Photographers: Geoff Ridder & Ashley Milliken

About the NZ Silver Fern Rally Club.

2012 will be the fourth event promoted as the New Zealand Silver Fern Rally following successful events in 06, 08 and 2012. The events are a week long international marathon car rally event, using around 1000km (600miles)of high speed special stages on gravel roads in New Zealand 's scenic countryside. The backdrop of NZ's Southern Alps mountain range, or the North Islands beaches, rivers and lakes, and some of the best rallying roads in the world is what both local and overseas enthusiasts and spectators can experience.

The NZ Silver Fern Rallies, revitalised a major International Status Rally, of this type, which hadnt been held in New Zealand since the days of the marathon Heatway and Motogard Rallies, in the 1970’s and 80’s. The events see classes for tru Historic cars as well as modified or modern 2wd vehicle of any kind.

The organisers dream is to continue bringing bring back the “days of old”, in NZ motor sport, when rallying was an adventure, with the emphasis on endurance and reliability, but with a fun social side attached, and has proved to be one of the successes of each Rallying year so far.

Organisers are now looking forward to November 2012 and the next event. Watch this space.............


2012 Silver Fern Rally promo video. - The epay Silver Fern Rally 2012 event promomotional video by Black Magic Media. The Silver Fern Rally - bringing back the days of old when rallying was fun. Historic Rally event, and Chalenge rally for any eligible 2wd cars - Check out what our event is all about, where we go and what cars are eligible for the event in this brief video.


The NZ Silver Fern Rally has grown out of an idea that Gary Smith and Carl Rabbidge had been considering for some time. Gary had competed with Graham Lorimer in the London to Sydney marathon event in 1993, and saw that the costs of competing there were rather high, and thought "we could do a similar event here for a lot less".

At the 2005 Dunlop Otago Classic Rally, notices were circulated to interested parties. They outlined some of the ideas, competing over stages maybe as long as 100km’s, in a week long marathon rally, and over some of the famous old stages used in the Heatway and Motogard Rallies of the 1970’s and 80’s. They were keen to know if there was enough interest out there from competitors and others to make it worthwhile taking the event from concept to reality.

Originally the event was circulated as the Rally of the Southern Cross, but this idea was re-considered at the inaugural meeting, as the name was to similar to the Australian events held in the past. The objective was to make this a truly New Zealand event, so it was decided to give it the name, NZ Silver Fern Rally.

The response to the original concept was very encouraging and a meeting of interested parties was held in Hamilton in August 2005 to further consider the events viability.

It was subsequently voted overwhelmingly a big yes by those present, and six hours were spent making plans and discussing ideas to “make this thing happen”..

The 2006 and 2008 NZ Silver Fern Rallies are now history, and planning is well underway for another event in November 2010.

Carl Rabbidge & Gary Smith
Carl Rabbidge & Gary Smith