Help with logistics and accommodation for Lake Taupo Challenge

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Help with logistics and accommodation for Lake Taupo Challenge

Postby Ross » Mon May 21, 2018 6:58 am

I'm planning to do the Lake Taupo Challenge in late November. I think I will hire a bike over there as it's too much of a PITA to drag my bike over there, especially as I want to do non-cycling touristy type stuff for a few days after.

It seems the closest major airport to direct to from Oz is Auckland, but then I need to get to Taupo which is around a 3 hour drive (hire car?) or 5 hour bus trip (not ideal but much cheaper than hiring a car). So I probably won't be needing the hire car when I get to Taupo as I will be riding the bike and then the touristy things afterwards appear to have shuttles that pick me up directly from where I'm staying. I've never hired a car before, heard lots of horror stories about being charged for non-existant or existing damage and also can I return the car to Taupo rather than Auckland?

Where is a good place to stay that is 1) within riding distance to LTC start line 2) bike friendly allowing me to take the bike to my room or has a lockup area for it 3) has a bed with linen and a bathroom/shower and lastly reasonable room rate? I looked at a cabin in a caravan park which at first looked good but cheapest cabin they had suiting the above criteria was $125 per night. Quickly looked at a couple of motels and price is about the same/some cheaper from $100 p/n to $130 (can I still stay in a motel if I don't have a car?).

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Re: Help with logistics and accommodation for Lake Taupo Challenge

Postby Newcastle Dave » Mon May 21, 2018 4:09 pm

I cant help to much with your specific requirements, but offer a few points from when I did it 3 years ago

1) I hired a car in Auckland, not from Avis or Hertz or another big name, but from one of the smaller independent ones (sorry, cant remember the name). They picked me up from the airport and drove to their depot about 3-4 km away. Cheap second -hand Japanese import but it went OK. You would need to return to same location though. I stayed for 15 days and it cost me about as much as an Avis car would for 4

2) Around that weekend accommodation at Taupo is in short supply and expensive. I saw prices for 1 night in a 1 bedroom cabins with no amenities that would have got you a week in a unit at any other time. The ride organisers did have an informal accommodation directory (staying in peoples houses or vacant units) the year I was doing it, but then I got lucky and scored a unit through a holiday club I am in. I did have to take it for 7 nights, but I spent the Friday night beforehand, the Saturday after the race, a recovery day Sunday, Monday we drove to Rotorua for the day, Tuesday more local sightseeing and left on the Wednesday - it was still cheaper than 2 nights in a mud hut in the local caravan park.

3) I took my bike, not sure you will be able to hire one in Taupo so that would mean getting it back to Auckland anyway.

4) If you want to do it on the cheap, you could do it like a young guy I rode part way with. He was an American who had flown into Wellington. He had bought a cheap bike (and old style roadie with downtube shifters, racks and toe clips.) He had ridden it from Wellington and was camped at the local campground. He had removed the rack for the ride to slightly reduce its considerable weight. Bastard still beat me home on my flash carbon DI2 equipped bike :-) (but he did have 20+ years on me)

5) Its an awesome ride !!! The best organized event I have been in. The locals support it and even the drivers are polite and didn't seem to mind hanging back until it was safe to pass.

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Re: Help with logistics and accommodation for Lake Taupo Challenge

Postby antigee » Mon May 21, 2018 6:00 pm

road around Lake Taupo with some friends from England earlier this year - they had a campervan so I stayed a couple of nights at:

on a budget so opted for small cabin with no ensuite - good clean shower block/toilets 50m away
though what you might pay at an exceptionally busy time might be more

took bike and hired a car plus picked up road bikes for friends from very good and on airport industrial estate it is a good 3hrs+ drive maybe nearer 4 if don't drive like a kiwi

car hire used co called Omega similar or same co' suggested above off airport , phone on arrival, 10min pick up and minibus ride to industrial estate - older ex Japan cars - used before helpful staff - damage much less of an issue than with some co's (if worried pics before after, check for spare wheel,cig burns on rear seats, oil in boot, damage underneath etc fully fuel just before return get recpt for fuel and match time to full gauge pic) Only sign in boxes that get explained reason for signing, Get signed docs on return don't just leave on a nod)

May struggle to hire road bike in Lake Taupo except from any co' that is specifically taking in bikes to support challenge ride - we couldn't find any road bikes hence me picking up and taking from Auckland

Doubt if will get a one way rental to Taupo but may hit lucky

One thing with car rental is the headline price will be with a mind numbing excess $2000-$4000 typical - if take rental co's cover to reduce factor in about another 50% on the headline or buy a separate excess cover policy before travelling - but if do damage you have to pay and pursue insurance co

If take own bike need to know how to pack and needs to be spotless both ways - they know where to look

Motels good place to stay with bike (no car needed) as can easily just roll into room - had places move me downstairs when turned up on bike just to make it easier - no more potential for damage than a big wheeled suitcase

Hotels/B&B's idea of safe bike storage is pretty variable and can be terrible - also make sure if locked in store room or similar that don't get caught with no one having a key in the morning :-( (yep)

Agree coach makes sense money wise provided can get a bike for event in Taupo as you say tour co's all pick up and though a larger town than I expected its not huge


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Re: Help with logistics and accommodation for Lake Taupo Challenge

Postby Ross » Mon May 21, 2018 8:18 pm

Thanks antigee for your response. Naturalhigh was the place I've been corresponding with regarding bike hire but they have suddenly gone silent on me now I've finally figured out what I want and when. Hopefully the girl I was dealing with has just been off sick for the day or just been too busy to respond to my email and will do so very soon.

And Taupoallseasons was the caravan park I first looked at but the cheapest cabin with bed linen and attached bathroom was dearer than a hotel. When I finish the ride I want to go straight for a shower and change of clothes, not wait hours at a public shower block for the other 6000 riders to have a shower first.

I've taken my own bike o/s before, it is great to have it to ride but a PITA to travel with.

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