They say good things come to those who wait, and I’d been waiting for this trip for a very long time. Since watching the first Lord of the Rings movie in the cinema with my friend Jacque way back in 2001, I’ve always wanted to visit the shoot locations and get a first hand look at the sometimes beautiful, sometimes obscure scenery that made up the backdrop for some of the most visually stimulating movies of all time.

I’ve talked about the gear I took and the whole route for the trip in a previous post, here’s the route that we took on day one:

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The first stop on our ‘Lord of the Roads’ tour was the Auckland Harley-Davidson dealership to pick up a faithful steed that would cart me around for the next 5 days. As far as dealerships go this was a pretty good one, with a huge range and a few rare oldies up on a raised plinth above the main floor – namely a deep red Knucklehead that looked like it had been around the block a few times.
As most readers will know, I ride a new Forty-Eight, so with the choice of the whole floor, I thought I’d shake it up and with a true ‘Lord of the Roads’ mentality, the clear choice was the king of them all, a 2015 Road King Classic.

Along the first hour of riding I’d been thinking about a name for the bike and after toying with Joffrey (which seemed more like an insult), Joe – as in ‘Joe-King’ and possibly even Wang, I decided to keep it Lord of the Rings themed and settled on ‘Strider,’ who is Aragorn and later goes on to become King. Strider seemed apt considering the km’s I was going to be clocking up over the course of the trip.
This triggered inspiration for a quick photo stop, pulling over on the side of the highway and snapping some shots of the steel horse with the beautiful backdrop that Route 2 provides.

ninetynineco lord of the roads new zealand motorcycle ride road trip harley davidson  motorbike route

After making my way onto Route 25, I rode alongside the Coromandel Forest Park up to a beautiful lookout on a hairpin bend near Tairua where you can see right out to The Alderman Islands. If you’re passing through, I highly recommend a quick stop to take in the sights.

ninetynineco lord of the roads new zealand motorcycle ride road trip harley davidson  motorbike route

Time was sneaking away and I had a booking at The Lost Spring, so I needed to give the throttle some. This is where the Road King really steps up. One could easily mistaken Roadies as an ‘old man’ cruiser or think they would handle like a canoe, but you would be surprised. It was a dream in the corners where you can throw it’s weight into the bends and the 103 cubic inch block blitzed the hills with ease.

It was my first time in a geo-thermal pool and once I’d gotten over the initial smell, it was actually pretty awesome. It makes your skin prune up really quickly and you can feel a salty like coating of minerals all over you. I know what you’re thinking – “Isn’t that a bit of a girly thing for a beard wearing, tattooed up Harley rider to be doing?” … And the answer is probably yes, but you cant deny the happiness in the picture below.

ninetynineco coromandel motorcycle route hot springs north island new zealand harley-davidson motorbikeWhen you’re not in the water, the surrounding areas were pretty beautiful too. It was amazing how you step off a main road and somehow find yourself in this little tropical paradise.

The next day we woke up really early to hit the water, picking up a couple of canoes and exploring the crystal clear coast line. The rock structures that burst out of the ocean create an amazing backdrop and even better slalom poles to weave in and out of whilst looking back towards the beach. You’ll have to excuse the iPhone photos here; I left my camera gear back at the campsite – stupidly forgetting my GoPro…

If you want any more information on Day 1 of this trip, then pop your questions in the comments and I’ll come back to you ASAP.
Check back soon for Day 2 where I head to the amazing Hobbiton movie set.