Changes, news and plans for 2018 - 2019

Warm Greetings to all supporters, loyal clients and friends of Overland Journeys and Rally Tours NZ Ltd.

We have not pumped out a newsletter for a while which is an issue we will be addressing as the year progresses.

Lots of exciting things have happened in the last 12 months and at the moment Overland Journeys are working full time on more exciting travel stuff for 2018 and 2019.

Important news first:

Those of you that know the Deb Hollier our GM, totally organised administrator, collector of monies and all time nice lady has left Rally Tours / Overland Journeys after several years of faithful service. Over the years and especially in 2017 we tested her abilities and patience to the max with two long tours that proved to be the ultimate test for any ones organisational skills. Deb succeeded in making things run smoothly and solving the issues from behind the scenes seamlessly. I am sure she will miss the contact with our loyal clients as much as we will miss her happy face.

Deb’s replacement is Anton Zaglyadimov. Anton is originally from Russia and has an impressive CV and experience in a marketing and event organising. Anton has a big job as our new Operations Manager, learning the ropes and the multitude of skills need to keep our overland journeys ticking over. His Language skills are already proving valuable and while he has only been in the job for a few months he has done an amazing job.

Anton Zaglyadimov driving Wrangler

Any enquires regarding our up-coming adventure tours or other company matters should firstly be directed to Anton at anton@rallytours.co.nz or mobile +64-22-128-6095 and secondly greg@rallytours.co.nz or on mobile  +64-21-777523.

This newsletter summary

  • The 2017 Silk Road adventure from Vladivostok to London.
  • The “Repositioning Trip” London to Vladivostok, 4 Landcruisers, 12500km in 18 driving days!
  • Bangkok to Magadan. The trials and tribulations and there was never a dull moment in 54 days.
  • The Dakar Rally Tour 2018 report.
  • Eluding to our exciting plans for 2018 and beyond.
From Greg’s Desk, Ardmore, Auckland, NZ. Time management is the name of our game.

Tour Reports 2017: Silk Road

It has been a huge and Successful year for the Overland Journeys Brand.

Our Bi-Annual Silk Road Overland Adventure departed Vladivostok in the first few days of May, a little earlier than normal. This 81 day, 20,000km trip attracted 10 customer cars and 2 x support vehicles.

The trek across the top of eastern Russia and then into Mongolia proved to be interesting at this time of the year with a couple of days of snow and ice still adorning the vast inland lakes which made for spectacular viewing.

The journey through the “Stan” countries also was exciting as this year we added the spectacular Charon Canyon (Kazakhstan) Lake Karakol (Krygyzstan) and Termez (Alexander the great) regions to the itinerary. These additions complimented the tried and tested excursions via the famous Pamir Highway and other historical locations visited in Uzbekistan and such like.

Our sojourn into The Ukraine also proved popular dispelling any thoughts of a kaotic and disruptive country at war. Certainly calm prevailed in the spectacular cities of Kiev and Odessa and we will be comfortable including this interesting country in our future programs.

The express run through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Germany to the finish destination seemed like a formality after traversing the Stan countries.

Certainly this 2017 version of our popular Silk Road trip worked well and will be remembered by 24 happy adventurers for all of the right reasons.

On a sad note, on the 31st of December 2017 we celebrated the life of Barry Hayward, one of our SR17 clients who passed away after a short illness on his return to his home in Orewa. Barry will be remembered for his energy at climbing mountains and power pylons in Tajikistan and swimming in Lake Baikal’s icey waters. Our condolences to his wife Val and the Hayward family.

London to Vladivostok, 12,200km in 19 days!

This is likely to be a record I suspect. However, the mission was to return 4 of our Overland Journeys Land Cruisers to Vladivostok the fastest way possible.

That was to be by road with 4 carefully selected drivers capable of a challenge coupled with a little endurance. Alan, Roger, Nick and Greg managed to steer the 4 vehicles without incident across the Russian continent to arrive in Vladivostok in time to greet our next wave of clients heading to the North East of Russia in the same amazing vehicles!

Bangkok to Magadan

Another first for Overland Journeys with 6 cars leaving Bangkok for the Northern regions of Russia.

It was never going to be an easy trip with three major challenges.

The Thais changed the rules governing self-drive travel which we had to adapt to rapidly.

Myanmar was a new and exciting destination and some last-minute itinerary changes had to be made to bypass some internal skirmishes and the weather at this time of the year was always going to be a challenge with lots of wet weather in Asia.

However, one the attractions of this trip was the last sector and the road into North Eastern Russia to the final destination on the “Kolymar Highway” to the remote city of Magadan and that part of the journey is very much weather dependant.

Regular client Robin Dicey wrote a tour article for nz4wd.co.nz magazine and photos were supplied by Grant and Tricia Short. The article is in their 2017 annual edition and titled “The Ultimate Overlander” Click here to read it.

We intend to run a similar 4×4 self-drive tour in 2020 starting in Vietnam. Expressions of interest are welcome now. (See the trip video of the Myanmar section on our website).

2018 and the 40th Edition of the Dakar Rally Raid

For the 5th time Rally Tours headed off to the Dakar Rally in South America.

The event this year started in Lima, Peru. The last Lima start was in 2013 so was nice to be returning to the spectacular Peruvian capital.

With a Lima start this meant that the 350 strong field of Motorcycles, Cars. Quads, Side by Sides and trucks had to endure the unforgiving sand dunes of Peru. This proved to be quite a challenge for some with 30% of the field disappearing in the first 4 days.

The Bolivian altitudes and traditional wet weather tuned the dust into mud and cooler temperatures and the last 5 days in Argentina proved to be no less challenging for competitors, service crews and spectators alike.

Despite the challenges of running a Dakar tour Overland Journeys / Rally Tours will return again the Dakar again in January 2019. Thanks to the fantastic TV coverage this year we have had good enquires for the 2019 edition.

This will be the last Dakar Rally tour we will do for a while so if you are thinking about it experiencing the most amazing rally in the world give us a call soon. Seats are limited.

What’s happening in 2018 and 2019

BAM Ice Road Winter Trip

New for 2018, traversing a winter ice road route alongside the Baikal Amur Mainline railway alongside the famous Lake Baikal.

23rd February to the 9th March 2018.

We are using just two of our Russian V8 petrol powered Land Cruiser fleet which are well equipped with winter gear including ice tyres for the -40C temperatures.

Watch our Rally Tours NZ Ltd Facebook page for reports and photos of this incredible trip.

Bookings for next years BAM trip are welcome and its inexpensive at $US7,5k pp.

This trip has been completed and it was simply an amazing experience. See plans and dates for the 2019 BAM trips at the end of this newsletter.

Rally Otago

April 14th-15th with a ceremonial start in the Dunedin Octagon on Friday 13th April.

$NZ1450 twin share and $NZ1850 single fare per person.

8 seats available.

Contact Rally Tours for tour details.

Mongolia

21 days 28th May to 17th June 2018

Self-Drive or set in vehicle.

Self-Drive: $US 9990 pp

Seat in Vehicle: $US 9095 pp

4 hire vehicles available and 3 passenger seats in leader vehicle.

Central Asia

22 days 17th June to 8th July 2018.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Traversing the famous “Pamir Highway”

Self-Drive or Seat in vehicle.

Self-Drive $US9900.

Seat in Vehicle: $US8900.

4 hire vehicles available and 8 passenger seats in 4×4 Tour van with guide.

Silk Way / Dakar type Rally (New tour for 2018)

This is a Dakar type Rally Raid event run in Western China, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Same teams, same vehicles and similar terrain including dunes, mountains and mud.

July 15th from Xi’an China to the 29th July finishing in Moscow.

Our tour will start in Xian on the 13th July.

$US10k pp excluding airfares.

Details available soon and expressions of interest now being taken.

Limited seats available.

Mongolia, the Russian Altai Region to Novosibirsk

Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) to Novosibirsk (Russia) via the spectacular Russian Altai region.

To finish the touring off we are offering this amazing short tour traversing Mongolia and crossing to into the Russian Altai Region finishing in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk.

24 days 20th June  – 13th July 2018.

Mongolia and Russia (Siberia)

Self-Drive: $US8990.

Seat in vehicle: $US7500.

4 Hire vehicles and 3 passenger seats available.

Combine this tour with the Novosibirsk to Magadan.

Novosibirsk to Magadan (The Road of Bones)

This is the magic of Siberia and the intrigue of the Baikal and Russian Far North East combined into a very exciting and adventurous trip traversing the “Kolymar Highway” and finishing in Magadan. This is truly a great road journey.

24 days including a flight from Magadan to Vladivostok.

20th July – 12th August 2018.

Self-Drive $US9900.

Seat in Vehicle: $US8500.

4 Hire vehicles available and 8 passenger seats.

Expressions of interest welcome and detailed itinerary soon.

Targa NZ, Tarmac Rally

22nd October – 27th October 2018.

Once again Greg will lead the Classic car section of the annual Targa NZ tour.

This year this 7-day drive in the country with a range of nice modern and classic road cars will take place in the South Island.

Got a nice car and want to legally stretch its legs in a controlled convoy situation then take a look at www.targa.co.nz

Silver Fern, Gravel Rally

23rd November -01st Dec.

Held in the North Island for the first time in 6 years the Silver Fern Classic gravel rally will start in Hamilton.

Again, Overland Journeys director Greg Paul will exercise his gravel rally skills steering the classic 1973 Fiat 125T over the stages as a course car, opening the stages prior to the strong field of both local and international competitors taking to the challenging North island gravel roads.

Interested in either competing, assisting as rally marshals or participating in a tour run by ourselves, contact anton@rallytours.co.nz

 

2019 and beyond (a heads up on what we have planned)

Dakar

Just heard that the 2019 Dakar itinerary is likely to start in the North of Peru and follow the picturesque Pacific coast and the Pan American Highway south to Santiago in Chile.

Sounds exciting to us and while no official details will be released until May we need to plan on vehicle numbers and prepare accommodation.

Save money if you want to see the Dakar Rally in 2019 and book flights early and take advantage of our “early bird” discount of $US1k if you book and pay by the 30th of June.

Dates are likely to be from 4th Jan (Start near Lima) to the finish at Santiago, Chile on the 19th January 2019.

Cost per person will be $US15k pp and seats are limited.

The BAM, the ultimate winter experience

The “Baikal Amur Mainline” is one of the greatest engineering achievements in modern times. The remoteness, the harsh conditions and the tough characters that combined their efforts and forgot about their cultural differences made this a human miracle and something for the world to aspire to then and in the future.

Forget about the cold (-30C is not uncommon) because this experience will warm your heart and the warm clothes we provide will keep the rest of you warm enough!

Next years BAM will be run twice and the ground sector will be 18 days long.

It’s a winter trip in the Russian Far East and departures will be ex Novosibirsk in mid- February and ex Blagoveshchensk early March.

See our Overland Journeys website for details and lots of photos and videos on the Rally Tours NZ Facebook.

Full details will be available within a few days.

Seats are limited so enquire now.

South America

Its seems a waste to have our special Overland Journeys Land Cruisers in South America having just completed the infamous Dakar Rally. So why not put them to good use. Overland Journeys have a fantastic 30 day self – drive 4×4 tour from Santiago Chile to the southern tip of the South American continent well sorted. After arriving in Ushuaia we then begin the journey back to Santiago but with an exciting 3 day ferry voyage with our vehicles from Peurto Natales to Port Montt with a 3 day drive to finish in Santiago.

Take in the best of Chile, Southern Argentina, Patagonia and Terra del Fuego.

Self Drive

Fully Escorted.

Hire Vehicles Included in the cost.

30 days Santiago to Santiago

$US29000 per couple.

Camper Van tour: Vladivostok to Tallinn (Estonia) and beyond

The improvements in the Russian roading network now make it possible for Overland Journeys to offer the chance to drive your own motor home across this vast continent in comfort and safety.

Overland Journeys, a solely NZ owned company have been operating 4×4 and classic car self – drive tours across Russia since 2007 with more than 20 crossing under their belt. So, the time is right to offer a fully supported motor home drive across this intriguing country. There are lots of logistics to address so if interested its time to contact us to express your interest and get the details.

Dates: 1st May 2019 to 22nd June.

Start: Vladivostok, Russia

Finish: Tallinn, Estonia (with an option to continue to various destinations in Europe)

Duration: 51 Days.

Cost: $NZ38000 per couple / van. (conditions apply)

Limited to 10 client vehicles.

Talk to Overland Journeys now!

Silk Road 2019: Vladivostok to London via Mongolia and Central Asia

After operating this mother of all overland’s in 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2017 it has become our premium tour and this bi-annual 4×4 self-drive is mostly fully subscribed.

Overland Journeys due to popular demand will offer the Silk Road trip again in 2019.

As was the case in 2017 we will travel westbound and depart from Vladivostok in early May to arrive in London in mid July to capitalise on the European summer for those who wish to travel in the UK or Europe utilising their own vehicle.

The Logistics of arranging this mammouth 81 day tours are enormous and expressions of interest, and reservations are being accepted now.

Dates: 5th May – 25th July 2019

Duration: 81 days.

Self – Drive with own vehicle $NZ89,000 per couple.

Self – Drive hiring an Overland Journeys Land Cruiser $NZ106,000 per couple.

Seat in Vehicle as a passenger. $NZ39,000.

Talk to us soon for a full list of trip details including inclusions and exclusions.

London to Vladivostok

Why waste an opportunity to provide a inexpensive and interesting drive from London to Vladivostok. We need vehicles repositioned across Russia for further tours and it’s a chance to see and experience this vast continent at a reasonable cost.

No definite dates as yet but late July ex UK is about right for us.

The cost will be negotiable and based in what you want to do, how long you want to take etc.

Talk to us about this option now.

 

Looking forward to fielding and requests and questions.

Want to chat in person about our amazing trips, just call us.

Want to chat with anyone of our ex clients about our Overland Journey Tours. That is easily arranged.