We’d heard so many cyclists rave about New Zealand, that we blocked off 3 months to explore it all.
It wasn’t nearly enough. We could have easily spent 6 months on the lonely tracks and backroads of the island. They always led to the most magnificent scenery.
The highways were less endearing, with heavy traffic and narrow shoulders, and we had a few uncomfortable moments while in New Zealand. They only convinced us even more that the unpaved roads were definitely the way to go.
A successful cargo ship voyage (no rough seas and a wonderful crew) brought us to Napier, New Zealand this morning. There’s so much to tell but as we get our thoughts together, here’s our latest podcast. It includes a few reflections on Australia, an interview with Chris Roach as he sets off on a huge
339km Napier to Wellington The quiet roads can be really quiet sometimes. That’s why we take them after all. No cars means heaven to a cyclist. But while we expected long spells of isolation in places like Kyrgyzstan, we didn’t plan on quite so much of it in New Zealand. We certainly got it though.
Way back when we landed in Napier, we promised you more details about 5 days on board a freighter between Australia and New Zealand. After several unsuccessful attempts at summarizing our journals (even the short version started running to three pages), we decided to stick to the facts. Name of Ship: CMA-CGM Utrillo Length: 196
371km Marahau to Greymouth Getting soaked by the rain is almost a rite of passage when cycling New Zealand. We’d heard all about the legendary wet weather, especially on the west coast of the South Island. But we didn’t really appreciate what we were in for until we found ourselves dripping wet for the fifth
230km Greymouth to Fox Glacier We’re sitting in the kitchen of a campground, watching the rain pour down again. You wouldn’t know it from looking out the window but somewhere out there, beyond the soggy tent sites, there’s a mountain and a beautiful glacier. Still, we can’t complain too much about the rain. Despite a
274km Fox Glacier to Wanaka It took a full day of rain (and in NZ a ‘full day of rain’ means 12+ hours of the wet stuff) before the heavens finally dried up on Monday morning, leaving our soggy tent in the middle of one big puddle. The evening before was marked by the very
455km Wanaka to Dunedin Sometimes the weather is just not made for cycling. When it’s cold and pouring rain, for example, you’re probably better off inside. Hail, snow and sleet are also rather unpleasant. And when the forecast calls for gale-force winds, making a cup of tea and watching the world from your kitchen window
What would you do if you spotted a poster in a bicycle shop, offering free unicycle lessons? Show up of course! We can’t tell you how much fun we had this afternoon with the On One club in Dunedin – and would you believe they also cycle up and down New Zealand’s mountains on one
“Adventure is not in the guidebook And beauty is not on the map
Seek and ye shall find”
-Terry & Renny Russell, On the Loose
507km Geraldine to Seddon “Oh, I couldn’t do that,” is a common refrain from people when they consider bicycle touring. We always reply that this trip is 90% mental and just 10% physical. A small hill can seem like a mountain if you’re in a bad mood but with the right attitude, and a good
264km Seddon to Picton It’s nearly time for us to start heading north, across Cook Strait and then up the North Island to Auckland, where in just over a month’s time we’ll board a plane for San Francisco. But we don’t want to get on that ferry. Not yet. We think the picture says it
291km Picton to Raetihi It’s a cloudy morning when we reluctantly make the decision to leave the South Island. With only a month left in New Zealand, it’s time to head north. First though, we collect one last South Island treat – fresh mussels straight from the fish plant. A 1kg bag of the tasty
492km Raetihi to Te Kouma For most cyclists, New Zealand ends at Bluff, the little township at the bottom end of the South Island that faces out to the ocean and the icy world of Antarctica. But for us, New Zealand finished on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the tranquil sheltered bay of Te Kouma. We