Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

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Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:07 pm

Some time ago I posted this thread about a pen fishing rod I acquired to use on a tour of New Zealand. Westcoast Pete's recent post to the thread (he has bragging rights to best fish on a pen rod - so far) reminded me that is time for an update.

Plans for this tour are beginning to gel. Flights are booked - I'll be departing for Dunedin on October 19 to spend a month touring mostly the back roads around the bottom of the South Island.

Here is a map of my proposed route. It's not final yet - I will likely add a few side trips, but it's essentially the way I'll be going.

From Dunedin I'm going to ride part way along the Otago rail trail (I may take the Taieri Gorge scenic train to the start of the rail trail) then take to the back roads and head north across the Dunstan and Dalgety Ranges to Lake Tekapo, before turning back south for Wanaka. I did the Tekapo – Wanaka section last tour, and enjoyed it enough to repeat, despite a long day crossing the Lindis Pass.

I may take a detour into Mount Cook Village this time, but the main reason for returning to Wanaka (apart from it being a spectacularly scenic place) is that I want to ride the Crown Range Road (the highest in New Zealand) over to Queenstown, where I will take the old steamer TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakitipu and then ride the back roads to Mavora Lakes, where I'm going to spend some time fishing to see if I can catch some trout in the lakes.

Then I'll head to Te Anou for some more fishing will and probably take an excursion to Doubtful Sound, as I've already visited Milford Sound. From there it'll be right down to the bottom through Invercargill, stopping to see the world's fastest Indian, then on to Bluff, before retuning along the Catlins coast to Dunedin.

I'll update my blog shortly and start an new tour journal to post the details. More to come.

Fush'n'chups anyone? :lol:
Last edited by RonK on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:27 am

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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby Aushiker » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:27 am

Looks good. Some nice climbing to be had :) Have fun!

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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:01 am

The route is firming up nicely now. I've started an new Gone Fishin' Tour of New Zealand journal where I've posted the plans so far...
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:59 pm

For Mount Cook, they are building a Cycle Trail from here towards the ocean (Oamaru). I rode small section near Lake Pukaki and think they have a lot to do though could be worth checking the progress as it is very 'touring' or 'mtb touring' style on a firetrail-wide graded track.

For the Crown Ranges, going towards Queenstown is down the switchbacks. Not saying it is easy going south, but going north is tough.
Consider including Arthurs Pass, near the Crown Ranges as I keep hearing this from locals as a real highlight though it is no means easier going (additional to Crown Ranges).
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:32 pm

Jealous.

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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:35 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:Jealous.

Jealous! After the tour you have just completed? It's the rest of us who are jealous. :lol:

Well, pack your bags and come along - and bring your pen fishing rod. There will be plenty of opportunities to use it. :D

PS: Since probably my first fishing stop is going to be at the Tepako Canal, I have decided to upgrade my fishing rod in case I hook one of those 30lb whoppers mentioned on nzfishing.com. More about Tepako Canal fishing here.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:47 am

RonK wrote:
WestcoastPete wrote:Jealous.

Jealous! After the tour you have just completed? It's the rest of us who are jealous. :lol:

Well, pack your bags and come along - and bring your pen fishing rod. There will be plenty of opportunities to use it. :D

PS: Since probably my first fishing stop is going to be at the Tepako Canal, I have decided to upgrade my fishing rod in case I hook one of those 30lb whoppers mentioned on nzfishing.com. More about Tepako Canal fishing here.


Yes, but this is different - You'll be touring while I'll be working. And in NZ. The Pacific North West is spectacular, but so is NZ.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:56 pm

New Zealand in Spring? :?
Dont forget your raincoat and showercap :wink:
Some waterwings might be appropriate :P
Your low gears on your Rohloff will be getting the workout of their lives.
Is your other half accompanying you for this one Ron?
Hope you manage to take plenty of pics with the new Sony camera and post them here to show us
all what we're missing out on. :)
Cheers
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Hehe - well rifraf, on my last tour there at the same time of year I only got one day of serious rain, on the west coast as you would expect. Just spent the day indoors until it passed. And that after Brisbane news services reported snow at the Methven races the weekend before I arrived. Should be ok just as long as there are no blizzards while I'm in the high country.

And too right, I'm going to have to listen to the noisy gears grinding away for a lot of the time.

Other half will be running a trek to Nepal - Everest base Camp this year, as she usually does in October/November. My knees are too stuffed for trekking anymore so that's why I'm touring while she is away.

Hopefully I'll have pics of big trout to post, as it's reputed that the fish in the Tepako Canal are up to 30lb. I'll be trying to get some decent video footage too, now I've got the GoPro remote control.

Cheers
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:47 pm

The time has almost come - departure day is Friday 19 October. I'll take a final circuit around Mt Coot-Tha on Saturday, then spend Sunday reconfiguring the bike in full touring mode, then clean and pack it in a bike bag. I'll update my tour journal with some pictures once the packing is done...
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:08 pm

Happy travels Ron,
enjoy your flight today and I hope your trip is a blast.
Fingers crossed you get plenty of sunshine and lots of tailwind.
Keep the Sony snappin and the Ti bikes cranks spinning.
Enjoy :!:
Cheers
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:15 pm

Thanks Aidan. I'm in Dunedin now - it was about 5c and raining when I arrived, but the weather is expected to improve. But jeez, the city is surrounded by hills - just what I don't want first day. I might take the Taieri Gorge train if I can't find a reasonable route.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:11 pm

Dunedin lays claim to being the home of the steepest suburban street in the world.
I used to stay near the Taieri Mouth when I visited with friends during school holidays (the lady was doing
teacher training in Dunedin Uni).
Nice bit of the country.
The train and a few boutique beers or wines sounds like a good as any way to start a journey. :D
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:11 pm

Forget the beer and/or wine me thinks....
Hope you packed the thermals as tomorrows forcast:
Canterbury, Otago, Southland Showers with snow to 400 metres, heavier with hail in Southland, clearing Otago and Canterbury early morning and Southland during the afternoon. :shock:

Perhaps a whip around might be in order so we can send out a ST. Bernard with a small keg of brandy
around its neck. :idea: :wink:
Still at least it will encourage swift pedaling cadence to keep warm so those hills should be a doddle.
The early morning mists should make for some good photo opportunities. :idea:
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:41 am

Hmmm, looked out the window and the hills were covered in fresh snow, but the sun was out. Set off with a cold southerly blowing, but at least it was on my back. But as I rode I could see snow showers on the tops , and a few caught up and dumped on me. And the last 15 km into Ranfurly were across the wind, with frequent showers of sleet, and I was frozen on arrival. My proposed route over Dansey's Pass looks to be well covered in snow, so a major change of plans may be required.
Bugger!
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Keep at it Ron.
Dont lose heart. Your in arguably the most scenic and civilised country in the world albeit with the most excrement-like weather.
Great beer and wine to suit all budgets (especially those on a budget) and compares very favorably with here in OZ.
More boutique brewers per cent per population than probably anywhere else on earth and drinking is practically a national pastime.
I know you've an itenary and probably a time limit, but if you can, take your time. Bus/train to make up for lost travel due
to weather. See the sights, drink the plonk and pedal when its not tipping down.
I believe winter is actually a better time to travel as although cold in the south, its more settled than spring and with less wind
over all. The weather is still crap but perhaps a little less wild.
You'll be able to properly test your showers pass jacket, tent and chain oil as well as frown on your Brooks seat cover (crap) with abandon. The fish and chips are cheap as chips and not a luxury meal like here in Aus. The dairy although no longer cheap as chips is, in my unhumble opinion, the best in the world. Hey the fish dont care about the weather and in fact bite better when its overcast so wet that bloomin line aplenty. Get into the cheeses and memory escapes me but there is a NZ south island whisky which is I think called Wilsons, cheap and can be called upon to warm your bones as well as the cockles of your heart (if indeed a Ti rider still has one :wink: )
Make the most of your trip, savour and enjoy :!: :!: :!: :D
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby Slacko » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Oh what a shame about the weather - it has one week to improve!! 3 of us fly over from Brisbane next week to set off from Bluff heading for Cape Reinga. I do hope the southerlies keep blowing, but "sans" rain and snow!! Interesting following your adventures!! All the best ...........

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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:43 am

The southerlies stopped blowing yesterday so I decided it was safe to attempt the crossing of Danseys Pass over the Kakanui Range. I made the crossing safely but the route had a sting in the tail in the shape of a very steep, longish climb that I wasn't expecting. And on reaching Duntroon which is all but deserted and offers no services, tuned west into gale winds. Luckily, when I stopped in total exhaustion at the site of some Maori rock art, I was offered a lift for the last 20 kms to Kurow. I dunno how I could have made it here otherwise. So I'm having a lay day here in Kurow, and for once the weather is looking quite pleasant.

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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:59 pm

What thoughts on your gearing choice with regards the Rohloff?
I imagine this would be a good training ground for a South American tour I think you may have alluded to in the past(?)
Theres a local online auction site (trademe.co.nz) which "may" prove handy if you need to look for a macpac or similar
down jacket or fleece etc.
Any thoughts on your bikes bits and bobs that you'd change for any reason?
Great pics on your blog by the way - are you enjoying the sony?
Cheers
Aidan :D
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:55 pm

Weather is on the improve now, so I'm not looking to buy extra gear - I have a fleece vest anyway, but have not needed to use it yet.

The Sony is working well, as you can see. What has surprised me, is that I get better results indoors with no flash. I'm going to try the panorama function next, but really the weather has been too crappy to stand about taking pictures.

The gearing on my bike is just about perfect - but it's not the Rohloff bike. I discovered a problem that could not be fixed in time while packing, and had to change bikes at the last moment. But the road tourer with skinny tyres has handled conditions well, and has settled in my mind that I prefer the gear spacing on this bike better that the Rohloff bike.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:54 pm

Perhaps its just as well you've retained the Sabbath Ron.
I came across a Pioneer frame less expensive than full retail and had flights of imagination coupling it with a Surly fork for a bit of sacrilege purely to wind
you up :P .
I've promised myself a singletrack capable machine as a stablemate to the Moulton but having disk brakes for the front is a deal breaker.
I'm not so sure about the rohloff so was looking forward to your impressions on this journey.
Something clicked on the back of my brain whilst looking at your pics.
I realise now it would have been wondering about the drop handlebars of the Sabbath as you've got mountain bike bars on the Pioneer.
I hope your going to find time to wet your line. I believe the fish bite better on overcast days as they're less visible to birds (I've heard).
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby BandedRail » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:13 pm

Hey Ron, have you got a line wet yet? Don't let the rain put you off (unless the river has gone Milo coloured of course). I've had some good luck in poor weather, maybe the trout are less likely to spot you.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:15 am

BandedRail wrote:Hey Ron, have you got a line wet yet? Don't let the rain put you off (unless the river has gone Milo coloured of course). I've had some good luck in poor weather, maybe the trout are less likely to spot you.

Yes, I tried the Waitaki River at Kurow, but got a bit lost in the maze of channels and couldn't find the good holes. I'll have another go in the Tekapo Canal tomorrow. Fingers crossed - local paper yesterday had a story about a 39lb trout caught in in the canal.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:24 am

rifraf wrote:I came across a Pioneer frame less expensive than full retail and had flights of imagination coupling it with a Surly fork for a bit of sacrilege purely to wind
you up :P .

It is indeed sacrilege to attach such a crude lump of iron to a Ti frame. That was the fork offered with the Sabbath frame - I told them to keep it, and bought a carbon-fibre Columbus Tusk Trekking fork in its place. The Sabbath has now completed the crossing of two passes on unsealed roads and has handled the going very well.

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My camp in the upper Hakataramea Valley, at the foot of the climb to the pass. That's the Dalgety Stream and the snow-capped Mt Dalgety in the background.
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Re: Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand...

Postby rifraf » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:43 pm

Now Ron, whilst your other half might not want to hear rumors of you wielding your rod around the NZ countryside, I
must remind you that this is the "Gone Fishin' tour of New Zealand..." :wink: :shock: :lol:
Time for some tales about the one that got away :idea: Those lures need to be put away wet....
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