealand Classic 2020

15 February – 8 March 2020

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  • The Participants
  • The Route
  • Questions & Answers
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New Zealand Classic 2020

15 February – 8 March 2020

A small country with enormous heart, New Zealand is a land like no other.  ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’ is famed for its breathtaking and often unique landscape, rich cultural heritage, top notch wines, fabulous cities, hospitable locals and world famous sporting history.

Alongside rugby, cricket, watersports and winter sports, motorsport pulses strongly through New Zealand’s veins and we’re hugely excited to be adding the ERA New Zealand Classic to the ERA events calendar from 15 February to 8 March 2020.

Tell Me More

To find out more please call Annette, Eleonora or any of the Rally Office team or email us for your copy of the event brochure and entry form. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and offer any guidance you may need.

Phone:   +44 (0)1235 831221

Email:   [email protected]

New Zealand 2020


Accepted Entries

New Zealand Classic 2020 - Accepted Entries [3217285]


Pending Entries

New Zealand 2020 - Pending Entries [3217285]

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New Zealand Classic 2020

The Route

Next month, Clerk of the Course Mark Appleton together with another member of the ERA team, George Mullins, will drive the complete route – their recce report will follow in the next Newsletter so stay tuned. In the meantime, we thought you may enjoy reading the following preview.

Day 1, 2 & 3 – Auckland – Whangarei – Aukland

The first two rallying days will take cars and competitors 300kms north into largely uncharted rally territory from Auckland to Northlands’ only city, Whangarei. The route passes through remote areas with gentle rolling hills, serves up a decent portion of smooth gravel and pleasingly, there’s not a tourist in sight!

Because the sub-tropical Northland region is such a wonderful place, our route will take in a day loop north of Whangarei to let us explore the truly remote and dramatic roads of the area. Our hotel is situated opposite the Whangarei Town Basin and is just a short stroll from the city centre where you can take in the museums, art galleries, gardens, bars and restaurants.  And if beaches are your thing then you should definitely head to renowned Ninety Mile Beach to experience its spectacular scenery and general all-round magnificence.

Day 4 & 5 – Rotorua & Gisborne

Day four takes us south from Auckland along smooth, twisty, gravel roads and then south east to geothermal  Rotorua, home of explosive geysers, bubbling mud pools and more than a whiff of sulphur in the air! We then head further south-east from Rotorua to the coast at Gisborne and hope to take in all 47km of the Motu Road Gorge which rallying aficionados believe to be the sport’s toughest and most challenging road.

Day 6 & 7 – Taupo

Having mastered the Motu, we head back west to Taupo and stopping off at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park race track before heading to our overnight halt and subsequent rest day at beautiful Lake Taupo, which is renowned for its fishing.

Day 8, 9 & 10 – Whakapapa – Palmeston North & Wellington

Fully rested, we head off on our final few days on the North Island, travelling west to the torturous Forgotten World Highway then looping back to sleep on the slopes of the country’s largest active volcano.  More quiet and twisty back roads take us to the Chris Amon Circuit at Manfeild Park then on to Palmerston North. It is then south again to Wellington which is New Zealand’s capital city, gateway to the South Island and was recently voted ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet.

Where North Island is all about golden beaches, geothermal activity and lots of fascinating Maori culture, the South Island is quite different.  The scenery changes dramatically in super-spectacular fashion with fjords, mountains and glaciers aplenty.

Day 11 – Blenheim

After some sightseeing in the morning to explore Wellington before we hop on the lunch time ferry across the Cook Strait, into Picton and set our wheels on the South Island with a short jaunt to Blenheim in the centre of the Cloudy Bay wine region.

Day 12 – Hanmer Springs

Be sure to have your tanks full as you leave Blenheim as our first full day on the South Island heads through the remote and vast Molesworth sheep station before an early finish in the resort town of Hanmer Springs where there’s plenty to refresh the mind and spirit.  One of the must-do activities is a visit to the Thermal Pools and Spa which are sure to leave you feeling relaxed and ready to push onwards for the next few days of our adventure.

Day 13 – Nelson

From Hanmer Springs we pass through the Lake Sumner Forest Park as we use the Lewis Pass to cross the Southern Alps for the first time.  We then loop back to the north for our next overnight stop in Nelson, a hub for artists and crafty folk, not to mention wine, classic cars and “wearable art”.

Day 14 – Hokitika

We retrace our steps as we leave Nelson on the way to the wild west coast and a short stop in Punakaiki which is famous for its 30 million year old, ancient limestone stacks, enticingly named the Pancake Rocks.  Definitely a feast for the eye and not the tummy!  We then push on south to our overnight in the gold-rush town of Hokitika where we will watch the sun setting over the Tasman Sea.

Day 15 – Fox Glacier

With the ocean on our right, day 15 gives us a short drive south along the coast road to Fox Glacier… clearly, this part of New Zealand didn’t get the memo about the Ice Age being over!  This glacier is one of the most easily accessible in the world and descends 2600 metres from the Southern Alps.  Grab your gin and tonics folks, there’s plenty of ice.

Day 16 & 17 – Queenstown

From the glacier, we head south again and drive through Mount Aspiring National Park which is home to mountains, glaciers and alpine lakes as we cross back over the Southern Alps. Our ultimate destination for the day is Queenstown where we’ll also stop for a day’s rest.

Day 18 – Milford Sound

Day 18 take us on an almost circular route from Queenstown, south-west to Te Anau and then north to Milford Sound, carved from ice age glaciers and pronounced the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ by Rudyard Kipling.  In short, it’ll take your breath away.  Instead of a hotel stay tonight we are planning an overnight cruise, to experience what it means to sleep in the heart of this most tranquil of places.

Day 19 – Invercargill

Back on dry land, we skirt the edge of the Fjordland National Park as we journey to our most southerly overnight stop in the sleepy city of Invercargill.  As we negotiate the suburbs we will pass the shed where Burt Munro tinkered with motorcycles until he’d perfected a machine that would earn him the Land Speed Record with the “World’s Fastest Indian”.

Day 20 & 21 – Dunedin

We leave Invercargill at a slightly slower pace than Burt, negotiating the scenic Caitlin Hills and passing (the other) Niagara Falls on our way to the ‘Edinburgh of New Zealand’, Dunedin.  We spend two nights here to allow you to explore this pleasant city and its surroundings which ooze with Victorian/Edwardian history… and one the world’s rarest penguin colonies is just around the coast!

Day 22 – Lake Tekapo

From Dunedin we turn inland again, back towards the Southern Alps and a glimpse of New Zealand’s highest mountain before arriving at the last overnight halt on the shores of the stunning Lake Tekapo.

Day 23 – Christchurch

Suitably rested, our final day takes us back to the coast in the middle of the South Island and Christchurch, where our antipodean adventure comes to an end.  A traditional ERA prizegiving ceremony and Gala Dinner finish things off in fine style and give us all the opportunity to reminisce on the highlights of this fabulous event.

New Zealand Classic 2020 – What you need to know

Is my vehicle eligible?

The event is open for Vintageant cars built before 1948 and for Classic cars of a type built before 1976. Cars of a later date but unchanged mechanical specification will be considered at the Organisers’ discretion. Classes based on engine size will subdivide these categories.

Do I need previous experience?

The event is suitable for both novice and more experienced crews. An easy to follow tulip route book will be supplied. Our experienced team of officials will be at your disposal at all times to support you and we will provide hints and tips on navigation.

What equipment do I need?

The first requirement is a well-prepared car, which must be fitted with the following equipment:

  • Tripmeter (Monit or similar);
  • Seat belts – full harness for classic cars whilst for the vintage cars we strongly recommend a lap-belt style of seat belt be fitted and used at all times;
  • Rollover bars – it is recommended that all cars have a rollover bar fitted, hoop or full roll cage is preferred;
  • 1.75 litres fire extinguisher;
  • A groundsheet to capture any fluid leaks;
  • Warning triangle, a tow rope, two spare tyres, high visibility jackets and spare light bulbs;
  • A comprehensive first aid kit

Other mandatory equipment may be specified in the event regulations.

What if my car breaks down?

We expect you to carry spares for your car and a tool kit. You should be able to take care of minor repairs yourself, but our mobile support vehicles will follow the rally and our highly skilled mechanics will provide all the extra support you need. The vast experience of our sweeps will keep you on the road; just make sure you bring the right spares for your car.

How do I get my car to New Zealand?

New Zealand have strict quarantine and customs regulations so you will need to ensure that your car is cleaned when you hand it over and no food or drinks are left in or sent with the vehicle. CARS will look the car over and ensure there is no transit mud or dirt in the wheel arches etc. but please ensure the interior of the car has been cleaned. Due to New Zealand’s import regulations and customs requirements, please ensure your vehicle is shipped fully prepared.

You may use any shipping agent you chose, but we recommend CARS Europe who have handled our shipping for nearly 20 years. CARS can efficiently transport your car to the rally start and then back home; they handle all customs and import operations so your car will be ready for collection in a specified location in Auckland. You can contact Melvyn Palmer [email protected] for a free quotation.

Driving in New Zealand

New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road, so if you are European, American or Asian a bit of adjustment is required. You will need your current driver’s licence from your own country and an International Driving Permit (in English text) is highly recommended. These can be easily obtained and are normally valid for a year.

Vehicle Insurance

Vehicle insurance is not included so you will need to make your own arrangements. For your motor insurance requirements one of our partners HERO Insurance Solutions will be able to assist in providing compulsory third-party motor cover and vehicle physical damage cover. Please email [email protected] or contact Andrew Scannell on +44 (0)203 1783327

Travel & Medical cover

A fully qualified medical team will follow the Rally from start to the finish. The medical team will also support your preparation with a list of medications you should bring and a comprehensive first aid kit can be purchased in advance from the Rally Doctors.

The Organisers will arrange travel insurance including medical emergency repatriation for all participants under the age of 75 who are not travelling against doctor’s advice.

Accommodation and Dining

Accommodation for each rally crew will be arranged in a twin/double room for 25 nights, from 13 February to 8 March 2020 inclusive, with breakfast and parking. A group Welcome dinner will be organized for the evening of Friday 14 February 2020. Complimentary group dining is included each evening except on rest days.

The Gala dinner and Prize-Giving ceremony will see all participants celebrate the completion of the rally in Christchurch on Sunday 8 March.

What is the Weather like & What do I wear?

New Zealand has four definite seasons with summers (December to February) being warm in the mid-twenties Celsius (75-85F) and the north being generally warmer than the south. Extreme temperatures are rarely experienced.

Dress casually and comfortably…just take something a little more formal if you wish to visit some top class restaurants and nightspots. Pack a warm fleece for the mountains; a wind and waterproof jacket is recommended as rain can occur at any time of the year but hopefully not for long.

 What else do I need to know?

Further information about any documentation, equipment, suitable clothing and travel essentials, weather, currency, fuel availability, accommodation, travel advice and everything else to help you plan an enjoyable rally will be communicated to all entrants by our regular direct Newsletters. Any forms to fill in are supplied by us and sent to you directly.

You can of course contact the Rally Office at any time if you have any queries or doubts, or if you simply wish to receive some advice; as the organisers of over 70 events worldwide we are always available to help and advise newcomers and veterans alike.

Contact the Rally Office for more information
Phone:   +44 (0)1235 831221
Email:   [email protected]