For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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Yesterday, on an impulse, I booked a flight to Auckland and a flight home from Wellington, with the thinking I'll fill in the middle ground with a bike.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, or how I'm going to do it. But I am ridiculously excited.
I'll be going with 3 other guys. The plan is to do it between the 30th of January and February 15th.
I'm sure I'll be asking a million questions as the date draws closer, and I begin to realise I don't know where I'm going. Aha.
Would love to hear from anyone who's done this trip, with some tips on where to go, and where to avoid. So far we're thinking we'd like to do a bit of Lake Taupo... Besides that, it's all up in the air.
Sweet as bro! You're going to have a great time.
A bit over a year ago we drove from Auckland to Wellington. My favourite part was the East Cape. It's quite remote by NZ North Island standard, and somewhat impoverished in places, but absolutely spectacular. The Coromandel sounded good too, but we didn't get up there.
Most people will go through Rotorua and miss the East Cape. I'm sure this will still be great, but I'd go to the East Cape. Be prepared for a lot of ups and downs. Although there aren't many high passes, it's a skinny volcanic island, which makes it steep in places.
Here's a good place to read up on people who have gone before you...
New Zealand is a great place to tour - in fact I'm there doing precisely that right now. For mine, I'd choose the South Island over the North, which has a reputation for bad drivers, but coming here is a bit like going interstate in Oz, only the beer is great everywhere and so are the fush'n'chups.
I've been reading through your own post Ron. Can't wait to get over there!
I would have preferred the South Island, but one of the friends we're going with already had tickets for Auckland/Wellington, so I'm just rolling with that.
How are you finding the weather? I'm expecting a lot of rain, so gonna stock up on wet weather gear. How about the temperature in the north? Will I survive with normal jerseys with arm/leg warmers? Or should I be looking at some thermal gear?
It should be much warmer on the North Island than it is here in the deep south. I've had a lot of very cold winds, snow, but only a little rain. If you are going down the east coast of the North Island it probably won't rain much, the west coast is where most of the rain falls. I would bring arm and leg warmers, a gilet and a rain jacket, along with your normal jerseys and knicks. I carry three sets of jerseys/knicks/socks. And gloves - I wear thin liner gloves under my normal cycling mitts when it's cold. That's it for on the bike. Check out Ground Effect gear - it's made in NZ, is good value, and it works.
For street wear I have long trekking pants, long and short sleeve merino shirts (they don't get smelly), and a softshell jacket. And a set of thermals for wear indoors or in the tent.
One pair of MTB cycling shoes and one pair of thongs.
That should be enough. Have fun.
Realised I never updated this.
Finished the ride in February... With a little bit extra thrown in, we managed to clock up approximately 1300 km's in 2 weeks.
Here's the map of the trip:
Got 7 centuries and my biggest ride to date - 225km's on the last day, to roll into Wellington for my 23rd birthday.
Despite some doubts the Reid held together. Only got two flats the whole trip - one on a gravel stretch, and another as we were rolling into Wellington.
Personal highlights include the two days riding from Taupo - Raetihi then Raetihi - Wanganui:
Spent the first day circumnavigating Mt Doom and another (snow capped) mountain, as well as gaining some serious elevation:
Then the second day was roughly 20kms of amazing descents down old logging tracks and some unexpected off road riding down (and up) Wanganui River Road...
So many highlights... I could talk about it all day. If you ever get a chance to ride this part of the world... Do it!
I know the back roads from Auckland to Wellington very well... was the best way to hammer from A to B on a motorbike with out getting caught .
Yeah they're pretty brilliant! And in reasonably good shape too.
I found drivers there to be way more courteous than in Australia too (despite what I was told by everyone).
Looks like you had a good time - and the weather was a bit better for you than it was for me. Great effort riding over those gravel roads on skinny tyres - I did plenty of the same (on slightly wider tyres) but it took a lot of concentration to stay safe.
Your pictures are very enticing, perhaps I will visit the North Island after all - or maybe do a top to bottom.
So, would you go touring again?
Yeah. Was a bit sketchy trying to descend gravel on 23 tyres, but all part of the learning curve and adventure.
I enjoyed the North alot, but I've heard the south is on another level, scenery wise. The first day heading out of Auckland was a bit of a non event. But from Paeroa onwards it was really enjoyable riding...
Highlights would have to be; Mission Bay in Auckland, Mt Ngongotaha near Rotorua, Te Ponanga Saddle Road Climb near Turangi, Raetihi to Pipriki, A Wellington Bay Loop, Wellington in general (particularly Mt Victoria and the Radar Dome Climb).
If you're in Wellington check out Capital Cycles and jump on some of their group rides. Super nice guys.
I would indeed. Thinking of doing a smaller one in Australia next.
Would love to do something in Europe too.
It would be nice to do something supported and lose the bags. Aha.
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