Tuatara 1000

Waitlist Enquiry 
All starting places for the 2022 edition are allocated. If you wish to be join our waiting list please get in touch via email. Please email "greatkiwigravel @ gmail.com, Subject: Tuatara2022 Waitlist. 

Riding near Gore - Tuatara1000 2021 - All photos: John O'Malley
The Next Edition (2022)
For 2022, the Tuatara 1000 returns, however with a few changes. Starting on the last Saturday in February (26.2.22) and finishing on Sunday 6th March. Starting & finishing in Gore this time will see the event unfold in a totally new way. There will also be two course options however registration spots remain strictly limited

The Route
The Tuatara takes in around 1000km of majestical Southland (and some Otago) vistas. Many small towns are visited, gravel back roads explored and no doubt plenty of southern hospitality experienced.

The route was created with the following in mind, Is there a gravel option? take it, Can we visit the coast? go on, Can we avoid the main road? Please, If we go down this dead end road, will it be worth it? For sure. 

Therefore the course visits the coast line often, passing through rolling farm land and sub alpine tussock country. The Tuatara ensures you will be challenged and delighted at what the deep south has to offer. At times there are large distances between supply points with not many people around - that just happens to be the way things work down here.

This route has many many hills, lots of loose deep gravel, large distances between supplies and challenging sections just to keep your adventure interesting. While the total elevation gain isn't huge, don't be tricked into thinking it will be easy. Instead of 1000m climbs, this ride just has 1000 climbs. 

2022 also sees the inclusion of the "Tuatara Iti (Little)" being close to 500km and is to be completed in touring mode only. 

You will have heard of the Tour of Southland, now introducing the Tuatara 1000. The alternative tour providing another way to explore the deep south. Please read this page well! 

The TOS started in 1956 and is a staple sporting event for every school child lining the sides of the road to cheer on the tour as it passed. It is this foundation and a desire to share the magic of the south with more people that has led to the creation of the Tuatara. 

The inaugural Tuatara 1000 started on the last weekend in February 2021, 66 bikepacking cyclists set off from the Band rotunda in the center of Queens Park Invercargill. The route is intended to be completed within 8.5 days following the standard Great Kiwi Gravel ride guidelines.  

The Southland weather will keep you on your toes, (if you can feel them). Don't be fooled by the dates into thinking it is still Summer, there isn't much between Antarctica and the route.   

Ride Style
The Tuatara 1000 is designed to provide a great touring opportunity around the deep south, however, if you are capable and willing, you have the option of a 'non-stop' approach to the course. If you choose the 'non-stop' option, there will be no compulsory rest times, meaning you choose when you stop and rest. However if you opt to tour, you cannot change into 'non-stop' mode half way through your ride. Seeking to complete a ride like this at pace is serious business and not to be taken lightly.