If you happen to be in and around the Southland region near the end of February on your next road trip in New Zealand then you are in for a treat that should not be missed.

The Burt Munro Challenge is an annual event that celebrates the achievements of Invercargill motorbike legend, Burt Munro. It’s a great event and spectacle on a local and national level and one that has an increasing presence internationally as well.

Who was Burt Munro?


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Burt Munro broke and still holds the land speed record (under 1000cc world record, 183.586 mph/295.453 kmh) which he set at Bonneville Salt Flats in August 1967.

Some of you will know the story of Burt from the 2005 movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ starring Anthony Hopkins – if you haven’t seen it yet, get it on your Netflix list as it is a classic!

Burt was born and bred in Southland and in the movie, we see him scraping together his life savings and with the help of the community, he manages to secure a sea crossing to America to realise his dream.

At 68 years old, Burt manages to race his hand built Indian motorcycle and set the world record that still stands today.

The Burt Munro Challenge



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The Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge to honour him and his ingenuity and love of the sport. The inaugural event was held in 2006 and has quickly grown a strong national following.

It attracts some of New Zealand’s best riders as well as huge groups of weekend riders and in addition to the brilliant riding, there is also some top class entertainment, exciting events and that wonderful southern hospitality which is what makes Southland so special.

Motor Cycle events

For those who have a real interest and passion in motorcycling, there are some fantastic events taking place over the weekend from beach racing to hill climbing to drag racing.

Oreti Beach, the place where Burt originally trained before his world record attempt in Bonneville is the host to a number of events over the weekend – the flat sands making for the perfect drag strip.

Teretonga Park, the world’s most southern raceway also plays host to a number of events and features one of the longest and fastest turns on the New Zealand raceway circuit.

Why you should go


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It may seem like a long way to go, but Invercargill is only a 3 hour drive from Queenstown and it’s a pretty straight (and stunning) road all the way with some good stop off en route.

Although it’s an event that mainly attracts enthusiasts, they are an extremely welcoming bunch and some of the events and activities over the four days are pretty awesome whether you’re into motorcycling or not.

If you have seen the movie, then this is a chance to pay homage to Burt, a true Kiwi legend and if you haven’t, now’s the time to get swotting up to find out more about the man and what the event means to the people of Invercargill and Southland.

Make it part of your plans today!

To find out more about the event visit the official Burt Munro Challenge website. If you do happen to make it down there for the event, we would love to see your photos so send them to our Facebook page and we can feature them in our blog.