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Our Route in New Zealand

New Zealand

North Island & South Island

We landed in Auckland on June 18th 1986, having flown from Bali the day before. Although the sky was a beautiful blue colour it felt really cold to us having left the warmth of Indonesia. We were very kindly met by John & Betty Goulter who are relatives of a musician friend of Ians. We stayed with them for nearly a week during which we saw much rain and Allie recovered from a dose of food poisoning picked up during our last meal in Indonesia.

Because we had spent more time in Europe and because of our unplanned trip home from India we had arrived in Winter. Prior to our visit we had planned a mammoth 4300Km loop around both North & South Island. We shortened the Northern loop because of Allies sickness and there was so much rain. I suppose we had been spoilt by all the warm dry weather in Indonesia! We also reduced our South Island loop because it was so very cold, hardly any snow but seriously cold. As a result we cycled about 2300Kms.

In the table below we list our route and some of the highlights of New Zealand. Bearing in mind the notes above, our highlights are possibly quite different to those of a Summer visitor.

Date Notes Overnight Distance
Day no.

North Island Part 1

18 - 23 June Fly in from Bali Auckland   1 - 6
24 June We get the train out of Auckland, and camp on Sodden ground near to Hot Springs Waingaru   7
26 June A dry cabin tonight! Kawhia   9
27 June Museum of caves is interesting and has a superb AV presentation. Lots of cave type activities here. Allie does the 100M lost world abseil - highly recommended. Waitomo   10
30 June Our Thanks to Tom Wallbutton and Emily for their hospitality on a rotten wet day. Mangapehi   13
1st July Sunken Village, Thermal Activity, Maori evenings. Rotarua   14
4 - 5 July Beautiful lake scenery, we had to wait for the road out to clear of snow before heading to Napier. Taupo   17 - 18
6 July   Tarawera   19
7 - 8 July Art Deco architecture and Kiwi house and nearby Opposum world.. Napier   20 - 21
9 July   Warpukurau   22
10 July   Woodville   23
11 July   Palmerston North   24
12 - 16 July Capital and home to John and Lucie Marshall. Wellington   25 - 29

South Island

17 - 18 July We used the railway to take us to Kaikoura. The weather there was bad. Some of the Whale watching trips were cancelled. We were lucky and went out in the afternoon and saw one beautiful Whale - well worth the sea sickness. Kaikoura   30 - 31
19 - 21 July We trained it down to Christchurch where we discovered a Winter Balloon Festival that was held in the dark. The nearby Antarctic Survey base has a permanent exhibition that is worth visiting. Christchurch   32 - 34
22 July We rail it down to Timaru where we finally get on the bikes for some serious cycling. It's pretty cold so we plan to use backpackers and cabins but not our tent. Fairlie   35
23 July At last ace weather, clear, dry but cold. We cross Burkes pass and mid afternoon get a beautiful view of Mount Cook, some stunning scenery. Twizel   36
24 July We stay in an A frame building and enjoy an electric blanket - warm at last. Omarama   37
25 July Fruit growing capital of New Zealand. On the way to Queenstown we stop at the mining museum in the gorge. It was a very interesting visit, we spent so long there that we cycled into Queenstown in the dark. Cromwell   38
26 - 28 July Heaps of things to do. We flew to Milford Sound and then Kayaked - Ace. We got a bus back and the route seemed very empty. Queenstown   39 - 41
29 July   Cromwell   42
30 - 31 July Puzzle capital of the world. Wanaka   43 - 44
1st Aug Some great scenery again today. Makarora   45
2 Aug We crossed the Haast pass and the rain started. It was one amazing ride, we saw not another soul. Part of the route is through a very steep gorge, at another place two very wide rivers come together - most impressive. Haast   46
3 Aug Superb weather conditions, and the most beautiful of roads. The sea on one side, the rain forest on the other. Much lichen on the fencing. Trees, trees, trees. Jacobs River   47
4 - 5 Aug We go exploring on the glacier Fox Glacier   48 - 49
6 Aug More great scenery today - South Island really is good. Whataroa   50
7 - 8 Aug A heavy frost this morning, the mountains have a dusting of fresh snow. we arrive at Hokitika late afternoon. Hokitika   51 - 52
9 Aug Punakuiki is famous for its pancake rocks, there strange shape forces the sea high into the air, great. Punakuiki   53
10 Aug We stay at Bazils backpackers and meet lots of other travellers - none on bikes though. Westport   54
11 Aug We ride through the Buller gorge today, beautiful. Murchison   55
12 Aug Some fabulous views again today. Tapawera   56
13 Aug We go wine tasting en route today, some very good reds sampled and purchases made. Richmond   57
14 Aug   Havelock   58
15 Aug Stayed at The Picton Villa backpackers, so good we wish we could have stayed longer. Picton   59

North Island Part 2

16 - 18 Aug We enjoy John and Lucies hospitality. Wellington   60 - 62
19 - 20 Aug Home to Ian & Beverley Wenn. Ortorohanger   63 - 64
21 - 23 Aug   Auckland   65 - 67
24 Aug Fly out to California     68