Commencing in 1977 by Founder Walter De Bont with 26 participants, the event has grown into New Zealand’s premier and largest cycling event, with over 7,000 riders from across New Zealand, and the world taking part each year!
Originally owned and operated by the Taupo Cycling Club, and assisted by members of the Taupo Moana Rotary Club the event was taken over by the Rotary Club and Taupo nui-a-Tia College in 1995. This marked the beginning of a massive expansion for the event. This leadership saw the introduction of initiatives such as the relay, endurance rides, major spot prizes and bike races for professional riders.
Owned by the Lake Taupo Rotary Club since 2008, the BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge continues to grow to meet the demands of cyclists. In 2015 the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge was awarded Best New Zealand Owned Major Event by the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals. What a great achievement for the Lake Taupo Rotary Club!
The famous and gruelling 160km ‘Bike Barn Round the Lake’ – one lap circumnavigating Lake Taupo – is just one of 14 event categories on offer. There are options for individuals such as the 40km Quarter Lake, 80km Half Lake, 16km recreational Lake ride, 5km Heart ride for Kids while recently bikes have been added. The options cater for individuals and teams, for all levels of cycling and fitness abilities making it an inclusive event.
With a massive influx of over 9000 visitors, over 800 local volunteers belonging to 30 different groups provide support to the organisers and participants. The BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is a not-for-profit event, with over $4 million having been distributed to community and charitable groups since its inception.
Lake Taupo Rotary Club was chartered on 18th of November 2016 at Rotary House Taupo. Lake Taupo Rotary Club, District 9930, is the result of a merger between the Rotary Clubs of Taupo and Taupo Moana. The charter President was Ian Dykes.
They have a variety of projects such as “Across the Lake Swim”, a Charity Golf Tournament, Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, volunteering at Oxfam and Christmas dinner for the less fortunate living in Taupo.
Rotary House is available for hire for weddings, meetings, theatre productions, and other occasions. They offer a community van for hire, at no cost to eligible community groups. The Club has a Charitable Trust where community organisations can apply for funding for their projects. They also support international projects such as the eradication of Polio and provide shelter and medical aid overseas where needed in times of disaster.