19 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 41 – Arthur’s Pass, NZ

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island covers the distance between the two major cities in the North Island, Wellington and Auckland, but this part of the country only has 33,000 thousand residents and bugger all cell phone coverage.

This week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast follows our journey up the coast and introduces some of the people we met along the way. All of them outstanding citizens.

This trip home is blowing any stereotypes we had about the people of this land out of the water. We have ridden into big walls of kindness, laughter, wisdom and friendship.

We visit some Greenstone carvers, glacier guides, a gold miner, a fisher and do our best to give some sort of verbal justice to the magical scenery, all while coming under attack by the wildlife in Arthur’s Pass National Park.

The Ride Up From Haast

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: up and over tiny Haast Pass; a Coaster’s rules; Belted Galloways, our favourite breed of cattle; this way on the West Coast Wilderness Trail; riding through native bush

Life on the Coast

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: the salmon truck and Dirk arrive at Lake Ianthe; salmon released; Baden and gold miner Des; water reservoir near Kumara; farm house at Whataroa; Des and Shelley inspect the mine

Home of Pounamu

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Left to right then down: Stan McCullum, master pounamu carver; the mighty Arahura, the greenstone river; Amy’s pounamu; Jade cutting blade; our hosts Jules and Mark in Fox Glacier

The Majesty of Arthur’s Pass

From top: up towards the viaduct on Arthur's Pass; Waimakariri Valley; watch out for the cheeky Kea; New Zealand fern; Cass railway station

From top: up towards the viaduct on Arthur’s Pass; Waimakariri Valley; watch out for the cheeky Kea; New Zealand fern; Cass railway station

Our Journey Up the West Coast

14 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 40 – Cardrona, NZ

Like the hopeful miners of the 1860s New Zealand Gold Rush, we too struck the precious metal while cycling through central Otago.

In this 40th episode of the How Are You? Where Are You podcast we follow in the footsteps, or even the cycle tracks, of the kiwi pioneers along the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River where we find signs of the bygone days.

What the hills surrounding the Clutha lack in altitude, they make up for in stature. They hem you in as you ride along their valleys.

Baden hones his sheep farming skills in a visit to a high country sheep farm and enters a heated discussion with Farmer Jack.

The week of cycling ends over a bottle of central Otago Pinot Noir while relaxing at the Cardrona Hotel, one of the country’s most iconic pubs. We reunite with cycling comrade Nick who decided to cross the Crown Range with us to be hooked up with nice food and good times.

Music Credit: Southern Man by Denis Henderson

Sharing the Road

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley in a reenactment of the gold rush times in Arrowtown; plaque marking the site of the first gold find in central Otago; asking motorists to not run us over; Shell cycles the Clutha Gold Trail; a tree blocks the trail’s path; can’t get enough of the mighty Clutha.

Over the Crown Range to Cardrona

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley on top of Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest sealed road pass; The cycling couple grapple with the gradients; almost beer o’clock at Cardrona Hotel; seafood platter and Speights; Baden and Shelley as mere specks on the road.

The Clutha Valley

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: High country sheep farming up the back of Shingle Creek; Clutha Mata-Au River revelling in fine sedimentation; it was hard to find which way to go in Clyde; Farmer Jack surveys the flock

Our Ride From Gore to Cardrona

04 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 39 – Balclutha, New Zealand

We became members of a cycle touring gang in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

As we headed into the remote Catlins region of southern New Zealand, we were joined by a couple of good buggers from the States.

Brian and Nick taught us a great deal and we had a brilliant time riding through some of the most stunning landscapes these isles have to offer.

Laughs and cheese rolls were shared on the journey and Nick’s mechanical nous came to the fore when Baden’s bike Fausto suffered his most catastrophic failure of the trip. A gallant attempt to resuscitate him an in impromptu ER in a woolshed was in vain, leaving the pair stranded in the wilderness until a kind Russian family came to the rescue.

There were some giant hugs handed out in Balclutha when we went our separate ways. The Americans drawn by the city lights of cosmopolitan Dunedin while the local kiwis sniffed the smell of moonshine in the Hokonui Hills.

Gang Riding in the Catlins

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: spotting the Yellow-Eyed penguin in Curio Bay; the same bird on our banknotes; more sage advice from Brian and Nick; riding to New Zealand’s actual southern-most tip at Slope Point

Cycle Touring in Heartland New Zealand

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: sheep rule the roads; Gore would like to be known as the Brown Trout fishing capital of the world; Shannon serves up the moonshine; Gore operates a No Gumboots Inside policy; Cheese Rolls, typical kiwi grub.