Day 1 Auckland to Tapapakanga Regional Park 48km
A nice day for ducks. I didn’t leave until 3pm. Wet for the first hour. Then the rain went away. I saw sheep cows, goats, but the wow moment was when a bright red parrot flew right across my path. 95%? Of the birds in New Zealand are unique to these islands. All up and down, some quite steep, but the campsite at Tapapakanga which I had all to myself was beautiful. Right on the beach. There was even a cold shower outside the toilet block.
Day 2. To Papamoa beach 171km
Very windy day. Struggled all morning against the wind, and then lots of hills. Had to avoid logging trucks, and boy racers on roundabouts. Crossed on the railway bridge at Tauranga. Met a German girl called Cloud who gave me a map.
Stayed with Steve and Julie (Gabe’s mum)
Day 3 Rotorua 80km
Got up late. Went slow again. More wind. Eventually found Maniatutu road and escaped from traffic. 20km was unpaved so slow. Farmers gave me water. Lots of cows (which run towards me hoping for something), sheep of course, ducks, rabbits. Through the lakes at Orere falls. And stayed at a backpackers lodge for 25 dollars. First time I’ve paid in NZ.
Day 4 Taupo 95km
To be fair, it should be 80km but there are a ton of things to see along this corridor for “thermal explorers”. So much happened. I met a girl called Kelly from the U.S. And we headed down a track together.
Day 6 Waiouru 113km
Rained all day. Stayed in a motel. Very expensive but needed to dry off
Day 7 Palmerston North 155km
Day 8 Wellington 160km
The guy that stopped his car when I was by the roadside with a flat tyre, and my stuff all over the place, and asked me where otaki was. I showed him on my iPad, trying not to laugh, the coastal cycle route at peka peka that ended abruptly dumping me in an estate where I got lost, ….
Day 9 South Island. havelock. 40km
Spent a day in the backpackers hostel in havelock, due to 130km winds. Rain also. Had tried to camp but tent was nearly blown away!
82km to maitai camp, Nelson
Day 11 145 to Murchison camp
Ollie Phillips. Ollie 26 years old. Law graduate. Girlfriend photographer at a ski resort. Had bought a cheap bike in New Zealand. Planned to sell it. Cycling all length of New Zealand from tip down to bluff. We stopped to eat pies and drink l&p.
Day 12 93 to Reefton having problems with the gear changes but a beautiful day.
Day 13, 1st Dec 120 to Hokitika pouring rain all day. Met Jan and Alex that morning with their three kids (Czech and German – lovely people)
2 Dec. 70km to Hari Hari. Very very wet. Couldn’t keep going. I was just so wet, and cold. Lucky to arrive at an awesome lodge with awesome people. Food, a great bread pudding for dessert, cider, beer, whisky, and playing pool.
Dan, Kath, French Remy, Kiwi Claire, Yankee Sarah, German Chocolate, Danish Jasper, Sancho Panza. A great night.
3rd Dec. Franz Josef. Very very wet again. Roads now flooded. 65km glad to dry out in a hostel. Glow worm. Excellent.
Day 16 100km Lake Paringa
Met Valu and Piff (Pierre Francois). Some tough climbing to fox glacier. Went on a nice track for a look. Added 10km on but it was good to see at least one of the glaciers. Walked across streams to get to it.
Day 17 122km to Campbell Flat Campground just after the Haast Pass.
Wow. 500m climb in 5km. Very very steep. And very wet again. Stopped at the waterfalls on the way.
75km to Wanaka
Lots of hills, and headwind. Woke up being attacked by sandflies. Nice Canadian guy called Gordon and Jenna made eggs for me. What a top bloke. The sun came out at Lake Wanaka. Incredible contrast with previous days. For the first time I could see the peaks of the mountains. The water was a bright electric blue. Stopped for fish and chips in Albert Town.
Day 19 102km to Kingston
Big climb. Headwind. Tough and long.
Day 20 143km to Invercargill. Had to summon a lot of inner strength. Arrived so late everything was closed. Managed to get a bed. And literally 1 beer.
Hellish headwind all day
1979km in New Zealand.
42,399 +1979 = 44,378