Not too many pictures today as it is all about the ride. 420km full of motorcycle glory, first across Rimutaka Hill into the Martinborough wine region, then along Route 52 through endless twisties towards Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand.
It is our last day on the South Island, which can only mean on thing. Queen Charlotte Sound and along it, fantastic Queen Charlotte Drive. This narrow band of asphalt is a bikers dream, full of narrow twisties and beautiful views. Arriving in Picton we board the Kaitaki ferry and enjoy a sunny cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound. After a few hours at sea we leave the ferry in Wellington harbour and make our to our hotel in New Zealands capital city.
After a restful night listening to the brakers coming off the Tasman Sea we set out north along the coast. We stop at the stunnung Pancake Rocks, the carry on towards Cape Foulwind and into the Buller Gorge for some fantastic riding. After lunch we cross Hope Saddle and stop for a coffee at the Flat Rock Cafe in Kohatu, where we split up and head out into countryside for our farmstay.
Leaving Fox Glacier behind we head north along the coastal road. The rain that fell heavily during the night slowly eases off as we reach the town of Franz Josef. Here we stock up on Punamou and visit the Kiwis at the Wilderness Centre. From here we carry on through verdant rainforest, all the way to Punakaiki, home of the famous Pancake Rocks and our stop for the night.
There's no leaving Queenstown without getting the ultimate adrenaline rush: a jetboat ride through Shotover Canyon. What a blast! Later the rain cought up with us so we got wet --- again!
It's a perfect first rest day as we set out along beautiful Lake Wakatipu and head for Glenorchy, the gateway to Paradise. Fantastic twisties, stunning views and an excellent flat white at the end, what more could you want.
Well, how about some more riding? We head up to Coronet Peak and take in the view of Arrowtown below us, then return to the hotel just in time for pizza and beer at Winnies, home 9f the bes5 New Zealand style pizza in Queenstown.
We rose early today, at 5:30, had a quick breakfast and then embarked on one of the best rides in the country: the road to Milford Sound. There we spent an hour and a half on a cruise boat to experience the sound (its actually a fjord) in all its beauty. Afterwards we got to ride this awesome road again and yes, we had F-U-N!
Today takes us further south as we head over Lindis Pass to Kawarau Gorge, the site of the first ever commercial bungy jump. Luckily we have Matej with us who takes the plunge off Kawarau Gorge bridge, just so we can get some pictures. Our next highlight is just around the corner. Tom is waiting for us on the shore of Lake Wakatipu with a classic Edelweiss picnic. From here we head on to the Devil's Staircase, a beautifully twisty stretch of road along the Lake. We finally arrive in Manapouri where the stunning views are best enjoyed with a cold beer in hand.
The Paradise Down Under greets us once again with sunshine as we embark on our two-week tour (or three weeks respectively) from south to north. Follow us on this amazing journey!