Down South

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Bass, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Papakura, New Zealand
    Tuesday February 5<SUP>th</SUP>

    Today we went back over the Danseys, crossed the Waitaki at Kurow, up the Hakataramea Valley, over the Hakataramea Pass, over the Mckenzie&#8217;s Pass to Fairlie and then up IL72, eventually stopping the night in Hanmer Springs. Now we had done all this before on the way down with the exception of the Hakataramea, so here it is.

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    Wednesday February 6<SUP>th</SUP>

    Hearty breakfast in Hanmer (i.e. enough cholesterol to stop your heart dead) and off up Jack&#8217;s Pass. It was a bit more civilized than <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Jollies</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType></st1:place> had been on the way down. Turn left and a very pleasant run across the lower part of Molesworth.
    Now we had agreed that since we were big tough adventure riders, we would bypass the bridges and ride the fords, until we got to the first one that is. It had a deep swift central channel and while it was rideable OK, I wasn&#8217;t going to ride it until I had walked it. I was not going to risk drowning the bike and I figured that I had done enough the previous day to prove what a klutz on a bike I am. Also the thought of a full day with boots full of water didn&#8217;t appeal in the least.
    We used the bridges.

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    Yeah, I know.
    You&#8217;ve seen it all before, but I hadn&#8217;t &#8211; so tough titty.
    As I said earlier, I&#8217;m compiling this mostly for my purposes, so you will all have to just put up with some familiar scenes.
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    It&#8217;s still kinda magnificent though, eh?

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    And then into Rainbow. It makes Molesworth look drab. I didn&#8217;t take nearly enough shots through there. I was far to busy enjoying the experience.

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    Jamie told me that someone had drowned his new Multistrada in the ford a few K&#8217;s past the gate where your fees are collected. It was no obstacle at all when we went through however, except that Jamie got a bit keen and filled up his left boot.

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    Out to St Arnaud for fuel and an ice cream then a pause alongside the glider field as Jamie had never seen a full size winch launch, which is what was happening as we went past.
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    Then over the Porika &#8211; beautiful spot.

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    All the way down I was trying to figure out whether I could be tempted to have a go at it the other way. You know, I&#8217;m not what you would call a confident rider at all, but without luggage, I would give it a crack.
    We spent the night in the camp ground at Tahunanui. Dinner was a supermarket chook, some coleslaw and bread rolls &#8211; pretty good actually, but the wine helped.

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    Thursday February 7<SUP>th</SUP>

    Maungatapu was closed for some sort of waterworks at the Nelson end and so not knowing about other access possibilities, we headed east down the seal and headed out towards <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">French</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass.</st1:placeType></st1:place> It&#8217;s an extensive but stimulating seal ride for the most part with lots of gravel options at the end.
    It drops down to the coast at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Okiwi</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></st1:place>.

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit">[​IMG]</o:lock></v:shapetype>
    <v:shapetype stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype>
    <v:shapetype stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit">It then climbs back up on the ridge and spoils you for views.

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    Eventually the view down to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">French</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType></st1:place> opens up.



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    At <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">French</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Village</st1:placeType></st1:place>, there was a pod of dolphins playing in the bay and at times only a couple of meters from the beach. I tried several times to get some shots of them in the air, but the delay my camera has between pushing the button and the picture actually being taken, beat me every time.
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    The water colour is extraordinary.

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    We headed back and turned toward Port Ligar

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    Eventually we headed down to the end of the road at the Bulwer reserve

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    So many magic places.
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    We let some air out of the tyres and so the run back out was even more fun and a great deal quicker than the ride in. We went round <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Queen Charlotte Drive</st1:address></st1:Street> and into our Cabin in Picton for the night. It had been a really good day despite not doing Maungatapu.

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    #41
  2. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Papakura, New Zealand
    You're welcome mate and also a much better photographer than I am
    #42
  3. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
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    Location:
    Papakura, New Zealand
    I recognise that ford in your video - the remnants of the bridge give it away. It had a lot more water in it when we went through. Several of your photos are familiar too, the sign and the hut for example
    #43
  4. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
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    no
    they only make them for proper bikes

    still - owning a klr has got to be better than not riding at all - even for a dr rider?

    Interesting - your comment about wondering if you would ride up the Porika when you'd had no problems going down it.
    I always find uphills less stressful than downhills - always worried about the bike getting away from me going down steep downhills...

    great RR BTW
    #44
  5. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

    Joined:
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    Thinking about the Porika is harder than doing it.

    Just a 1st gear cruise going up the zig-zags.

    Unless it's wet and you add in the pylon tracks...
    #45
  6. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

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    Or for bikes that aren't up to scratch to begin with and need some help (you started it Mark)

    As for downhills, I've always figured that going down, I have control of braking at both ends and several options as to how I brake the back. Going up, it's only the back providing drive and so I actually have much more control of my destiny going down. Further, I can do it at snails pace going down where momentum is sometimes crucial going up.
    #46
  7. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Now we were originally scheduled to grab the ferry tomorrow morning and press on to Jamie’s place that afternoon. However, Jamie had worked out that the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Clarence</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">River</st1:placeName></st1:place> track was open this weekend and we were unlikely to ever get a better opportunity. So we had moved our ferry bookings out 2 days to the Sunday and planned to visit the Clarence on Saturday. That left Friday to deal with.
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    Friday February 8th

    Part of it was solved by my deciding that my rear brake pads would get me home or do the Clarence plus what ever Friday brought, but they wouldn’t last for both. We both thought that there wasn’t a great chance of getting the right pads in Blenheim and that I might even have to scoot back to Nelson for them. In any case the following morning we tracked down the Suzuki dealership in Blenheim and asked the question. This was a car and bike dealership which I hadn’t seen before although it looked like the bikes were the junior partner as you’d expect.
    They didn’t have them in stock but could get them by Monday. Looked like either Nelson or the ferry for me and I started asking questions about who to visit in Nelson and could they check for me. At this stage they told me that they would take the pads off a new bike they had in stock out the back and fit them for me.
    There’s that <st1:place w:st="on">South Island</st1:place> service thing again. It was maximum effort stuff – well done guys and thanks.
    They did charge me over a hundred bucks for it though, so I guess you get nothing for nothing.
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    So mobile once more, we found some breakfast and pushed off over <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taylor</st1:place></st1:City>’s Pass again. The grader was working on this road and so we had to be a bit careful, firstly because of the gravel heap he was leaving and secondly, we didn’t know where we would meet him.
    Right towards Molesworth again but stopped at the Altimarloch turnoff. There was a sign saying authorized access only which we didn’t like the look of, but we headed up the track anyway. We stopped at the first house we encountered and asked the situation. There seemed to be no problem, there were certainly no questions or bureaucracy, just some advice on the track condition and to watch out for other vehicles at the sharp corners in amongst the trees. So up we went.
    It’s a moderate climb with a few mildly rough bits but nothing untoward at all. The views from the top are to die for. We could see the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">North</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Island</st1:placeType></st1:place> quite clearly.

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    Then of course, there’s the way down.

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    Back over <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taylors</st1:place></st1:City> pass again and the grader was on his final pass. The surface was loose, the wind pretty much down the road and the dust about the worst I’ve seen this side of the Tasman. Happy joy!!
    Now the day was far from done but we had completed our riding program. However, it just so happens that I have an interest in aviation. I own half a plane so it’s not surprising although which half, is up for debate. Anyway, we wandered out to Omaka.


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    Boeing Stearman; magic old beast. Real aeroplanes have round engines and two wings.

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    Bristol Freighter, the plane with the built in head wind.
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    Well that about saw the day out. We had found a motel in Blenheim before we went riding and left our gear there. It so happened that there was this great Chinese restaurant right in front. Excellent evening.
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    Saturday February 9<SUP>th</SUP>

    We were on the road south bright and early. It was a good run until we ran into sea fog at about the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Clarence</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">River</st1:placeName></st1:place> bridge. Visibility dropped right back and it got cold. We had emerged from the fog by Kaikoura and stopped for a coffee. We parked the bikes out back but sat right out front. There was a big HOG convention on in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Auckland</st1:place></st1:City> the next week and so there were heaps of Harleys heading north. There was a Harley trike parked right in front owned by a couple at a neighbouring table. I went over to have a closer look just as another group of Harleys went past. They tooted and gave me a cheery wave, obviously thinking the trike was mine. Now you have seen my riding gear – what do you think they made of that. Probably talking all the way to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Auckland</st1:City></st1:place> about the clown in the red suit with the immaculate trike at Kaikoura. We fell about laughing.
    On down the road and there was more fog until we turned inland. We soon came to the track turnoff and went though the registration procedure with the lady manning the entrance. Well what a day’s riding!!

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    Down the other side

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    At the bottom

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    To give some perspective, there’s a vehicle and 3 people in that picture.

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    I did part of the south branch and then headed out. Jamie had a quick look up the north branch and then joined me. He had a ball while I tested myself. It’s not that the riding is difficult, it’s just that in places, the consequences of a mistake could be rather severe and so I took it quietly - except for the river flats and fords of course where I scared the crap out of another biker we met in there by passing him in a ford on the way out. He hadn’t heard me coming up although I sat behind him for quite a distance waiting for a clear chance to pass.
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    I chatted to the DOC lady at the entrance for about 20 minutes until Jamie showed up. We pumped up our tyres and headed north – my slimy little compressor that I took to Oz still gives stirling service. The haul back up to Blenheim was a drag and we were pleased to get off the bikes. Another good Chinese feed and bed.

    Sunday February 10<SUP>th</SUP>


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    We went home.
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    Ferry time again

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    The haul from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Wellington</st1:place></st1:City> back up to Jamie’s was another drag. It was the only part of the trip where I would have swapped the DR for a KLR. Now there’s an admission. Naked bikes are tiring at speed.
    Nearly 5000 km for the trip and two back tyres – not bad eh? Bike really needs an oil change now and the carby needs a cleanout.
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    Cheers
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    Neil
    #47
  8. shrek lone rider

    shrek lone rider Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Central Otago
    :clap great write up... :beer I was wondering when you guys would be through my back yard lol... just to find you came when we had headed north for the weekend...
    #48
  9. Brian62

    Brian62 n00b

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the great write up and awesome photos. I rode some of the roads you did in December. I struggled going down the Porika track. I'm not a very good rider, I'm better on a mountain bike. I need to get some instruction from my next door neighbour. You have given me a whole lot more roads to ride and places to see next time I'm down Sth visiting the family.
    I did an over night on Dome Hill station with my son inlaw and grandson, amongst the more common rides I did, do you think it would be worth me writing it up and posting it on here.
    Thanks again for the time and effort you put into your report.
    Brian
    #49
  10. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

    Joined:
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    on any sealed stuff the klr is a comfortable slow road bike that handles surprisingly well. I've pretty well given up using mine off road because I was constantly smashing things - too much plastic and too much weight.

    enjoyed the RR :)

    The first time I went down the south side of the Porika I nearly shit myself - it gets easier each time. I would have thought mountain biking would be great preparation for the rougher bits of adventure riding

    It would be great to see your ride report
    #50
  11. iny46

    iny46 Adventurer

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    Oct 16, 2013
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    Bavaria
    Hi Neil

    very good stuff

    I´m looking forward to your meeting in AKl in January and to your amazing riding reports.

    Servus Andreas
    #51
  12. Bass

    Bass Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Thanks Servus.

    I'll just go and put a few beers in the refrigerator.
    #52
  13. iny46

    iny46 Adventurer

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    :rofl:rofl
    that´s a good :deal :freaky

    Servus Andreas
    #53
  14. iny46

    iny46 Adventurer

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    Hi Neil

    now it is 6 months ago, I had the pleasure to meet you and Nicki.

    As you can see, I had soo much fun riding so many of the tracks you rode just one Year before me.

    The greatest Journey of my live ever.

    Best regards
    #54