Hello
Feb
26

We thought today might be a little bit ordinary but oh my goodness it was an awesome ride and will be on our list for the group next year. We started with breakfast at Port Chalmers which was a quirky little spot then incredibly beautiful views as we wound away from there to the inland. The countryside passed through lots of farmland and climbed into rugged rocky outcrops and red tussock high country with beautiful climbing and sweeping roads and corners as we skirted along the Dunstan Dam.  Aaahh! We climbed to a height of 950m above sea level through the Lindis Pass and add snow on peaks in view and it was all kinds of wonderful and then we got to Twizel which had the top temperature for the South Island today of 22c and the hotel we stayed at about 11 years ago with Harry & Lorraine Heathcote. The town has grown in that time.
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Breakfast at Port Chalmers and yes that really is a container port down at the bottom of the hill.
 A great view from the cemetery…. which the road to the lookout went straight through. All kinds of quirky.
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And a view from the Lookout.
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Views in all directions on the road as we progress.
On the road views.
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An historic bridge on the way.
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A view of Clyde below the Dunstan Dam.
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Cromwell.
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Snow in view as we ride.
 
Last nights’ accommodation:

Beechwood Boutique Accommodation
842 George Street
Dunedin NZ 9016
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A lovely little venue punching well above its weight with beautifully presented units tastefully furnished and decorated and finished to a high standard. Comfortable bed and opportunities to sit and be comfortable as well as be self-contained if you wanted. Parking on site without charge and immaculately clean. Cheerful and helpful owners and unlimited Wi-Fi. Well done!

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Feb
25

We headed to the Bill Richardson Transport World for breakfast which was a treat. Food in the Grille Café was delicious and the surrounds there and beyond whet my appetite for our return in 2020 which is saying something for me who really isn’t a fan of such places. From there we headed off on what is called the Scenic Coastal Route to Dunedin. The roads were just lovely to ride but apart from that we decided the title was a bit hopeful. There were a couple of pretty glimpses of the ocean and several waterfalls to check out (we looked at 2), some caves and lots of farmland with very attractive rolling green hills a lot like parts of Gippsland, some forest and rainforest areas and that was about it. I guess that’s pretty good really, but we expected more of the actual coast side of things after the title.

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Couldn’t leave Bill Richardson Transport World without a photo with the bikes (of course).

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Sheep everywhere.

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Horseshoe Falls.

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Matai Falls.

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The view from the Florence Hills Lookout.

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Quirky morning coffee stop and some others there told us they serve up the best fish and chips in the South Island. A bit early for us.

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A big area that experiences Tidal Flooding. Some repairs were underway where some areas of seal had lifted off.

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A big valley as we drop down from the hills and head into Dunedin. Check out the road on the other side of the valley, we were heading there.

Last nights’ accommodation:

Quest Invercargill Serviced Apartments

Cnr Dee & Tay Streets

Invercargill NZ 9810

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Lovely old Post Office building with modern self-contained serviced apartments fitted out within and nicely done. The shower was divine! Hot and plenty of pressure. Staff cheerful and helpful. Unlimited Wi-Fi, yay! Parking available onsite. Not undercover but there anyway. The bed was comfortable and lovely big window (brass frame) making it a light and airy space and the décor looks fresh and cheerful. A good refurb. Well done.


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Feb
24

We managed to have some breakfast and get rugged up before the rain started and thankfully got very little of it all day, but we discovered a dusting of snow was left on the surrounding peaks overnight which the locals tell us is unseasonal for this time of year here. In any case it was freezing cold and we were grateful for the multiple layers of clothing we had on. Having said that for the most part we managed to ride in front of, behind or beside the worst of the rain so encountered very little throughout the day and were treated to magnificent stormy and colourful skies in all directions as well as reflected views in water when beside it. Wow!

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More stunning examples of limestone country.

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Clifden Suspension bridge built in 1898 and had the longest single span of any bridge in NZ at the time (111.5m).

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Looks like more good weather ahead!

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A cute house as we seek out a view of Monkey Island.

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And there’s Monkey Island.

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A quirky bus stop in Colac Bay.

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The Bluff Beacon. The Bluff was established in 1824 and is all things Port … still.

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Quirky Art Deco Café at the Bluff where we had some lunch.

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And coming back down from the Bluff Lookout. Saw lots of pushbike riders pushing their bikes up, I’m glad we didn’t meet any coming down as we were going up.

 Last 2 nights’ accommodation:

Lakeside Motel and Apartments

3 Lakefront Drive

Te Anau NZ

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A lovely spot to drop for a couple of nights. A short few minutes’ walk to the rest of town and dining and shop options. We are in a 1 Bedroom Non-smoking kitchen unit with a lakefront view and it’s just lovely. Older than some we have had but clean and functional and beautifully presented. Guest laundry. Free and fast Wi-Fi so a big plus for me. Plenty of level parking on site without charge and cheerful staff to deal with. What more could a traveller want? Nothing I say!


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Feb
23

Well we have travelled to Milford Sound via coach years ago, but I guess the view looked like lots of cliff faces but the ride meant we could see all the peaks and mountains and oh my goodness what a treat. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Milford Sound.

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The old and new side by side – Tutoko Bridge, the whole road is incredible infrastructure investment and effort!

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And then there is a tunnel which has operating traffic lights from 8pm to 6am! Good luck after that. On the Te Anaua side (this side) the tunnel entrance is 2,300 feet above sea level and after an initial incline is all downhill.

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And this is the Milford Sound side. The little shed thing in the background is the start of the tunnel from this side.

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Yep that’s snow again.

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And a stop at Falls Creek was incredible and didn’t know which way to look. Decided to show you this one.

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And then on the way back into Te Anaua is Lake Gunn.


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Feb
23

Well we have travelled to Milford Sound via coach years ago, but I guess the view looked like lots of cliff faces but the ride meant we could see all the peaks and mountains and oh my goodness what a treat. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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What a great view from our room this morning.

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A lesson in feeling insignificant … not a bad lesson for anyone.

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Typically, awesome view and yes that is snow and we were well rugged up because it was freezing!

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The Chasm sculpted and moulded over many years. Nothing does it justice. I put his in because one of the little pools had rocks in it which will continue to sculpt and mould and then I saw the reflection of the tree above. Just perfect.

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And a shot of the galloping waters above the Chasm.

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Lunch at Milford Sound, typical, Norm is eating, and I’ve been off getting photos.


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Feb
22

Such a privilege to be able to ride my bike through and experience the magnificent views all through this country.

Spectacular mountain ranges all round, glacial valleys of varying depths and ruggedness, rolling hills and lowlands put to productive use in diverse agricultural pursuits, not to mention lush fern, conifer and ancient beech forests throughout and water, oh my goodness so much water in small streams, raging rivers, spectacular waterfalls and small and large lakes.

A truly soul restoring healing experience. I remember this from previous visits.

It is enough to just sit and inhale and exhale and enjoy the view.


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Feb
22

Cannot believe the mushroom development of accommodation houses of all description here in Queenstown and surrounds since we were last here as well as whole new suburbs. The building industry is obviously booming here.

We enjoyed our Gondola ride and dinner at the Stratosphere Restaurant in the Skyline Tower last night which was very nice then it was back to the hotel and another good sleep and off to Te Anau this morning. We had breakfast at Athol then I headed for Te Anau and Norm headed for Invercargill where he had arranged to get his front tyre replaced and new rear brake pads. The seal on the NZ roads is much larger stones and faster wear and the grip is great but much rumblier than at home, sounds a bit like a four-wheel drive with their knobby tyres. His brake pads were supposed to be replaced before we left home so glad that has been done also. The bonus is we found a knowledgeable and ‘can-do bike team’ at Invercargill so good for future reference as well. He also visited an incredible Museum there which was full of incredible collections, previously privately held. There were international travellers there who seek these things out internationally and told Norm they have never seen anything like it! The bonus for me was that Norm took my non functioning phone and got it sorted on Invercargill as well. He is a can-do guy as well, think I’ll have to keep him! The km count includes Norm’s extra travel as of course it would.

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View of the Gondola from the bar in the Skyline Tower last night while we waited for our table.

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And another view from the tower.

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And an early morning view as we head out of Queenstown. What an awesome sight it had been prior to this as we rode past the Remarkables. Norm finally managed a shot here.

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Main Street Te Anau. A very attractive little village.

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And one of my bike at the waterfront.

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A line up of Bedford’s at the Museum … but missing a 1948 one the same as one we have at home.

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And some specie convertibles.

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And the star of the Museum a TEXACO fuel truck. Very representative of the Art Deco period.

Last 3 nights’ accommodation:

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

32 Frankton Road

Queenstown NZ 9300

Mmm, forgot to take a hotel pic so Google it if you want one.

What a lovely space to spend a few nights. Comfortable room with good facilities. All sorts of things on site, restaurants, laundry, car parking (and not too steep to get to with the bikes), restaurant with awesome food and awesome views as well as room service and staff who are incredibly cheerful and helpful. Fast unlimited Wi-Fi. We have made good use of the complimentary shuttle bus to and from the CBD.


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Feb
21

Another sunny morning and we headed to Arrowtown for breakfast and then headed to Arthurs Point where the Shotover jet boat rides start. All sorts of specie scenery along the way. From there we headed for Glenorchy (now sealed all the way). Tonight, we will take a Gondola ride to the Stratosphere Restaurant in the Skyline Tower. Pics tomorrow.

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Breakfast in Arrowtown at the Postmasters House. Yummo.

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Appropriate park up spot for the bikes.

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More Arrowtown.

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And again.

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On the way to Arthurs Point. Wow.

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Arthurs Point and the bridge over the Shotover River, or in this spot more like a canyon.

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A view across Lake Wakatipu from Wilsons Recreation Reserve on the way to Glenorchy. Very windy as you may be able to tell from the waves.

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And yes, that answers the question, these are the 2 islands in the lake we saw from the peak yesterday and we forgot to ask if it was still Lake Wakatipu so yes, it is because here they are.

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And a coffee at Glenorchy.


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Feb
20

Well we slept in, had a delicious brunch on the waterfront then headed to the airport for a helicopter flight which we both loved. All kinds of magical and would love to do it again. The views were incredible, and we landed on a ridge which in the winter has 4m of snow on it then onto the TSS Earnslaw and over to the Walter Peak High Country Station for a BBQ dinner and farm tour which was great also.

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So, this is the Queenstown version of a beach on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. A surprising number of swimmers and sunbakers … but it did get to 30 today.

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Barely taken off from the airport.

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Incredible views on the way as we climb over 5,000 feet.

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On top of the mountain.

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And rewarded with a great view.

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More awesome views.

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Then onto the TSS Earnslaw, a great working steam ship. This is moored at the Station.

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And the lovely property which runs sheep and angus cattle and a thriving tourism business and do it all very well.


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Feb
19

Well West Coast South Island of New Zealand is very similar to the West Coat of Tasmania i.e. rains for 9 months of the year and drips off the tree for the other 3 … well today was one of the 9 months. Wet wet and more wet for at least 2/3 of the trip then we got ahead of it and even found sunshine heading into Queenstown! Before then we benefitted from the heavy rain overnight and saw hundreds of waterfalls, some looking like a white ribbon across a mountainside, others like a fine gossamer veil down a mountainside, sometimes onto the road we rode by and others thundering to the rivers below. All kinds of wonderful. We were grateful for all the wet weather gear we carry.

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Breakfast at Fox Glacier township. A very quirky building.  Heaps of 1-way bridges in NZ and certainly here in the South Island. Some work considerations in the sign below.

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Lots of 1-lane bridges in NZ especially in the west of the south ialand. Here is some industry information on one of them.

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Roaring Billy Waterfall, aptly named, the roar was audible way before we got anywhere near it.

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Lake Wanaka, an awesome sight.

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Bradrona, a National Breast Cancer Foundation initiative outside of Cardrona.

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Norm.

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The Cardona Hotel, Google Speights Brewery ads, there is a ripper at the hotel.   All sorts of cute check it out.

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And if we were here in the snow … not that I want to be.

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Finally, in Queenstown and this is Ballarat Street … an incredibly steep street down to the waterfront.

Last nights’ accommodation:

Alpine Glacier Motel

17 Cron Street

Franz Josef Glacier NZ 7856

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One street back from the main road and handy to several dining spots. Warm and welcoming suite. Helpful management but Wi-Fi useless. Plenty of room to spread out plus a couple of arm chairs and a balcony if it wasn’t raining. Comfortable bed and capacity to get the wet gear dry on heated towell rails so worked well after getting wet in the afternoon.


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