An endless motorcycling bliss in the South Island of New Zealand

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Haroon, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    .



    A seven day bike ride in the South Island. NZ being so beautiful, its natural this will be a very picture intensive thread:D


    A simple video summary of the ride

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-eXg3IymVQc?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="640"></iframe>



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    For many of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, that&#8217;s where we think most of the action (good, bad & ugly) takes place&#8230;..summer is always April, & winter is always December, the ultimate adventure ends in Arctic Circle while Antarctica is some far off place way down south on the edge of the earth always covered with that white stuff.. We are relatively happy to be living & enjoying the bounties of nature in this part of the world, and for a vast majority of us life starts & ends here. For me & Farzana, our past bike trip in South Africa was the first venture into the southern hemisphere and opened our minds & hearts to a wonderful & beautiful world on the other side of the equator in Africa. This trip somehow got us thinking & curious about how things would be &#8216;Down Under&#8217; which sure is a long way from India, in our home country where many of us Indians are fixed to a certain geographic orientation of - Far-East for shopping, Middle-East for oil/jobs, UK for higher education, Rest of Europe for Tourism & US to pursue our dreams(not to forget the obligatory photo ops at Statue of Liberty & Niagara falls!)......Whereas Down Under only recently started featuring Australia for a few students, while New Zealand is only on the radar from an odd relative/friend or India playing a cricket series with that country or more recently the Hollywood blockbuster &#8216;Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings trilogy&#8217; shot in exotic locales there.

    Personally, through the National Geography magazines in my school library and much later the Nat Geo satellite TV channel, the sights & sounds of New Zealand always brought a soothing shine to my mind but the distance always made it look like it belonged to another planet! Many years back I also remember reading then US President, Bill Clinton on an official visit to this wonderful island nation in the South Pacific Ocean stating- &#8220;New Zealand is the last Paradise on Earth&#8221;. So I decided why not get as close to the action and explore it on two wheels with my beloved riding companion Farzana. So New Zealand it is&#8230;..

    The plan kick started a couple of months back, when a very dear friend Ramani after a trip to the UK, gifted me a nice road map of NZ. Pouring over the map and some research from the internet & my online biking family- Advrider, confirmed that the South Island indeed was the best for motorcycle touring in NZ.



    Acknowledgements
    As with all our bike trips, I have to thank our relatives & friends for their sincere support & encouragement. My brother manuka & shibu to shoulder some of my office work burden during my biking pursuits. Similarly, appreciation for the inmates at advrider.com for their valuable pointers and specially &#8216;griffin146&#8217; for his personal insights & recommendations. A special gratitude to my wife&#8217;s mother, and cousin Rashada, for taking care of our kids during our absence. Ofcourse, thank you adil & amal, we love you kids. Lastly, full appreciation to Mike, Carole & Simon from South Pacific Motorcycle Tours & Rentals (www.motorbiketours.co.nz) for running a highly professional motorcycle rental outfit with a very friendly touch and immaculately maintained bikes. You guys rock&#8230;
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mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]-->Although customary....still yes, a big thanks to my sweet wifey for all the pics & videos



    Continues....
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    #1
  2. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    The trip kickstarts

    The Mrs & Mr Ride for Passion team arrives into Christchurch in New Zealand after a long & tiresome journey of 23 hours in cramped economy class, changing 3 planes, 4 airports, probably a mix of 15 hydrating cups of tea & juices&#8230;.(sorry lost count of the visits to the loo!). I guess the jet-lag is more extreme travelling eastward and&#8230;phew..what a journey it was. Fortunately, all our checked in bags arrived with us & that itself is a good start to such fly-and-ride trips.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Pam, the very hospitable owner of the B&B we reserved in Christchurch (Melrose B&B) was at the airport to pick us. A short drive later we were in our cozy room, while the feel of a shower & bed was all that our bodies wanted at that very moment. We had already decided that the arrival day will be spent relaaaaaaxing in the B&B recouping our energy for the coming 7 days of thrilling riding adventure that would be demanding physically & mentally.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    After calming our nerves & muscles for a couple of hours, we freshened up and went out for dinner at a nearby Egyptian eatery &#8216;Tastes of Egypt&#8217; and gulped down a lavish serving of their chicken kabab meal and sandwich.



    [​IMG]



    Finished the day early and went to bed. Damn&#8230;.its 9:15pm in the evening and the sunlight is still as brightly blasting thru our window..&#8230;.its a long summer day in NZ



    As an indication, this is the complete route we did- South Island


    [​IMG]

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    #2
  3. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Northern New England, USA
    New Zealand is the Northern Hemisphere's secret antidote to cold gray winters. I envy your chance to ride there. I loved your video. It brings back many memories for me.

    You traveled within a mile or two of my house during your New England USA trip.

    Happy trails.
    #3
  4. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver Stampede Swimmer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    Palmer, Alaska
    Nice plan. We did that island ourselves on rented bikes two years ago. Superb. I see your letter "J" on the itinerary takes you close to Karamea, if not to it. Karamea River Motel is an excellent little place run by Joe and Kay Beveridge. Great folks and I highly recommend them. Have fun. Will be watching your RR. Dick
    #4
  5. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Thanks John Fabian. Yeah, you have put it very aptly. Its indeed the best retreat when you have the white stuff all around you. Sad that we missed during our US bike ride, but envy you for living in some gorgeous motorcycling territory

    Thanks Cubdriver. Infact we didnt touch Karamea. We only went up to Punakaiki for the Blowholes and pancake rocks. But the roads in that country was surely made by a biker:D
    #5
  6. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Day-1 15 December (Christchurch to Twizel)


    Assorted ride videos from Day - 1

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    Had an early start with a nice continental breakfast served by our host Pam and some nice chatting on varied topics on life in NZ, the earthquake etc. Staying at homely B&Bs always has this wonderful advantage of meeting local people & getting to know about many local traditions & practices.



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    With Pam, our B&B host

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    Soon we are joined by Carole, one of the owners of South Pacific Motorcycle Rentals from where we rented our bike. She has arrived with her minivan to take me to their facility which is set amidst beautiful farm country just outside Christchurch. I meet her husband Mike, a graceful gentleman and a passionate biker like me and we soon go thru the formalities while our wonderful companion for the trip, the Dark Grey Metallic R1200RT- fondly named &#8220;Naomi&#8221;, is all decked up and waiting for me. Yeah, all their bikes have names, and I was like a kid in a candy store admiring their range of spanking clean BMWs, Triumphs, Honda Goldwings/VFRs, Harleys etc


    Mike, the owner of South Pacific Motorcycle rentals

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    This arrow is to remind Americans & Europeans (probably a rider from Saudi Arabia as well!) that you ride on the left side of the road in NZ
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    Mike also plays me a wonderful DVD showing safety instructions, do&#8217;s & dont&#8217;s, as well as tips on signs & practices specific to NZ that new bikers should be familiar with like- one way bridges, curve speed warning signs, road bridge with railroad in the middle, sheep crossings, the dreaded kea mountain parrot etc. I pick up the bike and head back to our B&B. Leaving our heavy travel bags at the B&B, we soon load up our panniers, clip the Tankbag, sync the Intercom, set the GPS and are all ready for our seven day biking extravaganza in the South Island of NZ.
    Kick up the side stand, thumb the starter and the road trip begins&#8230;&#8230;..



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    Despite the best intentions, we didn&#8217;t break with tradition and somehow managed to yet again have a fashionably late start to our first day of riding at 12:00noon! With close to 350kms to cover, only rain could slow us down, since sunset was anyway late at 21:30hrs. Besides, staying on the edge of the city made it easy as we didn&#8217;t have to navigate thru heavy city traffic and soon we were riding our way thru nicely laid open roads with sparse traffic & perfect climate. We are riding in the Canterbury region of the South Island heading west passing towns of Yaldhurst, Kirwee and before Sheffield, we merge left onto the scenic route 72 passing Homebush.



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    That&#8217;s a deer farm&#8230;..tasty meat (more on that later!)

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    We stop at Staveley for lunch at the Staveley Café, where the friendly hostess Rebecca gives us some tips on the route ahead and we order Bagel with smoked Salmon and Cheese for our light lunch.



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    Refreshed we proceed ahead on Rte 72 passing Alford Forest, Mount Somers, Mayfield, Arundel and stop at Geraldine for Coffee. From there we turn right onto Rt 79 and head towards Fairlie and then negotiate the nice winding roads on Burke Pass.



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    Cows really looked confused- Is this extra-terrestrial or astronaut!!

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    The all too familiar LUPIN plant of NZ

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    After some kilometers at a distance the turquoise blue awe inspiring view of a lake are slowly coming into view just before we finally see the full blown spectacular- Lake Tekapo on our right. What a sight!! Deeper into the trip we are mesmerized by the water colors of most major glacier fed lakes in NZ, which we learn is created by the rock flour deposited in the lakes from the glacier and these fine suspended particles in combination with sunlight create this unique blue color water. Nature&#8217;s own special effects studio!



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    After taking in the scenery, we continue further on Rte 8 and after about 45kms we are welcomed by an even bigger & overwhelming blue spectacle- Lake Pukaki. This lake is massive and even more fabulous especially with the background of the unending line of majestic snow capped mountains. At the lake side we meet a very friendly travelling couple from Germany- Stephan & Sara who are spending a good 3 months backpacking & driving thru NZ. I am jealous of such people&#8230;.We exchange stories from the road and soon part in separate directions.



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    This is Lake Pukaki


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    Stephan & Sara from Germany

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    Our Indian tricolor

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    Thereafter, we slowly make our way into the tiny & serene town of Twizel where we check into the Mackenzie Inn and call it a day after a simple dinner of Chicken Salad & Garlic Bread.



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    Total distance 334 kms
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    #6
  7. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Day-2 16 December (Twizel to Mount Cook to Wanaka)





    Assorted ride videos from Day - 2

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    Waking up & looking out of the window, it was a fine & sunny day. Especially with a planned helicopter ride to Mount Cook (highest mountain in NZ) today, I was screaming to myself we are going to have a glorious day to enjoy up in the air as well as on the ground.


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    After making the best of the buffet breakfast at the Mackenzie Inn, we roll out of the hotel parking with the warm sun gently hugging us. We tank up at a nearby gas station and head towards Mt Cook.


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    Soon the tranquil blue waters of Lake Pukaki is accompanying us on the right while the imposing jagged mountains with their majestic snow covered peaks in the background makes for a picture perfect riding day&#8230;what more does a rider want with a powerful 1200cc boxer engine under his command, while the pillion is happy with the fantastic scenery & sunlight for her camera shutter. With unending long curves and dips and rises, this ride only gets better with every kilometer.


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    After some more enjoyable riding, we arrive at Glentanner Park, which is a major Helicopter & scenic flight base for aerial views of Mt Cook. We buy our helicopter tickets (ouch pricey!) and to make a wonderful day even more wonderful, they decided to merge 2 trips into one so we get a 45 minute trip for the cost of a half hour trip. Ofcourse, Mrs Adventure smiled at the prospect of getting the bonus, but inside I am sure she was saying &#8220;15 additional minutes of misery for someone with fright of heights!&#8221;.

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    The helicopter takes off and from inside the cockpit it looks like we are moving very slowly. It hovers over the edge of lake pukaki and then starts its ascend over the massive mountains just going close to their tops. Along the way the deep gorges, jagged razor sharp edges make for spectacular views and also are sometimes scary especially with lots of turbulence in air pockets the helicopter keeps dancing around a bit!! Not for the faint hearted&#8230;under such circumstances I notice that Mrs Adventure has perfected a technique of clicking pics without looking at the viewfinder or even looking below&#8230;.(for obvious damn reasons!)

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    That&#8217;s a brave girl&#8230;.

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    Soon we are seeing only snow that has blanketed the mountains all around below and the bright sun on top. Moments later the skilled pilot makes a soft & perfect snow landing. We disembark from the helicopter onto the snow and to our surprise our feet are going into the soft snow losing our balance. But the experience of being surrounded by the snow & the massive mountains gives us the full appreciation of our tiny existence amidst the vast expanse of nature. Farzana I think wanted to play out her fantasy to lie & roll on the snow, but was detested by the fright of sinking in soft snow & freezing off.


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    After spending some unforgettable moments to cherish for a long time, and clicking as many pics, we get back onto the chopper and it lifts off taking us over all the main peaks- Mt Tasman, Mt Cook as well as some of the prominent Glaciers, each view even more breathtaking than the previous one. After some more turbulent flying we safely land back at the base. This was a truly extraordinary, spine tingling & fully engaging experience.


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    We recoup our senses and soon get on the bike and continue on the same road we came, towards the base of Mt Cook. Some more fun filled spirited riding with long sweepers and nice dips & climbs etc.



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    However this delightful ride was briefly interrupted half way with extremely hard & brutal cross winds due to the vast open space between mountains on either side. Me, Farzana & Naomi were dangerously drifting across the road. It reminded us of our painful cross winds ride in South Africa the previous year. I tried all combinations, maintaining higher speed, lowering gear & maintaining a higher rpm, body positioning into wind etc., but it was a really hard wrestling match with almost 500kgs of bike, riders & luggage. At one point with beautiful scenery, we stopped for a short photo op and I had to sit tight on the bike to avoid the bike flipping over in the wind while my co-pilot took the pics. Nonetheless, the ride was still nice & &#8216;adventurous&#8217;, surely something cagers don&#8217;t get to see often! We rolled into Mr Cook National Park, a world heritage site and enjoy a nice lunch at the restaurant on the foothill of Mt. Cook.



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    Continued in next post.....
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    #7
  8. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    DAY 2 continued from previous post





    With stomachs full, we started the trip back and fortunately the cross winds had subsided and I blasted thru those empty roads at good speed as there was no civilization or men in uniform in sight for many miles ahead. Absolute biking bliss with the blue lake on the left and grass carpeted mountains on the ride.


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    We pass Twizel and proceed further on Rte 8 crossing Omarama and then negotiating the very enjoyable & engaging twists & turns of the Lindis Pass. After that we are riding thru lush green farm lands on either side and the irritating cross winds are again in full force necessitating me to wrestle with our darling Naomi. Some more miles later and we land at the small & beautiful town of Wanaka, a town of roughly 6000 inhabitants which is our stop over point for the day.



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    The all too familiar ‘one way bridges’ of NZ

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    Our GPS takes us to the Montrose B&B where the owner Barbara takes very good care of us. An absolutely wonderful home that Barbara & her husband Phil have built. She recommends the McGregor restaurant where we finish the day with some NZ food- Blue Cod fish & Chips with salad and Burger.



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    Mrs & Mr Ride for Passion with Phil & Barbara

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    At 9:00pm after dinner, the sun is still bright, but there is not a single soul anywhere in sight, so we enjoy a lonely peaceful walk back to our B&B!

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    Strolling back to our B&B at 9:15pm (yeah sunset is very late)

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    Distance traveled 274 kms
    #8
  9. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,514
    Location:
    The Frozen North
    Thanks! I'm loving these pics. You're moving New Zealand back to the forefront of my "need to do" list.
    #9
  10. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Thanks selkins. Indeed, New Zealand is just mind blowing. For us the only 'difficult' part was the long flight journey to NZ:D
    #10
  11. dirtbikeslob

    dirtbikeslob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    dunedin new zealand
    great pics Haroon,i,m glad you enjoyed my country,i hope the weather treated you right
    #11
  12. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA

    Thanks dirtbikeslob. It was an absolutely mesmerizing 7 days on the saddle. Maybe like Arnie's famous line in Terminator, I must also say "I'll be back":D

    By NZ weather standards, we had some wonderful weather...just had 2 rainy rides- To Glenorchy and over the Arthers pass, otherwise it was bright & sunny.
    #12
  13. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Day-3 17 December (Wanaka to Glenorchy to Queenstown)



    Assorted ride videos from Day 3


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    Barbara treats us to a wonderful homemade breakfast over which we exchange stories about India & NZ. Phil particularly loves cricket and my wife reminds him of the 1992 world cup when NZ missed it by a whisker, while I complimented NZ as probably the only cricket team that still plays the sport as ‘a true gentleman’s game’ away from major controversies or rogue behavior. Barbara also tells us that there have been 3 suicides in their community of 6000 residents in the past 6 months, very high by NZ standards. Well in my home city of Bangalore I think it roughly runs at 3 suicides per day!
    After all the chit chat we start the day visiting 2 of the local attractions- The Puzzling World first where we do some crazy puzzling stuff and then head to the fascinating Toy & Transport Museum, which is basically a private collection of Mr.Gerald Rhodes (whom we were fortunate to meet and click a pic since he rarely obliges). Mr Rhodes has collected over a period of 50 years an assortment of every imaginable toy, Dolls houses, rocking horses, prams, bicycles, suitcases, construction & earth moving vehicles, military vehicles, automobiles, motorbikes, teddy bears, movie & TV memorabilia etc etc. (www.wanakatransportandtoymuseum.com) . BTW, about 70% of the automobiles are in running condition. It’s a huge place and you can easily spend the whole day there, but Mrs & Mrs Adventure had to be selective and made a whirlwind tour of the place. Definitely worth a visit.



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    A special remembrance for the Lada Niva- Once upon a time I sold Lada cars for a living. Oh boy, they were hard to sell….

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    That’s one serious gunner!!

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    Mr Adventure doing some serious rectal examination..!!

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    The collector himself, Mr.Gerald Rhodes…Respect.

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    From here we tightened our belts and headed towards Queenstown passing the scenic Alpine Route which is an absolute fun filled ride with steep descends & lots of hairpin bends requiring tight & technical riding to hone your motorcycling skills especially with a relatively heavy sport touring bike fully loaded. A few miles later entering thru Frankton we are dumped into the wonderful, scenic & touristy city of Queenstown which lies in the Otago region of the South Island.



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    Remember, its summer here in the Southern Hemisphere...hence the caution

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    Suddenly there are dark clouds in the sky & it starts to drizzle. Anyways after a quick bite at McDonalds in Queenstown, we have to ride to Glenorchy, one of the most scenic rides in NZ. But Mr Rain somehow wants to accompany us on this spectacular ride and we don’t have a choice but to take him along but I don’t care as I am riding one of the finest sport touring bikes on the planet.



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    This jaw dropping 45km ride is all along the Wakatipu Lake (a ride that’s rated among the top 10 roads in the world), little wonder it’s a bikers absolute playground so I ride to my fullest potential and what a pleasure it was…soul satisfying. At Glenorchy we stop for some coffee and curios purchases. Like going to the cinema, I am looking forward to the return trip along the same road. At the end of the day I think it was too much for my senses to take in an overload of biking Nirvana! No words to describe the experience...heavenly



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    We arrive back in Queenstown and our GPS promptly takes us to the Mercure Resort where my wife had found a wonderful online bargain deal for 2 nights since we will be staying 2 days here. To our pleasant surprise we get a room with a fabulous view of the serene Lake Wakatipu…we could spend endless time simply admiring the lake and its surrounding mountains from our room.



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    Room with a view (well fabulous view!)

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    We ordered dinner from room service (Chicken Parmigiana & steamed vegetables with herb butter) and finish this momentous riding day hitting the sack early.



    Distance travelled 179 kms

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    #13
  14. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver Stampede Swimmer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    Palmer, Alaska
    Seeing that you fancy somewhat transportation museums and airplanes in particular DO NOT MISS the museum in Blenheim with the. WWI airplanes put together bytheguy who made Lord of the Rings. It is something like no other.

    Loving your RR and. Reliving some memories. Thank you. Dick
    #14
  15. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA

    Thanks for the information Dick.
    My late dad used to be in the air force, so have a soft corner for those old planes. However, I love collecting motorbike scale models (its on my website)
    #15
  16. RMOTO

    RMOTO Doing secret stuff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Many have been sold here in New Zealand, in regards to their reliability, they are widely known as the finest heavy-grade paperweights in our country :D

    I am enjoying the pics and vids, looking forward to the next installment :thumb
    #16
  17. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA

    Thanks ADVGD.
    Heavy grade paperweights:D:D. The Niva was indeed built like a tank, but the car made for Russian summers & winters was having a tough time in a place with ambient temperatures of 45-50 deg C for about 5-6 months in a year- Sultanate of Oman, making my selling of this car a tough act!
    #17
  18. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Day-4 18 December (Queenstown to Coronet’s Peak to Queenstown)



    Assorted ride videos from Day 4


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    The original plan today was to do a long ride to Tea Anau and visit the 12000 year old caves and the view the luminous shimmer of the thousands of ‘glow-worms’ that reside inside. If time permits also planned to ride further to Milford Sound. HOWEVER, all plans were paralyzed as we learnt from a tourist guide that the road in that direction has been temporarily closed due to falling debris/small landslide. Ofcourse, with another glorious sunny day awaiting us, after a ‘handsome’ breakfast at the Mercure, armed with a backpack, drinking water and other stuff we decide to turn regular ‘tourists’ and first take a gondola (cable car) ride up the mountain for some breathtaking views of Queenstown that is nestled between mountains on one side and the massive Lake Wakatipu on the other.

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    Going up on the Gondola

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    The standard curios shop on the peak

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    Replica Gondola…

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    For some more serious adventure

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    We then visit the adjacent bird park to view the local NZ birds. The star attraction is the famed Kiwi bird, but being a nocturnal creature its under a dim red light in a dark enclosure we get to see it (seems they are blind to the color red!). Naturally no photography allowed. With a variety of other birds, we also get to see the dreaded Kea parrot that has an innocent look but a famous reputation in the NZ Alpine region for tearing up motorcycle seats & car wiper blades etc....I was forewarned normal motorcycle insurance does not cover this winged hooligan’s destructive hobby!

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    Tearing up motorcycle seats is his favourite hobby- The Kea Parrot.

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    After our fun with nature, we return back to Queenstown city center for a nice lunch of Turkish kebabs in one of the malls there. A relatively busy mall in NZ, forgot the name.


    Making full use of the ‘Reserved Parking’ for our sweet Naomi close to a Police Station

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    After lunch we were planning to do the nice ride to Arrowtown, when Farzana surprisingly locates “Coronet’s Peak” on the map which is on the same route and asks me why not go there. Although she is frightened of heights the biker in me said shhhh if she missed thinking about the consequences of the ride, I better not remind her now!!! Wicked me… So I instantly accepted her wonderful offer. Mr GPS however seemed unhappy and would just not recognize such a place. I said, lets do it the old fashioned way and followed the map heading on the scenic route 6 we pass the high adventure jetboat ride spot and a few kms later deviate left to Coronets Peak. The road starts to slowly wind and climb thru thick foliage, but gradually the tree canopy vanishes and the real beauty of the ride begins with beautiful vistas of the valley below to the right.



    Another rider on the S10

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    The crazy jet boat that does 360 deg turns during its blasting run thru the river

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    The ride down from Coronet's Peak


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    As the pics & video here are evident, with each twist and curve the ride just got better & better. I was lost in an absolutely marvelous bit of interaction between man & machine, while the picturesque mountain road provided the all inviting playground. Leaning & weaving back & forth with each curve, counter-steering, down shifting, high revving, curve after curve, switchbacks, the RT was simply like aladin’s lamp eagerly waiting for my every command. It was an electrifying ride on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly I realized the intercom had gone silent….oh oh I knew someone must be feeling why she went and voluntarily became the sacrificial lamb! As we reached the top, the large look out is not paved and hence I had to ride the RT carefully on the lose gravel and park it. Being a ski-resort, the place is deserted in summer. As we are enjoying the spectacular views of the plains below, I asked my lieutenant about the ride, and she softly replies, I knew it would be tough for me but I did not want that to hinder your enjoyment factor. Now isn’t that an understanding wife….Thank you dear.



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    After spending some time there we start our return journey downwards. The ride is again a delight to the senses but one has to be careful due to the general nature of NZ tarmac which is loosely compacted, thereby leaving small debris on curves & switchbacks which can take away the much needed traction. We come down and merge onto the Rte 6 and head to Arrowtown, built on the banks of the Arrow river, which was a gold mining town back in the day with a rich historic past, but now is a quaint & charming hamlet. We visit the local Lakes District Museum that is packed full of intriguing information revealing the early social & cultural history of the Wakatipu region. At the basement studio, Mrs & Mr Adventure also have ourselves snapped in the bygone era!


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    This nice lady sold some of the best ever tasting garden fresh cherries

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    We head back to Queenstown thru Arthers Point on some wonderfully well manicured tarmac of Rte 6 with nice curves & long sweepers. End the day with a mouth watering veggie dinner at a nice Indian restaurant called Tandoori Palace in downtown.


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    With 3 million people & 60 million sheep in NZ, another obligatory pic

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    New Zealand’s finest..

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    Short riding day- So distance travelled 84 kms

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    #18
  19. riverman

    riverman Life is great !

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I am very much enjoying the ride report. Thanks for posting.
    #19
  20. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Yukon
    While living in NZ I was always startled by how few bikes you encounter on those magnificent roads. South Island is just wonderful riding country. Excellent pics!
    #20