stories • happenings • adventures

Bekka Mongeau
January 24, 2024

Mark Watson Takes on Tour Te Waipounamu

Posted by in Adventures Ambassadors


On the 28th January Revelate Designs Ambassador Mark Watson will be lining up with 59 other participants for the third edition of New Zealand’s hardest bikepacking race, the Tour Te Waipounamu. Mark’s one of only four people who have completed the race twice and is returning for a third attempt. With previous editions taking place during pandemic restrictions, this year will prove to be a tightly contested race, with a strong Australian contingent in particular likely to create a classic trans-Tasman battle. Described by some as a cross between an adventure race and a bikepacking ultra, TTW’s hallmark difficulties include technical singletrack, extended sections of hike-a-bike over high passes with minimal ground trail and a savage amount of elevation gain, all among the setting of the foothills and ranges of the Southern Alps and exposed to New Zealand’s notoriously changeable weather. No stranger to cycling long distances, Mark spent over four years bikepacking from Alaska to Patagonia, but was a rookie to the world of bikepack racing prior to 2021. He comments “The first two editions were a massive learning curve for me, especially around longer days and overall time efficiency, but I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned to a third shot at this incredible event”.

You can watch Mark during his journey on Dotwatcher here. As well as tracking here (which will be live once the race starts).

Interested in learning more about the Tour Te Waipounamu? Check out this short preview film.

And here is a 1hr film about the first edition of the race (both Mark and Hana and get a bit of screen time in this!).