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Old 01-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #16
slartidbartfast OP
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Originally Posted by warewolf
slarti, cheers for the PM.

I second what clint said, given your interests I would skip both the south/south-east South Island (although I do recommend a Milford Sound cruise) and diverting to Arthur's on your way north; instead plan to spend a couple of days at the top of the south - plenty of good riding, walking and best bet for caving. Go up the coast to Westport, east through the Buller to Nelson or Motueka, then head up Takaka Hill. There's so much good stuff in NZ you are going to miss a lot, no matter how long you stay.

Nelson Speleo Group regularly hosts visiting cavers; not surprisingly a few from advrider! Generally someone can provide a bed and gear and organise a trip or two, there is always lots happening that isn't on the published trip list. Club meeting this Friday, if you let me know likely dates I can pass the word on. How are your SRT skills? Glowworms aren't common hereabouts; Waitomo they are everywhere, but there is a tourist trip from Te Anau that takes a boat across the lake to a glowworm cave. Glacial ice caves, not likely either, unless you are a mountaineer. However can recommend a 1/2 day glacier walk trip from Franz Josef.
Great information - Thanks! I'll try to spend a couple of days in your area toward the end of my trip. I used to be pretty quick up a rope but that was twenty-plus years ago. Still got the SRT moves but probably not the stamina. Led a lot of trips and trained a lot of people back in the day but now I just crawl in the mud with my daughter, nieces and nephews. However, if there's somewhere not too challenging and a place to recuperate over a pint afterward, I'm in

What's typical protective clothing for caving in the area?
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slartidbartfast screwed with this post 01-11-2010 at 09:33 PM
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in NZ
nah we all wear grass skirts and the roads are dirt tracks for horse carts and my father is me uncle, yet to get power and running water and if ya looking for any 6 fingered gloves thats al the shops have in them & re ya stay near auckland, its like being in Samoa, but with KFC
Six-fingered gloves I got already, but if you can spare your sister for an evening I'll do my bit to broaden the gene pool [tongue firmly in cheek]

Where are ya? If I can get there, the first beer's on me
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSGIRL
It's all good. Just go and don't worry about it. On or off a bike it is a great place. Spectacular on a bike though
Probably overthinking things I realize. Winging it always works well for me but I want to have some plans to throw to the wind

I'm currently out of town for work so will have only a few hours to get all my stuff together and pack - Getting really excited now as I have been thinking about this trip for three years and in just a couple of days I'll be on my way.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
Still got the SRT moves but probably not the stamina. Led a lot of trips and trained a lot of people back in the day but now I just crawl in the mud with my daughter, nieces and nephews. However, if there's somewhere not too challenging and a place to recuperate over a pint afterward, I'm in

What's typical protective clothing for caving in the area?
Probably won't need SRT, if anything just a 40m entrance pitch. Plenty of pubs within striking distance. By far the majority of caves in these mountains are vertical.

Most ppl wear 1-2 layers of polyprop or equivalent in one-piece, cordura trog suit (pvc doesn't last, gets punctured), and knee pads over the top. For caves where you'll likely be in waterfalls, you can add a raincoat or garbage bag under the suit. Caving helmet, of course.

Had a chat to my wife; she rattled off a half a dozen great day walks, and liked the idea of a day's caving. She can lead us through some nice easier horizontal caves that I've not been in yet.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:12 AM   #20
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.....Weather's looking good for the weekend down here.....

Sorry this is a bit loose. The major road layout is relatively simple in the South as there's a lot of mountains inbetween them....don't worry about the atlas. Personally I'd suggest being flexible with accom....places can get busy but you can always find something as lots of little bed and breakfasts around as well. But could save the hassle in places like Queenstown, Wanaka. It's all insanely nice motorcycling but as a suggestion could also do the Banks Peninsula ride at the end (nice afternoon ride to Akaroa) to get miles under your tires first.

Do the inland route turning off SH1 at Rangitata via Geraldine and on to Tekapo. No more than one night there but could be better to spend two days at Mt Cook Village instead (a must...lots of walks etc). From there through the MacKenzie Basin, over Lindis Pass through to Cromwell and Queenstown (a must). Te Anau and Milford Sound spectacular (spend the $$!). If you suspect running out of time drop the lower section to Invercargill I reckon (Sorry Burt...but you can probably do everything!) and head out to Dunedin via Gore (Penguins out on the Peninsula). Catlins is amazing coastline but only if have time as you have to double back. From Dunedin you can either head up the coast and take 85 inland from Palmerston or take 87 through Clarkes junction (nice road) and adjacent to the Rock and Pillar mountains. Hook around to Alexandra (could check out Clyde...historic town) and then through Cromwell up the western side of lake Dustan to Wanaka (stay one night at least).

Last fuel at Hawea for awhile and good idea to watch your fuel over on the West Coast as it's long way between stops and they can tend to close early. Bring insect repellant and can get very wet on the coast! Good walk up to the Glacier terminus at Fox and Franz or take a chopper up to the upper glacier and land.

I'd suggest go over Arthur's pass over to the east coast then hook around and go through the Lewis pass to Springs Junction, Buller Gorge and Nelson (Hot pools at Maruia) Could also go back to the section of west coast you missed and head up to Karamea but will have to double back down. Arthurs is fanastic ride, lots of accessible walks from the village, some nice places to stay (Bealy Pub and Flock Hill Station etc) and Cave Stream cave near Castle hill. Nice little 594m cave to walk through right off the road....note water temp generally is v cold in the South since come off the mountains.

Plan to spend a couple of days around Nelson at least (large area, nice food, cafes, beaches, caves etc). Take SH6 via Pelorus to Blenheim (can do the Queen Charlotte Sounds road to Picton for some nice curves and pics of the Sounds). Good wineries in Marlborough. Picton probably better to stay at than Blenheim and then allow a day to head down the coast to Christchurch and do some whale watching at Kiakoura on the way (a must).

Go to the Deus Ex Machina Motorcycle cafe, Shed 5 in downtown Auck if have time to kill. One tree hill, Viaduct basin and Dominion museum also.

Well that's about it...so much to see so little time. If you need specific information lets us know or give us a bell. Have camping gear you can borrow if you decide you need the option...I'm over the hill from Christchurch. Have a great trip.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
Probably overthinking things I realize. Winging it always works well for me but I want to have some plans to throw to the wind

I'm currently out of town for work so will have only a few hours to get all my stuff together and pack - Getting really excited now as I have been thinking about this trip for three years and in just a couple of days I'll be on my way.
I did the same thing, overthought it. I had a few concerns since I was travelling solo by bike and being a girl and all. I rented an R12GS in Nov. Travelled from North to South Is. Was great. You will do fine and have an amazing time. If you look in the NZ forum you can see the route I took somewhere. It is all good in my book. Not a bad road in the entire country and it was real easy to get around.

Have a great time. I have been there 3 times and plan to be there more for work. Awesome place.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:01 AM   #22
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Not at all concerned about the solo travel etc. piece (I travel to some far less benign places by myself all the time.) My probably unnecessary anxiety is mostly about trying to do as much as possible in what is seeming to be a very short time. I'm SURE it will work out and even if I do spend a cold night under a hedge somewhere the whole experience will be fun
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSGIRL
It's all good. Just go and don't worry about it. On or off a bike it is a great place. Spectacular on a bike though
+1 on that. The wife & I spent 4 weeks over nov/Dec in NZ. The South Is is bloody fantastic!!! Go to the Britten "showroom/museum" if you want to see some motorcycling history It is right near the Cathedral in the centre of Christchurch at 103 Gloucester st The E.Hayes hardware store in Invercargill is where you will find the burt munro bike ( original not a replica) along with a shitload of other bikes (unless they were only there for the race weekend) Any of the roads that give access from east to west are a blast; pick one & go. The weather is VERY CHANGABLE normally from cold to colder!!Unfortunately we were in a van but I lost track of how many times is said to the wife " wish I had the bike here". Didnt notice that many cops on the south Is especially on the west, different story on the north however, reminded me of the gestapo they have here In 12 days your only going to scratch the surface, unless your really into the "adventure sport/ bungy" stuff I'd give Queenstown a wide berth If you get some good weather ( in your dreams!) the ride from Wanaka to Haast is one of the best around. Just take it as it comes Enjoy!!!! Dont forget to try some Montieths black---- Mmmmmmmm
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
Not at all concerned about the solo travel etc. piece (I travel to some far less benign places by myself all the time.) My probably unnecessary anxiety is mostly about trying to do as much as possible in what is seeming to be a very short time. I'm SURE it will work out and even if I do spend a cold night under a hedge somewhere the whole experience will be fun
I wanted to do a lot more hiking/trekking than I did. But it wasn't because of time, it was because I could not get off the bike as I was having way too much fun on the bike. I was in heaven for sure. iPod going, great bike, great roads. Simply amazing. My favs were the Haast pass, Te Anau & Mt Cook. Hell, Bueller Gorge, the glaciers, Desert Road. It was all good!
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty dennis
.....The E.Hayes hardware store in Invercargill is where you will find the burt munro bike ( original not a replica) ....
One of the replicas of Burts bike used for the movie is in Casabolts Honda on Manchester Street in Christchurch at the moment. It is about 10 mins walk from the square. Much closer than Invercargill!
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:48 AM   #26
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I live 30km b 4 Te Anau on main road, u can stay in The Shaggy Shed if u like , weather has been crap this summer , I was in your state in 06 , email me, Cheers Toddy BTW bring a sleeping bag or get 1 at Mitre 10 or The Warehouse when u get here.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:23 AM   #27
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Thanks to all for the most useful information. I am leaving tomorrow and just got an email to say the Atlas isn't coming, so very glad I asked here instead.

Have worked out a rough plan, which I hope to type up en-route and will probably more or less ignore once I get there . Will get a RR going and post the link here. Hopefully can stay well enough connected to keep it up more-or-less real time for once (but probably not!)

I'm packing lighter than ever before so I can hand carry everything but have still run out of room and, as I'll be schlepping my bags around Auckland, etc., for a day as well, decided not to bring any caving gear. Still would like to get together with some folks for a chat and a beer whether in caving country or not. So long as I can check on here every day or two that shouldn't be too hard to arrange.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:27 AM   #28
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If you make it to Dunedin, give me a call at Backroads Bikes.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:29 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
Thanks to all for the most useful information. I am leaving tomorrow and just got an email to say the Atlas isn't coming, so very glad I asked here instead.

Have worked out a rough plan, which I hope to type up en-route and will probably more or less ignore once I get there . Will get a RR going and post the link here. Hopefully can stay well enough connected to keep it up more-or-less real time for once (but probably not!)

I'm packing lighter than ever before so I can hand carry everything but have still run out of room and, as I'll be schlepping my bags around Auckland, etc., for a day as well, decided not to bring any caving gear. Still would like to get together with some folks for a chat and a beer whether in caving country or not. So long as I can check on here every day or two that shouldn't be too hard to arrange.
Don't worry about the Atlas not making it. I brought one with me and never really used it except for reading while I was at lunch or dinner.

Have a great time! I did!
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #30
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Started the Ride Report

Once I actually get there and have done any riding to report on, this is where the report will be.
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