Registration for the rally is now open and is available on-line. TOMCC New Zealand has elected to host the 2019 WATOC Rally of the Year. The rally will be held at the South Island alpine resort of Hanmer Springs over the weekend 22-24 February 2019. Accommodation will be in the Hanmer Springs Forest Camp located a short distance from the township.
Hanmer Springs is located about northwest of Christchurch. The town lies on a minor road a few kilometres off the northern route between Christchurch and the South Island West Coast via the Lewis Pass. The town is built around a popular hot spring which was discovered in the late 19th century. The hot springs were produced by the fractured rock bed along the Hanmer fault. This hot spring has been developed into an extensive pool complex including a freshwater pool as well as hot pools of varying temperatures.
Hanmer Springs is also a popular tourist destination, with Bungy jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and bush walking activities available. A Visitor Information Centre next to the hot springs provides information about the area and booking facilities for transport. For motorcyclists the area has a number of excellent rides, in particular the road through to the West Coast via the Lewis Pass. During summer months, gravel roads through the Rainbow Valley to St Arnaud and the Nelson Lakes National Park, and through the Molesworth Station to Blenheim, Picton, and the Marlborough region are worth riding if you want to get off the tarseal.
Also, New Zealand has, without doubt, some of the world's best riding roads, through stunning scenery in both the North and South Islands. Once out of the towns and cities, of which there are really very few, the roads carry only light traffic and in fact many roads can be without traffic for mile after mile. Good weather, friendly people and lots to see make New Zealand an unforgettable motorcycling experience.