A couple of questions for NZ south island bike ride.

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by dbuckingham, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. dbuckingham

    dbuckingham New Member

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    Hi

    Myself and 5 others are planning on Cycling from December 27th till the 16th Jan parts of the South Island. We have the lonely planet book and can see a number of possibilities, however would like to ask some other people who either live there or have ridden the South Island them selves.

    I will outline the firmed up plans thus far. We are flying into Christchurch on the 25th and plan to leave there on the 27th to commence our ride. On the 16th of January we need to fly to Auckland from somewhere? At this stage we are planning on getting a hire car to load all of our gear into (and one bike) and take turns driving this vehicle. There are various reason for this.

    Places of interest are: The Glaciers, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Marlborough Region (wines). We would also like to include some activities like white water rafting, bungee jumping (I know these are available at Queenstown, but I have also been told that Queenstown is not the cheapest place to do these things for it is a major tourist area).

    We intend to stay mostly either in back packers or camping grounds so from what I have read this should not be to much of an issue where ever we go (hopefully anyway).

    Looking at the Lonely planet guide for riding NZ it basically suggest going from south to north if riding the west coast. Is there a main reason for this in peoples opinion? Just makes getting from Christchurch to Queenstown an expensive and possibly a time consuming exercise. Anyway without saying to much more I am very interested in peoples thoughts on places to see and possible routes (or part routes). Also any other information that people may fell is of interested for someone planning this.

    I appreciate all replies. Thanks in Advance

    Dan.
     
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  2. davef

    davef New Member

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    Dan,

    Things are going to be quite busy at that time of the year. You are hiring a car, you should look at getting that sorted out now with one of the more inexpensive outlets.

    Queenstown has the best bungee jump, Hanmer Springs is another one. White water rafting try a search on Rakia River rafting.

    >. . . camping grounds

    If you don't sort out your accommdation over the next few months camping grounds it will end up being!

    Are you bring or hiring a tent?

    >Looking at the Lonely planet guide for riding NZ it basically
    >suggest going from south to north if riding the west coast. Is
    >there a main reason for this in peoples opinion?

    Beats me. The rain will come with a sou'west, but at that time of year they should be few and far between. Just as likely to get a nor'west breeze which would make travelling north slightly more difficult. The sun is high enough in the sky that I would think it wouldn't make much difference is you ride south or north.


    >places to see and possible routes (or part routes). Also any
    >other information that people may fell is of interested for
    >someone planning this.

    Read our road code when you get here so that you can get your head around our crazy give way rule :)

    Dunedin is an interesting city. Hanmer Springs worth a peek. Good camping ground. Mauria Springs has thermal pools as well, but in summer . . . you probably want somewhere cool.
    Bring lots of suntan lotion, at least 30+
    Arthur's Pass has has quite nice scenery.
    Kaikoura has some interesting attractions . . . whale watching.

    Nelson is a nice sized city but will be a mad-house as "everyone" in Christchurch goes up there for Christmas.
     
  3. dbuckingham

    dbuckingham New Member

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    Hi Davef,

    Thanks for the reply. Did some more research last night with some of the others and looks like we will be changing how we do things a little bit.

    Thinking now going from Christchurch to Lake Takapo then onto Queenstown (do a bus tour or the likes to Milford Sound), then up the west cost to Greymouth then up and across to Hanmer Springs then back down to Christchurch.

    Should be a good little loop to do.
     
  4. patopatasfrias

    patopatasfrias New Member

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    I reckon (if you're not already) buy some MTB tires for your bike... as I think that the best touring is on the shingle roads (though often this means that you have to carry a number of days of food). Another good book for you to get is classic NZ mountainbike rides... it has a section on fat tyre touring, with loads of good rides not listed in the lonely planet... the other thought is a NZ forum www.mountainbike.co.nz which has a dedicated touring forumn


    Did a tour on the east coast as well... really cool, and tends to be a drier than the west... perhaps not as pretty or remote though, but you can get off those main roads and away from the traffic a little more

    The reasons for going south to north, maybe winds, maybe less climbing (although if you start from queenstown that climb over the Crown Range will be hard!!!)

    As for rafting, the pick of the South Island rivers is the Rangitata (2 hours south of Chch)... In the north, the kaituna (near rotorua - 7 metre waterfall) and the wairoa (near tauranga) are the best...

    The other thought is, flying to invercargil and then doing the ride in the touring book that goes past Mavoria Lakes and take the boat across the Lake... flights would probably be cheaper...

    check out
    www.airnz.co.nz
    you can book flights and get an e-ticket

    hope it helps
    Matt
     
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