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 Cindie's Daily Journal: South Island #3, New Zealand
place to place (month day - month day, 2008)

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April 2 Dunedin to  near Clarks Junction 42 km. With taxes done we are ready to get back on the road again.  We didn't do much in Dunedin but we did take the opportunity to see Greenpeace's ship called the Rainbow Warrior while it was in port. Once again we had a late start to the day and we decided to ride through Dunedin to Mosgiel through town and we found it not too bad the bike route is signed well, the hills not as extreme as we the ones we rode in on and traffic was not bad.  It was a cold morning and it didn't get very warm.  We had a headwind out to Outram and on the way we saw a familiar building from a photo in our cycling New Zealand book, it was an old bike shop and the sign is still there.  Then we hit the hill and it was a grid up the hill with all our food I loaded on board.  We stopped a couple of hours before sunset and set up our tent near a paddock.

April 3 Clarks Junction to Middlemarch 42 km  In the morning we took our time packing and watched a local farmer muster (herding) sheep in the paddock.  Then we met the farmer when he came through the gate near our tent.  Time and time again the local farmers have been really friendly and we chatted with him as we packed our tent.  Tim always clarifies that it was ok to camp and yes it was.  We have talked to farmers all over New Zealand and they are fine with camping, Brad recommended we didn't camp in a paddock with cows because well they can be nosey and check out our tent.

We set off and not far down the road was the Clark Junction Hotel and tavern, we could have camped in the front yard there too.  The hills were demanding again, down two and up three hills.  When we arrived in Middlemarch we were going to take a break and then ride on.  After looking at the map we decided to stay in Middlemarch.

April 4 Middlemarch to Ranfurly 62 km. A huge storm came in over night and we had a spectacular sunrise, ut oh that means a storm is coming and watching the news last night it looked like a big one.  We decided to push on down the rail trail. It has an excellent map with all the stops labeled, towns labeled with amenities and what to see along the way.  I am really impressed with the condition of the trail, a gravel surface with two tracks one going up and one going down.  The bridges on this section were lovely, well made and easy to ride across.

We stopped at Daisybank informal camp site and really debated whether to stop or not, it was a nice spot with a toilet, out of the wind and 37 km from Middlemarch.  In the end we decided to push on, we were concerned with the weather and did not want to get caught in the middle of no where in a rain storm.  We pushed on and road into Ranfurly against a wicked head wind, time and time again I have to thank Tim for taking the lead and breaking the wind.  I tried 4 times to come around him and finally on the forth try I got around and the wind was brutal.  We were more than happy to get to Ranfurly find the motor camp and get the tent up minutes before it started to rain.

Even though it was a tough ride into the wind it was a joy to see so many people riding a bike and enjoying it, the people coming towards us were going down hill and had a tailwind, what more could you ask for.  My favorite part of the ride today was between Hyde through the Price Creek Tunnel ( a little too long) to Waipiata.  A really unique way to see New Zealand.

April 5 Ranfurly to Omakau 58 km  Ah no wind today and only about 20 km to the top and then down the other side.  Wedderburn was a cute place with a few cabins for cyclists set up near the rail trail. We were close to Naseby a town with an indoor curling rink.  Looks like a bundle of fun.  We stopped in Oturehua for a break, on the way off the trail a guy asked us if we had a pump and Tim pumped up his rather low tires, then we checked a couple other peoples tire pressure and Tim was pumping again, No worries, we want every one to have a good time and Tim has pumped so many tires what are a few more among friends :). 

At the grocery store we met a few more cyclists and enjoyed the atmosphere.  I could do a few more of these trails.  My favorite part of the day was yet to come, the Pool burn tunnels, the landscape in the area reminded me of Arizona, dry with a creek and riparian area.  I was feeling a bit homesick and it will be good to get back there this year.  We decided to stay in the cute town of Omakau for the night and just missed a rugby game at the council camp ground.  This town has a nice feeling and would be nice to wander around and take a look at Ophir a nearby gold mining ghost town.

We met up with the same cyclists that started the trail with us, I am impressed, they are over 60 and moving along just fine.

April 6 Omakau to Alexandra 38 km A short day but oh so fun, it is days like this that I really enjoy riding, sunny, no wind, a trail to follow. We climbed for a short distance then we started a down hill, not steep but really long, I was having so much fun I was yelling choo choo like the original train must have sounded, around all the corners.  The trail made a S-curve and we flew down the trail at 30 km an hour (18 mph) choo choo.  Again the trail was full of cyclists and a lot of fun.  I would recommend this trail to any family wanting to get a taste of what bicycle touring is all about.  We met a group of cyclists in their 60s that was taking 6 days to do the trail and check out all the sights along the way, a nice way to do the trail and not over do it. Unfortunately I did see a few cyclists who rode farther than they should have.

It is time for a day off in Alexandra, we looked for internet every where and all we could find was an internet kiosk where you put in $2 coins for 15 minutes on the internet, later we would find a cafe that had wireless internet, we paid $10 for an hour with a 100 megabit download limit, agghhh what a pain.

Alexandra April 7 and 8.  We stayed for a rest day, did some internet and unfortunately the day we planned to leave we found a virus on our computer. Tim wanted to remedy the problem before we left and I agreed we should stay another day and fix the computer. We spent the day scanning for viruses and repairing the problem. What a time consuming procedure.

April 9 Alexandra to campsite north of Cromwell 60 km  I called my little sister Denise for her birthday and it was oh so nice to talk to her.  She was happy to hear that we plan to return to the states and do some touring there and I would eventually come for a visit.  Since my older sister passed away so suddenly last August my family have all made a huge effort to call and keep in touch with each other.  I find it very comforting to talk with any member of my family, I still really really miss Debbie and my only regret is not calling and visiting her more often. Since there is nothing I can do about that now I have become determined not to make the same mistake again with my remaining family.

We set out from Alexandra with a casual attitude and stopped in at Clyde and Cromwell to visit the historic centers.  If you do not mind chilly temperatures at night this is a great time of year to tour New Zealand, there are less tourists on the road and the weather this year has been stunning.  Sunny days with not wind, what more could I ask for.  We rode north out of Cromwell until we reached a rest area with a toilet and camped for the night.

April 10 Freedom camp to camp near Linders Pass 69 km The could not have been more beautiful, nice weather and a tailwind.  We stopped at Totra home of Shrek the merino sheep.  Shrek has an interesting story, he wandered around the Bendigo Station for six years and had grown quite a wooly coat, so much that he couldn't see.  He is a great survival story and a big hit in NZ, now he lives the good life and tours children's hospitals raising money for charity.  For some reason I just love this story.

We climbed steadily and near the top of Linders Pass we stopped to camp.  It was cold at night but oh the stars were stunning.

April 11 Camp near Linders pass to Twizel 68 km.  We expected to cruise down from Linders pass but luck would have it that we had a head wind. We met a Canadian couple at the top and rode with them for a while and we camped together in Twizel.  The summer season is coming to an end and things are quieting down.

April 12 - 23 Twizel We decided to stay in Twizel and work on the book, I worked on the layout while Tim finalized the text.  Sadly our NZ trip is coming to an end and none too soon because while we were here it was below freezing on three evenings.  Those Antarctic winds come up fast and flash freeze the whole area. 

April 24 Twizel to near Lake Tekapo 53 km On the road again, I love riding but the first day or two after taking a lot of time off is awful, we really need to get our book done so we can stay in shape and not stop so much.  We road the canal on the way to Lake Tekapo and found a great campsite before town.  In the morning we saw geese flying north, and this is our clue to follow them.

April 25 Lake Tekapo to Fairlie 47 km It was a short day because I wasn't feeling well so when we rolled into Fairlie I didn't really want to go much further.  The motor camp near the bridge had free wifi, awesome, it wasn't super fast but it worked for us.

April 26 Fairlie to Arundel 61 km

April 27 Arundel to Rakaria Gorge 69 km

April 28 Rakaria Gorge to Riccarton 85 km

April 29 Riccarton to Shirley 15 km

April 30 to May 2 Shirley. We stayed with Jeff in Christchurch (Shirley), he is a bee keeper and he introduced us to bees.  I use to be frightened of bees but after learning more about them I find them fascinating and I am now calmer around our buzzing friends.

Changes when going to Alaska

Caught flight to Anchorage and my sister picked us up and we stayed in Valdez.  We were there for just about two months and in that time we finished out second book.  We are now on the road from Valdez, Alaska to Tucson, Arizona. See my Alaska journal for updates.

Late Autumn to Late Spring, Longer day although the temperatures are about the same as here, change the side of the road from left to right, change currency and we don't need a visa, yeah, there is no queen in Alaska, southern cross changes to the big dipper, the sun will be in the southern sky in Alaska while here in New Zealand it is in the northern sky, the light switches are different down is on in NZ and Up is on in Alaska, the current changes to 110 volts from 220 v, different plugs and Tim will be happy about that, our plug adaptors are shot. Our measurements are going to change from kilometers to miles, kilos to pounds, meters to feet, and Celsius to Fahrenheit, I am not looking forward to these changes.


Read all of Cindie's Daily Journal: South Island #3, New Zealand Here

See index of all (several years) Cindie's Journals here





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INDEX #5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present

(see all 3 book)

 North Island, New Zealand
Auckland to Wellington (Sept 15 - January 16, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for the North Island

Best Place to see thumbnail pictures of the North Island

RoadNews - Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
: Let's get started in New Zealand

Full size Picture Pages

- Auckland and New Plymouth
- Stratford to Taumarunui
- Tongariro to Taupo to Rotorua
- Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland #1
- Wai-O-Tapu Geysers National Park #2
- Rotorua farmers market and Museum
- Rotorua, Opitiki to East Cape, New Zealand
- Omaio, around the East Cape to Gisborne
- Gisborne to Napier and Hastings in Hawks Bay.
- Hawks Bay: Napier to Wellington
- Wellington Parliament House and Te Papa Museum

 South Island #1
Picton to Christchurch (January 16  - February 19, 2008)

Cindie's Daily Journals

Best Place to see thumbnail pictures of

RoadNews - Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
New Zealand: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Full size Picture Pages

- Picton to Nelson
- Nelson to Newton Livery
- Buller Gorge, Charleston to Punakaiki
- Pancake Rock, Punakaiki
- Greymouth to Ross
- Ross to Franz Joseph Glacier
- Franz Joseph Glacier, South Island, New Zealand
-Fox Glacier to Haast
- Haast to Wanaka.

 South Island #2
Queenstown, to City, (February 20 - month day, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for New Zealand's South Island #2

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)


Best Place to see thumbnail pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Wanaka to Queenstown
- Routeburn hiking / tramping / trekking Track
- Caples hiking/trekking/tramping Track
- Queenstown to Invercargill
- Invercargill to Curio Bay, Catlins
- Curio Bay, Catlins, to Dunedin
- Dunedin to Middlemarch, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand
- Central Otago Rail Trail Bicycle Path from Middlemarch to Alexandria
- Cromwell to Christchurch, Canterbury.

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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