North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

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North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:08 pm

OK, here's the likely route I'll take next time I visit EnZed.

Starting in Christchurch and crossing to the west coast via Arthurs pass, then north along the coast before heading back inland through the Buller Gorge up to Golden Bay (D). Next across to the Marlborough district to start the unsealed sections, Molesworth and Rainbow roads (F-H and H-I). Then back to Christchurch via the Lewis Pass. Total distance: 1570km.

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by BNA » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:30 pm

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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:30 pm

No, no you wont go that way!
Not after my superior suggestion of cycling from the Buller Gorge up to Westport to Little Wanganui Hotel, Karamea and cycling the Heaphy Track.
The Little Wanganui Hotel used to be my watering hole a decade ago and worth a stop. There is the Domain in Karamea for cheap camping or just put up your tent on the beach. Great trip across the Heaphy. Pretty much point C to point D in a straightish line. :D
At the end of which you'll need an evening visit to the Mussel Inn if its still there for a long long night of food and sampling of their own mead and boutique brewery beers (thats plural) after which you'll spend a sleepless night sending me drunken txts wanting more suggestions of food fare and other superior ideas for touring routes and drink to spill and nosh to knash.
http://heaphytrack.com/
http://heaphytrack.com/mountain_biking.html
http://attractions.nzherald.co.nz/venue ... mussel-inn
If you decide you have to leave its a fairly straight forward drunken wobble through to Nelson. :wink: :wink:

I like the look of your FGHI and might just have to plan one of those soon myself as I think I've only done the coastal route that way.

There! My work is done :!:
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:35 pm

rifraf wrote:No, no you wont go that way!
Not after my superior suggestion of cycling from the Buller Gorge up to Westport to Little Wanganui Hotel, Karamea and cycling the Heaphy Track.

Nice idea, and one I did consider, but I'm not convinced the Heaphy is really a good place for a fully-laden touring bike, especially since there are a number of swing bridges to get across. And I'm not too fond of the west coast sandflies either. But I'm willing to be proven wrong, so get that Ogre together and come along.

The Mussel Inn is most certainly on the itinerary, as is the Mussel Pot in Havelock - If there is one thing I love it's a pot of steaming mussels.

The Molesworth and Rainbow roads are in doubt, as I've since heard that they are closed at the time I want to travel. Still waiting for information from DOC. If closed I'll just have to spend some more time in Golden Bay.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:14 pm

After a little further reading it turns out that the Heaphy is only open to bikes from May to September. I'm not planning a winter tour. :lol:

It also seems that I may be able to get a permit to use the Molesworth and Rainbow roads outside the usual open period. Still waiting for a response from DOC.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:16 am

RonK wrote: I'm not planning a winter tour. :lol:

NZ has Febuaury and occasionally the first two weeks in March as summer. The rest of the year is generally either cold or wet or cold and wet, not to mention windy thus by Aussie standards "Winter" :!:

RonK wrote:It also seems that I may be able to get a permit to use the Molesworth and Rainbow roads outside the usual open period. Still waiting for a response from DOC.

It may be fine pushing your bike out of season over the Heaphy. Its a pretty gentle track from my poor memory and certainly not challenging. The estimated time I think is 5 to 7 days but I think I did it in 3 due to being in a hurry. 5 to 7 would be a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience and I dont think having to push a loaded touring bike would detract from the experience.

Actually, from memory again, the Heaphy is propably further north than Wellington geographically and the weather is generally more setttled than the capital.
Spring on the West Coast is probably the most unsettled, wild and wet. That part of the world, especially Karamea is a micro-climate with an abundance of
Nikau palm trees. I favored the Heaphy in winter due to not having to suffer too many tourists due to them tramping the warmer months. There is an abundance of huts for the un-hardy armed with gas cooking and often wood fires inside. I remember some frost on the bivy bag but a decent sleeping bag (down four season) wouldn't notice. :D
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:19 pm

RonK wrote:It also seems that I may be able to get a permit to use the Molesworth and Rainbow roads outside the usual open period. Still waiting for a response from DOC.

Is that the FGHI part of the journey? Save my google button and put me out of my misery :wink:
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:02 pm

Yes, that's it. :)
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:21 pm

RonK wrote:Yes, that's it. :)

Wow :!: Where did you hear about that part of the world? I'd bet not even many Kiwis know about those roads. Do you have any links other than DOC pages?
I'm intrigued :!:
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:50 pm

rifraf wrote:
RonK wrote:Yes, that's it. :)

Wow :!: Where did you hear about that part of the world? I'd bet not even many Kiwis know about those roads. Do you have any links other than DOC pages?
I'm intrigued :!:

Well, I'm a champion researcher. :D I dug up plenty for last tour as well - Dansey's Pass, Hakataramea Pass, the Oteake Consevation Area (which I had to abandon due to inclement weather) and the Vonn River Road to Mavora lakes.

Actually the Molesworth Road was opened during a previous visit and got some publicity then. Both the Molesworth and Rainbow Roads are traversed in various touring journals, and are also now listed on the Great Rides web site.

You'll find plenty of links with a quick Google - "cycle rainbow nz" and "cycle molesworth nz"

When will the Ogre be ready - or would you prefer to tackle Patagonia? :lol:

In the left column in the Bicycling Directions, click on the 3D button.
Rainbow Road
Molesworth (Acheron) Road
Last edited by RonK on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:21 pm

RonK wrote:Well, I'm a champion researcher. :D

I concur.
I notice they are a trifle more generous with the weather forecast by approx 3 weeks than I am :wink:
"The best time to ride the Molesworth Muster Trail is when it’s open to public access (from 28 December 2011 to 9 April 2012). While an access permit can be obtained outside of the open period, cyclists are advised against riding this trail during winter or after heavy rainfall."

Cant be frightening the tourists, what? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:41 pm

Great spot. I was based in mapua for a year a few years ago. The moutere valley really is one of the greatest cycling areas. I had a ball. I wouldn't worry too much about the weather if you're there over summer. That area has wonderful summers. Well so did sydney up until two years ago. The climate is hot and clear. Have fun getting your fully laden touring bike over the Takaka hill. It'll be a highlight i'm sure. The road out to the start or finish of the heaphy from collingwood is a great ride. Stop in at the possum in, I think its called. Some beautiful river gorges and swimming holes to explore. Whahariki beach out near farewell spit is really cool. Very nice camp ground there too. Have fun.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:53 pm

jimsheedy wrote:Great spot. I was based in mapua for a year a few years ago. The moutere valley really is one of the greatest cycling areas. I had a ball. I wouldn't worry too much about the weather if you're there over summer. That area has wonderful summers. Well so did sydney up until two years ago. The climate is hot and clear. Have fun getting your fully laden touring bike over the Takaka hill. It'll be a highlight i'm sure. The road out to the start or finish of the heaphy from collingwood is a great ride. Stop in at the possum in, I think its called. Some beautiful river gorges and swimming holes to explore. Whahariki beach out near farewell spit is really cool. Very nice camp ground there too. Have fun.

Sounds idyllic Jim. I would be there in the spring - October/November time, so it probably won't be all that warm, but hopefully warmer than the Southland was for last year's tour.

I'm not concerned about Takaka Hill - I've crossed all the main passes on the South Island now except Porters and Arthurs Passes, and I'll cross them on the way north, so the hill should not be too much of an obstacle.

The main question is how much time I'll have to spend around Golden Bay, which will depend on whether I can get permits for the Molesworth and Rainbow roads.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:58 pm

RonK wrote:After a little further reading it turns out that the Heaphy is only open to bikes from May to September. I'm not planning a winter tour. :lol:

Friends of mine did it last September, with MTBs and saddlebags/packs.

Not a good idea to try a loaded tourer :|
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:02 pm

rifraf wrote:Is that the FGHI part of the journey? Save my google button and put me out of my misery :wink:


Well you really got me stumped there, even with Google ???

Friends of the German Historical Institute....... no?
Fidonet Global Hypertext Interchange........ ??
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:13 pm

il padrone wrote:
rifraf wrote:Is that the FGHI part of the journey? Save my google button and put me out of my misery :wink:


Well you really got me stumped there, even with Google ???

Friends of the German Historical Institute....... no?
Fidonet Global Hypertext Interchange........ ??

Hehe, we are talking about the routes between the points F,G,H and I on the map in the OP - these are the Molesworth (Acheron) and Rainbow roads.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:16 pm

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:After a little further reading it turns out that the Heaphy is only open to bikes from May to September. I'm not planning a winter tour. :lol:

Friends of mine did it last September, with MTBs and saddlebags/packs.

Not a good idea to try a loaded tourer :|

Yeah, I've already reminder Aidan about the swing bridges. Not really what I consider a bike tour. I'll stick to backroads like the Molesworth and Rainbow.
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:16 pm

:lol: :lol: :oops:
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Re: North of the South: New Zealand tour route...

Postby rifraf » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:40 pm

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:After a little further reading it turns out that the Heaphy is only open to bikes from May to September. I'm not planning a winter tour. :lol:

Friends of mine did it last September, with MTBs and saddlebags/packs.

Not a good idea to try a loaded tourer :|

Yeah, I've already reminder Aidan about the swing bridges. Not really what I consider a bike tour. I'll stick to backroads like the Molesworth and Rainbow.

Trouble with a head injury - the memory wavers somewhat.
I must have done the Heaphy 5 times or more and have absolutely no recollection at all of any swingbridge. Still its longer than I thought since I lived there so
perhaps not surprising. However, if it can be done on a mountain bike, then much of it can be done on a tourer I'll bet and like I said, pushing a bike laden or not, has got to be easier than humping an overloaded backpack. I doubt the swing bridges are long and nothing stopping you taking off the panner bags and making a second trip across the bridge. Like I said, picking the right time of year and you might not come across another soul on the journey. Hardly likely even in season that your going to be unlucky enough to meet the south island pannier thieves association doing their yearly tramp. :D
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