Cycle Tour of New Zealand - South Island, 2004

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wk 1 - wk 2 - wk 3 - wk 4 - wk 5 - wk 6 - wk 7 - wk 8 - wk 9 - N. Island (wks 10-13) - cycling

 

 

 

 

The Plan...

 

 

Cycling the South Island was an idea I had once which I felt had to be be followed through after I got drunk and told loads of people I was going to do it! Fast forward a year, and NZ$2500 later and I about to set off!

I'm starting out the 1st of September 2004, initially I was going to head South, to Invercargill (starting out from Queenstown, where I have been living for the last six months) and loop around the coast. Having looked into the weather, I've revised the plan to start out up the (rainy :) ) West Coast...

 

 

All my gear!

 

Packed and ready to go

 

Cromwell's famous plastic fruit

 

 

All my gear!

 

Packed and ready to go

 

Cromwells famous plastic fruit

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 - The last day of Winter!
  • Queenstown - Cromwell (AKA Giant, plastic fruit capital of the South Island)
  • Ave Speed - 16.1 km/h
  • Time - 3 hrs, 46 mins
  • Distance - 60.7 km

 

 

After an apprehensive start, finding the first 30km's quite difficult I got into it and started to enjoy myself! Stayed at a holiday park called 'Chalets', with my own room for $25!! Sadly I missed the womens hockey tournement who all stayed there by a few days, sigh...

 

 

Day 2 - The first day of Spring! Hurrah!
  • Cromwell - Wanaka
  • Distance - 56 km
  • Ave Speed - 11.2 km/h
  • Time - 5 hrs, 3 mins
  • Magpie attacks - 1
  • Total Distance - 111 km

 

 

The wind was against me from the start! I walked most the way as I was having to pedal downhill to keep going! After an hour a magpie (quite correctly) had ideas that I was going to steal its nesting spot to raise my own evil offspring, and decided to dive bomb me! After that I decided to draw on the eyes on the back of my helmet (as my book told me to) as they only attack from behind... it was like a scene from 'The Birds', if i had been called 'The Bird'. Stayed at Wanaka Bakpaka - $19

 

 

Day 3 - A day of rest...

 

 

A day of rest... It wasnt the weather, the wind or because of the pretty girl in the hostel, just because!

 

 

The toilet seat at Wanaka's Puzzling World

 

Puzzling World's Tower

 

Lake Hawea

 

 

The toilet seat at Wanaka's Puzzling World

 

Puzzling World's Tower

 

Lake Hawea

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 - Riding into the wilderness
  • Wanaka - Makarora (AKA The middle of nowhere)
  • Distance - 66 km
  • Ave Speed - 16.4 km/h
  • Time - 4 hrs, 4 mins
  • Total Distance - 111 km

 

 

Feeling the days rest, I made good progress, and it was a beautiful day! Ate lunch at a camp spot called Boundary Creek, and encountered my first sandfly (see later!)!?!? Stayed at 'Makarora Tourist Centre', it was me and one crazy guy from India, i nearly pissed myself before he would let me get a word in to escape! Stayed at Makarora Tourist Centre - $20

 

 

Day 5 - The rainy season
  • Makarora - Haast
  • Distance - 79.5 km
  • Ave Speed - 16.5 km/h
  • Time - 4 hrs, 47 mins
  • Rain - Lots!
  • Total Distance - 265 km

 

 

My first big day! It went really well! It pissed it down on the last 40 kms, but humpft! I soildered through it! Stayed at the 'Wilderness Backpackers' - $20

 

 

Day 6 - 50cc of pure driving pleasure
  • Haast - Jackson Bay - Haast

 

 

I hired a scooter (sorry mum, i know your feelings on motorbikes) and headed down Jackson Bay Road to see one of the West Coast's lesser explored parts! It was a great day, I caught a glimsp of some dolphins off-shore at Neils Beach and watched the locals 'Whitebating' (catching the local delicacy). Realised this was the first time I'd seen the sea in over 4 months!

 

 

Bike at Otago - Westland Border stone (top of Haast Pass)

 

Old explosives store, top of Haast Pass

 

Roaring Billy Falls

 

 

Bike at Otago - Westland Border stone (top of Haast Pass)

 

Old explosives store, top of Haast Pass

 

Roaring Billy Falls

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 - My longest ever ride.. so far!
  • Haast - Fox Glacier
  • Distance - 124.3 km!!!
  • Ave Speed - 16.7 km/h
  • Time - 7 hrs, 24 mins
  • Total Distance - 389 km

 

 

My longest ever day!! The whole way I was bricking it in case the hostel at Fox Glacier was full and I'd have to ride the extra 25kms to Franz Josef! Luckily it wasn't and I wouldn't have made it any how! There were some great DOC camping grounds along the way (though its still a little too cold for me to camp... well thats my excuse anyhow!) Stayed at 'Ivory Towers' - $18

 

 

Jackson Bay (looking to Jackson Bay Rd)

 

Warning - Pengiuns crossing (WHERE?!!)

 

My trusty motored steed!

 

 

Jackson Bay (looking to Jackson Bay Rd)

 

Warning - Pengiuns crossing (WHERE?!!)

 

My trusty motored steed!

 

 

 

 

wk 1 - wk 2 - wk 3 - wk 4 - wk 5 - wk 6 - wk 7 - wk 8 - wk 9 - N. Island (wks 10-13) - cycling