Author Topic: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!  (Read 3536 times)

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Offline Three Dawg

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Re: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 14:36:36 PM »
 :)  Right, where was I?  After a night in Queenstown we headed off to Te Anau to go to the world famous Milford Sound, a place that has around 6.5 meters of rainfall each year.  That makes Fort William look like the Sahara.   The idea was that we would put the bikes on the TSS Earnslaw, a steam ship built in 1912 to cross the lake to the Walter Peak station for a ride along the Von road and the Mavora lakes.  Unfortunately the lake level was too low - the ramp to the boat is short - so we were unable to do this.  A damn shame, especially as I have done this in the past and had built it up as a bit of a must-do to Jo and Neal.  Oh well.  We did some of the Von up to the lakes, but it wasn't the same.

There is a government run campsite here, not a bad place to stop, but you need to be completely self sufficient.





We got lucky at Milford, no rain at all.





You go through the  mile long Homer tunnel to get to Milford.  Hewn out of solid rock by hand it's one way traffic now which means a lengthy wait at the lights.



After Milford we went back to the apartment in Queenstown ready for a couple of days proper adventuring.  First up was the Skipper's Canyon road.  This winds for miles through the back country, sometimes 500 feet above the river.   There are no guardrails and your rental insurance is invalid.  It was spectacular.  Some of the road was a bit cut up and you need to keep an eye out for fast moving rafting busses, but it was spectacular and a bit scary. ;D

Vehicle damage possible?   Ooo err!



The famous old sign



No need to ride like a rabid KTM owner down here...



Apparently lunch not available at the Welcome Home Hotel...





Guardrails are for wimps.



The end of the main trail.



Health and safety..?  Nah.



On the other side was a refuge hut...



...with a library.  Looks like the books went in the fire.



The bridge from the hut side.





Same place 110 yeas ago!



Pretty impressive view at the start of the trail





Later in the day we headed up the side of Lake Wakatipu which is a fine piece of tarmac to the Paradise Road from Glenorchy.  Lovely run through shady forests - this area was used for some of the Lord of the Rings films apparently.  But then, down here, where hasn't?



« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 21:16:38 PM by Three Dawg »
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Offline Three Dawg

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Re: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 12:12:13 PM »
Now, the Nevis.  :o  It's the highest road in NZ (IIRC) at 4100 feet going from Garston to Bannockburn and is another must do route.  It's classed as a 4x4 only road, but in most places the road is in in decent shape.  There are about 25 fords to cross of varying size and the climb up from  Garston is steep and spectacular.  The road exists primarily because of gold mining in the 19th century.

At the top of the climb from Garston, about 3500 feet.





There's another refuge hut, in better shape than the one on the Skipper's Road



Worth fifty quid a night in Inverness in August...



Meh



Many fords...





We rode round this one...





Now, you might be asking, why is this person walking the ford?  Well as any fule kno a 4x4 can dig a big hole if it gets bogged, and falling in to a hole is bad all round, especially with no mobile coverage. 



Old mining cottage and spoil heaps in the background.



At the end, all back to Queenstown, when Alan and Ann turned up.



Yaaay!

« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 13:24:11 PM by Three Dawg »
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Online LargeWayRound

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Re: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 20:56:36 PM »
wow what an adventure ..

thanks for posting  :) 8)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 21:00:56 PM by LargeWayRound »
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Offline Steve T

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Re: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 20:58:27 PM »
Why can't we have a Green with Envy emoji-thingy-majig?

Ace photo's - thanks for sharing

Steve T

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Offline Three Dawg

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Re: Like Scotland? Try New Zealand!
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 13:30:35 PM »
We were sad to leave Queenstown and the apartment, but we had to start heading north at some point.  The weather forecast for the west coast wasn't brilliant, but we already had accommodation booked so that was where we went.

Naturally we stopped at the Cardrona Hotel.  Some git in a hire car nearly wiped up out just as we were turning into the hotel's car park (always look in the mirror just before you turn eh?).  If the women hadn't been with us we would have gone after him.  There are many tales of both citizens and police removing the keys from the drivers of hire cars, especially those from the emerging economies.  Watch out for white Nissan Tiildas and Mercs driven by children and of course all campervans and you'll stay alive.  Probably.



A little further on we dropped in on some friends of Mrs Three Dawg and Jo who own a vast sheep station at the northern end of Lake Hawea.  Mrs Three Dawg fed a piglet, as you do on a farm.



The rain held off to Haast, but the following morning it was chucking it down, so not much in the way of pictures.  Shame, because the west coast is a bit special.

Franz Josef.  There's a huge glacier just up behind the village, but we were more interested in drying out in front of a fire in the cafe.  Ann was very wet so came up with a novel solution to the problem.



See the radio mast behind the building?  That prevented the Harley from starting - seems to operate on the same wavelength as the bike's immobiliser.  Good job the AA bloke knew this.  Wheeling it a hundred yards down the road was enough to allow Alan to light the fires again. 



After a night in Hokitika in a very fine Edwardian villa we pressed on north.  The weather improved dramatically and visiting the unusual rock formations at Punakaiki was pleasant.  The coast was pretty wild and our visors got well coated in salt.



Unfortunately we had to go our separate ways in Westport, but while we were there we managed to catch up with our younger daughter who has been travelling around Japan, Australia and New Zealand after graduating in 2017.  She's got very keen on surfing, so did a deal with the hostel owner where in exchange for doing a mural (she studied illustration) she got free accommodation and surf board hire.  She'll probably want a VW Kombi when she returns...





We were heading north to the remote settlement of Karamea, while the others were making for Picton to catch the ferry to the north island. 

Bye, then... :-[





We were down to our last couple of days in the south island, camping in Momorangi Bay about 10km outside of Picton on Queen Charlotte sound.  This was proper down home kiwiana, lovely spot, super friendly neighbours and lots of kids mucking about on boats, bicycles and paddle boards.  Really refreshing to see that it is possible to go for hours without checking social media... (I am old  ;))





We decided to go up to Titirangi Bay.  I don't think I have ever ridden a route with more corners.  I was utterly shagged when we got back.  The map doesn't tell the half of it.



Great place to have a boat, the Marlborough Sounds







Corners... lots of corners.



Anyway, that's about it - I won't bore you all with pictures of the rest of it as it was mostly friends and family, although I did enjoy some more gravel riding in the Coramandel.  On the way north, Mount Ruapehu near Taupo.



Quick look at the back tyre.  10000km including some here in the UK before we left.  Not bad I'd say.



Looking forward to getting the GS back in early May.  Few minor things to correct like the fork seal and a busted speedo cable, but it just keeps on going.  Next?  South America with Jo and Neal in 2019 if I can save enough.  The bike will certainly be up to it! ;D ;D ;D




« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 18:25:07 PM by Three Dawg »
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