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New Zealand, South Island Bike Tour, February 2015

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
New Zealand, South Island Bike Tour, February 2015


I'm planning to ride around the NZ South Island for a month, a friend of mine will go with me for the 3 first weeks.
We'll arrive on the 01st of February in Wellington.
Then the plan is to bike to Blenheim. Take the bus to Dunedin with a stopover in Christchurch. To ride across the Catlins. Come back by bus to Dunedin in order to ride on the Otago Central Rail Trail. From Queenstown, to ride to go to Makarora. A bus leap to the Franz Josef Glacier. From this point, i'm on my own. So i'll get to Westport (Buller Gorge) by bike. Catch a bus to Nelson. And ride my last days across the Marlborough, in order to get my plane from Wellington on the 27th.

If you will be around, keen sharing few kilometers, a piece of grass for our tent, an amazing moment on this incredible island... or hosts minding having 2 french guests (only one from the 18th); give a shout.

Season's greeting to all.
Take care


WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
South Island trip

Hi Manu,

My wife Mika and I have done most of your trip in reverse last month.
I understand you have a tent - if not the accommodation in the Otago Rail Trail may prove difficult. The trail is very popular and it is now main holiday season.
If you're not afraid of a good hill, it would be a shame to miss out the Makarora to Haast section. It's about 80km in one day with one major climb, and it's even better if it's raining with all the waterfalls!
Also consider spending two days on the West Coast Wilderness Trail (Hokitika - Greymouth). See information on Good gravel tracks, away from the main road so no traffic to worry about.

Last suggestion - wear a bright coloured top and be seen. too often we see cycle tourists in dark shirts, hardly visible when cycling in the shade.

enjoy your trip!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真

Hi Hans,

Many thanks for your answer.

Ok, i add the Makarora-Haast in my cycling part. Moreover we will cycle in the opposite way to yours so it should be mainly a descent to the seaside :)

I didn't get your point about the Otago Rail Trail, do you think it will be too crowded? Only the accommodations or the track as well?
I was wondering to ride or not on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. But i'm a bit running out of days...
My main interrogation on my journey is about the Otago Central Rail Trail. Because, from Dunedin, we're going first to Invercargill through the Catlins, then going back to Dunedin (by bus) in order to ride the Otago Rail Trail. It may make sense to go directly to Queenstown from Invercargill. Therefore i get 2 more days.
Anyone could tell me more about the road Invercargill-Queenstown ?

I should be in Nelson around the 22nd February. Hope i can offer you a drink.

Cheers and Merry Christmas

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
We are going to cycle from

We are going to cycle from Queenstown to Invercargill via the Mavora Lakes road next week so can give you some feedback on this shortly. We have done Lumsden to Queenstown before and this is on the main road. Traffic was not bad and it was scenic but the lakes road may be a quieter and more enjoyable option, although you need to book passage on the boat across Lake Wakatipu.

You would be best to catch the train from Wingatui outside of Mosgiel to the station about 15km from the start of the Rail Trail, missing some otherwise less interesting riding and saving a day or two. This also takes you via the Tairi Gorge in the train which you would miss otherwise. The Rail Trail will not be crowded in terms of cycles on it but as mentioned, the accommodation may be an issue if you don't camp, although the holiday season for NZers is over by this date and the kids are back in school.

If you are going to get to Westport, I would suggest you carry on through the Buller Gorge to Murchison (2 days riding). The Buller Gorge is one of the most scenic rides I have done in NZ.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真

Thanks a lot Steve for your tips.
When you write "Rail Trail", you're talking about the Central Otago one, aren't you?

You're not the first telling me how great is the Buller Gorge! So let's ride over there!
from Greymouth to the Buller Gorge, which ride is the best between Westport (sea side) or Reefton (river side)?

Enjoy your ride

WS Member ユーザー DavidRosenberg123 の写真
starting in Christchurch

I am landing next week in Christchurch to do a similar ride...
From reading your comments, do you suggest blowing off the bit from Christchurch and taking a bus or something down to the start of the rail trail...and then do the rail trail(s)) toward queenstown (and then from there west and then north?

I'm camping...



WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Depends on how long you have.

Depends on how long you have. It is about 500-600km from Christchurch to Cromwell/Clyde so it will take you many days. Some of them have good scenery. Avoid taking the SH1 road south of Christchurch if you do cycle it. Take the scenic route to Methven and south to Geraldine.

If you are limited for time, take a bus to Queenstown (use Atomic shuttles as they also carry cycles) and ride back through the Kawerau Gorge to Cromwell and then to Clyde.

Or bus to Dunedin, catch the train at Wingatui to the start of the Rail Trail and cycle on to Queenstown after. From there, cycle back a small distance and over the Crown Range and carry on west and north along the West Coast.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Invercargill to Queenstown

Invercargill to Queenstown via the Mavora Lakes...

Well worth the effort. Invercargill to Mossburn will be a bit of a bore since it is on the plains and passing through farmland. We actually took the road from Mossburn to Lumsden, then followed the river on the west bank towards Invercargill (We did the ride in reverse).

From Mossburn to the Mavora Lakes you cycle 20km on seal then onto 30km of gravel road, not very interesting at first but getting better as you get close to the hills and lakes. Camp at the lakes and carry on to Walter Peak Station to catch the boat to Queenstown. Great day of riding. Climb gradually to a rolling plateau, then a steep descent and follow the river valley to the lake shore of L. Wakatipu and onto Walter Peak Station. Wonderful scenery.

I will be posting my journal on crazyguyonabike shortly, along with photos.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Yes the Otago rail trail.The

Yes the Otago rail trail.
Ride along the coast to Westport then the gorge.

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