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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    Interestingly in these days of scientific cross breeding and so on, the Braeburn was a chance find by a farmer in the area in 1950. It is named for the orchard where it was originally established commercially.
    #21
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  2. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Shank's pony for the morning and early afternoon for a 11 km round trip, hiking part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. That was followed by a 3 hour ride back to Picton, during which I did not stop to take photos.

    I liked this home built caravan, seen near the Motueka Sunday Morning Market

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    The road to Abel Tasman National Park

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    For some folks the track is a stroll, for others it is a training run.

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    Wekas are active along the track during the day. They are flightless, have no fear of humans and naturally quite curious.

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    Plenty of traps keep pressure on predators such as rats, stoats and opossums, so walkers get to enjoy birdsong along the way. DSCF8858.jpg
    #22
  3. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    On the outward leg

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    Same bay on the return leg.

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    #23
  4. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Silver Fern is the emblem of New Zealand

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    There are waterfalls of various size along the way.

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    Apple Tree Bay, the turning point for many day-trippers.

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    Sea kayaks are a popular way of exploring the Abel Tasman National Park coastline

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    #24
  5. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Thanks for the info Mick, I’d never considered the origin of the humble (but mighty!) Braeburn - you live and learn!

    Do keep the photos and stories coming. One day I will get myself and Mrs JRT to NZ for an extended tour, it does look like a magnificent paradise.
    #25
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  6. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Great pics Mick. Thanks for the tour so far. Looking ahead for more.
    #26
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  7. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Next leg of the journey was Picton to Christchurch:

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    It was more than 40 years since I last ventured south of Blenheim. Three major changes have affected the landscape over the years. Vast areas of grapes are now being grown in the Malborough region. Earthquakes have hit the Kaikoura Coast. And irrigated dairy farming has hit Canterbury.

    The day was cool and quite blustery, tuning to rain late in the afternoon as I neared Christchurch.

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    Once sheep and cattle farming country, the dry stony soils of the Malborough region have been take over with grapes over the last 40 years. The region now produces some of the best red wines in New Zealand.
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    Salt has been produced in the region for many years

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    Droppong down to the coastal road north of Kaikora.

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    Good spot for crayfish and abalone.
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    #27
  8. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    A major earthquake in 2016 caused a lot of damage to parts of Highway 1, and the railway line north of Kaikora. Flanked by rugged coast line and steep unstable hills, it was several months before road and rail were open again. More than 3 years on rebuilding is still a way off completion

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    Heading south out of Kaikora, toward the Hundalees

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    Sheep farming in the Hundalees DSCF8988.jpg

    The Hundalees are an entertaining ride before the long tedious straights of the Canterbury.Plains. DSCF8989.jpg

    Coming down into North Canterbury was a taste of what has come to many parts of the South Island in recent years.... Irrigated pastures graazing huge herds of dairy cows.

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    #28
  9. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    I was in Christchurch for a couple of days, and called in on several potential TESOL employers. The city is still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2011, The weather was cold and less than pleasant, and I saw no reason to hang around.

    The ride to Omaru was on the chilly side and uninspiring from a motorcycling point of view, but it was interesting to see some things that have changed and some that has remained the same over the 45 years since I ventured south of Christchurch.

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    Last time I was here this was all mixed cropping, typically a couple of years in pasture raising sheep and cattle and five years in crops. Irrigated pasture grazing dairy cows is the new norm.

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    Dairy factories everywhere around the South Island now.

    A stoutly built feamale security guard strode manfully my way, demanding to know what I was doing.

    "Taking a photo", I replied. "

    "And why are you doing that", she asked sternly.

    "Because I want to. Do you have a problem with that?"

    Got no reply so carried on my merry way.

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    More traditional land use for the region..... Wheat awaiting a few fine days to be dry enough to continue harvest. When I worked in the area few farmers had facilities to dry grain. I guess that has not changed.

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    Sunflower seeds close to ready for harvest.

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    White clover, which I gueess will be allowed to set seed, then harvested.

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    More traditional Canterbury land use.

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    Unusual to see stubble burned these days; it is banned in many countries. I'd have thought in NZ too.

    When I worked in Canterbury, and the first year I worked in the UK it was still allowed..... and great fun to set the field alight. Burning stubble helped control some weeds and made for easier ploughing. Many famers were not keen on the ban as it also meant installing choppers on combines, which add considerably to fuel consumption.

    However, after several years of ploughing or otherwise incorporating stubble farmers noticed an improvemnt in soil structure and have come to accept it as better soil managment practice than burning.

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    Border-dyke irrigation - an older form of flood irrigation, not much seen these days in my observation

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    #29
  10. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Yep, I’m surprised to see stubble burning these days. When I first moved over to East Yorkshire (a big wheat and barley growing area) in 1990 burning was still accepted practice. I think it was banned not long after that. It made a huge difference to the air quality and visibility after harvest. I’d not heard of the agricultural benefit but it makes sense - improving soil structure, moisture holding capabilities and eventually useful organic matter too.

    I have to say, I really appreciate the scope of your posts. I find it much more interesting to get some background on industry, social stuff, etc. rather than just ‘I rode here on this road’ type stuff.

    :thumb
    #30
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  11. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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    Great report. Appreciated.
    #31
  12. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    I stopped the weekend in Oamaru, and rode the 115 km to Dunedin on Sunday afternoon. Stayed the night in Dunedin, and visited four potential TESOL employers on Monday morning.

    Rode the 200 km to Invercargill on a dampish, cold autumnal afternoon. The route winds through pleasant rolling Otago landscape, ending with long straights on Southland plains.

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    Distincly British feel about Omaru.. Once a port town, unlike settlements around the North Island's East Coast, it is still quite busy, serving the North Otago community.

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    The port, once visited by coastal and internation traders is now just a harbour for a few pleasure craft......

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    ....the main wharf is now a penguin colony.

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    The old part of town is now an arts centre and tourist attraction. True Brits will no doubt be proud to see the flag flying above it all

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    Steampunk has found a home in Oamaru. I regret not taking time to visit the museum.... maybe a reason to return some day.

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    Supposed to be a penguin colony, all I saw was some seals..... very fishy odour in the air!

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    Pleasant coastal setting for part of the golf course.

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    Oamaru Gardens

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    #32
  13. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    North Otago countryside; farming and some forestry.

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    Pan Pac have a small sawmill in Milburn producing sawn lumber for export, adding value to NZ grown logs.

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    Mostly traditional livestock and arable farming along the route I took

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    First ploughing I saw on the trip. Minimum tillage has taken over from traditional cultivation these days. No reversable plough, or ploughing in lands here. Just round the field from the outside, then plough out the corners.

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    #33
  14. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Around Invercargill

    My first ever visit to Southland, I stopped the first night at the worst accomodation I had on my trip. Was fortunate to find the charming Southern Comfort Backpackers the next morning and stayed a couple more nights. It was among the best lodgings I had.

    Checked out TESOL potential at Southern Institute of Technology, and was curtly told that they didn't accept printed resumes, and that I should contact them on line.

    English Language Partners were more affable. Busy, but fully staffed, the admin put me on to a position that had just come up in their Northland branch, which I duly applied for. Guess it won't be until the pandemic panic is over before I hear anything from them.

    Visited Bluff, Oreti Beach, and a couple of transport museums.

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    Southland's plains and long straights around Invercargill are not all that inspiring for a motorcyclist. Quite a bit of dairy farming, but here, on the way to Bluff, are wapiti being farmed. DSCF9070.jpg

    Bluff to the right, Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter to the left. For some reason I thought Tiwai was further up the coast, nearer Manapouri, which supplys it with electricity. It sometimes takes a visit to put places in their place.

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    Bluff Habour entrance

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    Bringing home the famed Bluff oysters. I had fish, oysters and chips for lunch. Tasty morsels indeed, once I removed all the batter, but pricy. $19.50, the most expensive fish'n'chips I have ever eaten by far!

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    Desolate, wild, hard packed sand. Burt Munro tested and raced his much modified Indian Scout here. The beach was used in the movie about his life, "The World's Fastest Indian".

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    #34
  15. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Spent the afternoon at Classic Motorcycle Mecca in town. It had a few interesting machines on display.

    1992 Britten Cardinal.... 138 kg, 168 hp, 303 km/hr. Sadly its creator, John Britten, passed away with skin cancer at the age of 45 in 1995.

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    More Britten machines, with a picture of local legend, Burt Munro in the background.

    Burt's story is depicted in one of my favourite movies, "The World's Fastest Indian" starring Anthony Hopkins.

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    Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon scooter.... 4 stroke 192 cc engine, with CVT transmission. Similar specs to the Honda PCX I am riding now, that I thought was so modern!

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    462,000 Silver Pigeons were produced from 1946 to 1963, 35,000 of which were exported to the USA.

    The CVT transmission was conceptualised by Leonado da Vinci in 1490, First developed for sawmills in 1879 by Milton Reeves, who also used it in a car in 1986. First use in a motorcycle was by Zenith in 1910.

    Nice example of a Triumph Scrambler from days of yore. Off road racers are much ligher these days.

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    Mi'lady rode in comfort on early motorcycle sidecar outfits, this one dating from 1914.

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    By the mid 1930s motorcycles had taken on a layout that is familiar to most riders these days. This AJS has a utilitarian sidecar that is not unlike that mounted on many morocycles in Thailand these days
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    #35
  16. hairnet

    hairnet will travel for cake

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    thanks mick

    looked for pics when i did north island thinking it was 18 months ago

    3 years ffs

    did thames, coromandel round to gisborne (you know the reason i went there right :D ) then up to tokoroa to visit a friend via horopito

    on a majesty 250

    planning november for week and half on something better more north island wellington te papa and invercargill for bill richardsons and to tick off another britten - saw one at barber in alabama last sept

    great pics
    #36
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  17. 69skywagon

    69skywagon Tanker74

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    Great pics! Thanks
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  18. acertainalias

    acertainalias Adventurer

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    Thanks for the write up - some great pics and even greater insight. Good luck with the job hunting!
    #38
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  19. bonneville53

    bonneville53 kiwi

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    I travelled all these roads in the early 70s.
    Thanks for bringing back some great memories.
    Good luck with the job hunting.
    You seem to have done well dodging the rain.
    Take care.
    #39
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  20. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    No problem dodging rain for the early part of the journey..... Late summer is usually a relatively dry time for much of NZ, but particularly so this year, with much of the country in a drought, and farmers desperately wanting rain. Moving into Autumn, most of NZ has now been blessed with rain. However, spoke to friends on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula this morning, and they could do with more decent rainfall to title things up, and get some pasture growth to go into the winter with.
    #40
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