Wayne Kirk’s Tour of Aotearoa

On March 4 I am setting off to ride 3000 km the length of New Zealand as part of Tour Aotearoa. Tour Aotearoa is a ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff, totally unaided, in no less than 10 days and no more than 30 days. The reason I want to take part in this tour is not only will it be a fantastic experience, but I want to give back and raise funds for the NZ Spinal Trust.
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$23,586.00 donated of $20,000.00 goal
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Most of you will know I’m a pretty keen cyclist, but it has only been over the last few months that I have converted to riding a Mountain Bike, which will be my only mode of transport for the 30 days I expect the ride to take.

The reason I want to take part in this tour is not only will it be a fantastic experience, but I want to give back and raise funds for the NZ Spinal Trust.

On 29 September 2018 my son Sam was involved in a very bad car crash. He broke two vertebrae in his neck and dislocated one, putting pressure on and cutting the blood supply to his spinal column. He broke another disc in his back and cracked his pelvis.

The three month journey to get Sam home and back on his feet will be one I, my family, friends and work colleagues will never forget. It was a journey of incredible stress, but at the same time amazing to be able to tick off the many milestones that saw Sam return to walk again – and now be back at work doing an amazing job running Wayne Kirk Mitsubishi Hastings.

It was a long three months as Sam recuperated, but we had light at the end of the tunnel. As Sam made progress each day we realised how lucky we were. There were other families there and young adults – people the same age and younger than Sam – who were not so lucky.  It was a stark reminder of what might have been for us.

Thankfully Sam was able to progress from a wheel chair to a walker (we named Big Red), to two crutches then to one crutch, to being able to walk unaided. Some days were better than others – some days the thought of leaving Burwood Spinal Unit seemed so far into the future it wouldn’t happen. It was a super stressful time, but my goodness we had some wonderful and amazing physios and a spinal specialist who were incredible, who helped us along the way.

Because of the unbelievable support of Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch hospital surgeons and the dedicated support of the physios and medical staff at Burwood, it meant Sam’s recovery was much better than anyone expected and Sam has been able to return back to his life, slightly scarred but back to doing what he loves – selling cars!

The NZ Spinal Trust help many people like Sam, many not as lucky as he. Their help and support to families and people with spinal injuries is amazing, which is why I’m hoping to raise a substantial sum of money for them along my tour of Aotearoa.

I’ll be doing lots of daily updates on my Facebook Page along the way and you can track my progress here: https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com?bib=W%20S%20K&justme=yes&showPath=yes&showMarkerHistory=yes

More importantly you can help the NZ Spinal Trust by making a donation to support them so others are able to receive the wonderful care and support they gave Sam and families like us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully you’ll follow my progress. I look forward to giving you all an update of how much money we raised on my return in April.



Bluff Extra


3,000 kms in 27 days; the entire length of NZ on a mountain bike – through rain, sunshine, shingle, wind, a dislocated shoulder and Covid lockdown … what a journey, and what an absolute blast! 😊  A whole lot of people helped get me over the line and raising my $20k goal – thank you … Continue reading Bluff Extra

Day 27 – B


Can’t tell you the feeling I had cycling into Bluff and finally touching the Stirling Point Bluff signpost … unreal. Andy’s wife Janet was there to meet us with streamers and champagne.

Day 27 – A


This is the BIG one – our last day and the conditions couldn’t have been better.  This day deserved TWO pies – and they both scored highly on the pie-meter 😊

Day 26 – D


Our final night on the Tour was spent at the Railway Hotel in Mossburn – comfortable rooms and 5-star food and service.

Day 26 – C


The last 25kms were on an amazing cycle trail – a spectacular track!

Day 26 – B


no time to waste, we were headed off by 7.15am.  Phil’s brother Greg and his wife met us about halfway with a beautiful lunch – thanks guys!  No pies for us today

Day 26 – A


100kms almost all on shingle and with a steep hill to boot

Day 25 – C


One final leg to Mt Nicholas Station for a venison steak dinner.12

Day 25 – B


We had to put the hammer down as we rode the track around Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown in time to catch the SS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak Station.

Day 25 – A


Holey Moley what a climb today!  The Crown Range Road – 1,076 metres over 14kms – felt like we were going straight up!  But we ‘knocked the bastard off’!  Rewarded with a fantastic (almost all) downhill run to Arrowtown 😊

Day 24 – C


Amazing service and food and well worth a visit.

Day 24 – B


Stayed at the iconic Cardrona Hotel

Day 24 – A


Well, that weather caught us today! So wet around Lake Hawea I couldn’t get the camera to work!  Andy’s son, Sam, joined us from Hawea to Wanaka – great to have that local knowledge!

Day 23 – C


A bloody steep climb over Haast Pass! As to the weather – so far so good … we’ve stayed ahead of it 😊

Day 23 – B


Outstanding scenery

Day 23 – A


133 kms to Makarora

Day 22 – A


A pretty special day on the Tour today – Andy Watts’ birthday!  We had salmon and beer to celebrate

Day 21 – B


I have to say, the South Island’s the jewel in the crown!

Day 21 – A


The scenery just keeps getting better

Day 20 – B


105 kms of stunning scenery and we spent the night in Ross at the Empire Hotel … fantastic roast but not a great night’s sleep.

Day 20 – A


The Game of THREE Halves continues!  Whitebait dinner in Kumara – great way to re-start 😊

Day 11-B


Collected my mate Tim just outside of Whanganui and we ended the day at Hunterville … 140kms!

Extra extra


Stay tuned – the old gang’s getting back together Nov 13th in Greymouth for the final ride to Bluff!



Thanks to Tim Mackie for accompanying me on this leg of my journey – an amazing rider who made my job a hell of a lot easier!

Day 14-C


Great lunch at Te Marua (always blow on the pie!) and into Wellington an hour early 😊

Day 14-B


hard to imagine how they put this (originally rail) track through with shovels and picks.

Day 14-A


Next stop Wellington! Over the Remutaka Trail

Day 13-B


And they did – made it to Masterton … 162 km day!

Day 13-A


Heck of a slog from Palmerston North to Pahiatua through rain, wind and fog!  Things could only get better

Day 12


Another 140 km day through shingle, over hills, battling winds and thwarted lunch plans!

Day 11-B


Collected my mate Tim just outside of Whanganui and we ended the day at Hunterville … 140kms!

Day 11-A


Picked up where I dropped out at Pipiriki with my dislocated shoulder.

Stay Tuned! Will be back to finish it


Flew back home and straight into isolation (never know what we might have picked up along the way).  Will be back to finish it (and the wee bit up north I missed)

Day 20


Heard about the LockDown in Kumara and rode through to Hokitika to stop our trip.

Day 16


Buoyed by the boys (and a few pills) – a gentle ride to Havelock and coping well.

Days 11 – 15


Gay Monteith @ Focus Health has been an absolute Godsend!  I managed to fix me up enough that I could rejoin my group in Wellington, ready for the ferry to Picton.

Day 10


The brown stuff hit the whirly thing – fell down a bank and dislocated my shoulder.  Off to the Whanganui Hospital!

Day 8


The Timber Trail – we crossed quite a few swing bridges today.  Passed by the centre of the North Island.

Day 7


The Waikato River Trail – an amazing ride

Day 6


The world-famous Bacon & Egg Roll @ the Pink Shop in Kaiaua was absolutely stunning

Day 4


Waiting for the ferry @ Pouto

Day 2


Omapere with Rob and Ed

First Steps


First steps with Big Red!

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Wayne Kirk

Tout Aotearoa is a ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff a total of 3000 km totally un aided in no less than 10 days and no more than 30 days.

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