Rise of the Bemaha

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by dazzadm, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Gumboot Capital, NZ
    We had a day exploring around the local district, calling in to Cooks Beach, the farmers market in Coroglen and lunch in Whitianga.
    20201115_094441.jpg
    Back to Hahei to get out of the Motorcycle gear and a walk up to Cathedral Cove to take in the sights.
    20201115_153043.jpg
    eri likes this.
  2. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Gumboot Capital, NZ
    Monday was forecast to rain in the afternoon, so we rode around to Hotwater Beach for a look at the pay and display carpark everywhere... and carried on back to Cooks beach for morning tea but found that all the cafe's were closed. So back to the unit and made our own lunch (probably save $50 in doing so...).

    Mrs Bemeha was ready for some beach time but I wanted to explore the peninsula more...

    So I filled up in Whitianga, popped over the 309 to Coromandel, up to Colville, which is all tar sealed now, was all gravel the last time I was there. 20201116_132147.jpg
    Back on to the Gravel and on up along the coast to Port Jackson. Temperatures were starting to get warm under the collar, about 25°C. The old Pohutukawa trees along here are stunning, a shame we were days away from the flowers opening up.
    20201116_135744.jpg
    Then back to the junction and over to Port Charles. I am glad it is not peak tourist season, as the roads get narrow and dusty...
    20201116_145351.jpg
    Then down the coast to Tuateawa,
    20201116_152423.jpg
    Back over to Coromandel and over the hill to Whangapaoua. At this point I must say that the gravel roads had been great, sorry to a couple of Van's that i may have surprised as i passed them... but, the sealed road over The hill on the Whangapaoua road is just stunning!! I just wish I had the gopro on to share the ride. Luckily I had E07 tyres on front and rear (E07 plus) and I was able to ride the bike like a road bike. I only had to pass 3 cars and they all pulled over to let past...:-):-):-), thank you.

    Interestingly, I had wound up the preload on the rear shock to accommodate the touring weights. Solo, I found it a bit too stiff, and had backed off on the damping. Not the best on gravel, but yeaha on the seal.

    Then back to reality and road legal speeds... and around the coast back to Hahei and a hot tube soak on the beach front.:bubba:beer
    EVLED, eri, Muzz67 and 1 other person like this.
  3. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Gumboot Capital, NZ
    The route taken around the top end. Start and finish from the red triangle.
    Screenshot_20201116-191145_BackCountry Navigator PRO.jpg

    We had another day of beach walking and swimming.
    20201117_165037.jpg
    Then yesterday, loaded up and headed back home. We called into Pauanui to have a look, but turned around and headed back out.

    We carried on down the coast to Waihi, through the Karangahake Gorge and through Te Aroha to Putararu, Arapuni Dam, and it was about now that we hit rain. Storm suits on and down to Whakamaru, Turangi and over the desert road, where it got down to 8 deg°C, and stopped raining, and home.

    All up, a total of 1500km and a nice relaxing holiday, shame it rained on the way home, but that's life:-).
    RP67, innathyzit, ztaj and 4 others like this.
  4. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Gumboot Capital, NZ
    It's mine, mine, all mine.

    The plan was fairly straight forward, ride to Nelson pick up Miss Bemaha and ride around the west coast a bit, then ride home...

    An early start from Taihape saw me crunching up the miles in the dark, to catch the 8am sailing. The ferry was quite full, but I got on early and picked a good seat to occupy for the trip. Then it was unloading time and being first on meant I was almost the last off... behind a very long que of cars and caravans.

    So as I waited for the Go sign at the Wairau bridge round about roadworks, I checked travel times to Motueka and saw it was almost quicker to stay in the Wairau valley, so headed for St Arnaud, Motueka Valley road and over the hill to Marahau.

    Whilst on the ferry, I had received an email to say that accommodation for the night had been arranged for Awaroa in a freinds batch. Nowhere nicer to stay! A very slow lumpy trip on the boat got us up the coast to heaven.

    20210115_174139.jpg
    The next morning some fishing produced fresh smoked Kahawai and sashimi for lunch. Then back on the boat and back to Marahau on the full tide.

    So it was a bit of a late start on the bike and in order to get to the coast before dark, various side roads were bypassed and a more direct route through to Westport was taken. The nights accommodation had been arranged for a friends batch in Millerton. It was just on dark as we arrived at the batch. And so our first mine for the trip was achieved.

    Millerton was the support town for Stockton mine in the 1800’s. Not much nowadays but people are still living there. Next morning we explored the “township”.. didn't take long, then headed up to Stockton gates to see if we could get a view, but the thunderstorm quickly put paid to that and wet weather gear was doned and we escaped down to Granity out of the weather and turned north for Karamea.
    20210117_103234.jpg
    Granity, Millerton is up in the mists...

    The end of the road arrived at the Heaphy track exit. So we turned around and went back to the Oparara Arches and Moria Gates, to explore a little underground scenery.

    20210117_133321.jpg
    Back on the bike and lunch in Karamea, unfortunately my pie filling had been burnt so I can't really promote anyone here, so back on the bike and into the rain... all the way back to Westport, which was pretty much the trend for the trip... Filling up with gas, we met a young German bloke who very keenly spoke about R100's and BMWs as he was a motorcycle mechanic and enthusiast. Nice to chat to someone about the finer points of upgrades on your bike.

    We carried on through the very scenic, albeit, wet coastline to Hokitika where we had arranged to stay with a mate. He has the only Cranberry farm in New Zealand, so the next morning we had a look at how the berries are grown, harvested and processed. The area where he lives was some of the earliest gold mines in the country, with some of the shafts dug around mid 1800’s. The regenerated bush hides the scars well and you don't want to go paddling in some of the ponds... a bit deeper than they look...

    Eventually we got back on the bike and headed into the mist again. Calling in to BlackBall, we got the obligatory Salamis. Then paid our respects to the boys at Pike River Mine. Hopefully we will see some recovery done this year. They are very close now.
    Manakau.KTM, Box'a'bits and eri like this.
  5. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Gumboot Capital, NZ
    We turned off and headed up to Waiuta. An interesting old mining ghost town that has been preserved. We rode up to the top of the hill to Prohibition mine for a look from the top. Again, low cloud seemed to spoil the views.

    We rode up to Reefton and put a bit more gas in the tank to be safe, and spoke to a local who seemed shocked that we were about to head into Big River. He explained the rough track, big steps, ruts, rocks and deep river fords... thanked him for the warnings, but figured if @Box'a'bits could get the sidecar in there, we could get the Bemaha in there too...

    So late in the day and still raining we headed up the valley into the rain soaked bush. Thankfully, the trail was ok. The rock bed of the track bounced the front wheel in the wrong direction a few times, ending up dropping the bike 4 times. Quickly righting ourselves and eventually arriving at the fords. The tannin content in the water makes it hard to see rocks so we waded through the fords, moving the odd big rock and splashing through with no real problems.
    20210119_084413.jpg
    We arrived at the hut wet and tired, so proceeded to get the fire going with the last scraps of coal dust and leaf debris from the fuel boxes. Some wet manuka scavenged from around the hut eventually got the hut warmed up enough to have an interesting chat to a geologist working the area for a mining company working in the old big river mine.
    20210119_085858.jpg
    The Winding house where the boiler and machinery are housed.

    The next morning we headed up to the winding house and had a good look around. We met some miners who mentioned we would meet someone else on the track coming into big river. So we took it quietly on the way out till we met him, thankfully in a good passing area.
    20210119_095933.jpg
    The Cordorouy sections of track proved interesting, trying to avoid the ends of the sticks layed in the ground.
    20210119_103351.jpg
    Exploring the A1 Adit (horizontal tunnel) mine.

    20mins later, we met a group of 7 4x4s heading in, loaded up with family and friends. Thankfully we weren't having to share the hut with that lot. Hopefully they bought in their own firewood...

    We had lunch in Reefton. Still raining, we loaded up and headed to Springs Junction. Then headed up to Maruia Saddle. The weather was starting to play ball and patches of blue were starting to appear as we headed north.

    The Breaburn track was in good condition and as we got to Lake Rotoroa, I suggested Porika track, but wet feet and sore bums had had enough and the thought of a hot shower back in Marahau had us both looking forward to getting back. So it was back down the Motueka Valley Road and back to Marahau for the night.

    The next morning dawned in drizzle again. So we went around collecting fresh fruit to take home, loaded up the bike and suddenly realised I was fairly tight for time to catch the 2pm ferry. So with no mucking around I shot through to Nelson, not without first being held up for 15mins in Riwaka for breath testing:deal. And then they waved me through...

    Then found out that the “Highway” back to the Wairau bridge is now 60, 80 and 90km speed zones (apparently). With a further 20min delay at the Waurau bridge roadworks.... and a few caravan and boat traffic delays, I finally arrived at the terminal at 2pm with the check in closed,:eekers I went inside to see if I had missed the boat. They radioed ahead and told me to get to the boat quickly... Needless to say I rushed down the road and followed the last truck on board as the gates closed behind us, Whew!:knary

    A sleep on the boat and it was headed home in fine weather, finally. Turkish for tea in Levin, (run by indians)... felt a bit weird. I was lucky as I skirted around the back of rain showers all the way home. A great ride, let down a bit by the wet weather but we still had a good time.:beer
    Manakau.KTM, EVLED, clintnz and 5 others like this.