If coming south through Sanson the best route would be to head South along State Highway 1 and turn left into Taikorea Rd (about the 6th turn on the left from Sanson). On an event day it will be sign posted from the main roads. For people travelling north, the Taikorea turn-off is about 3 roads past the Himitangi turn-off on the right (8 km's). If coming from Palmerston it is probably best to take SH56 out through Longburn and turn right at Rangiotu and then left into Taikorea Rd:
Taikorea-MX Google map
From Feilding, go out through Rongotea and then left down Kellow Rd (a few km's west of Rongotea) until you hit Taikorea Rd, then turn right.
The entrance to the park itself will have a sign erected on event days. However like many developing riders, if you wish to train outside of Dirt-Days and other organised events you have the opportunity to just turn up and register at the sign in shed - located just inside the gate - to access shed image map.
Cost: $15 per rider.
Note: There is a log book for all riders to sign in and you must ride within stipulated hours for that day.
February 2012 saw an exciting new direction with Paul and Katherine Whibley purchasing Taikorea Motorcycle Park. Even with three more years racing in the USA Paul still managed to organise an impressive event each year on his return to New Zealand. At the conclusion of the 2014 US season, Paul and Katherine made the decision to reside full-time in NZ.
Below: 1975 - Brian Elwood Palmerston North Mayor officially opens the venue with a large contingent of riders on hand - image supplied by Morley Sherriffs.
Taikorea, Where it all started...
In 1975 the MOMCC (Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club) were on the scout for something a little more permanent regarding the off-road side of the business. Even back then it was getting a bit hard to secure land for events. On top of that was the set-up time involved in bringing materials out (pegs, bunting, start gate etc), marking the track and even supplying toilets (this involved digging holes each time and erecting a plastic cloth/vinyl surround). Then just when you were cold, wet , tired and wanting to go home you had to pack everything up again. There had to be a better way? After an extensive search a medium sized sandy soil based property located at Taikorea (near Himitangi beach) became available and seemed to be the ideal setting. So the club took out a lease. The idea was to have regular Dirt-Days and MX events. It was going to be great! Arguably MOMCC were the first club to have their own permanent facility. Dirt-Days and organised MOMCC Motorcycle events from motocross to hare-scrambles (cross-country) were held. The venue also developed track-wise thanks to many key supporters who loaned machinery and time.
After a few years as a successful venue the property was put up for sale. Mort Andrews MOMCC (club parton at the time) purchased the property to keep it dirt-bike focused. The park ran regular dirt-days, high level training from top riders (national and international), local and national Motocross events for thirty-five years. For his efforts to motorcycling Mort Andrews in 2008 won the award for services to Motorcycling. A fitting result to a lifetime involvement in the sport. At the same awards, local off-road big winner on the night was Paul Whibley. Ironically a little over three years on from that awards ceremony would see Paul Whibley rekindle the magic of the park when Katherine and himself bought the facility. Taikorea-MX had been given an exciting future.
Taikorea-MX isn't everybody’s cup of tea with its sandy undulating base and heavy demand on the physique. But if you want to make it in this sport... it’s an ideal venue. Many a top rider including Paul have ridden at Taikorea over the years. In 1996 a relatively young yet immensely talented rider spent countless hours carving up the nicely groomed tracks. Shane King himself attributed the Taikorea work-outs as a big part of his success at the sand tracks of Belgium and Holland. That year Shane was crowned 500cc World Champion.
Below: Paul Whibley - training for the GNCC series. He rode at Taikorea on many ocassions.
Paul Whibley profile: One of the fastest off-road riders on the planet Paul's reputation speaks loud and clearly for itself. Having been a professional rider for many years, Paul has competed in and won some of the most prestigious off-road series there are. Now he's back in New Zealand to help foster home grown talent.
Profile/results: Multi time NZ Enduro and XC Champ. 2015 NZ XC Champion. Woodville MX winner. 2x Australian Enduro Champ. 6 x OMA (Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV) Champ USA 2009 and 2012 GNCC (Grand National Cross Country Championship) Champion USA. 10 years racing GNCC in America. 3 years racing in Europe (World Enduro Championship).