Australia and New Zealand

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by djeady, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    445
    Day 90

    Had a good sleep, except for being woken up by a call from the Bluebridge ferry people who were wondering why I wasn’t there for the 2:30 am ferry. Explained that I hadn’t actually completed the booking because they had no cabins available. Was told ok, no problem, and rolled over and went back to sleep.

    Got up and had a nice shower and then started to organize some breakfast. Discovered I had misplaced my little Bodum coffee press - probably left it at last campground.

    I made some coffee in the little plastic cup from my camp set - it tasted vaguely of gasoline, probably because the campset was in the pannier where the fuel bottle leaked. Better than no coffee though. Had a couple of cereal bars for breakfast and started to pack up.

    Talked with two women who were touring around, one on a Vespa and the other on a Triumph.

    Got everything loaded up and headed off to catch the ferry for the South Island.

    Getting through Wellington was easy - everything was well signed and I arrived way early. When they opened up the check in gate they directed me to a little shelter over in the corner of the loading area and said bikes should wait there until they were called down.

    They loaded the trucks first, the started loading the cars. Partway through I was called down and directed to go around the side where I was directed into the area where the trucks were parked. There are wheel chocks sling the side of the boat and I nosed the front wheel into one of them. They pointed to tie down straps and said to secure the bike, but no need for multiple tie fiends as it was very calm.

    I got out the items I wanted for the crossing and made my way fro Deck 3 where the bike was parked to Deck 8 - the observation deck.

    I had discovered the battery in my Canon camera was flat, even though I’d charged it the other day. I think it’s getting turned in inside the pannier. I had the charger with me and found a chair next to a table that had an outlet and plugged it in. By the time the ferry left the dock it was charged enough to use.

    The ferry is massive and you don’t really feel it moving as it swings around and heads out the channel. I took some pictures while we were in the channel, then headed down to the cafe on deck 7 to get some lunch - fish and chips, a cider, and a ginger square.

    Afterwards I headed back to the observation deck and found a chair - may actually have slept for a bit.

    As we approached the South Island I went back outside and took pictures as we headed down the long bay towards Picton.

    As we approached the dock they asked the drivers to return to their vehicles and I headed down to get everything re-stowed in the bike.

    I was directed two cross over between two of the trucks and get into the line of cars, which I did, and soon I was riding off the ferry.

    I stopped in Picton to buy groceries and then set course for the Queen Street Campground in Richmond.

    I got there and checked in nice patch of grass under trees and a very well equipped camp kitchen.

    I cooked and ate my dinner, chatting with a lady who is staying there in a camper while her new house is being built.

    After dinner I went back to my tent and quickly fell asleep.
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  2. Jeff Sichoe

    Jeff Sichoe ruddy bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Wellington
    I've had that exact same fish and chips so many times now I could taste it when I saw the picture :)

    Enjoy the South!
    B10Dave likes this.
  3. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    445
    Day 91

    Another great sleep. I got up around 7 and had a shower then went to the camp kitchen and had my coffee and the last of my scones.

    I packed up the bike and headed out.

    Had a beautiful ride through the Buller River gorge. I stopped lots of times to take pictures and at one stop met a group of 4 bikers from the North Island who were doing a ride around the South Island. They invited me to join them, but I said I would pass because I wanted to be able to stop and take pictures.

    They were stopping for the night in Greymouth so I said I would try and meet up with them there.

    When I reached the coast the ride was even more spectacular with great coastline views and lots of lookouts to stop at. One of them, Pancake Rocks and The Blowholes was quite spectacular and, of course, there were several large tour buses there.

    I got to Greymouth and checked in to the Recreation Hotel. There was no sign of the other riders. I waited for a while and finally decided it was time to have dinner and went in to the restaurant

    When I went in to the restaurant the other guys were all sitting at a table. Turned out they had arrived at the hotel quite a bit earlier and when they went to check in were told the rate was higher than what they had been quoted, so they went to the next motel up the road.

    We had a nice dinner - the special was roast turkey - and chatted about riding in New Zealand and Australia.

    We agreed to meet for breakfast in the morning and headed off to our rooms for the night. IMG_3129.jpg IMG_3124.jpg IMG_3117.jpg IMG_3115.jpg IMG_3095.jpg IMG_3101.jpg IMG_3083.jpg IMG_3077.jpg IMG_3076.jpg IMG_3071.jpg IMG_3069.jpg IMG_3060.jpg IMG_3058.jpg IMG_3050.jpg IMG_3047.jpg
  4. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 92

    Woke up and looked outside and everything was quite wet. It had rained off and on through the night and I was happy to have been in a hotel for a change, although I didn’t sleep as well as I do in the tent!

    I had a shower and started to pack up and as I was loading the bike, the other riders came along and we went into the restaurant for breakfast.

    I had a really nice eggs Benedict with salmon. We chatted over breakfast and then headed off in our separate directions. They were going across Arthur’s pass and I was going to continue south towards Milford Sound.

    I headed out and it started to rain, not heavily, but steadily and the riding was not very nice.

    I got to Franz Josef Glacier and stopped for lunch in a cafe - very good bacon cheeseburger.

    I headed out of town towards the parking lot for the trail to view the glacier and decided I would walk out and have a look.

    The glacier used to go all the way to the Tasman Sea, but now has receded 6 or 7 kilometres.

    The trail ended about 2 kilometres short of the glacier face and you couldn’t see the glacier at all. I could see there were people down in the river bed where the glacier once flowed so I climbed over the barrier and walked a bit further I got about another kilometre, but reached a point where I couldn’t get across the River, so I turned back. Still couldn’t see the glacier face.

    I walked back to the bike and got there just as it started to rain more heavily.

    I rode on to Fox Glacier where I found a room for the night.

    I started to dry things using the electric heater in the room.

    Once everything was hung up to dry I went to the pub down the street and had a nice dinner sitting in front of a roaring fire. I chatted with me man at the table behind me and he suggested I go past Queenstown to Te Anua and visit Milford Sound from there.

    The forecast for the next few days was rain and more of it. Tuesday and Wednesday in Milford Sound could each have up to 100mm (4 inches) of rain.

    Milford sound gets between 9 and 10 metres of rain per year!

    I found a hotel in Te Anua and called to ask about booking tours to Milford Sound. I was told I could book up to 9 the night before. I reserved the room in Te Anua for two nights and fussed with drying things a bit more before calling it a night. The good news was that it looked like it would be clear in the morning right through mid-afternoon. It was still raining heavily in Fox Glacier when I fell asleep.

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  5. vfxdog

    vfxdog Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Santa Monica or London, depending on work.
    Seems like you are going to get rained on, really hard! Bit of a weather bomb heading in your direction.

    Sad to see the glaciers retreating so much- when I first saw them back in the mid 1960's Fox Glacier was actually advancing.
  6. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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  7. Revs47

    Revs47 n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
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    4
    If you get to Invercargill, there are a couple of interesting motorcycle based places that are worth a visit.

    The first is Hayes Hardware store at 168 Dee St where they have an interesting display of motorcycles including genuine examples of Burt Munro's specials made famous in the movie The World's Fastest Indian. Burt was a friend of the former store owner.

    The second place worth visiting is the Bill Richardson Transport Museum which has a collection of non Japanese motorcycles which I believe includes about 3 examples of the legendary Britten V1000 and V1100 motorcycles. Cycle World Magazine (USA) acclaimed them to be the world's most advanced motorcycle in 1992. They were the idea of a single man, John Britten, who did much of the construction in spare rooms and sheds at his house in Christchurch.

    https://www.cycleworld.com/john-britten-v1000-racebike-motorcycle-riding-and-racing-experience/

    Some examples are close to 30 years old but feature a complete carbon fibre chassis, wheels etc, totally homebuilt motor (including fuel injection and ECU), radical front suspension and even on the earlier version aerodynamic wings to produce downforce which is something the MotoGP bikes are just trying to come to terms with now. They had wins at Daytona and the world twins championship.

    Incidentally, great report and photos.
  8. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    445
    Day 94

    Milford Sound

    I had a reasonable sleep and was up at 6:30 to get ready for my trip to Milford Sound.

    I had coffee and a couple of granola bars in the room and did my final preparation.

    I went down to the lobby just after 8 and waited... and waited. They had said the bus would be there between 10 after and twenty after, but by 8:30 it still hadn’t arrived.

    The hotel phoned the tour company and confirmed they were on their way, just a little late.

    The bus finally showed up and I got on and we headed out. The driver was an entertaining character named Bruce who had lots of silly jokes and also told us he had been a horseman in one of the Lord of the Rings movies.

    Apparently it was going to be a slow trip as the heavy rain the previous day had caused a slip and the road was going to be closed until 11:30.

    We stopped at a guesthouse/restaurant along the way and had coffee while we waited for the road to open. Service was a little weird, but the coffee was good.

    We got back on the bus and continued on our way. The bus normally stopped at several attractions along the way, but today due to the heavy rain we only stopped at one called The Chasm which was quite spectacular with a rushing river pouring through a jumble of rocks on its way down the mountain.

    The road started out through the Eglinton River Valley which is a beautiful floodplain with mountains rising almost vertically from each side and then continues through some barrow passes, a tunnel, and more narrow passes before arriving in Milford Sound.

    As you get closer to the sound the number of waterfalls pouring from the tops of the mountains is astounding.

    We arrived and were issued our lunches in bags and then taken to a little cafe where we could eat.

    Afterwards we were taken back to the cruise center where we were loaded on to a large boat (not the smaller boat advertised - weather and timing issues) with a Chinese tour group and headed out to tour the Sound.

    It truly is a magnificent place. It’s a narrow fjord stretching for 25 kilometres with sheet mountains going up each side. Apparently the rule of thumb for these mountains is 1 kilometre above the water and another kilometre below - the Sound is that deep.

    It’s one of the rainiest places on earth with an annual rainfall of 9-10 metres! It rains 200 days of the year. The amount of water gushing off the mountains is unbelievable. There’s so much that the top 4-5 metres of the Sound is fresh water!

    I did my best to go outside and take pictures, but the wind and rain were fierce. At times it was like someone was aiming a giant pressure washer at you. I was wearing my K-way jacked and my motorcycle rain pants, but I still was getting soaked.

    We finished our cruise and got on the bus for the long ride back. The bus driver was playing late 50s/early 60s pop music and trying to get everyone to sing along, but there weren’t many takers.

    I got dropped off at my hotel and changed into some dry clothes and had a cup of tea.

    After I warmed up I walked into town to get some dinner.

    The first place I tried had a 45 minute to 1 hour wait time so I went across the street to another little pub. It had a shorter wait time so i went to the bar and ordered a beer. I’d talked with a couple from Calgary on the bus and boat. Shortly after I ordered my beer, Deborah and Gerry came in and we agreed to share a table which immediately became available. Had a nice dinner together talking about our travels.

    After dinner I said goodbye and went to the little supermarket to get a few things, then headed back to my hotel.

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  9. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
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    Loved Milford sound! Flew in on a tour, very remote, was wondering how long it would take them to even find our bodies if the plane went down. No joke.
  10. Adventurepig

    Adventurepig the bike, not me !

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Maitland, NSW
  11. vfxdog

    vfxdog Been here awhile

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    Jan 5, 2007
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    777
    Location:
    Santa Monica or London, depending on work.
    Great shots of the waterfalls being blown sideways...so typical of NZ.

    A few planes have gone down in the area over the years, and never been found.

    With modern electronics it's far less likely, but a lot of the area still hasn't really been explored, it's that rugged.
    chudzikb likes this.
  12. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    I knew it! Flew over large expanses with no roads and no development. Fantastic place.
  13. chambo

    chambo n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Canterbury New Zealand
    Hey Dave,
    Fancy running into you this afternoon what a fluke..Great to meet you !.I forgot to say ,If you want to go for a ride tomorrow I am happy ti meet you in the morning.If you are continuing north I would be happy to show you a couple of hours worth of alternate routes .Mt Grey ,McDonald Downs or lake Sumner .Flick me a text if your keen 027 692 1615
    Cheers
    Paul
  14. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Great to meet you Paul.

    My thoughts are to go into the city tomorrow and look around, maybe stay down there for a night.

    I was hoping to head over to Mt. Cook afterwards, but it doesn’t look like the weather is going to cooperate until at least Monday.

    I’m booked on a morning ferry out of Picton early on Wednesday the 11th, so need to be in or near Picton the night of the 10th.

    Otherwise I’m pretty open if you have suggestions as to what I can and should see.

    Dave
  15. chambo

    chambo n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Canterbury New Zealand
    Hi Dave,yeah weather isn't the best this week but forecasted to improve by sunday. do you want to go for a ride on Sunday.?could do inland kiakoura.how is your tyre config for shingle?
  16. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Jan 14, 2017
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    445
    Be happy to go for a ride, but tires are 100% street. I do ride the Forgotten World Highway, but the 15k of fresh gravel in the middle was really nasty with these tires.
  17. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,396
    Location:
    New Zealand , Fiordland
    Hi Dave , Im at Te Anau , I didnt think you would get here so soon . Check your PMs
  18. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
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    445
    Day 95

    I debated staying in Te Anau an extra day but after checking the weather forecast it looked like I would be able to get to Invercargill without getting too wet and that proved to be the case.

    I loaded up the bike and put my rain gear on just in case. I was pleased to find I could slide my new mid weight gloves inside my XL kitchen gloves. The kitchen gloves are bright green and while they’re not a fashion statement, they sure keep my hands dry.

    I rode for about an hour and then stopped for a coffee as it was a bit cool. It warmed up as I got closer to Invercargill and the sun came out.

    I went to a Repco and bought a utility outlet for the bike as my phone mount had stopped charging, then I went over to have a look at the Classic Motorcycle Museum.

    Hard to understand a museum that is on a street that limits parking to one hour, let alone a motorcycle museum that doesn’t offer any motorcycle parking. There was space on the street below, however and the limit at the meters there was 900 minutes!

    I paid my admission and started to explore the museum. I passed on getting a joint ticket to the transportation museum which is a few kilometres away- one museum per day is enough. They were doing renovations, so the collection was a bit scattered around and cramped.

    It’s a great collection of early to mid60s motorcycles, mostly British. Many of them are in original condition with original tires.

    I particularly liked looking at some of the early models with sidecars, some with a skin like an airplane fuselage and others made from wicker.

    I’ve never ridden a bike with a sidecar - would like to try that someday.

    On the top floor there is an exhibit dedicated to motorcycle racing in New Zealand including information about Bert Munro and also a surprising number of female racers.

    After touring the exhibit I had a nice lunch in the cafe at the museum, then got back on the road.

    I continued on to Dunedin with a few stops along the way, including one at an original so cottage.

    I stopped for groceries, then found a place at a little campground south of the city. It was a nice place, but very full.

    I set up my tent and cooked IMG_3693.jpg IMG_3701.jpg IMG_3696.jpg IMG_3695.jpg IMG_3692.jpg IMG_3691.jpg IMG_3686.jpg IMG_3669.jpg IMG_3668.jpg IMG_3664.jpg b my dinner, then walked over to have a look at the beach before calling it a night. IMG_3658.jpg IMG_3658.jpg IMG_3658.jpg IMG_3645.jpg IMG_3640.jpg IMG_3637.jpg IMG_3632.jpg IMG_3616.jpg IMG_3605.jpg IMG_3604.jpg

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  19. chambo

    chambo n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Canterbury New Zealand
    Hey Dave
    Touch base Sunday am
    Would be happy to show you around if weather is good
    Cheers Paul
  20. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 96

    Had a good sleep - great to be back in my tent again.

    Got up and had a shower then made my breakfast.

    I packed up the bike and headed out the Otago Peninsula below Dunedin for a look.

    The views along the road are spectacular, both looking back to the city and forward to the sea.

    I came to the sign for Larnach Castle and decided to go in and have a look at New Zealand’s only castle.

    I paid for admission to both the grounds and the castle itself and set off exploring.

    The castle is really just a large mansion built by a banker who came from Australia to New Zealand to make his fortune managing a bank during the gold rush. He had a bit of a sad life having two of his 3 wives die you and then shooting himself in a room in the New Zealand parliament when he suspected his 3rd wife was having an affair with his son.

    The house was quite innovative and included, among other features, a methane plant that used cattle (and human) waste to generate gas for lighting.

    After exploring the house I had lunch in a cafe that is in the ballroom, then headed out to look st the gardens.

    The house was largely derelict until the mid 1960s when another family bought it and since the 2 generations have worked to restore the house and gardens.

    The gardens are fabulous with several themed areas set against the views of the Otago harbour.

    After exploring the gardens I got back on the bike and continued out the peninsula to the end where the Royal Albatross Colony is located. It’s the only mainland colony of albatross in the world. They also have a colony of blue penguins which are the smallest penguin. I didn’t see either albatrosses or penguins - they were all out fishing - but there were some fur seals down on the beach.

    I headed back in the peninsula and across Dunedin which too some time.

    I headed on up the coast stopping at the Moeraki boulders to take some pictures of these unique rock formations.

    I stopped to get some food for dinner and started looking for a place to stay.

    The first place I tried seemed to be ok for tents on WikiCamps, but when I got there it was just a gravel parking lot with no facilities.

    Fortunately I had a backup plan and headed to Morven Domain which had a lovely campground with great facilities- everything but a shower. I put my $10 in the donation box and unliked the jam packed campground last night, I was all alone here.

    Or at least I was until a young French couple showed up in a van. They were working on an apple farm and using the campground as a place to stay. I still wouldn’t have begun to call it crowded as the place was huge.

    We chatted while we prepared our dinners. Theirs took longer, so I ate alone at the picnic table outside and headed off to my tent for an early sleep. IMG_3832.jpg IMG_3845.jpg IMG_3858.jpg IMG_3857.jpg IMG_3853.jpg IMG_3850.jpg IMG_3845.jpg IMG_3834.jpg IMG_3827.jpg IMG_3811.jpg IMG_3807.jpg IMG_3795.jpg IMG_3794.jpg IMG_3783.jpg IMG_3772.jpg IMG_3755.jpg IMG_3753.jpg IMG_3742.jpg IMG_3739.jpg IMG_3726.jpg IMG_3724.jpg IMG_3718.jpg IMG_3705.jpg
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