Chapter 4: Queenstown

Despite the incredibly strong winds at the end of chapter 3, when we got up the next morning it was quite still. After we packed up, our first stop was in town at a very nice bakery that we had been to the previous day; they had really yummy cream cakes. Apparently I have a sweet tooth, or at least that’s what other people say. Our plan was to ride to Queenstown over another Big Hill near Cardrona. Then we had planned to spend a day in Queenstown. While we were sheltering from the wind in Wanaka we had found out some information about a cruise at Doubtful Sound, which departed from Queenstown, so that was what we had planned for our rest day. After Queenstown we were planning to ride to Clyde and the start of the Central Otago rail trail, which we were looking forward to. It was, however, 90 km from Queenstown to Cyde, and even though Dad kept saying “it’s all downhill except for the uphill out of Queenstown” Mum and Vera were a little concerned about that day. Continue reading “Chapter 4: Queenstown”

Chapter 3: Wanaka and Antihistamines

The top
The top

Leaving Haast was a day that my parents and Vera had been stressing out about, because it was the Day of the Big Hill (capitals added by me for emphasis). The plan was to ride over Haast Pass, ending the day at a dot on the map called Makarora, which is about 70 km from Haast. Mum was concerned about us not making it, so as a contingency plan we bought “emergency food” in Haast as well as stuff for lunch and snacks and so on. The emergency food was some of those rice instant meals, and the idea was that if we had to put up our tents by the side of the road in pouring rain or snow or whatever, we would have something to eat, even if it wasn’t particularly appealing. In the event that we did make it to Makarora, the emergency food was non perishable, so it could stay squashed down the bottom of a pannier more or less indefinitely. Continue reading “Chapter 3: Wanaka and Antihistamines”

Chapter 2: Glaciers and Sandflies

The adventure continues.

We had planned to have a sort-of-rest-day at Franz Josef, because there is a glacier there among other things that we could do. It wasn’t intended to be a full rest day though, because the plan was to cycle 25 km to Fox (and another glacier) in the afternoon. Now if you happen to live in Canada or Alaska or maybe the Himalaya you might think “A glacier? big deal”, but from our perspective living in Australia where snow is quite an unusual phenomenon, a glacier is a major attraction.

Continue reading “Chapter 2: Glaciers and Sandflies”

Chapter 1: Wet coast?

This year, we once again spent a few weeks cycling around New Zealand, but this time we went to the South Island.

It seemed like it was ages before we actually did any cycling though (apart from riding from the airport to the YHA when we flew into Christchurch; into the most horrendous headwind by the way). The day after we arrived we spent in Christchurch, as intended, and we visited the museum and Antarctic center, which were both very interesting. Continue reading “Chapter 1: Wet coast?”