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International Touring New Zealand

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Roarin, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Been browsing this sub forum a bit lately, and noticed a bit of interest in touring NZ. I started a bit of a ride report a few months ago, well, 72 odd months ago to be precise, but got a tad crotchety at one point, and lost interest for said few months. You can read about it here. https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=66367#.T9L0qdVg4-A
    Sorry about that Carver. I think I vaguely remember meeting you in person and maybe apologising, but if my memory is not entirely correct, and I didn't, I'm apologising again.
    So I thought that seeing I now no longer have a dial up www dot interwebs connection, I might update the pictures with larger sized ones, and embed them for your viewing pleasure.
    Any moderators who feel this may be a bad idea, step up now, post your displeasure or opposition to this going ahead, and hopefully we will avoid any harsh words, and time wasting. All good?


     
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  2. wait you did it on a VFR400R???

    Must see pics for evidence!!
     
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  3. Sure did. A week in Hospital, about 3 weeks on the road, and 10,000kms added to the speedo :)
     
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  4. Okay, I'll just start at the pictures bit. First part is words only.

    Next morning finds me at the shipping yard in Christchurch to collect my bike. Rego is already organised but a small wait for the dude doing the roadworthy (or warrant of fitness as they are called in Un Zud) has me getting itchy feet. Pretty good service though I must admit. Damn good value too I must say. Nothing like riding your own bike shod with your favourite tyres in my book.

    And so the adventure begins. Ready to go then? Straight into it my friends. No buggering about here let me tell you.
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    400Start by speedync, on Flickr

    Now during the course of my travels I usually get around 180-200kms on a tank before I hit reserve. And that’s not exactly mucking around. So you can imagine my panic when the bike started sputtering & died at exactly 145kms. You must be kidding. Can’t have burnt 12+ litres of fuel already. That’s buggered me holiday. Broken the bike within an hour. Phark phark phark phark. Sit for a minute on the side of the road contemplating the meaning of life. Hmmm. I wonder. Flick the reserve switch, hit the starter & she kicks back into life. Hahahahaha. Must slow down a bit hey. Still 3 weeks & 6 ½ days to go.

    Didn’t seem to have too much of an effect though. For only about 10 kms down the road I had a nice policeman waving to me. Still don’t know what he wanted to talk about cause I didn’t stop to find out. I had places to go & things to see.

    They must be real friendly policemen over there. Cause I had the same experience another couple of times over the next 9000 odd kays.
    I guess I may have given an unsociable type impression during my time there, but I don’t mind a bit of a yarn -honestly –as long as the time & place is right. Like sitting in a bar at the end of the day with a beer in hand. Not on the side of the road. That’s wasting good riding time my friends.

    Now where were we? Aah yes. On our way. Heading up over Arthurs Pass
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    Arthurs Pass1 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Arthurs Pass2 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Road works by speedync, on Flickr
    One more for good luck
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    Otira viaduct by speedync, on Flickr
    Can you tell I was quite impressed with that feat of engineering?
    Let me tell you that’s one wicked piece of road. As my fuel economy will attest to. Or lack thereof.
     
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  5. On to Greymouth
    7353055074_32e0299337_b.
    Greymouth by speedync, on Flickr
    Now one thing I must say is that I am a shithouse photographer. Well -maybe not that bad, but I have to confess -you are not really getting the best of the scenery. Cause I struggle to stop to take photos. That’s wasting good riding time you see. So unfortunately you are not getting a true representation. Sad but true.

    I’m also not going to bore you all with an account of every single days riding. So from here on in I’ll just post a few photos & tell you the best bits of road to ride if you ever happen to be in that neck of the woods. Grab yourself a map & mark these routes on it. Your life depends upon it. Trust me. Well, maybe not –but you’ll be sorry if you don’t.
    Greymouth to Westport. Absolutely brilliant 100kms of coastal twisties.
    Wesport to Karamea & back. 200kms of nonstop corners & elevation changes that would put Reefton to shame. Honest mate fair dinkum. Its not that good –it’s better.

    From Westport head up the lower & upper Buller gorges to Murchison. 90 odd kays of never ending 140-150km/hr sweepers. Dispatched in record time. Responsible for this
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    15minuteswork by speedync, on Flickr
    Hmmm. Must remember to ease off a tad, and conserve the treads a bit. Nah, b#gger that. Plenty of tyre shops around the place.
    Spotted this whilst I was there. A naked Blackbird. How cool is that?
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    DSCF0006 by speedync, on Flickr
     
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  6. From there a nice loop back to Reefton (yes there is one there) & back to Greymouth. And onto the West Coast.

    All I can say about the West Coast is that it is the most beautiful & picturesque countryside I have ever seen. Words & photos simply can not do it justice. I won’t even try. Combine it with some of the best winding roads you have ever laid eyes on & you have what I can best describe as heaven. But I did manage to stop & take the odd photo.

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    ominous by speedync, on Flickr
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    Westcoastrd by speedync, on Flickr
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    Westcoastbridge by speedync, on Flickr
    Inadequate I know.
     
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  7. And on to the Franz Joseph & Fox glaciers. I only managed to take photos of the Fox for some weird reason. I actually managed to stop for a bit, and go for a bit of a walk up to the Glacier, and get a closer look. As is typical of the current politically correct, environmentally friendly tree hugging trends that are now so prevalent, it was all barrier taped and fenced off. B#gger that bullsh!t, jump the fence, and get up close and personal.
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    FoxGlacier by speedync, on Flickr
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    Galcierwideshot by speedync, on Flickr
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    Glaciercloseup by speedync, on Flickr

    Another absolutely brilliant piece of road would have to be the section between those 2 glaciers. There is an advisory sign at the start which recommends you allow 45 minutes (I think -from memory.) Rest assured it doesn’t take that long when you’re on a mission. It’s only 24km’s in length but would have to be one of the most intimidating, physically & mentally draining yet totally exhilarating collection of twisties I have ridden. I just can’t begin to explain it. You simply have to ride it yourself. I did it 3 times in fact. There is however, one steepish downhill sweeper that will remain forever burnt into my memory bank. You peel into it at about 140km/hr, gently scraping the pegs, & gradually, gently roll on the gas, for what seems like an eternity, until you just absolutely slingshot out the end of it, the little 400 banging off the rev limiter at around about 190 as it gently pitches & weaves its way onto the straight. Straight onto the brakes, fling the bike on its ear, & it starts all over again. Pure unadulterated adrenaline pumping ecstasy. Well it does it for me anyway. Every single time.

    To all those that cry about safety & speeding on the road –you are truly missing out on one of motorcycling’s greatest pleasures. Believe me.
     
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  8. I press on down the West coast with eyes like saucers –trying to absorb everything around me & concentrate at the same time. Talk about information overload.

    Now grab that highlighter & your map & mark out this section.
    Haast to Wanaka over the Haast pass. Absolutely superb. Just watch out for the cyclists. I must have passed dozens of them along that section. Pedaling like their lives depended on it. And some of them like to ride near the centre of the road. You have been warned. Blindingly fast road –not straight mind you, but fast, -like bouncing off the speed limiter fast sweepers with the odd tight hairpin thrown in, along with brilliant views. Hills, no, mountains rising straight out of the water.

    From Wanaka, head up the Cardrona Valley road. This turns into the Crown range road. Wicked. Switchbacks galore down into Queenstown.

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    Crown Range rd2 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Crown Range rd by speedync, on Flickr
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    Remarkables by speedync, on Flickr
    And not a bad view either.

    From Queenstown a fairly uneventful transport stage down to Te Anau & Milford sound. Oh –I nearly forgot about the Honda NSR400 & Yamaha R6 that got caught & severely dealt to through the sweepers near Lumsden. VFR 2, Locals 0. Hehehehe.
     
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  9. Another awesome ride from Te Anau out to Milford sound & back. I had 2 goes at it to try & get some better (read dry) weather -but it was not to be. Apparently, its rains about 423 days a year in that part of the country. And on the other days, you may get a shower. Some pickies.

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    DSCF0027 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Milfordsound2 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Milfordsound3 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Homer Tunnel Snow by speedync, on Flickr
    And yes –that is snow falling on yours truly at the Homer tunnel. On the 3rd of January mind you. Middle of Summer huh. Makes for real interesting riding let me tell you. Especially when chasing a crazy German on a R1200 GS. He seemed to loose enthusiasm after a couple of small slides & tail flicks though. VFR 3, Others 0.
     
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  10. If you ever happen to get to Te Anau I would highly recommend the boat trip out to the underground power station on Lake Manapouri. A bus then takes you right down to the turbine room.

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    DSCF0031 by speedync, on Flickr
    Here’s a schematic of the setup
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    DSCF0039 by speedync, on Flickr
    Here it is in real life. Well, what you can see of it, carved out of solid rock a few hundred metres underground.
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    DSCF0036 by speedync, on Flickr
     
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  11. Awesome to see the water just cascading off the sheer rock cliffs into the lake.
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    Lake Manipouri by speedync, on Flickr
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    DSCF0030 by speedync, on Flickr

    The power station is an amazing feat of engineering. Imagine a power station 170 meters under a lake bored out of solid rock. A spiral access tunnel 2.1kms long had to be bored first. Big enough to drive trucks down. All machinery had to be shipped in via Doubtful Sound & a road built from there to the site –the most expensive road in NZ. Grab your map & check it out.
     
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  13. Your pictures are making me miss my homeland!! I've been all over the south and north when i was a kid, i don't remember all of it, but some i do.. i remember bluff, because the seafood is amazing.

    When my father told me about his trips on his bike around NZ when he was young, i was very jealous, I'm definitely going to do it one day.. i posted in the other guys thread some stretches that dad suggested.

    but the bloke hasn't replied to the thread yet haha.. some of them you've done also.

    A trip around the south island and north island is on my to do list for sure.
    Go visit the places i remember as a kid on holidays, it'll be great.

    cheers dude.
     
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  14. From here, there is a distinct lack of photo’s for quite some time. And many, many kilometres. It was simply a case of head down, @rse up, throttle pinned to the stop, popping and banging off the rev limiter and riding like a lunatic. The best fun you can have with your pants on. And then some.
    If anyone has done any multi week rides, you will understand what I’m going to say next. You become the bike. Not just a rider, part of the bike. This only happens when you ride hundreds and hundreds of kilometres every day, flat stick, for days at a time. You become a God. Invincible. Master of the universe. You can see, feel and hear every little stone, varying road surface, and bump in the road, every little noise your bike makes, feel the precise amount of grip your tyres have at any given lean angle at any speed, and you can leave your braking to the last millisecond and scrub off just enough speed to carve your way around any and every corner you encounter. You can wind the throttle on that hard as you exit the corners that the back end of your bike is gently squirming and weaving as you lay glorious black arcs on the roads you are cutting to shreds. It is honestly a life altering experience.
    Or you die. Obviously, that never happened to my good self, or you wouldn’t be reading my tales of travels would you?
    Righto, back to the road. From Curio Bay we head through the Caitlins to Owaka. The Caitlins road is awesome. Imagine the Black Spur continuing for 50 kms or more. Then through to Balclutha, Dunedin, turn inland, and head up through Middlemarch, Ranfurly, Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell to Wanaka. Quick sprint out to Glenorchy. Blindingly fast, awesome flowing roads. The Glenorchy road in particular. Chock full of blind crests with corners diving off in all directions as you pop over the top of them. Like a fast forward speed ultra fast roller coaster ride.
    From Wanaka, a bit of a double back and cross over to Tarras, then up over Lindis Pass to Twizel, Lake Tekapo and on to Farlie to hook up with an old school mate who happened to be holidaying there.
    Shot these somewhere along the way.
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    On the road by speedync, on Flickr
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    Rock and Pillar reserve by speedync, on Flickr
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    Clay cliffs by speedync, on Flickr
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    Lake Tekapo unsure by speedync, on Flickr
     
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  15. As I said, I wanted to hook up with an old school mate that I hadn’t seen for quite a few years. As it turns out, he was holidaying in the area, so I called in to see him, and this is what we got up to.
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    DSCF0063 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Mt Dobson by speedync, on Flickr
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    Mt Dobson1 by speedync, on Flickr
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    Mt Dobson2 by speedync, on Flickr
    Yes, it is snow. In the middle of Summer. Don’t ask how we got in there. I don’t want to have to fabricate elaborate tales of how it was all legal, above board and quite seemly. He he he.
     
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  16. Might be a good thing to do when i finish up work for the time being, looks sensational!
     
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  17. tsk tsk tsk..

    :rofl:

    Can't believe I only just saw this.. Great trip and write up
     
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  18. Ha. I might get round to actually finishing it one day. Can't rush these things you know. Lucky I have a photographic memory. He he he he he he. Or a diary. And a few more photos. Love to go back now with a decent camera though. 2 Megapixels in this day and age is not really premium :)

    Anyway, looking at some of the pickies, it looks like I had the bike loaded up to the shithouse. Not true. Just a function of scale, and the small stature of the bike. All I had in the tank bag, was a compact sleeping bag, and a pair of thongs. Jandals in Kiwispeak. Oh, and a camera. That's it. The bike is tiny. Smaller than many 250's. In hindsight, taking the sleeping bag cost me. About 10-15 km/hr in top speed, due to not being able to hide under the petrol cap at full tilt. And I never used it once. (the sleeping bag) The backpackers are great. Clean, tidy, cheap and friendly. The accommodation was pretty good too :) Well it was when I was there. That is all
     
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  19. Interesting you put most of the weight behind you. Probably beneficial to put more stuff in the tank bag to move the weight forward. In extreme cases the rear subframe can also fail due to fatigue.
     
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  20. ^^^^What weight? Remember the scale. All there was in the tail pack was a pair of shoes, jeans, microfibre towel the size of a teatowel, couple of socks jocks t shirts jumper toothbrush and a mini can of chain lube. Bit of other cr@p. Plenty for a month if you wash every 2nd day overnight. Couple of kg is all. And a credit card. Done. Too easy.
     
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