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NSZ1802: New Zealand Spring!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Anthony Fairweather / Thomas Ritt | Pacific

12th and last day: Roturua to Auckland

Day 11: Napier to Rottenrua

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Day 10: Wellington to Napier

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.

Day 9: Rest Day in Wellington 

Heavy rain in the morning convinces us to take it easy and explore Wellington. A stroll along the harbour and a visit to the Te Papa National Museum are topped off bz an exceelent in one of Wellingtons many fantastic restaurants.

Day 8: Motueka to Wellington 

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.

The ferry port in Picton
Dark clouds looming over Queen Charlotte Sound...

Day 7: Punakaiki to Motueka

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.

Hanna and Ran from Israel
the famous Buller River Road
Rudi has an eye for beautiful things

Day 6: Fox Glacier to Punakaiki

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. 

A rainbow for our daily briefing...
... and clouds lifting from the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps...
... but we still had to ride in the rain. But hey, it's a rainforest!!!!

Day 5: Queenstown to Fox Glacier

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!

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Day 4: Rest Day in Queenstown 

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. 


Day 3: Milford Sound

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!


A crisp, clear morning in the deep south-west of New Zealand
The group on the cruise ship. Clear blue sky over Milford Sound. Amazing!
Uschi (bottom right corner) cruising through the rainforest, snow-clad mountain tops as a backdrop. This is New Zealand!

Day 2: Twizel to Manapouri

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. 

Day 1: Christchurch to Twizel

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!

view of Banks Peninsula, right outside Christchurch
Tatjana and Matej from Slovenia, Rakaia Gorge in the back.
Looking at Rakaia Gorge
Dark clouds over Mt. John observatory
Aoraki, the "cloud piercer", aka Mt. Cook, showed his peak only for a few minutes.
15 happy riders from the US, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Israel, England and Canada.
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jeff kagey
Friday, November 23, 2018 at 16:04

halo rudi !!! good to see you are back on another tour !!! long time since the mayan empire tour in 2016 you ar in good hands with tony and thomas enjoy jeff kagey
Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 12:02

Hey hey, the mighty Steve T. back on tour!

My very best regards, straight from the other side of the world, where a motorcycle commute in -2° was something very different indeed.

Safe travels everyone!
Steve Thornton
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 16:32

Hi Wim! The might Steve T, indeed. Great to hear from you. Fabulous memories of our time in the Dolomites and elsewhere on the High Alps Tour. Hope to ride with you again sometime. Cheers!
Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 08:10

Hi Tom, Tony,

pls. greetings to Steve Th. - I assume he will write an article about that great tour - can't wait to read.... and seeing his pictures of that spectacular landscapes

Have a nice trip and all the best
Steve Thornton
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 16:30

Hi Dieter! Nice to hear from you -- I heard that you had mentioned me on the blog but have only now taken a moment to look at it. I'll check in again, but the New Zealand tour was (I could only do the initial 2 weeks, not the extension week) fantastic! Tom and Tony are terrific guides, and the other members of the tour were great riders and warm companions -- I'd ride with any of them again.
Monday, November 12, 2018 at 14:46

I wish you a fantastic trip through New Zealand enjoying the time.

best wishes
Thomas Ritt
Monday, November 12, 2018 at 18:23

Thanks Michaela,
we miss you here. Hope your arm heals up soon. We'll toast to your health frequently. LIke every night.
Michaela Achatzi
Monday, November 12, 2018 at 22:22

Hi Tom
Hi Tony
Hi lady’s and gentlemen

Drink only enough to drive, I promise to get well fast.
Thomas Ritt
Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 00:52

Thanks Michaela,
we'll try to drink enough, I promise...
Friday, November 23, 2018 at 15:58

halo thomas I see you are back in zealand i enjoyed your greece tour with tony please say halo for me jeff
Thomas Ritt
Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 03:18

Hi Jeff, glad you liked the Greece2Croatia! We had a good time here in NZ. Let me know next time you're in or around Austria! Cheers, Thomas


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