South Island Trip planning advice

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by TMAIN, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. TMAIN

    TMAIN Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18
    I am from the U.S. and trying to plan a 4 or 5 day bike ride in mid to lower South Island area, for this January. I have traveled by car from Nelson down the east coast through Christchurch, Dunedin back around to Queenstown. This time I was thinking a central loop from Christchurch, through Queenstown up west coast and back cutting through to Christchurch. I would have a wife riding double on Enduro bike and would prefer some back country roads for parts of the trip.
    Thanks for any advice.
    #1
  2. rmcobb

    rmcobb n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Nipomo
    I'll be watching this closely as I too am looking at something almost identical in April 2015. Looking forward to seeing what folks recommend.
    #2
  3. RMOTO

    RMOTO Doing secret stuff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi TMAIN and rmcobb


    The website RemoteMoto.com will be launching this month and should be just the ticket to plan your ride. The website houses information on the best routes throughout the South Island. Here is a sneak peek at the route map:


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    #3
  4. Three Dawg

    Three Dawg Into Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    The Highlands of Scotland
    #4
  5. RMOTO

    RMOTO Doing secret stuff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Absolute magic ride report and pics Three Dawg. The Earnslaw and out through Von Road/Mavora Lakes is certainly a great addition to a route that's for sure.

    Glad to hear the website was useful and yes you are correct, the RemoteMoto is a replacement version of adventureguide.co.nz. Newer, better, gooderer!

    Cheers
    #5
  6. TMAIN

    TMAIN Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18
    Three Dawg,
    That looks like an awesome trip and very similar to what I am planning.


    What would you have done different?
    #6
  7. Three Dawg

    Three Dawg Into Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    The Highlands of Scotland
    To be honest I was happy with every aspect of the trip and I can't really think of anything I would change given the short time we were able to spend in the South Island. The guys on the ground over there could probably tell you what I missed along the way, but unless you have unlimited time something always has to be dropped.
    #7
  8. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    San Francisco
    *delurk*

    I've got my air tickets, now just need to reserve a bike. Planning on 10 days on the South Island, November 5-15. I reserve the right to come back here and ask lots of stupid questions. :lol3
    #8
  9. RMOTO

    RMOTO Doing secret stuff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Great stuff vaara, hopefully the spring weather will be kind and give you plenty of blue sky days.

    The RemoteMoto website mentioned above is up and running and should lend a hand with trip planning: www.remotemoto.com

    Cheers
    #9
  10. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yes, I've been checking it out... looks very useful! (Even though I'll probably have to stick to the tarmac, mostly.)
    #10
  11. Te Hopo

    Te Hopo AKA Deanohit

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,180
    Location:
    Back home in Picton, New Zealand
    I'm up the top of the South Island in Picton, right near the Queen Charlotte drive which is a real nice scenic ride.

    If you think your coming this way, feel free to PM me, I'm keen to meet for a ride and a drink.
    #11
  12. Brendan33c

    Brendan33c Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Christchurch. South Island, New Zealand.
    hey there TMain and rmcobb. Definitely make use of remotemoto.com - it really does have all the info you need. If you are heading down from Christchurch to Queenstown on an adv bike 2 up then I'd suggest McKenzie pass, hakataramea pass and danseys pass as a minimum. They are big bike friendly roads but still give you great scenery and a sense of remoteness.

    check out three dawgs ride report, he seemed to go most of the places you wish to go, via the roads many of us locals would recommend.

    If you are in Christchurch and looking for some day rides then feel free to PM me and I can give you a couple of ideas. And there's plenty of people on here with more adv riding experience than me who live locally that might be able to chip in with some recommendations too.

    Enjoy your ride!
    #12
  13. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the info so far! I'm planning to rent a bike in Nelson. After that I may go to Takaka and be a hippy for a couple of days :D, then head down the West Coast (want to see at least one glacier, and ride to Milford Sound), then over to Oamaru and back up to the north end. That's about the extent of my trip planning so far.

    I'm definitely not on the "adv" side of things, besides which I'll be on a rental bike, so although I can take the bike on unsealed roads, I may not necessarily seek them out.

    I'm also not inclined to seek out those adrenaline sports that everyone does in Queenstown, but a zipline sounds like fun. Riding a motorcycle provides about all the adrenaline I need. :)

    Accommodation-wise, I'll probably do a mix of backpackers, motels, and camping. A lot depends on the weather. Wondering if I should bring a tent from home (at the risk of extra baggage charges on my domestic flights within NZ), buy one there and ship it home, or rent one. Rental prices I've seen are $20 a day which works out to about the same as buying one.

    I know there's a "tent space" list; what about a "tent list"? :norton
    #13
  14. ztaj

    ztaj jatz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Nelson-ish New Zealand
    I can probably loan you a tent if that suits. I don't think I'll be needing it during your visit. It's reasonably small when packed up and doesn't leak, or it didn't last time I used it :D
    Might even be able to rustle up a cooker too, if required
    #14
  15. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,087
    Location:
    Nelson New Zealand
    Golden Bay is beautiful.
    You get there over one of the best riding roads in NZ - Takaka Hill. There's some good road riding with great views.
    If you are planning on staying over there you may want to check out accom at 'the Nook'. I t is run by Des Molloy a great character who did a Trans asia trip on a Panther.

    The trip down the West coast is also fantastic. Stunning scenery & the Buller gorge is fantastic. I actually slow down thru there to make the most of it.

    i'd actually say bugger taking the tent - hostels & B&Bs are plentiful - unless you want to camp that is...
    I reckon you'll find some of the quirky sights you'll see on the backroads will just as memorable as the attractions in the big smoke of Queenstown.
    #15
  16. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I can't say that I do, but I'm sure I'd save a bit of money. Airfare and bike rental aren't cheap...

    Then again, I'm doing this to celebrate a big milestone birthday. Carpe diem and all that. :1drink

    Thanks again everyone for your kind words! I can already tell this is going to be a great trip.
    #16
  17. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    San Francisco
    OK, I've bought my airline tickets and booked a bike and signed up for remotemoto. :)

    I'm still trying to decide whether to tent-camp or not. I should probably confess here that I'm a total n00b to moto-camping, so I have a couple of outstandingly stupid questions.

    1. Suppose I decide to stay at a "holiday park" or similar accommodation that's within walking distance of pubs etc. How safe would it be to set up my tent, move my things (i.e. panniers) inside it to weigh it down, and then walk into town for an hour or three? This is to avoid having to carry food or cooking stuff around, not to mention riding after drinking, which I never do [SIZE="-5"]anymore[/SIZE]. I understand that theft from tourists is not entirely unknown in NZ; how prevalent is this problem in organized campgrounds?

    2. Is November a particularly wet month on the South Island? Can I expect rain every other day, or every third day, or EVERY day? (See, I said they were stupid questions.)

    T minus 61 days...
    #17
  18. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,087
    Location:
    Nelson New Zealand
    The 1st question is prob the same all around the world. If you're talking about (inexpensive) clothes & camping stuff I would guess they'd be ok but anything like laptop/tablets phones etc would be tempting to opportunist thieves.


    weather in November
    http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/about-new-zealand/november-weather.html

    it prob will be windy as spring months do that. You have to allow for any kind of weather over here including the odd bit of snow if the weather gods decree. I would pack for Spring conditions in SF.
    #18
  19. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,835
    Location:
    Rotoiti, North Is, New Zealand
    As above, I've left my gear in the tent many a time without a problem, but I wouldn't leave expensive shiny things in there.

    However, if you're just here for 10 days & not planning on staying way out in the wilderness, I wouldn't bother camping, most holiday park type campgrounds will have cabins or bunkrooms for not much more than a tent site, a bed at a backpackers can often cost the same as a tent site.

    Rain every 3rd day would be a good expectation. More likely is the odd shower here & there.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #19
  20. Hockenrider

    Hockenrider Wheel in Front

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Hi there

    Just to let you know I'm in the middle of arranging an event for our Otago Motorcycle club to gather somewhere near the middle of the South Island on the 8-9 th November , normally 20-30 ADV riders and 20 + road riders , Can't tell you where we'll be ending up for the night on here as it's a mystery ride which we hold each year. (they find out when we leave Saturday morning )
    Your more than welcome to catch up some where as the ADV crew will be covering Parts of Central Otago , North Otago and the McKenzie area over this weekend .

    Cheers
    Holmesy
    #20