Day 3: Akaroa to Mount Cook

by The Crew on June 13, 2011

Distance: 415 kms

Another leisurely breakfast before we headed out, this time in the popular bakery along the waterfront.

Just as we threw the leg over the bike to start the ride it started raining again and we had drizzle for the first hour or so out of Akaroa.

Off we went up and over the hill – would have been a terrific view if the rain wasn’t about and out into the Gebbies Valley.

We got onto the Main South Rd and pointed the bikes towards Ashburton and the turnoff to Geraldine.

Absolutely Poured Rain

Absolutely poured all the way, combined with the bloody cold morning and it was a crappy ride.  Really bloody ordinary.

As we got to Geraldine, the weather cleared and we stopped for a coffee and to dry our gear.

From Geraldine we took the Geraldine-Fairlie Highway and then the Fairlie-Tekapo Highway to the amazingly coloured Lake Tekapo.

Very easy riding with rolling hills and nice roads with not much traffic.

The gorgeous Lake Tekapo has a tiny church (Church of the Good Shepherd) situated right beside it and was a real highlight to that point in the day.  We stopped to stretch our legs and take a few pics.

Amazing colour of Lake Tekapo

Amazing colour of Lake Tekapo

From there it was on to the Mount Cook Rd turnoff as we headed towards The Hermitage, the rather expensive hotel with amazing views and the rudest staff in the world.

Flyboy rides past Lake Tekapo

Flyboy rides past Lake Tekapo

One Of The Great Rides I’ve Done

The majority of the ride down to the Mount Cook (Aoraki) accommodation and view is next to Lake Pukaki.  And what an amazing ride it is.

I can’t write well enough to justify the view with the lake to your right and the mountains all round.

I take a break on the road to Mount Cook

I take a break on the road to Mount Cook

Heading to Mt Cook

Heading to Mt Cook

Sweeping bends, traffic free road, incredible scenery – it was one of those times in life you can’t really believe you’re experiencing such as majestic moment as you ride this fantastic road.

Just breath-taking.

We checked into The Hermitage ($320 for a twin room from memory).

Shit and rude staff that I mention here, but the room came with a superb view of Mount Cook.

The room at The Hermitage

The room at The Hermitage

View from the hotel room

View from the hotel room

We got comfortable and took a short walk around – not a lot to see, unless you’re a hiker heading into the mountains.

Superb Dinner at The Panorama…..Before Being Slagged Off!

That evening we had a superb dinner at the hotel’s The Panorama Restaurant.

A superb meal with one of the best Maitre d’ I’ve encountered – Piers was his name and he had a wonderful knowledge of foods and wines to accompany.  He was world class.

After the meal the lads retired to their rooms whilst I went for a stroll and a refreshing beer or 2 – that’s when the staff from the hotel started slagging off guests behind their back.

All in all an interesting day – starting with atrocious weather, great scenery and terrific riding, finishing with a superb meal and the rudest staff I’ve ever seen in any sort of hotel.

Steer clear of The Hermitage staff and you’ll have an even better time that we did!

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