Category Archives: 01_New Zealand 2011/2012

Falling in love with the wild South Island


Time is running and we do not have much of internet connection available, way too many photos to analyze and then to share with you. At the moment the backlog is 1400 pictures… there is not much time for that… but will be… hopefully in the close future ;) now it is already 11AM and a long day riding and some great remote passes are awaiting for us, so we have to hurry again. Believe it or not we run through a lot of stress here!

The following we wrote somewhere in the mountains a week ago. Have a look:

December, 18th  – Falling in love with the wilder South Island

We left Christchurch behind with new destination: Akaroa, part of the Onawe Island. Beautiful clear weather and a nice summit road with limited numbers of caravans made it an enjoyable stay for a night and some trips around. Surprisingly on the way out of there, we met again our two “Aussi-friends”, Marc and Adam once again which we met b4 in Hamner Springs; this time with their new company, Karl, who just arrived from Germany, Solingen. We exchanged some news, said once more good bye and continuing our way direction mountains.

Again we were very lucky with the weather, when we passed Mt Hutt and settled for the night close to Geraldine on a small DOC (Department of Conservation) camp at the riverside. Lightening a fire and seen big green eyes out it in the dark, OPOSSUMS! (everybody hates them here because they eat everything, including the last Kiwis), we enjoyed the wilderness…

Unfortunately the next morning we were completely covered in fog – everything was WET and you only could see silhouettes. Nevertheless we decided to stick to our plan going the highest mountain of NZ: Mt Cook, 3794m. The ride was nearly a blind flight… fog, rain, thunder… bloody hell. In Lake Tekapo we had a stop to take gas, still raining but clearing up a bit. So we continued. 20km before Mt Cook village we were completely wet, it started thundering and we could not even imagine a mountain from the view, we decided to turn back. We had a night in Twizel to dry out and the next day the sky cleared up. At noon we reached Mt Cook village and we spend a wonderful day riding to the glaciers and tramping to the glaciers. It was amazing!!!

We want more of these!!! The plan was to do the Thomson’s track close to Cromwell the next day. Brrrrr, waking up with heavy rain and wet feet in the tent we were not in such a good mode. What to do? Packing everything together! Nobody knows when the rain will stop again up here in the mountains.

Trying to escape the rain and freezing, brrrrr we were caught with speeding by the police – lovely day! In the end we found a nice little camp on an Vineyard, rented a workers cabin to get dry out everything again…

Thomson’s track second try: An incredible wonderful day hard to describe with words!!! Enjoy the pictures if you like –we were just fascinated by the landscape which we crossed on the gravel road (We had our first river crossings… more on YouTube later on)… But this was not the end of this lovely day: we chosen a doc camp north of Queenstown to stay, Skippers School. There was another breathless gravel road waiting for us (another 40km offrad!) We stayed the night alone, shared with birds, rabbits and possums up there in the mountains. Soooooo beautiful!!!

Today we crossed Queenstown, checking out the ferry for tomorrow which will bring us to the next gravel pass, starting at Walter Peek station and going direction Te Anau. We did some shopping, had some chats and now we are sitting in the Kinloch camp at the very north of the biggest lake of NZ: Wakatipu, in the shadow of the snowed mountains. It is quite windy currently up here, but actually we are happy about that because her are millions and billions of sandflies around and the wind pushes at least some of these monsters away! Anyhow to survive these bloody sandflies at the South Island we change the repellent frequently.

Last statement for today: The time is running MUCH TO FAST HERE!!!



Time to go to the South Island – stormy welcome

We spend another day with lovely Lynnie in Wellington before we took the ferry direction South Island. Unfortunately it was grey and rainy and the same way the South Island welcomed us.
Ignoring the rain we went the direction which was planned: North!

Next day the weather looked much better again and we went up to Farwell Split and spend a great time on the hidden campsite at the very end of a gravel road, Wharariki Beach. In the middle of green hills close to endless wide white sand beaches amazing rocks and many seals were waiting for us. The owner of the campsite gave us a contact where we can get a new back tire and as a good bye he passed us a big pack of fresh fish for our next dinner which we had in Abel Tasman, Totaranui – yummy, but therefor we got tortured by sandflies – autsch! We will need to get different repellent!!! Nevertheless it is a beautiful place with a lot of tramping possibilities and many small yellow sand beaches and rocks for fishing.
Further on the way to the mountains we had an appointment to get a new back tire in Nelson. After the change and giving a helping hand to a BMW driver ;-) we stayed the night at the mountain lake Rotoiti in St Arnaud. Unfortunately we had to change our planned route cause all gravel passes are still closed until after the Boxing Day… so we went over the Lewis Pass to Hanmer Springs and enjoyed the hot pool springs up there in the mountains. On the camp site our neighbors were two “Aussis”, Marc and Adam with their bikes and a Scottish guy living in South Africa – we spend a nice evening with stories wine and beers together.
An incredible clear day were waiting for us and as we had the possibility to stay not that far away a night in Christchurch at the place of Warren and Lex we could chose interesting mountain tracks and the nice little gravel coast roads to get there.
Warren and Lex welcomed us warmly and invited us for dinner. We had a wonderful sleep in a cozy warm bed and having fresh washed nice smelling clothes again!!! THANK YOU! They offered us to stay as long as we want but as the time is passing so quickly we need to go ahead… so much more to see!!!
We just recognized they put the new tire the wrong way up… Sascha just left to a close garage to get it done the right way. Hopefully they can do it quickly. Actually it is not that easy here in Christchurch after the earth quakes. Many shops are still closed or having reduced opening times or opened temporary business in different places. It will take a while until life will get to “normal” here again…

Apropos normal! Last but not least: Sascha´s face is back to 99%! Thanks to all of you crossing fingers here!!!