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

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand

    Yes, I know the road you mention, traveled it quite often in the past (when visiting my girlfriend at the time, whose family had a farm at Takapau).I liked the road, and did think of taking it again. However, chose SH 2 in the end because there were some things I wanted to check out along that way.

    Where I have been the past few days (Ahipara, south end of Ninety Mile Beach) a bunch of surfers have turned up. Auckland based, but from all over, including one who hails from Tutira. Have had some interesting conversations. He had been back recently, and said it is still very dry.

    As far as I'm aware NZ Super is paid out in full to NZ citizens and residents provided they fulfil the requirements of 10 years residence since the age of 20, including 5 years post 50 years old...... Yup, no citizenship requirement, and I know several non-citizens who are getting Super because turned up to retire early enough / be with offspring, and hung around.

    As far as I can make out there was a change in the residence requirement around 2005.

    What "they" say, (including my charming high uncivil servant brother) is that expats don't pay tax in NZ, and don't contribute to NZ, thus are not entitled to National Super until we meet the residential requirements.....

    Nonsense, I reckon. Probably most expats bring fund back to NZ (I did through the 1990s, when I worked seasonally in the UK. Not more recently when I was I was in Thailand on a very modest income, teaching at a university). Also many of us have investments in NZ, and are taxed on income from them..... I did (All my investments are in NZ banks or companies) and was content to be taxed at the residential rate, which I thought would keep my residential status sweet..... Not so, I discovered. It is based on physical presence, not tax status.

    Super is not means tested, but does become part of your taxable income.

    A nice lady from WINZ called yesterday (Saturday), to get some details, then e-mailed to inform me that my Super will start in November 2024..... Meanwhile she said that I could go on an Emergency Benefit. I just had to fill out the attached form..... Turned out to be the Jobseekers Allowance (aka the dole, currently about $250 a week) which is means tested, and reduced pro rata for any income you have from any source.......

    I do have a handy amount of income from investments, which would make a big dent in the Allowance, so in the end going down that route I'd be better off by very little, if anything at all!

    Re our demographic, it isn't until you reach middle age that you realise what it means to be "over aged. over experienced, but under qualified. Things that we just did years ago now require a ticket. Even in ESL teaching I'm now told that to get anywhere I should do a new NCA level 5 qualification..... but to do that you need to be actively teaching. I got turned down for a tractor driving position because they wanted someone with a Forklift Licence...... I'm doing that next week, but drove forklifts without one years ago, when you didn't need one. Just a bit of common sense was all that was required by a boss.
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  2. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    My trip was broken while NZ was under Civid 19 lockdown from late March to mid May..... I did get away for the odd ride around nearby byways, but mostly it was shanks pony around town and on walking tracks in the nearby reserves.

    Picton is the South Island terminal for inter island crossings. It takes about 4 hours to cross Cook Strait.

    Around Picton - 4.jpg

    A couple of days earlier the town square was bustling with vehicles awaiting a ferry crossing. The morning after the last crossing it was like a scene from the movie "The Quiet Earth".


    I was out and about most days..... lockdown enforcement was not as draconian as in larger centres. After a week or so, as cabin fever set in there were more people around.

    I came across this Mini Ute, one of my favourite four wheeled vehicles. The boss on the farm I worked on in Canterbury had one just like this for his farm runabout. I wouldn't mind having one myself, but now they are quite rare..... basic, simple, practical, it is everything a car should be in my mind.


    Some petty, mean minded police officer issued a parking ticket to this car, mid lockdown.


    The sea and beach turned red with krill for several days....... favourite food of some penguin and whale species. Also, interestingly, research has found that their digestive system can break down micro plastics that pollute the oceans.


    Stingrays cruised through the marina from time to time.

    Picton creatures - 2.jpg

    Wekas were a common sight near walking tracks through the Victoria Reserve forest.

    Picton creatures - 7.jpg

    My usual lunch time dining companions were sparrows.... I was happy to share.

    Picton creatures - 9.jpg
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  3. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

    Jan 11, 2012
    Kingsmill Corner Ont.
    Good to see you are posting on this thread again Mick. Always like your pictures and prose.
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  4. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    More from around Picton during Covid 19 lockdown.

    Rainbow over Picton

    Local authorities around NZ maintain playing fields used by various sports...... something I like about NZ that I have not seen so much of in other countries I have lived in. Sports are a big part of our way of life.


    Good to see a dad entertaining his kids with a cardboard toboggan for grass sledding....... I remember doing the same one summer, sans cardboard and going home sans the backside of my trousers, which did not endear me to my parents!


    En route to Snout Point, a 5 hour return hike from where I was staying. Unfortunately my camera battery went flat, so I didn't get any photos there.

    DSCF9446.jpeg DSCF9448.jpeg

    Paraglider over Picton the day lockdown ended.


    Didn't catch up with my old classmate from when I did Dip Agriculture at Lincoln College...... He left and went to California to learn a bit about grapes and winemaking, then returned to plant the family farm in vineyards, one of the pioneers in the industry in the region over 40 years ago.


    The first living creature I touched after several weeks of lockdown was this cat, which seemed well pleased to be out and about, and came to play
    ...... I guess having managed to escape being confined at home. Doggies were a common sight on a string going walkies, but I never saw a cat out during lockdown. Picton creatures - 8.jpg

    I guess it is allowable to park beyond the boundary of your property, even if you are not allowed to build there!
    Around Picton - 2.jpg
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  5. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    Back on the road on 20th May...... Wellington to New Plymouth, a 380 km ride. It was the first time I travelled around the western side of Mount Taranaki, which dominates the landscape.

    Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 05.46.13.png

    Just a hillside near Waikanae, about an hour north of Wellington, the farm I worked on one summer when I was at Massey University. Most of the neighbouring farms had been planted in trees, probably a better use of of such steep land.


    Between Bulls and Wanganui Mt Ruapehu appeared on the horizon.


    Mt Taranaki aka Egmont appeared in the haze near Hawera.


    A large herd of Jersey cows..... Dairy farming came to Taranaki in the 1880s and became the mainstay of its economy. Mostly grazed on grass / clover pastures, there is a field of lucerne in the foreground.


    Dairy farming, the traditional mainstay of the region has been supplemented by oil and gas since the 1960s.


    Mt Taranaki in the background, and a gas production facilites to the right.



    The sun dropping below the Tasman Sea horizon @ Warea...... and a cool afternoon became a cold evening dropping below 5ºC / 40ºF.


    Higher slopes of Mt Taranaki bathed in the last light of the sun, now below the horizon nearer sea level..... proving that the earth is round

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  6. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    North Taranaki and the King Country have some great motorcycling routes, varying from gentle curves through valleys to tight winding roads over hills, with few of the long tedious straights found in other parts of the country ..... Best enjoyed over summer months though, as once winter arrives some parts get little or no sun resulting in damp, and sometimes icy surfaces.

    N.Pl to Oto .png

    I took a little time to look around New Plymouth, which I last visited over 40 years ago, then meandered north on a fine but cool day. Evening was approaching by the time I got to Te Anga, with quite a frosty feel in the air..... woke up to about -4ºC after an overnight stay in Otorohanga.


    Southeast of New Plymouth, checking out Mt Taranaki


    North of New Plymouth on Highway 3, leaving Taranaki behind.


    North of Waitara Highway 3 winds gently through farmed and forested valleys.


    Tight winding road heading up Mount Messenger


    A challenging road for the many HGVs that ply Highway 3


    Mt Messenger Tunnel


    Much of the land was surveyed into rehab blocks for returned servicemen after WW1, but for the most part little more than the valley floors were successfully developed into sheep and cattle farms.

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  7. spmcg

    spmcg n00b

    Jan 28, 2019
    New Zealand
    I've done SH3 countless times when the olds lived at Toko (outside of Stratford) and I would ride down from Auckland. Will be interested in reading about the road to Te Anga, never been on it - is it sealed? I hate gravel roods...
  8. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    Mostly sealed now, and I guess will be all sealed within the next year or so. A few pictures coming, but getting late in the day, not as many as I would have liked.

    Had I had more daylight I would have gone on to Kawhia from Te Anga. I doubt that road will be sealed for a while..... Might get to do that in the next month or two.

    Having learned to ride on farm tracks and unsealed roads, I have no problem with leaving tarmac, and often do. However, on the PCX I seldom get beyond about 55 km/hr on straights, and take it pretty easy through curves. The last bike I had in NZ was a little MB 100 which had narrower, larger diameter wheels and weighed about 85 kg, thus was much more fun. It handled OK at 65 to 70 km/hr on unsealed straights, and could be hustled through corners.
  9. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Dec 28, 2001
    New Zealand
    There is only 12km of gravel from Awakino to Te Anga, and a sealed road Te Anga to Kawhia, but still gravel Kawhia to Raglan.
  10. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2019
    North Island, New Zealand
    Mokau River mouth

    Marakopa river mouth.jpg

    Tainui Rugby Club uses eco friendly lawn mowers to maintain their grounds.....


    Mokau River bridge and valley DSCF9675.jpeg

    Awakino River is a popular spot for whitebaiting.


    Left Highway 3 and took the coastal route from Awakino to Te Anga. It was unsealed last time I was here, about 20 years ago. Mostly sealed now, recently it would seem. With many damp parts that don't see the sun in winter, it called for steady rather than spirited riding. I guess the remaining 12 km of gravel will be sealed before too long.


    You can go through NZ wondering where the 40 million sheep are to be found. Here are some...... spread out over a hillside pasture they have recently been moved into. NZ farmers practice rotational grazing, chewing out a paddock then moving the stock on after a few days. Rotation length varies with time of year, available feed, and livestock needs.


    Waikawau Tunnel was dug by three men in 1911, so that the beach could be used as a stock route.



    Waikawau Beach


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