South Island Trip 2010

Day 1:  Nelson to Kaikoura

Distance:  245 kms

Roads:  Start off lovely and curvy pretty soon after you get out of Nelson, with a few straight sections of country road.

When we got onto Queen Charlotte Drive the views got even better as we headed to Picton.  Picton down to Kaikoura was long stretches of straight with a few bends as you ride beside the coast.

Click here to read the full report.

Day 2:  Kaikoura to Akaroa

Distance:  360 kms (we went the long way, via Hammer Springs)

Roads:  We got off the highway just outside Kaikoura and headed along the Inland Rd to Hammer Springs – a wonderful countryside ride or bends and country highways.

Out of Hammer Springs we got onto Culverden Rd down to Christchurch (became a typical city highway), over the hill to Lyttelton and the found our way down to Akaroa.

Read the full report on the day.

Day 3:  Akaroa to Mount Cook

Distance: 415 kms

Roads:  Nice hilly bends out of Akaroa and then straight 1 lane highway down to past Ashburton where we turned off towards Geraldine and Lake Tekapo.

Some lovely stretches of easy highways and amazing scenery through to the turnoff at Mt Cook Road – this road is magnificent for bike riders, running alongside a beautiful lake with mountains all around.

Read the full day here.

Day 4:  Mount Cook to Queenstown

Distance:  263 kms

Roads:  Easy riding alongside beautiful scenery – lots of nice stretches of open road.  We went via Cromwell and the Kawarau Gorge.

Read the day’s report here.

Day 5:  Queenstown to Milford Sound and return

Distance:  600 km

Roads:  Fantastic road out of Queenstown beside Lake Wakatipu, lots of bends and straight bits.  Just glorious country to be riding through.

The police around Te Anau like to catch tourists coming through the town.  They had speed traps set up in the 50 km/h area in town at 8 am on the Sunday morning and were out on the highway a few kilometres out of town to catch tourists rushing home to Queenstown after a long day at Milford Sound.

Read the day’s ride here.

Day 6:  Queenstown to Fox Glacier

Distance:  404 kms

Roads:  Headed down nice country roads with some switchbacks over the pass down into Wanaka.  Out of Wanaka to Hawea was great riding and then from Hawea through to Makarora (between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea) was breathtakingly beautiful.  Great roads with the most amazing scenery.  The best ride of the entire trip.

Up through the Haast Highway to the little tourist town of Fox Glacier was back to being just beautiful rather than mind blowing.

The day’s report is here.

Day 7:  Fox Glacier to Blackball

Distance:  197 kms

Roads:  Some lovely bending bits today as we went over mountains, through valley and then along coastal highways.  Nice roads again with hardly any traffic.

Read about this great day here.

Day 8  Blackball to Collingwood

Distance:  384 kms

Roads:  Just more of the same with terrific roads, nice bends and superb straights.  Saw a couple of log trucks today, but campervans still rule the road.  As usual, all drivers are very courteous here in NZ.  From Murchinson through to Motueka was nice open and fairly straight roads,w hilst the from Motueka to Takaka was a whole lot of fun with twists and turns galore.  Then nice country roads through to Collingwood.

Read the full day here.

Day 9:  Having a look around Collingwood

Distance:  200 kms for the day

Roads:  Lots of gravel roads to explore the top end of the island around Collingwood.

Read more here.

Day 10:  Collingwood to Nelson

Distance:  120 kms

Roads:  We tracked back on ourselves a fair bit here over the nice twist bit again and then onto simple country roads into Nelson.

North Island Trip 2011

After such a great trip around the South Island of New Zealand in 2010, it was a gimme we’d head back in 2011 and travel around the North Island.

More coming soon.

Day 1 – Friday March 4, 2011

Arrived in Auckland

Day 2 – Saturday March 5, 2011

Auckland to Ahipara

Day 3 – Sunday March 6, 2011

Apihara to Russell

Day 4 – Monday March 7, 2011

Russell to Thames

Day 5 – Tuesday March 8, 2011

Thames to Rotorua

Day 6 – Wednesday March 9, 2011

Rotorua to Napier

Day 7 – Thursday March 10, 2011

Napier to New Plymouth

Day 8 – Friday March 11, 2011

New Plymouth to Auckland