New Zealand road trip on a PCX

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Kiwi Mick, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    More a series of day-trips than an epic ride.... This road trip is to reacquaint myself with the country I was born in, after nigh on 20 years absence.

    The first leg was from Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay

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    Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay - 1.jpg White Island, an active volcano, seen from Whakatane Beach
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    #1
  2. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay - 10.jpg Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay - 11.jpg


    Morning at Tokamaru Bay, once a thriving community exporting frozen meat and crossbred wool to the world. Farming is still the mainstay of the local economy, but nowadays everything leaves by road.
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    Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay - 13.jpg Whakatane to Tokamaru Bay - 14.jpg Part of what was Tokamaru Bay CBD.jpg
    #2
  3. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Keep it coming :thumb
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  4. Cantab

    Cantab Been here awhile

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    Gotta get my ass up that way again....only done it once maybe 7years back, camped at Tokomaru bay and had tea at the local pub
    they were surprised a couple of mainlanders were 'all the way up there', friendly funny bunch good times.
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  5. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Yes, I found it a friendly place...... My previous trip around the East Coast was February in late 1970s, on a Honda CB350, after finishing the main shearing season in Hawkes Bay. We had a few weeks off before second shear. Not a lot has changed, other than a bit more forestry. Road is more travelled these days though. Camper vans everywhere. More EV charging points than petrol stations too.
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  6. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Spent a day checking out the area north of Tokamaru Bay..... rained quiet a bit for the first time in 2020, much needed by the farmers. Good test for the new m/c jacket I had bought just a few days before. It did OK, but would still be inclined to put proper rain gear on for a prolonged or heave downpour.

    Around Tokamaru Bay - 1.jpg

    Tokomaru Bay panorama.

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    Waipiro Bay

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    Waipiro Bay

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    Unusual structure in earthquake prone NZ..... solid brick, load bearing walls, built years ago by settlers using tech from whence they came. Apparently brick buildings in NZ these days are timber framed, with brick veneer cladding.

    Around Tokamaru Bay - 5.jpg Around Tokamaru Bay - 6.jpg

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    The tractor driver who cultivated and drilled this winter feed crop had some skills, and balls to negotiate the hills!

    Around Tokamaru Bay - 8.jpg
    #6
  7. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Around Tokamaru Bay - 9.jpg

    Some folks still ride their horse to town in Ruatoria.

    Around Tokamaru Bay - 10.jpg

    The Ruatoria 4 Square supermarket and general store, by far the largest for more than 100 km in any direction, has heavy duty doors!

    Around Tokamaru Bay - 11.jpg Around Tokamaru Bay - 12.jpg

    Looking south

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    Looking north

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    Te Puia Springs.
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  8. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Just a short haul to Gisborne, checking out a few places along the way.

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    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 1.jpg

    Tolaga Bay panorama
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    Tolaga Bay Golf Club
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    Once busy main drag of Tolaga Bay, now just a couple of convenience stores, and the odd cafe.
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    Tolga Bay Wharf, 660 metres long, was built in the 1920s to export local produce, and bring in goods for the community. At it's peak 132 ships visited in a year, it was last used in 1967 to transport maize.
    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 5.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 6.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 8.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 9.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 10.jpg
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  9. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Waiau Bay, south of Tolaga Bay
    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 11.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 12.jpg

    Off grid cottage and mansion over Waihau Bay
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    Weaning calves, I guess
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    Trucks carting logs for export from Gisborne Port are frequent users of the road.
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    Wainui Beach, one of the best known surf beaches in Gisborne, and New Zealand
    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 16.jpg Tokamaru to Gisborne - 17.jpg
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  10. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Gisborne city: Midway Beach panorama
    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 18.jpg

    Gisborne Port is quite small, and does not have a container terminal. Its mainstay is exporting logs to China.
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    Gisborne panorama.... a small city with a population of about 45,000.

    Tokamaru to Gisborne - 20.jpg
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  11. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Checked out Gisborne for a couple of days, then continued south to Napier, spending a few hours exploring Mahia Peninsula on the way.

    Gisborne to Napier.png

    At Wainui Beach
    Around Gisborne - 1.jpg

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    Growing and harvesting things.... the fertile alluvial flats of Gisborne grow a range of horticultural produce;

    Sweet corn
    Around Gisborne - 3.jpg

    It is a long established grape growing region
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    Workers jive to reggae beats as they harvest lettuce
    Gisborne to Napier - 1.jpg

    Mechanical tomato harvest for canning and sauce
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    Freighter docking at sunset
    Freighter docking at sunset.jpg

    Docked at  Snset.jpg
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  12. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Around Mahia Peninsula, famed for surf and seafood. More recently the launch site for Rocket Lab, a NZ private enterprise venture which launches satellites of up to about half a ton.
    https://www.rocketlabusa.com

    Scenic route to Mahia Peninsula
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    Was a great day for surfers at Mahia
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    Gisborne to Napier - 7.jpg
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    Gisborne to Napier - 9.jpg

    Gisborne to Napier - 10.jpg

    Gisborne to Napier - 11.jpg
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  13. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Sweet As photography!
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  14. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Mohaka River valley
    Gisborne to Napier - 12.jpg

    Puketitri Pub - we often called in here when I worked for Brendon Mahoney Shearing back in the late 1970s. Sadly closed now, but there is a charging point for EVs
    Gisborne to Napier - 13.jpg

    Worked in this shed many times, staying in the black shearers' quarters in the forground. The sheep came in with a lot of pumice in their fleece, which was hard on shearers gear and shed hands' fingers. However, the boss there was a great guy, so it was a good place to work
    Gisborne to Napier - 14.jpg

    Samarkand Farm, another place I enjoyed working. The farmer had a lovely horse which was kept in the paddock next to the wool shed. I used to ride it, bareback, without a bridle. It responded to voice commands and pressure on its neck with my hands.
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    Lake Tutira was a favourite spot when it rained and we could not shear. I often caught trout there to take back to the quarters to cook for dinner. There was also a YHA hostel that was popular with hitch-hikers and motorcyclists.... and Brendon. When he was short of labour it was often a source of shed hands, some of whom worked just a day or two. However many worked out the season.
    Gisborne to Napier - 16.jpg

    Once listed as the smallest cricket ground in the world, Tutira Cricket Ground has a self return system for boundries. Now, sadly fallen into disuse.
    Gisborne to Napier - 17.jpg

    Tutira Cricket Ground pavilon
    Gisborne to Napier - 18.jpg
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  15. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Napier to Wellington:
    Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 13.29.32.png

    Lack of accomodation, and not great weather, I didn't stay on in Napier; best to move on to Wellington. It was a long hard slog, with quite strong wind, on long straight roads, through parched countryside. About the only interesting part from a motorcycling point of view was the ride over Rimutaka Hill from Wairarapa to Hutt..... view from the 555 metre pass.
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    Stayed in Wellington a couple of days, visiting several potential employers on the first (favourable response from a couple, and "send your resume by e-mail" from others), and Te Papa National Museum on the second.

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    Nearly 25 years since I last passed through Wellington, the biggest change I noticed was the number of people of all ages getting around on 2 wheels. E-scooters and e-bicycles have really taken off.
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    #15
  16. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    InterIslander to Picton:
    Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 14.23.16.png

    The InterIslander
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    Picton is a picturesque little town that seems to change little. Caught up with cousins I had not seen for decades.
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    Queen Charlotte Sound
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  17. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Took a 3 day / 2 night trip to the Nelson region and Abel Tasman National Park. Took the shorter, but slower and more scenic, winding Queen Charlotte Drive out of Picton. Returned via the Highway 6 / Highway 1 route..... long boring straights.... should have returned via the scenic route.

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    Checked out some potential employers in Nelson, one of which offered me work abroad. Thanks but no..... not long back from 18 years abroad, and not entitled to the National Superannuation most NZ citizens and residents receive at the age of 65, until I am nearly 72 because of some regulations changes while I was away.

    "Quite right," according to some civil servants, including my own brother. "You haven't been paying tax for years."

    Not so.... been paying tax mostly at resident rate (all but 3 or 4 years) since I was a teenager, including on dividends and interest from investments in NZ, and have bought funds back to NZ from abroad on occasions........ With a welcome such as this I kinda wished I had stayed away, and invested abroad. Getting a decent job, or even temporary jobs has not been easy...... discovering that older folk are regarded as over aged, over experienced, and under qualified in today's job market, where a ticket is now needed to stuff I have done for years.

    Rant over...... NZ is still a wonderful place, for those who have the means to enjoy it.

    Stayed a night in Nelson, then was going to do part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk the next day. However, with a concert near the park that evening, no accomodation was available nearby, and I had left my tent at Picton. So stayed the second night at Motueka, Used to be the heart of the tobacco growing industry in NZ, That has now ceased to exist. Apples, grapes, hops and dairy farming are now the main land use for the region's easy country.... a lot of forestry in the hills.

    Grapes are not far off ready for picking..... nets keep the birds away.
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    When I was last in the area, about 25 years ago (picking apples) Mapua Wharf had just one building on it, which was starting to become know for smoked fish and fish & chips. Now it is all gentrified, with cafes, and souvenirs..... and the smoked fish has become quite expensive. Still, I bought some to make into a chowder for dinner.
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    Kids jumping off Mapua Wharf
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    I liked this yacht.

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    Hops being grown to flavour McCashin's beers DSCF8805.jpg

    Harvesting hops..... I worked the hop harvest in England years ago, but never saw this end of the operation. I was in the oast house, drying the hops after harvest. Quite a privileged position.... the boss came with beers for a chat every evening as we had to work on into the night until the day's pick was dried.

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    Hop flowers, where the flavour comes from.

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    I lived here, on the orchard, when I picked apples for a season, about 25 years ago.

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    Braeburn apples (my favourite), near ready for picking.

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  18. Otroo

    Otroo Adventurer

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    Another place that I need to visit. Thanks for showing us around
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  19. James59

    James59 Been here awhile

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    Thats a stunning country, beautiful. Sorry about the work situation, I know the feeling...take it easy.
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  20. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Braeburn are my favourite too. I think seasonally some of the ones we get here in the UK come from NZ. It’s a long way to ship apples, but I love ‘em :jack

    I think there’s only one apple variety from Cumbria, the Egremont Russet. You don’t see them in the shops though.
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