Author Topic: MrKiwi Rides South Again  (Read 534 times)

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MrKiwi

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MrKiwi Rides South Again
« on: April 02, 2017, 22:55:13 »
Hi all

Over the last four days I did a road trip with four other friends down the West Coast of the South Island. I will write up the trip over this coming week, but here is a picture that sums up how good the ride was...





The route we took was:
Day one - 9:00am ferry from Wellington to Picton, arriving midday. Due to road works on the alternative route to State Highway 1, because SH1 is still closed from the November earthquakes, we rode the scenic route to Nelson, then down to Greymouth on the West Coast via Refton. 421 km for the afternoon ride.


Day Two we rode from Greymouth south to Fox Glacier. One otehr ride and I then rode from Fox Glacier to the furthermost point by road on the West Coast to Jackson Bay and back again. Days ride of 535 km.


Day Three we rode from Fox up the coast to Westport and then up to Motueka (by Nelson). 531 km.


Last day (yesterday) a short ride across the top of the South Island to Picton 195km, and then the ferry back to Wellington to be met by rain! 




« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 13:37:44 by MrKiwi »
MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 23:17:25 »
Day One

Wellington dawned cloaked in fog. It usually happens this time of year when the windy city becomes for a day or two or three free from wind and a fog rolls in off the sea from the south. The airport had been closed for two days and I had been one of the last flights into Wellington two days earlier. Just as well I cancelled some work meetings so I could get back home.

On the ferry in the middle of Cook Strait. Wellington is somewhere back there



But looking the way we were heading, the weather was quite different, this was looking better.



And so it proved. We enjoyed warm riding in about 26 degrees. Stopping off for a coffee break late afternoon in Murchison.






By the time we got to Greymouth on the West Coast, it was late and the cloud had again rolled in. On the trip were three beemers, one Moto Guzzi and the lone Africa Twin. As it turned out the two bikes that people stopped to look at and talk about were the R100RS and the AT.



« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 13:39:44 by MrKiwi »
MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 23:18:51 »
The AT looking good.




MrKiwi
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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 05:42:29 »
Day Two

First up a short 39 km ride from Greymouth to Hokitika for breakfast. Then a further 157 kms to Fox Glacier, our location for the night. One of the other riders (the Moto Guzzi rider) and I decide we will go the rest of the way to the southern most point by road along the West Coast, to a place called Jackson Bay. They make very nice beer battered fish and chips, the fish being freshly caught Blue Cod. Yum yum yum. This extra trip was another 170km south and then 170km back for the day. Total day was 536 kms or there about.

Google map - https://www.google.co.nz/maps/dir/Jackson+Bay,+West+Coast/Greymouth/@-43.2472105,169.3511781,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x6cd4dc9eca4158b7:0x500ef8684797a00!2m2!1d168.6124011!2d-43.9720898!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d2f3fd94dd51053:0x500ef86847972a0!2m2!1d171.2107623!2d-42.4503925?hl=en
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 13:40:18 by MrKiwi »
MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 06:07:41 »
The day dawned grey and dull, but mild. Time to pack the bikes and begin the day.


After breakfast we rode for about 50 minutes to a little town called Hari Hari.  The town itself is run down and the cafe options for coffee is limited.


But south of the town the road gets interesting. Lots of twisty sections and bush clad road sides.


The Southern Alps gets closer to the West Coast from here south.


This is the start of the glorious section of the West Coast for me, from this point south there are few cars and the road is like this for mile after mile.



I love these road signs  ;D


The road goes inland a little bit and passes by a number of small, very cold, lakes.



More mountains



The town of Fox is very nice, albeit often very wet as the Southern Alps are the closest to the sea at this point. The average rain fall is several metres a year.






« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 13:44:41 by MrKiwi »
MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 06:15:38 »
From here, we left three riders behind and the AT was joined by a Moto Guzzie for the run down to Jackson Bay.


Those fish and chips, mmmmmm - so yummy



The roads were dry until about 10 km out from the end of the road. So it was time to put the wet weather gear on.



On the way back I stopped at a passing bay on a long one way bridge over the Haast River. This is lookign up towards the Southern Alps, hiding behind those pesky clouds.



Further up the road is Bruce Bay








Then back to the motel



followed by dinner at one of the local pubs. I had smoked salmon salad. Very nice.



MrKiwi
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zebulon

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 08:49:18 »
Stunning David, thank you very much  VCIF_ThumbUp
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JosepM

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 09:49:02 »
Nice to see these largely unspoiled landscapes! Thank you!  :)

Josep

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 10:19:59 »
Still more to come
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meine dicke

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 10:28:59 »
Nice pics,

but who is talking bad about the weather in Germany at 700 m msl ;D ?


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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 00:05:24 »
Day three saw us return back up the way we had come.


The best aspect of a ride along the West Coast of the South Island is that it looks different each way. So when you get to the bottom you have the choice of riding across Haast Pass and coming up the east coast, highly recommended but a longer ride, or coming back the way you came. This is what we did.


It was going to be a full day as we wanted to get to Motueka (by Nelson) by the day's end for an easy ride back to the ferry on Sunday. Little did we know how long this day would be.


It started well. A short run from Fox Glacier to Franz Glacier. The weather was much the same as the day before, but a cloud base was higher, granting us slightly better views of the mountains. This is taken just out of Fox.



Breakfast at Franz is always good, they have some really nice cafe's as you might expect from one of the more touristy places on the coast. We then rode about an hour north for coffee top at Ross, famous for its gold mining. It is, however, a run down town as all the gold wealth goes elsewhere.


My four riding buddies






This house is on the main coastal road in Ross, quite the character


MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 00:19:04 »
Our aim was to get to Westport for lunch. Once you ride through Greymouth heading north, the route along the coast is about a 100km stretch with no options other than the way you are going or turn back. Way am I saying this.  Because about a little over half way along this bit of the road we came across an accident.


Another group of riders coming the other way had been group overtkaing vehicles (that is, as opposed to each over taking in turn, they were two or three abreast overtaking vehicles). While I am reluctant to stereotype, lets just say these riders were big overweight men in patch clothing riding Harley's. Their style of riding didn't leave a van driver any any options and he clipped one of the riders who came off much worse than the driver did. The driver of the van was traumatized, the bike rider had two broken legs, a broken arm and internal injuries. We had to wait for a helicopter to arrive for the injured bike rider to be flown to Christchurch hospital for emergency treatment.





While I can't condone the actions of the motorcyclists in this instance, it was nevertheless a sobering reminder of how vulnerable we can be on bikes.


To help pass the time while we waited for the helicopter (this was the quickest option as due to where we were to go back the way we came to take an alternative route would add two hours to the day, as it was we waited 90 minutes) the guys did the cryptic crossword. My brain is not unhinged enough to be able to do a cryptic crossword.





Once going again we reached Westport nearly two hours behind the time we wanted, so lunch was readily consumed to appease our rumbling tummies. Heading to Westport





Then we headed for Motueka. The route form Westport takes us back east up through the Buller gorge, a stunning ride. This section of the trip is a very nice way to finish off a West Coast trip.



You cross a few one way bridges along the gorge








MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 00:22:49 »
Sunday was a short 190 km ride to Picton along the Queen Charlotte Drive route. It is a slow ride, with lots of sharp slow corners. I didn't stop to take pictures as there were not many places one can stop, it being a narrow road and the traffic was quite high.


Picton itself is a port town. It survives solely to it being the Stateway 1 link between the South and North Islands.


Looking down on Picton




MrKiwi
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MrKiwi

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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 00:23:43 »
And that ends this ride report.


If any of you get to come to New Zealand and have time to ride a bike, the West Coast of the South Island is highly recommended.
MrKiwi
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Re: MrKiwi Rides South Again
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 10:55:01 »
And that ends this ride report.


If any of you get to come to New Zealand and have time to ride a bike, the West Coast of the South Island is highly recommended.

Tnx for sharing. Two things:

1. Yes, I will.
2. Why are you Kiwi's using those horrible ugly numberplates on motorbikes?  :o
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