EDITION 2:  22-29 MARCH 2025


Registration Opens June 2024 (info soon)

Join our mailing list for news about the 2025 race & registration process, plus our small-group, non-raced, NZ Rally-Tour packages

To avoid an online bun-fight when registration opens, we will pool all entries received in the first 24 hours and draw from a ballot. You’ll be informed within 48 hours if you got lucky, and within 72 hours if you missed out

A  NZD$1000 deposit is required by bank card at the point of registration. (Transaction Fees apply)

The remaining balance is due by bank transfer or card on 1st October 2024 (no transaction fees).

E-bikes are equally welcome

Sign up to our mailing list and subscribe to our social media channels, to make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to bag your golden ticket.


With some amazing financial support from our sponsors, we are stoked to confirm that you will not pay a premium vs other similar Multi-Day Enduros, for NZ MTB Rally’s Heli-Drops, Boat Access, maxxed-out shuttles and a notable absence of tented accommodation



(AUS$3925 / CAD$3500 / USD$2585 / €2385)



Deposits & Registration fees are non-transferable & non-refundable.  If you need to withdraw, we will do our best to re-sell your place via our wait list (admin fee applies). The earlier you cancel, the greater chance of getting any refund.  Zero refunds or transfers from 1 January 2025

It’s time to check your travel plans, confirm your time off work and auction that spare kidney you’ve been needlessly carrying around all this time.

An event with this level of awesome was never going to be viable for a knock-down price. But with the NZ MTB Rally, at least now you have an opportunity to fully justify whatever small-fortune you spent already, on your bike.

Arrival day is Saturday 22nd March 2025, and we will pick you up from Nelson Airport (Latest pickup is 4pm).  It’s less than 30 minutes transfer to camp 1.   First day of racing is Sunday 23rd March.

We’ve worked hard on our costs to make the entry price accessible to as many of you as possible. But at the same time, maintaining a high level of safety, optimised transport & logistics, and paying extra attention to the things  that we know really matter the most (great food, the best trails, a decent night’s sleep…).


You will have 24 hours to lodge an entry, starting from [Date & time TBC in June 2024]. This will be a simple online form available on our registration page. All entries received within the 24 hour period will be considered equally, so you don’t need to rush. We’ll email you after 48 hours to ask you to make a deposit payment of 1000 NZD by credit or debit card, which confirms your registration.  You’ll need to pay this within a further 36 hours from the time of being offered the space, to secure your spot.  Its important you don’t miss any comms from us during this period so please set ‘INFO@NZMTBRALLY.COM‘ & ‘REGISTRATIONS@EVENTPLUS.NET‘ to your email contacts and safe-sender list (do it now!)

The balance of your registration fee will be due on or before 1 October. This is made by bank transfer (no fees), or credit card (transaction fees apply).


No-one wants to fly to an event, only to arrive at your destination to realise that your bike missed the connection. Unfortunately, it’s always a risk, especially if you travel internationally with short or complicated connections. Flying into Nelson Airport is no different.  If you are really unlucky, your bike will be chasing you around the region all week and you will only finally catch up with it again as you return to the airport to fly home.

If you are travelling long-distance, we recommend arriving a day or two earlier to get over jetlag and to allow for extra time just in case you get unlucky and your bike misses a connection (it happens sometimes, although in 2024, all bikes did arrive on time thanks to some careful and creative co-ordination on our part, with AirNZ).  Nelson Town centre is a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport and it’s a really great place to hang out for a little while with ample activities available within walking distance.  You can also warm up your legs with our suggested rides on Nelson’s sweet intermediate-grade trails, only 15 minutes ride from the town centre.(Latest pickup is 4pm, on both Friday and Saturday)

However, we’d strongly recommended arriving via Christchurch if you possibly can, because this allows us to implement a backup plan just in case your bike doesn’t make the connection. We will arrange for a van to be at Christchurch Airport on Saturday 9th March to collect any of your bikes that did not make the connection to Nelson. We’ll then drive these recovered bikes directly back to Nelson (Camp 1) on Saturday evening to make sure that you’ll have your bike with you by (very) late on Saturday. (Its about a 5 hour drive).

Alternatively, you could always just risk it and fly in via Auckland, on Saturday 22nd March. You might not have any problems at all. But be aware that arranging a hire bike at short notice on Saturday night is going to be a challenge (we’ll have the local bike shops on standby for this too, but you’re really pushing your luck!)


See the FAQ section below, or email us using the contact form.

This site will be updated regularly as registration day approaches.



1 or 2 drops - Subject to flyable weather conditions (back-up options in place)

Boat Access

Specially commissioned catamaran 90-minute scenic boat charter

4x4 Shuttles

Mutliple shuttles per day in Land Cruisers and 4x4 Minibuses, with custom, secure MTB trailers


Doctors, paramedics, and dedicated rescue vehicles on-site each day, with Heli-evac options on standby


SportIdent Pro Timing System. Results online Daily


NZ's statistically sunniest region, at a settled autumnal time of year? Yep, that's us. (But, bring a rain jacket!)


Custom NZ MTB Rally Ride Jersey plus other useful swag from our sponsors

Feed Stations

Decent food on the go, served trail-side. Plenty enough to keep you fuelled-up to last all day

Course Marking

Trust us on the Course marking. We know, it's super important to get it done...properly

Trail Karma

Trails prepped & restored to 'better than before'. Via direct action and $$ donations to local clubs

Pro Media

Free access to all event photos & other media (Individual images not guaranteed)

After Party

We've booked a Nelson after-party that matches the stoke of our trails. Good times!



Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner every day, all quality meals, served at local restaurants or via professional caterers

Room & Bed

Real Beds in shared rooms. 3 different basecamp locations. Basic Dorm-style, cabins, bunk-rooms & hostels

Mechanic Support

We've got basic tools here to help you; but this is a Rally, and we're often remote: Some self-sufficiency is required.


Coach transfers between locations, inc transport & storage of your luggage & bike bag

Airport Transfers

To & from Nelson Airport
(30 mins)

Extra Night

But we've got sweet deals with partner accommodation in Nelson, if you arrive early. Just ask!

Let’s be up front.  The NZ MTB Rally was created with the primary goal of bringing first-time international MTB visitors to The Top of The South Island.

But we know that a whole stack of Kiwis and Nelson-area Locals are going to be frothing to get involved, too.  Our Self-Supported Option is  specifically designed just for you, and at a price point that is a little more realistic.   You’ll need to bring your own vehicle and make arrangements for your own accommodation & meals.  Bring your own toilet roll, and we’ll shout you a few beers (and lunch!). We’ll provide a detailed logistics plan with recommended partner campsites and other accommodation at each base-camp location, but it will be up to you to work it out and book in for yourselves. Self-drive between camps is certainly do-able, but we’d say you’ll be better off with a support driver if you can persuade someone to get involved. Better start saving up those brownie points with your girlfriend/boyfriend, eh?

(Kiwi Camper-Van Cuzzies: please don’t plan on just rocking up, squeezing in with our all-inclusive riders, trapping & eating wild possums, washing in a river and sh*tting in a ditch – our friends at DOC wouldn’t be too keen on that plan).


Once you have registered and paid your deposit, we’ll send you an info-pack which details our daily & overnight camp locations with recommendations to book your own accommodation (or campsite).  You are of course free to make your own arrangements, or stay with friends.  

For locals based in Nelson, it would technically be possible to complete the entire event by driving out and back from Nelson each day (30 to 90 mins drive each way, at each location).


Yes, there’ll be an option to register as part of a group, although you each need to submit your own registration. You can optionally ask that, if one of you gets a slot, then all of you will get in*.  

Or, you can enter as a group, but take your chances individually as to who gets drawn.*  

In either case, we’ll also do our best to room you together throughout the week, but this is not guaranteed at all locations.

*Be aware that the “all-or-none” approach does not improve your chances of getting an entry.  In fact, it can sometimes work against you (its easiest for us to squeeze just-one-more in, than a group of 6!).

If you hope to ‘beat the ballot’, your absolute best chance is to make a solo entry and be prepared to go-it-alone if your mates’ names don’t come out in the draw.   You’ll meet more new friends and ultimately have a better week, if you do – trust us on that.

For couples, the same rules apply as a regular group.  This means we won’t arrange any special roomings for you, so you’ll probably be allocated to rooms sharing with 1 or 2 other riders, although we do also have a few double-rooms at some locations so you might get lucky (no promises!)

Optional Pre-Arrival is Friday 28th March 2025 (see “traveling with bikes”).  

Registration is Saturday 29th March 2025

Race Day 1 of 6 is Sunday 30th March 2025

Race Day 6 of 6 is Friday 5th April 2025

The afterparty is Friday night, accommodation and food included

Departures are on Saturday 6th March 2025

Yes! And before you ask, yes, that also means you are allowed on the heli-drops too. 

You’re asking the wrong questions, dude!

See our trails & itinerary pages for quite detailed run-down of this point.

‘Reckon we’ll manage to rustle something up for ya.

How good? Well in comparison to others…Let’s say Italian Coffee tastes like Jaegermeister and French Coffee may as well be the dregs left in the sink after you finished washing up.

Nelson is the birthplace of craft brewing in NZ. We’ve also got the oldest pub in NZ, and our region remains the home of hops, producing New Zealand’s entire commercial harvest and exporting them around the world.  So you might say we know a thing or two about brewing a decent IPA.  

But our personal expertise leans more towards how best to drink it: Strong, cold, straight from the bottle & preferably, handed to you at the end the last stage each day.

Regarding wine. You’re asking the wrong people. This a rad-as-hell Enduro Race, not a wine-quaffing, aroma-sniffing, high-society, hob-nobbing tour of the wineries.

But yes, if you must, the wine is world-class. Nelson-Tasman wineries are up there with the best, and Marlborough is renowned for its ‘goldilocks’ wine-growing climate & exquisite Sauvignon Blanc…

…and that’s coming from those in the know. It’s not just a tip-off from our Kiwi mate Wyn Masters.  (No offence intended, we love your work, Bro!)

Now we’re getting down to business! Hey Cussie, you’ll need at least one or the other just to get through Passport Control. Best be safe and start growing yours, right now. The chicks will dig you.

Regular old Kiwi cow’s milk is way better than The Udders.  You’ll be Sweet As.  

Alternatively,  it’ll have to be dry cereal and black coffee for you in the mornings, sorry.

We’re aiming for late summer / early autumn.  Nelson’s climate is typically mild.  But we could equally get unlucky and have a storm front come through, which would be somewhat colder and wetter.

One thing to note is that early mornings here, it can often be pretty chilly before the sun comes up.  Eg feeling like 5 to 10 Degrees C, even if the full warmth of the day is eventually 20 to 25 Degrees C.

Fly In to Nelson (NSN) Airport.  We’ll arrange airport transfers leaving at (approx) 14h30 and 17h30. The absolute latest arrival time to Nelson Airport (to take our transfer) is 16:30.

We recommend you arrive a day early, on Friday 21st March if you are flying (see ‘Air Travel With Bikes’, below).

If you are arriving by car, please arrive to basecamp between 14:30 and 17:30 on Saturday 22nd March 2025.

Basecamp 1 is at 28 Moore Road, Wakefield 7095

No-one wants to fly to an event, only to arrive at your destination to realise that your bike missed the connection.  Unfortunately, it’s always a risk, especially if you travel internationally with short or complicated connections. Flying into Nelson Airport is no different and since the planes that fly in here are small, the luggage capacity is limited.

We’ve consulted with AirNZ and the Airport Staff here and we are a little concerned that if 100 or so riders all fly into Nelson Airport on the same  Saturday lunchtime – some bikes risk getting left behind at the Auckland or Christchurch transfer and sent onwards to Nelson later.  (FYI this is not about baggage delays or mix-ups, it’s about the total hold capacity on each individual plane).

This can become a big problem, considering that we move camps regularly.  If you are really unlucky, your bike will be chasing you around the region all week and you will only finally catch up with it again as you return to the airport to fly home.

Aside from the above risk, there’s also jetlag to consider for anyone coming from further away than Eastern Australia.  We’re not pulling any punches for a big day on Day 1 of racing, so you’ll need to be feeling fresh from the get-go.  An extra day to chill out at camp 1, build your bike, and meet your fellow racers, is gonna be a real bonus and likely will set you up for the whole week.

In summary, we recommend that you arrive in Nelson on Friday 8th March 2024, especially if you are flying via Auckland.  We’ve got your accommodation covered, and will pick you up from the Airport too. (Latest pickup is 4pm, on both Friday and Saturday)

However better still, we’d strongly recommended arriving via Christchurch if you can, because this allows us to implement a backup plan just in case your bike doesn’t make the connection.  We will arrange for a van to be at Christchurch Airport on Saturday 9th March to collect any bikes that did not make the connection to Nelson.  We’ll then drive these recovered bikes directly back to Nelson (Camp 1) on Saturday evening to make sure that you’ll have your bike with you by (very) late on Saturday.  (It’s about a 5 hour drive).

Note that this ‘backup’ shuttle from Christchurch is for  ‘delayed’ bikes only and not for passengers.  You’ll need to book flights all the way to Nelson.

Alternatively, you could always just risk it and fly in via Auckland, on Saturday 9th March. You might not have any problems at all.  It’s mostly about how many of you decide to play it safe or if you all decide to risk it.

The Race finishes in Nelson City on Friday 5th April  2025 at approximately 16h00.

We’ve got an afterparty and prizegivine ceremony planned with music and food, at a Nelson City central venue.  Friends and supporting partners are welcome to join us, as are self-supported riders of course!

Your accommodation on Friday night is included in your registration (all-inclusive) will be spread over 2 or 3 city centre venues within 10 minutes ride of each other.

We’ll make a drop off to Nelson Airport at 10:30 on Saturday 5th April.  

If you need to make your own arrangements for an earlier flight, its only 15-20 minutes by airport taxi and it won’t be a problem to arrange whatever you need.  Better still, stay on longer and enjoy the area for another week or so, since we’re only scratching the surface in the time we have at NZ MTB Rally.

Sleeping Bag: No, all our beds for the event include clean bedding, so you don’t need one.

Towel: We don’t provide towels, so yes, please bring one.  We recommend a lightweight / fast-drying travel towel.

Head Torch: Whist we are not camping, yes you’ll need a small head torch.  We some have early starts (twilight) and a small head-torch is indispensable in dorm-style accommodation.

Bring some swimming shorts too, because we’ll be making the most of our beautiful, natural swimming holes throughout the week….

…and on that note, make sure you bring fly-spray (the sandflies can be crazy at the finish of one race location), and sun cream (NZ sun can burn faster than anywhere else we know).

This genuinely is THE most frequently asked question of all time…so here’s the truth of it (ignore this…if you want to have a miserable week)

  • Bike – We generally prefer bikes that have around 5-7″ (140– 180mm) of front and rear travel, although some of our hardier (younger!) crew prefer to use solidly-build hard-tails. It’s really a matter of personal preference.  Strength over lightness and a relaxed (slack head-angle) is ideal. 
  • Tyres – Listen very carefully. Are you paying attention?  At least 2.3″ DUAL-PLY / DH / DOUBLE-DOWN / ENDURO+ reinforced sidewalls & casing are absolutely essential otherwise we guarantee you will be fixing flats every run.  Tubeless with some kind of rim-protection-insert is ideal, certainly for the rear wheel and especially if you are a heavier rider.   (But this is no substitute for a heavier, stronger tyre).  If you are really tight on airline weight limits, you could fly in ‘nude’ and order a pair from a local Nelson Store such as Gravity Nelson, for delivery to Day 1 base camp – see our Sportity App for address details).  They’ll be pretty much done by the end of the week, so you can ditch them again before you fly home.
  • Brakes – 3000m+ descent a day is hard on the brakes!  No brake is “too much”, and your screaming forearms will thank you for a decent investment in your braking setup.  Most importantly, make sure your brakes are freshly-bled with new fluid, and new pads, before your trip. Large brake rotors are a superb upgrade (min 200mm front and rear for the average weight adult male rider, 220mm  if you are a larger build).
  • Spare Brake Pads – At least 1 complete (front and rear) set, but be safe and bring two complete sets if you can.   Go for sintered pads since they handle the heat of long descents so much better.
  • Spare Tube, Plugs, & Mini-Pump or Air Canisters
  • Spare Mech Hanger – if it breaks during your trip, your bike will be effectively useless without a replacement.
  • CamelBak / BackPack with usual riding spares (pump, multitool etc), large enough to carry a light jacket, snacks & min 1 litre of water.
  • Packable Waterproof jacket.
  • Usual summer riding clothes and shoes (i.e. shorts, short or mid-sleeved jersey).
  • Extra base layers for cold days
  • Relaxed / comfy clothes for the evening
  • Earplugs – essential for room shares, if you are a light sleeper
  • Riding ShoesRoadie-style lightweight clip-in shoes are not ideal for this terrain.  You’ll manage, but you’d be better off with some all-mountain style shoes, something with a decent sole and tread. (Flats or Clips are equally good, whatever your preference).   There may be short sections where you need to push the bike to get to the trail head and this is where you’ll be glad of a comfier shoe.   While you’re on the subject, if you ride XC-style clip-in pedals, ditch them for an all-mountain or DH style set, with a platform/cage.
  • SunCream and Biting Fly Repellant: both are absolutely essential to survive a week out in the Kiwi Backcountry.  Don’t forget either !
  • Travel Towel:  Unless you plan to drip-dry every day.
  • Swimming Shorts: There’s Nothing better than taking a refreshing dip in our natural swimming holes at the end of a long hot day on the bike.

Our Minimum Mandatory requirements are:

    • Half-Lid approved cycle helmet
    • Knee Pads
    • Backpack, hip-sack or large water bottle(s) to carry min 600ml

Our recommendations are:

  • Helmet – We’d STRONGLY recommend upgrading to an enduro-style  removeable-chin-bar model if you don’t have one already. Of course a DH /Full-face helmet is also welcomed, but be aware that you’ll need to wear this on the climbs, too.
  • Gloves and any desired body armour – personally, we would not consider to ride these trails at any kind of pace without a spine protector and elbow pads, but if you are here mostly for the scenery then I guess that’s your call/risk.  However modern lightweight enduro-specific body armour is so comfortable that there’s little excuse not to really.  You are almost guaranteed to hit the ground hard at least once during the week. Just saying.
  • Riding sunglasses or Goggles for protection against both the sun and foreign objects – note that much of the riding is in deep native bush so it can get pretty dark in there, even if its sunny.
  • Some kind of splash-guard or front mud-guard is very useful if you want to keep mud and water out of your face and eyes.

Deposits & Registration fees are non-transferable & non-refundable.

However, if you need to withdraw, we will do our best to re-sell your place via our wait list (an admin fee applies).

The earlier you cancel, the greater chance of getting a refund at all, and the larger that refund will be.

To set your expectations: usually, it’s impossible for us to re-sell an entry within 3 months of the race start date, so you should have zero expectations for a refund if you cancel within this period.

Within 2 months, it’s now almost certainly too short notice to facilitate a swap, not only to find another rider, but for us to complete all the necessary admin steps and checks in order to verify a new registration.

We also think it is unfair to expect a new rider to register, book time off work, re-arrange personal plans, and plan international travel to NZ, within 8 weeks of the race start date.  This would put the new rider at significant disadvantage in preparing their bike and kit, not to mention any chance of undertaking a serious training plan for themselves. 

Note that with strictly limited places and highly complex logistics, we budget to sell every single space. An empty space cancelled at late notice simply means just that – an empty space on our start list, on our shuttles and in the helicopters and boat, at all mealtimes, etc etc.  

This is why we are unable to offer any refund unless we can resell your space; and we are unlikely to resell your space within 3 months of the start of the race.

The same principles apply to deferring your entry to the following year, or transferring your entry to another rider of your choice. (I.e. we can’t do that for you, sorry).

All that said, we will always try our best, so do email us if you need to pull out. You might just get lucky in that we have someone waiting in the wings, ready to directly back-fill your space.

Please be aware that there are significant administrative challenges in re-selling any space once your final balance is paid.  For this reason, even if we do find a suitable replacement for you, there will be significant admin fee deducted from any refund.

For your maximum protection, we recommend taking out your own travel insurance policy that includes cover for cancelation or curtailment.


This is a backcountry event, and that means we are often camped a long way from the nearest bike workshop.

We will have basic tools, bike stands, bike wash facilities, on-site, but we won’t have any stock or spares which we can sell  (or gift) to you.

The best thing you can do is turn up with a bike that is well-maintained. Seriously though, don’t even think about  getting on your flight to Nelson without freshly bled brakes and new brake pads installed (and with a spare set packed, too). 

For the first half of the event, you will need to be particularly self-sufficient.  For the second half of the event, we will return to Nelson each evening and we have made special arrangements with Gravity Nelson to stay open late for us each day until 19h00 to pick up emergency spares.

In Nelson we have a dozen major bike stores to chose from all within walking distance of our accommodation, but it’s not always possible to find specific parts in stock, and with long days, there’s not a lot of time for faffing each evening.

We’ve made arrangements for you to make advance online orders with a local supplier Gravity Nelson, to be delivered to you at Day 0 base camp. 

You should definitely bring essential spares specific to your own bike (or order them as above to be delivered to you in NZ on arrival) for example:

  • Chain Lube
  • Brake Pads (min 2 pairs)
  • Puncture Repair Kit (Tubeless ‘Plugs’)
  • Spokes that fit your specific wheel (s)
  • Rear Derailleur Hanger
  • One Spare tyre and derailleur between your group of friends would be a wise backup, if you can manage it.  Or at least, fit strong, heavy tires and inserts.

Yes, we stay in a variety of lodges and hostels throughout the week and most if not all, have standard guest washing facilities available. 

The bigger question is if you will realistically have much spare time to be doing your laundry between race days.   

Please refer to the ‘Accident Insurance’ tab on our Travel Page.

(NZ has a super national accident insurance scheme, ACC, which covers bth residents and visitors).

We recommend Travel Insurance for loss or damage to your bike during transport, and/or cover for cancelation or curtailment.

Travel-Medical Insurance is essential if you are injured and need medical repatriation t your home country.

Note that if you pay buy credit card (eg Visa/Mastercard) you often get some form of financial and/or additional travel protection automatically via your card provider.  Please check this with them, directly.


Email: info@NZMTBRally.com
trailAddiction Ltd, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
Facebook / Insta: @NZMTBRally
NZ MTB Rally