The best 25 stages in NZ rallying – number 4

Juha Kankkunen during Rally New Zealand 1993. Photo / Geoff Ridder

In our countdown of the top 25 stages in New Zealand rallying, our experts have locked in the top 10 stages.

Number 4: Manawahe (Whakatane)

Another famous New Zealand stage that has been part of numerous events from club rallies to Rally New Zealand over the years.

A regular feature in Rally New Zealand during the 1980s and 1990s, when the event stopped for a night in Rotorua. More recently the 25km-long Manawahe stage has been used in Rally Bay of Plenty, which returns to the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship this year.

A terrific stage that has it all – fast and flowing cambered roads, some tighter and technical parts and even a piece of tarmac in the middle these days.

Also a popular stage with spectators, with numerous vantage points, including the iconic Helicopter Corner at the junction of Matahi Rd and Rendall Rd, where a helicopter famously crashed during the 1985 Rally New Zealand.

LeeAnn Barnes Rotorua Rally 2004. Photo / Geoff Ridder

Neil Allport: “Always looked forward to doing this stage.”

Rocky Hudson: “Has a seal ‘breather’ section in the middle. Obviously includes the infamous ‘Helicopter Corner’ – I was there that day.”

Phil Campbell during BOP Rally 2020. Photo / Geoff Ridder

       

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ABOUT THE NZRC

 
The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2022, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Otago.