The best kept secret of northern New Zealand. This is the Waiotira Kids Campout, the ultimate weekend out for dirt bike families. And at less than two hours north of Auckland, it is time the world knew.
These camps have been running at this time of year for close to a decade, and after a brief time where the campsite was located a few kilometres upstream, this year we were back where it all began. And it was good to be back.
Kids Trail Utopia
It is an almost perfectly flat valley bottom, backed by tall trees and surrounded with the hills you will be ripping up. The campsite is where memories are made for the kids during those times when the trails are closed, with the adults doing the socialising on fold out chairs and beverage in hand.
After a relaxed morning spent with the smell of cooked bacon wafting in the breeze, 9am arrives and the real fun begins. With the opening of the gates you discover undulating paddocks and farm tracks that weave their way up, down and through countless hills and valleys, all expertly marked according to length and difficulty. The fact that there is nothing you could deem extremely difficult is a part of the draw that this event holds, as the quickest riders generally won’t find it interesting enough to come, leaving the trails safe for kids, mums and dads who just enjoy a good ride.
Choose Your Level
This year my coaching area was probably the best I have ever had for a kids camp. The same paddock that the boys from Dargaville honda and myself had done a jumping demo the last time we were at this campsite, it has a series of lumps and bumps on the side of a hill that would get any rider excited.
Three sides of the loop were pretty straight-forward, with a good hill along the way followed by a proper turn; but it was one particular uphill that gave my riders the opportunity to test themselves as far as they deemed themselves worthy. The straighter the line they took between the two cones, the harder their hill became. So not only did I get to teach the basics or sitting, standing, powering and braking, I could also get stuck in to some pretty advanced skills to help them deal with the steep hill and sheep ruts.
Not For Everyone
It seems that the word of these exciting hill options got around, and actually backfired a little.
We had twice as many students enrol than initially expected, and this included a couple of riders in my final group that had heard about these crazy hills, so were suddenly not keen to try my area.
To save any carnage and encourage those nervous riders I stuck to the blue and green tracks close to the pits which, while being less exciting, did the job. To make up for it I gave out some posters and free Dirt Rider Downunder magazines. There was no demo this time around, much to Crazy’s disappointment, so we will try make up for that next time.