The event is set up so riders can stay in the “Race Camp” each night. We want to reduce your hassles so you can spend more time enjoying the Dragon. Race Camp is set up and the end of each stage and is where you begin the next day’s stage. You are free however to make your own accommodation arrangements if this suits you better.
Camping in the official Race Camps is included in each riders entry fee. The Standard camping option requires you to bring your own small tent with a maximum floor area of 6 square metres. Each day’s Race Camp is set in a flat grassy area that is only accessible by other riders. There are showers and toilets at all camps. Most amenities are good but we admit the showers are a little rustic at Camp 1…
Nights included are Tuesday (optional)/ Wednesday in Branxholm (Camp 1), Thursday in Weldborough (Camp 2), and Friday / Saturday (optional) in St Helens (Camp 3).
Your tent and personal belongings need to be packed and given to the race organisation before you begin stage 1 and 2.
No vehicles, caravans, motorhomes, etc are permitted into the official Camps. If you have a supporter with a vehicle please read the Supporters page which has a lot of information on near by camping spots.
Want the luxury of arriving at an already set up campsite at the end of each day? Or simply can’t fit in the camping gear in your luggage? A setup tent, a camp chair, tent lights, and a foam mat are a part of this package. Tents are a roomy 3 person with a floor space of 2.8 x 2.25m.
COVID: Note in a change for 2021 – you will be allocated a new tent at the start of the race and will sleep the same one each night. The down side is you need to set the tent up and pull it down yourself each day. We will have race staff available to assist. Set up takes 5 seconds, pull down requires a certain knack. To spread people out, we have doubled the area available for camping and by setting up your own tent, you can choose your perfect spot.
Note – we recommended bringing your own sleeping mat in addition to the foam mat provided – which by itself is probably not enough to comfortably sleep on. You will also need to pack your own sleeping bag/pillow. You are given a tent all to yourself with this option which is nice and spacious. However you can specifically order the two-person option for yourself and a friend/partner if you like.
(7km from Derby) – The character filled village of Branxholm is the location of Camp 1 and the start of the actual Dragon Trail. The recreation ground is perched on top a small hill surrounded by knotted trees and has been home to many community events over the years. Riders can stay at Camp 1 the one or two nights prior to the first stage of racing.
Branxholm is small but has the necessary amenities including a handful of restaurants, a small but well-stocked IGA supermarket, a service station and a quintessential country pub, known as the Grand Lady of the area. One of our fundraisers in the first year will be for the Branxholm Progress Association to create a sculpture out of trees that were planted at the end of World War I. By the time the race is on, there will be a flat 7km link trail that follows the Ringarooma river from Branxholm to Derby. You will ride this to the start line of stage 1.
You will finish the first day of racing in the charming village of Weldborough. Nestled in a lush valley amongst a handful of houses is the historic Weldborough Hotel with Camp 2 located in the grass field behind the pub. This spot is a favourite with MTBers who come to ride the famous Blue Tier trail and enjoy burgers and beer for lunch. There are no other shops or facilities in Weldborough. There is limited phone reception at the pub.
Camp 2 will be a great place to relax around a campfire, sip a great craft beer, and tuck into a hearty pub meal.
St Helens is a major regional town on the edge of Georges Bay where miners originally landed to access the areas you have ridden through. St Helens has a charming seaside feel and many services including a supermarket, hospital, multiple restaurants, pubs, and cafes. Its nearby beaches are stunning and the area is renowned for fishing.
St Helens recreation ground is the location of Camp 3 and includes a huge grassed area and a large indoor space. Riders will sleep here after day 2 and many will stay for a second night after day 3 of racing. Camp 3 is a flat 1km cruise from the centre of town.
If you would prefer to make other accommodation arrangements you are most welcome. Check out the following links for ideas on where to stay – there are plenty of options in the area. If you are bringing family, friends or supporters, please take a look at our detailed information, including where to stay on the supporters page.
Click here for details for supporters, including accomodation and camping options.