We headed out from the Awaroa Lodge to Wanaka. This was set up as a two-day trip with a stop at the western coastal glacier region along the way. We returned via sea taxi that picked us up at Awaroa Bay. After (more…)
September 30, 2008
On Tuesday we did a long ride in The Plantation area with a return on Lakeside Track in Wanaka. The Plantation area is a purpose built bike park that spans an area a little larger than Water Dog in Belmont. The trails start at the edge of the suburbs and extend from the forested hillside down to the lake, where the Lakeside Track is located. There is a high density of trails in the area with trails dropping from both sides of a forested spine (more…)
September 24, 2008
After checking out of our lodge, we headed towards Queenstown taking the long route. This route, though unplanned, took us through the center of the Central Otago wine-growing region. This area is (more…)
The weather at the coast was socked in and our flight to Milford Sound was canceled so we resorted to our back-up plan, river sledging. This, like all other activities in Queenstown, is easily booked at pretty much everywhere you go.
We were picked up by the Frogz van and transported to the Roaring Meg segment of the Kawarau River. River sledging basically involves heading down a river a something resembling a boogie board (see http://www.frogz.co.nz/roaringmeg.html). The Roaring Meg segment is Class II/III whitewater, (more…)
At 7 am the weather conditions again did not permit our trip to Milford Sound in New Zealand’s Fjordland National Park. Just as we were giving up hope of making it out there on this trip, the weather changed. After some last minute snafus and a rush to the airport, we made the 10 am trip out to the Sound. The flight took off from the Queenstown airport from the grass field despite a perfectly serviceable paved runway being available.
We headed out to the Sound over the Southern Alps. The views were spectacular, but it was quite turbulent as the pilot seemed to like to fly in the wind rotor of the nearby peaks. All told, this flight segment was more adrenaline inducing than yesterdays river sledging adventure.
We had a scenic trip from Queenstown to Christchurch with some beautiful views of Mt. Cook along the way. We arrived in a very quiet and peaceful Christchurch on a Saturday evening, again with beautiful weather.
The next day, Sunday, we headed out to the Port Hills Tracks for a short ride. We stopped along the way at a bike shop to find a map (they were out) and XTR brake pads (no luck there, either). We did get some directions from a local enthusiast and headed up the hill to the trails. We only got a brief glimpse of the trail offerings in this area, in part because of the short time to ride and in part due to the lack of a good map. It seems to be a real favorite of the locals and there is an extensive set of trails to explore. We’re not sure that this is a biking destination, in and of itself, but we are certain that we would look forward to more exploration of the trails in this area when we come back.
Distance from SFO to Auckland: 10,560 km
Campvan mileage: 2561 km
4 internal flights within NZ including two grass field landings
8 boat passages
7 campervan nights
September 22, 2008
Not counting return trips…
China/Tibet by train
Dolomites (northern Italy)
Normandy, Mt. St. Michel
Northern Germany and the Bavarian Alps
Tallinn Estonia and Helsinki Finland
and there will be more….
Sedona Arizona (November)
Chile Patagonia (March)
For reference, here’s where we’ve been:
All fifty States, at least a week in at least 20 States
International (in no particular order):
- Czech Republic
- Vatican City
- New Zealand
- China (Hong Kong airport stop)