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Old 01-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
slartidbartfast OP
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Laugh Slartidbartfast does the South Island (New Zealand)

Several years ago I came up with a Bucket List. I didn't call it a Bucket List because this was before people had heard of Bucket Lists. This was my "Fifty Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die" list. For several years thereafter, I proceeded to do little or none of the things on my list. ...All those things I said I would "love to do one day" just kept getting put off and put off. ...Always for good reasons of course!

Well about three or four years ago I decided that I needed to stop procrastinating, stop wishing, just make plans, set dates and get on and do some of those things I'd always wanted to do. A few things have changed since I made my first list: I got back into motorbiking after a several-year hiatus; I discovered motorbike touring with a group of friends and fellow Louisiana State motorcycle instructors. Despite travelling a lot for work, I love to travel for fun and thus, the first few things I planned were all centred around riding motorbikes. To that end, I spent two weeks in the summer of 2008 riding around Britain with a friend, Dewnmoon. This ride included an Iron-Butt, End-to-End, Dawn-to-Dusk, John O'groats to Land's End ride and checked off several things I'd always fancied doing by motorbike. Last year (2009) a group of fellow motorcycle instructors accompanied me on a two-week tour of Southwest England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, taking in some of the finest scenery and motorbiking roads that Europe has to offer. Links to ride reports from these trips are in my signature.

Third on my list was New Zealand. I've always wanted to go there and thus this trip was conceived.

As I type this, I'm sitting in the Air New Zealand Lounge at Los Angeles. I have a few more hours here and hope to keep up with a Ride Report that can capture a tiny piece of the experience as it unfolds. Stay tuned

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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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This should be great.. NZ riding

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Old 01-14-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
slartidbartfast OP
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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I am using air miles for the flights to New Zealand. Free reward tickets are so much in demand that if you don't book them the moment they become available, they are snapped up and that's that. I decided that late February 2010 would be the best time to go, and booked the flights in March 2009, 338 days in advance. At that time, I wasn't even able to lock in my vacation yet.

As Christmas approached, it became increasingly obvious that the holiday (vacation) was going to clash with a number of important work assignments. "Too bad!" I jauntily said, but nonetheless, it was going to cause me some problems.

About a week ago, while on the phone with the airline for something else, I mentioned that it would be nice to fly on different dates. The nice lady on the phone laughed at me and agreed there wasn't much chance but said she'd look anyway. I heard something like this:

"Hmmm... No! Just as you thought... Oh!... Just a second... Wait a moment..." There was the sound of lots of keyboard tapping and the occasional "hmmm... oookaaayy..." I waited, thinking "This sounds interesting"

"I have one business class seat available, leaving next week and returning in just over two weeks. Would that work?"

'Does a bear sh*t in the woods?' I thought.. "Absolutely!"

So then I had to deal with one day to pack and prepare instead of five weeks - it's all part of the adventure, right!

Contacted some of the nice New Zealand inmates for some advice and planning discussion, which can be found here. Nice bunch. Hope to meet up with some of them en-route

Off to get on the plane now. Will be in Auckland in the morning. Wooo hooo!
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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can't wait

I've been to NZ twice but never to ride (yet). Have a blast. Looking forward to details on bike rental and the amazing pics. Its a great country with fabulous people. Coolest thing Ive ever seen is the glowworms in the forest (town near Franz Joesph Glacier - forget exactly where) - it was like looking at the stars but they were a feet feet away. Highly recommend all the hostels - meet some crazy cats that way.

Curious if they still fumigate you before you set foot on soil.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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Dude, get your ass over to kiwibiker and let us know your route, there'll be plenty of us who will go out for a ride!

Ohh and Powerslave, no Fumigation any more
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:30 AM   #7
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Queenstown is touristy as hell,but the shotover jet is a real blast,i think any motorcyclist will enjoy and there is REMARKABLE scenery.Its a good stepping stone for Milford if you didnt want to take the bike(crazy road and bus drivers) Arrowtown is a historic village and also the base of the Crown Range(can you say hairpin)
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
If you look real close you can see my house!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps
Ohh and Powerslave, no Fumigation any more
These days it's released in to the air conditioning. Island nation, just like Australia... for some reason they are quite concerned about biosecurity.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:14 PM   #9
dunkthepunk69
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Cutlery munching

Looks like the guy behind you has just regurgitated a fork!!!! Safe riding big bro!
Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
Several years ago I came up with a Bucket List. I didn't call it a Bucket List because this was before people had heard of Bucket Lists. This was my "Fifty Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die" list. For several years thereafter, I proceeded to do little or none of the things on my list. ...All those things I said I would "love to do one day" just kept getting put off and put off. ...Always for good reasons of course!

Well about three or four years ago I decided that I needed to stop procrastinating, stop wishing, just make plans, set dates and get on and do some of those things I'd always wanted to do. A few things have changed since I made my first list: I got back into motorbiking after a several-year hiatus; I discovered motorbike touring with a group of friends and fellow Louisiana State motorcycle instructors. Despite travelling a lot for work, I love to travel for fun and thus, the first few things I planned were all centred around riding motorbikes. To that end, I spent two weeks in the summer of 2008 riding around Britain with a friend, Dewnmoon. This ride included an Iron-Butt, End-to-End, Dawn-to-Dusk, John O'groats to Land's End ride and checked off several things I'd always fancied doing by motorbike. Last year (2009) a group of fellow motorcycle instructors accompanied me on a two-week tour of Southwest England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, taking in some of the finest scenery and motorbiking roads that Europe has to offer. Links to ride reports from these trips are in my signature.

Third on my list was New Zealand. I've always wanted to go there and thus this trip was conceived.

As I type this, I'm sitting in the Air New Zealand Lounge at Los Angeles. I have a few more hours here and hope to keep up with a Ride Report that can capture a tiny piece of the experience as it unfolds. Stay tuned

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Old 01-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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Do they have fjords in New Zealand?
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by piccini9
Do they have fjords in New Zealand?



maybe I should put NZ on my bucket list


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Old 01-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
slartidbartfast OP
Love those blue pipes
 
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysteps
Dude, get your ass over to kiwibiker and let us know your route, there'll be plenty of us who will go out for a ride!

Ohh and Powerslave, no Fumigation any more
Signed up on Kiwibiker as Slartidbartfast and posted a note to New Members forum.

No fumigation but there was a pretty detailed biosecurity check. Wise move for an isolated island nation - I'd imagine lots of the local flora and fauna would be very vulnerable to invasive species, etc.
__________________
MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 01-15-2010 at 06:26 PM
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:44 PM   #13
slartidbartfast OP
Love those blue pipes
 
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piccini9
Do they have fjords in New Zealand?
Lots of Fjords - but no Chjevrolets
__________________
MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
slartidbartfast OP
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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First few days proposed route

I have been playing with Google maps. Here's my first thoughts for the first few days.

Day 1: Christchurch (A) to Mt. Cook (B)

Day 2: Mt. Cook (B) to Dunedin (C)

Day 3: Dunedin (C) to Milford Sound - Stay there or in Te Anau (D) or at HondaV2's Shaggy Shed!

Day 4 (or 5 if I mess about in Fjordland another day): to Franz Josef glacier Nat. Park (E)

Day 5: To Arthur's Pass - Maybe further, depending whether I spend half the day hiking on the glacier or not

Day 6: Back to the East side and then cross to the West again via Lewis Pass and Buller River Gorge

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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 01-15-2010 at 10:49 PM
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:43 PM   #15
advNZer?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piccini9
Do they have fjords in New Zealand?
we do...milford sound is a fjord.The cliffs are vertical straight itno the sea.The water is so deep there are species of sealife not found elsewhere(yet?)
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