Category Archives: 01_New Zealand 2011/2012

New Year at the Pancake Rocks. Driving the famous Rainbow and Molesworth and Saying Good Bye to the South Island

Escaping the rain we shortly decided to change the coast on the 31st of December, crossed the South Island via Lewis Pass and were celebrating the New Year finally at the Pancake Rocks Beach in Punakaki under the stars!

Being back at the west coast, sunny and hot, we took the chance to see what we haven’t seen yet over here: Greymouth, Westport, Karamera spending the night in the most northern point, at magical Kohaihai Beach. An incredible ride between beautiful beaches with great waves and rocks and the rainforest on the other side – hard to describe so much beauty.

In the middle of the the road we did some Underworld Cave Rafting. We wend 5 hours through a fantastic cave-system, 50% in the water 50% walking and in the end of the trip we rafted down a river for 2 km. That was just awesome. Have a look at the pics (this time we uploaded some more than usual)

Now it was time for the famous “Rainbow Road” and the “Molesworth Pass”! Starting in Murchison we went to Saint Arnaud with a cloudy sky and a few raindrops. Starting to drive the Rainbow Road with less and less clouds but a very muddy slippery forest road. Slipping more than driving with all the gears on and passing the first ford (0.5m deep) with big round stones and holes while nearly going for a swim we reached finally she station. The ranger told us the road will be better from now on – we hoped he is right so! But not really – the ^road^ was an adventure, fords with wild water had to be crossed, Cows everywhere on the street… Just what we choose. Have a look at the amazing pictures.

It was an exciting trip for both of us passing all this fords and in the end of the day we reached Hanmer Springs. People everywhere and packed camp sides we decided to do the first 25 km on the Molesworth  Pass until the first station Acheron. With a clear blue sky we went up early and were enjoying the whole day in this fairy tale landscape: green hills, covered with blue lupines rocky mountains in the background along the river sides… sooo beautiful.

On the road we met again and again up with Heike, Martin and their 1 year old sun Max from Germany traveling around in their modified Landrover and we decided to meet probably for the night at the Whites Bay close to Picton. When we reached the campsite they were waiting already with a cold beer for us – GREAT!!! We spend a lovely night together and finally met up again on the Ferry to Wellington the next day where we had a sweet entertainment with little Max!

The arrival in Wellington was quite cold, windy and cloudy but as we could drive directly to Makara, to Lynnie’s and Dean’s place we did not worry. Arrived, again warm welcomed in their warm house and having the chance for a cleanup and catching up here on mails, new tires, shipping the bike…

Walter Peak, Fjordland, Sandflies, Glowworms and a reunion

VERY SOUTH – and going ZigZag the Passes

Heading south we spend a night under the oldest suspension bridge of NZ, where we met surprisingly the couple on their bicycles from Walter Peak again –RESPECT! We continued south on small coast roads and ended it up in Curio Bay. A lovely simple private nature camp site, where you can meet penguins and seals… and if you wake up early enough you can go for a swim with the dolphins and their youngsters in the bay – like Kerstin DID ;-) and will never forget!!!

Enjoying the Catlins we had a stop at the “Curios Gallery”, something you have to have a look at if you are around: IT IS REALLY CURIOUS – and fun!

X-mas we skipped more or less – just spending it going up the east coast, passing Duniden and cooking in the evening our regular camp dinner: 2 minutes rice, with fresh asparagus, mushrooms, chicken and a glass of wine – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

On the Boxing Day we had the streets more or less for our self – of we went to go on the Danseys Pass which goes to the goldfield town of Naseby – great off road mountain track. Additional we did the loop to the blue Lake.

Another beautiful day was waiting for us while going up over the Arrow Junction to Wanaka and spending the night at the lake.

The West Coast was waiting for us… long sandy beaches left hand and rainforest to the right going up to the glaciers. Again incredible nature all in one!

The Arthurs Pass is one of the MUST DO for us. Beautiful, mountains, Keas AND another Africa Twin at the side of the street, UPPSPSSS what´s that? The AT was never sold in NZ. So we had a chat with the owner who imported it from UK…

On the way back to the east coast the weather was changing slowly to gray and rain so we ended up the first time in a hostel double room in Kaikoura. Hard to find any dry place at this time between Chrismas and New Year – but we took the chance to sort out our pictures and update the bolg. Beside we enjoyed of course the day with relaxing, gambling and cooking in a good equipped kitchen.

The New Year is close… we do not know where we will be again, just hoping the rain will stop and then we will see…

Fjordland,  Sandlies, Glowworms  and a reunion

After escaping the sandflies and having a great ride at the lake side in the early morning we came back to Queenstown to catch our steamboat taking us over to Walter Peak. It took 45 minutes with this boat to cross the lake with wonderful views and lot of learning about this machine. All was original, powered with coal and steam… great piece of steel!

Walter Peak is a farm, running mostly for tourism nowadays so we preferred to go straight on the track – 90km unsealed road. Lovely weather, great landscapes and the only people we met was a couple on their bicycles.  We reached Te Anau in the Fjordland at the end of the day.

On the way to Milford Sound we had a nice reunion with David, who is travelling with his BMW already for 2,5 years around the world. We went together to Milford Sound and had a lovely time together, listening interesting stories and trying to ignore the sandflies attacks. On the way back we said good bye to David to have a closer look at the Glowworm Caves in Te Anau.