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NSZ1702- New Zealand - the Paradise Down Under

Saturday, November 25, 2017 | Thomas Ritt / Ursula Peter | Pacific

We have to say good-bye to Cliff and Debra and to Tim, they are not coming on the North Island Extension. It was a pleasure having you on tour. Watch the blog, so you know what you missed .-)

Have a save flight back home, we hope to see you again.

All the best

Ursula and Tom

Day 13: Roturoa - Auckland

At Waihi Beach. The pictures of Ralf sunbathing are classified. Sorry ladies...
This is the former public bath house in Rotorua. Not in the Black Forest...

final dinner at the Sky Tower in Auckland with a spectacular view

Day 12: Napier - Roturoa

The port of Napier is the busiest one on the North Island's east coast
Dormant volcano Mt. Ruapehu is visible from far away - if the weather is good. It was good today. Just like it has been for almost 2 weeks now.
The group with Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Ngauruhoe as a backdrop. What a stunning view!
A sight to behold, a moment to remember
Ralf badly missed his bicycle...

a performance of traditional Maori culture - dancing, singing and the Haka

Ralph is taking it seriously

Day 11: Wellington - Napier

We cut through the suburbs of Wellington and climb Rimutaka Hill, a spectacular and usually windswept pass road. Then we leave the highway in favor of small roads without traffic and loop through the Martinborough wine region. “New Zealand’s Napa Valley” is a popular place for Wellingtonians to spend their weekends.
Through green, hilly farm country we ride to Pongaroa, where we have lunch in the historic hotel. Be careful, there may be sheep on the road at any time!
We'll end up in Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand.

not so many pictures today - we had to ride these 500 km

the historic hotel in Pongaroa

that`s how it looks like when real men go for drink

it doesn`t feel like, but we are close to the ocean and Tim is enjoying his fish platter

nearby is the home of Tui brewery

the longest name on earth - Jane is to small to look over it

A natural disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. On the morning of February 3rd 1931 a massive earthquake - 7.9 on the Richter scale - rocked Hawke's Bay for more than three minutes. Nearly 260 lives were lost and the vast majority of buildings in the commercial centre of Napier were destroyed, either by the quake itself or the fires that followed.

Rebuilding began almost immediately, and much of it was completed in two years. New buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco. Local architect Louis Hay, an admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright, had his chance to shine. Maori motifs were employed to give the city a unique New Zealand character - for example, the ASB bank on the corner of Hastings and Emerson Streets features Maori koru and zigzags. 

Day 10: Rest day in Wellington

Today’s short ride leads to the Kapiti Coast where we can visit the Southward Car Museum, the largest vintage car collection in New Zealand and one of the best in the world.
Of course you don't have to ride if you don't want to. Wellington has enough on offer to keep you busy for a day. Very busy!

Mount Victoria offers gorgeous views of the city of Wellington

Kapiti Coast with Kapiti Island

the Southward Car Collection - Jo liked it

Day 9: Farm to Picton and Ferry to Wellington

Today is a special day because we will embark on a cruise! But first we ride through the scenic Marlborough Sounds, one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand. Most impressive: a ride on Queen Charlotte Drive, definitively among the world’s most phenomenal roads.
In Picton we board the ferry, glide through picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound out to Cook Strait, and after just over three hours we reach Wellington, the nation’s capital.

coffee stop at Pelorus bridge

Gorgeous view of Queen Charlotte Sound
Our ferry sailing in

leaving the Malborough Sound and going out to Cook Strait

Day 8: Punakaiki - Nelson/Farmstay

We leave Punakaiki, the site of the famous “Pancake Rocks,” and after only 40 miles we take a break at beautiful Cape Foulwind with its seal colony. Historic gold digger sites mark our ride along the legendary Buller River and through the wild, remote bush and forest landscape of the South Island.
We will spend the night not with the group but on individual, B&B-like “Country Stays”, which gives us the opportunity to experience everyday life in this wonderful country.

Jo loves pancakes!

the Pancake Rocks

a Weka

Irimahuwhera lookout

Cape Foulwind

Buller Gorge

we met some well-known customers at the River`s Cafe in Murchison - Vivian and Paul!

What a pleasure!

Today we have the homestay. Jim, Jane and me we are staying at Bruce and Sandra Monro`s place. They potters, painters, travellers and destillers . And look at the beautiful place we are

it is a homemade delicious limoncello - and look at the bottle

Ralf arrived late at his farmstay. Too many photo ops!

Day 7: Fox Glacier - Punakaiki

Glaciers - Rainforest and the Tasman Sea

We leave the ice behind and head towards gold in Hokitika, the old gold digger capital. Due to its historical background the West Coast is also known as the Gold Digger Coast, but nowadays everything around here revolves around jade, also known as greenstone, or Pounamu, as the Maori call it. 
Arthurs Pass is the main crossing point of the Southern Alps, the only road in New Zealand that features high alpine scenery as we know it from the European Alps. It is a lovely ride, but the main reason to come up here are the Keas, alpine parrots with a very bad reputation. They are super-smart and highly endangered, and up here on the pass we have the best chance of seeing some.

but the day started to some of us at 6 a.m. with a hike around Lake Matheson for some awesome pictures. Mount Cook is mirroring in the Lake. It took us some efforts to get these pics

waiting for the fog to clear....

and also the walk to the  lake was a highlight

Cliff and Debra saying goodbye....

..... to the world of ice

when ever anybody is on the West Coast - the Bushman Center is the place to go. You have to watch the movie in the high end "cinema" and just have a look round, there are awesome things to discover.....

an eel....

Justine is making one of the best coffees in the area

..... and some good slogans

Ralf and Justine

the group just doesn`t want to leave - but we have to.Tom is waiting with the picnic

Lake Mahinapua - what a spot for an Edelweiss picnic

Cliff and Debra in meditation

naughty rubber eating Keas on Arthur`s Pass

photoshooting on the coastline

Tim

Day 6: Queenstown to Fox Glacier

Mountains,lakes, rainforest, ocean, glaciers, all connected by an awesome road. What an incredible day.

the morning started with a wild ride on Shotover River

the Cadrona Hotel

not for motorcycles but for Tesla cars

one FAQ is missing on the list "where is the toilet?"

Cadrona Hotel - the garden, a nice place for a coffee

View from Crown Range Summit
Lake Wanaka, with Mount Aspiring in the back
Lake Wanaka again
Ralf, searching for photo locations
Debbie and Cliff, strolling through the rainforest

Day 5: Queenstown

Queenstown is a place unlike any other in New Zealand. It is full of backpackers, adventure-seekers and adrenaline-junkies, the average age seems to be somewhere around 25, and the air is saturated with fun, adventure and party.
This beautiful town, nestled between mountains right at Lake Wakatipu, is named the Adventure Capital of the world; after all it’s the place where bungy jumping was invented. You can also put your courage to the test at jet boating, white water rafting, aerobatics, sky diving, paragliding, or -sailing. But it’s not all about hair-raising adventure activities; there is also relaxing ones like a cruise on the 100 year old steamer TSS Earnslaw, or a tour from winery to winery.
The ride today will be along Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, the entrance to paradise.
 

on the fantastic road along the Waikatipu Lake 

he knows how to indulge

and in the afternoon a boat cruise with the TSS Earnslaw - the "Old Lady" of Lake Waikatipu. She is believed to be the oldest working coal-fired steamship in the "Southern Hemisphere"

Walter Peak High Country Farm - on the other side of the lake

Ralf our journalist from the "Tourenfahrer" is always busy

the Remarkables at sunset

Day 4: Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Milford Sound,the 8th wonder of the world, was still cloudy when we arrived at 8:45 in the morning. The ride on Milfod Road was quite cold and also there was more traffic than usual: 7 cars and one truck did we pass during the 1 1/2 hour ride. Crazy.

The boat cruise was amazing as we could not only watch the clouds disappear but were also able to spot dolphins, seals and even penguins.

Journalist @ work
Tim, Cliff and Debbie
Jo, whipping the tele lens out...
Jim and the legendary cap. They don't make them like they used to...
On our ride back to Te Anau we came across this lonely Kea
Reflections in Mirror Lake

the Takahe - a bird which was supposed to be extinct

only 300 of them are left on this planet  

Picnic at Lake Te Anau

The well fed group

the meadows are dotted with white sheeps

Tussok grass - it looks very beautiful

Day 3: Twizel - Te Anau

Beautiful Lindis Pass is the gateway to Otago region
Kawarau Bridge has seen 29 years of commercial Bungy jumping
Nobody in the group was brave enough to jump so we watched some other people do it.

Day 2: Christchurch - Twizel

It's spring in New Zealand, the Southern Alps are still snow covered, but the sun is already strong. It didn't shine this morning, as we left Christchurch, and the temperatures hovered around 10°C. But as soon as we reached the High Country the sky turned blue and it became twice as warm. A good start to this tour!

on the Summit Road - view to Lyttelton

the Rakaia gorge

Jim and Jane

the church of the good shepherd and Lake Tekapo

Cliff is meditating on Lake Tekapo shore

since a Chinese celebrity married here a lot of his friends are coming to visit the famous place

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook

normally I don`t like me in pictures but these are two good ones - of course they are not taken by me but by our journalist

Mt. Cook, aka Aoraki, meaning "cloud piercer". A true highlight of this tour, already on day 1
Tour guide Ursula, cruising past Lake Tekapo
This is Ralf...
... and here we have Jo from Switzerland
Jim & Jane...
... and Tim, slightly distracted by the amazing scenery.
And last but not least: Cliff & Debbie

Day 1: Arrival in Christchurch

The Cathedral in Christchurch - the city is still suffering from the earthquake

before we getting the bikes ready and preparing the tourstart breakfast is necessary

no 46 on the cappuchinos here it is the silverfern

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Add a comment Rate this post
Paul Newrick
Monday, November 20, 2017 at 19:27

It's certainly a small world!
Really great to have bumped into our friends Ursula and Thomas in Murchison - your blog is as superb as ever guys
We look forward to our next trip with you in 2018
Paul and Vivien
Ursula Peter
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 06:57

Hi Vivian, hi Paul,
small world indeed. We are looking forward to seeing you again. Enjoy your trip
All the best
Ursula
von Waldburg Gabriele
Friday, November 17, 2017 at 15:47

Hallo Ursula
Bei dem Wetter wäre ich auch gern dort
Beneidenswert!
Viel Spass und hoffentlich bis bald mal wieder auf dieser grossen weiten Welt
Glg gaby
Ursula Peter
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 08:25

Ja hallo Gaby,
wir haben doch erst in Malaga gefrühstückt
Du kannst noch kommen, es gäbe für die Verlängerungswoche Nordinsel noch ein Bike. Ein Landsmann von dir wär auch dabei.
Na wie wärs? Wir sind an der Westküste bei strahlendem Sonnenschein.
Liebe Grüße
Ursula
Gerti VanderSchuur
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 06:54

Hello Ursula,
Beautiful pictures bringing back fond memories ! Enjoy your time in NZ.
Gerti
ursula.peter@edelweissbiketravel.com
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 19:35

Hi Gerti,
nice hearing from you. We are in Te Anau at the moment and going to Milford Sound this morning - remember the nice cruise ship captain and the perfect boat cruise?
Regards to Paul and all the best
Ursula
Gerti Vander Schuur
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 00:39

Hope you found a day with sunshine and blue skies ! We are seriously considering the Machu Picchu Adventure.
Safe travels, Gerti
Ursula Peter
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:04

Go for it, I think it is a good choice.
Regards Ursula
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 04:02

The scenery looks beautiful.Glad that having a good time. Your Dad would of loved it.
Jim's sister
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 03:02

Free beer? And motorcycles?! Well, keep your helmets on...

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