The Golden Bay NBS Milk & Honey Race - Sunday 25th October 2020

The Golden Bay MTB Club's NBS Milk and Honey race is a special event that incorporates the two disciplines of road biking and mountain biking, combining them into one event. It includes a road climb of 790 metres up the Takaka Hill, and continues down the Rameka Track, one of NZ’s classic downhill single track mountain bike 

The uniqueness of Canaan Downs provides the backdrop to the transition from road to mountain bike. Canaan, the name given by the early settlers to the region, derives from the biblical reference to Canaan as the land of Milk and Honey.

The 12km of gravel road that links SH 60 to the start of the Rameka Track is almost a religious experience in itself. It reaches 880 metres at the highest point, passing through ancient beech forest and rolling landscape of sink holes and limestone outcrops.  

You can choose to do this ride one of three different ways.

  1. Solo - Two Bikes (Individual rider with two bikes, road and mountain bike)

  2. Solo - One Bike (Individual rider with one bike only)

  3. Team (Team of two, one bike each road bike/mountain bike)




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The Milk & Honey Course

The Milk  (road bike section)

Starting from Takaka, riders will head south along SH 60 for the first 22km up the Takaka Valley to Upper Takaka where the hill climb starts in earnest. Don't underestimate this part of the ride. The valley rises 100 metres over the course of 22km and southerly head winds can make it a serious uphill challenge in itself. Be aware of two single lane bridges at 10km and 13km, leading to the sprint at Upper Takaka. From Upper Takaka you will have a climb of 10km gaining another 690 metres, making this side of Takaka Hill the biggest raced road climb in New Zealand. First to the summit of the Takaka hill wins KOM!! A short, fast descent takes you to the Canaan Transition.

The Honey (mountain bike section)

At the 36km mark at the Canaan Road junction is the transition from road to mountain bike. You still have a 28km to negotiate back to Takaka by way of Canaan Downs, and  the Rameka Track, the original route into Golden Bay as travelled by the early settlers and one of the longest single track downhills in the country

With the transition at 670 metres, you'll climb 200 metres to the Canaan Saddle. You may have time to take in the scenery, or you may be starting to hurt here. You turn off the Canaan road at 45km and take in 2 km of the Grade 3 Rollercoaster before exiting in the car park for Harwoods Hole. A short climb on rough 4WD track takes you to the start of the Rameka Track, signposted left before the top of the climb.

From here you are in for a treat with 17km of prime technical singletrack awaiting you. First off the Rameka Track traverses pristine forest of Abel Tasman National Park before plunging down to Golden Bay Mountain Bike Club's "Pack Track". The track eventually crosses the road and after 400 metres crosses back again, where it continues through Project Rameka , taking in the Grade 2 Great Expectations. More singletrack awaits you after a river crossing. By following the The Klicks signs you will ride two more Grade 3+ sections of track that run beside the road.

Once out the bottom of the gorge and on the road follow Rameka Creek Road to  Glenview Road. A left turn, a single lane bridge and a right turn take you to Central Takaka and SH 60. After a quick check for traffic cross the highway into Dodsons Road. The final section is the same as 2014, through the paddocks beside the Takaka River onto Reilly St, then back to the start in Takaka!

Milk & Honey Event Timetable 



Save time on Race Day by registering the night before the race @The Wholemeal Cafe, Commercial Street, and qualify for a special  meal deal. 

A good chance to meet other competitors, have a feed, and check in with the organisers.



Saturday 20th October

6.00-7.30pm @TheWholemeal Cafe, Commercial Street

Sunday 21th (Race Day)  8-9am

@NBS TENT Library Car Park, Commercial Street   


Registration.         8.00 - 9.00am    TAKAKA  Library Car Park 

Race Briefing.        9.30am              TAKAKA   Library Car Park 

Ride Start.            10.00am             TAKAKA   Library Car Park 

Prizegiving from    3.00 pm             TAKAKA   Library Car Park 


Mountain Bike and Rider Transport

Team riders

Included in your team entry fee is a free coffee at the Woolshed Cafe, & bus ride to or from the canaan transition area, courtesy of golden bay coach lines. Team Road riders have the option to ride back to Takaka together. A perfect excuse to use the Woolshed Cafe as a meeting place.

Mountain Bike riders will be shuttled up to Transition at 9.45am

Road riders can be shuttled back to start from transition area from 12pm. You may have a 1 to 2 hour wait, so please consider riding back down the hill to town, or hangout at The Woolshed Cafe

You must let us know if you do not require a shuttle on entry form.

Booking is essential for this service . (select option on entry form)

Road bike team riders are encouraged to ride back to Takaka.  Otherwise book a bike pickup, see entry form (you will have to sign a waiver for accidental damage that could occur during transit)

Booking is essential for this service. (select option on entry form)

Due to the logistics of this event it is very important that these times are absolutely adhered to,for a smooth running on the day. 


Being a bit different in this part of the world, there's a few matters to sort! Solo riders (2 bikes) and TEAMS will need a bike at the Canaan Transition Area. If you are coming from outside Golden Bay on the day, can you please drop your mtb bike and gear off at the Canaan Transition Area on the way over the Hill, BEFORE 8am!!. Then come down to Takaka and register at the Village Green. 

If you're staying in The Bay come down to Registration early and get your bike & gear on the bike transport BEFORE 8.30a.

There is a bus for ALL second team riders that will leave Takaka up to Transition after Race Briefing. ALL Riders must attend Race Briefing. 

Mountain bike drop off at canaan transition area - For Solo & Team riders  is  7.00am - 8.00am on race day

The transition area at the start of canaan road, on top of takaka hill, just off highway 60. (on your right if travelling from nelson direction, to takaka) *there is no parking at the bike transition area*  

Mountain bike drop off at Takaka library carpark - For Solo & Team riders  is  7.30am - 8.30am on race day



All due care will be taken to look after your steed but you will have to sign a waiver for accidental damage that could (but shouldn't) occur during transit. If using this service you must present your bike before 8.30 am for loading

Sorry Folks, No e bikes are allowed in this event