news from abroad - overview


Old man - no bike --- my first days

It started at Munich airport. The soles of my 25 year old trekking shoes lost structural integrity. Both. I cleaned them a few weeks ago and everything seemed to be stable and fine...

Up North...and back again

up north... to many hills, to much traffic. As cyclist I recommend to get the ferry to Devonport to avoid the busy harbour bridge in Auckland. Leaving the suburbs takes a long time and already now you can experience what will be the main theme in the Northland: hills...

Coromandl, Rotorua and East Cape

a ferry let me avoid Aucklands traffic and the stretch via Miranda and Thames and started me off 10km south of Coromandel town. Gold was discovered here in 1852 and you can still visit some of the mines. Via Colville I continued north into a dead end: Fletcher Bay...

Walk around Lake Waikaremoana

After Morerere hot springs, I booked the huts for my walk around Lake Waikaremoana in Wairoa. I did this Great Walk of New Zealand slow in 4 days and had 3 days of excellent weather, but some rain (and later some hail and snow in the camp site)...

From North to South

Picture perfect day in Taupo, but rain the next morning, when it started raining at 7 am and I had my tent already dry in my bags at that time and at 6.30 a coffee in my way to Turangi (best trout fishing in NZ). Desert Road was very wet at that day...

Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes National Park

Back to Motueka from Golden Bay you have to climb Takaka Hill, 800m, and to start your track in Marahau another little hill, 250m, has to be crossed. Old Mac Donald has a farm in Marahau...

Crossing the Alps via Arthurs Pass - Attack of the Mountain Clowns or Kea Strikes Back

Long ride to the west coast from St Arnaud to Westport, with a trip to the seal colony about 190km that day on my bike...

Christchurch

My tent was dry this morning when I brought it to TwinNeedle in Saxxon St. A few hours later I had patches on my tent where the Kea ripped it. In my mind I overheard a conversation between Sherlock Holmes and Prof Dr Dr Dr van Dusen arguing about the nature of the holes in my tent...

Ocean2Alps

The Banks Peninsula can be quite demanding on a hot day, if you choose to maximize your ups and downs via Summit Road, Diamond Bay, Port Levy, Pigeon Bay and the outer Summit Road to the French settlement of Akaroa. Back via Bossu Road on an unsealed road at the top up to 750m. The Canterbury Plains down to Rakaia...

Otago Central Rail Trail and a real pushbike

Lindis Pass and the way to Clyde was a bit tiresome, because whatever direction I cycled the wind turned against me. Otago is not as green as most of New Zealand, there are burren landscapes, but their wines can be rich in a good year. Otago Central Rail Trail was created along a rail track...

Two Great Walks within one week

I left for Stewart Island the next day, booked my tickets for the huts in Oban and experienced rain, hail, strong wind and sunshine that afternoon on my way to Port Williams Hut. That hut was serviced by a warden, Tom, about 75 years old, from England, who calls himself a dinosaur...

Hollyford Valley and Milford Sound

Heading North from Te Anau direction Milford Sound and after The Divide a turn into Hollyford Valley and to Gunns Camp, which began 1938 as a Public Works Department camp built for the men working on the Hollyford-Okuru Road. No phone, no Internet, hot water for showers heated by wood fire (that is 2015 not 1938 I am talking about)...

Mavora Lakes, Lothlorien and Wanaka

From Te Anau a short ride on an unsealed road to Mavora Lakes, where I took the afternoon "off" and read a book, watched birds in flight and enjoyed the sunset on Christmas day. Walther Peak Station is at the end of this Mavora Road and only cyclists or other foot passengers can use the steamship TSS Earnslaw to Queenstown...

Alps2Ocean - West Coast

On New Years Eve and Jan 1st I enjoyed very good weather on the Gillespie Circuit, not as the names Mt Awful, Mt Dreadful or Siberia Valley would suggest. The track was a little bit more challenging then my other walks: two river crossings (1m deep) and some rough pieces of track in the beginning...

SuperMario and Rainbow Road

Reefton the 'City of Light' was the first city with electric lighting on its roads in New Zealand back in 1888 and at some places in that quaint little town you may think that time stood still from then on. Lewis Pass is less spectacular than its bigger brother Arthurs Pass, but no mountain parrots ripped my tent apart there...

Wellington

Two days in New Zealands capital. Te Papa, the national museum, with NZs history, Maori artefacts, natural history, galleries etc. An exhibition is about the battle of Gallipoli, WWI, Turkey, at the moment. A bit to much Hollywood for my taste, but the stories are well told...

Art Deco and Gannets

Rimutaka Incline, a rail trail converted to a cycle track is an alternative to the busy main road to Featherston. Passing through the vineyards of Martinborough and on small roads first to Masterton and further on Route 52 via Alfredton, Pongaroa, Wimbledon to Waipukurau. A nice surprise was the swimming pool near Wimbledon...

Rivers and Mountains

I was glad that Napier-Taihape Road was recently sealed, the climbs are quite steep and would not be much fun on gravel. Strong wind in Ohakune, time enough to cycle the Old Coach Road, but not the kind of weather to go hiking in Tongariro. However next morning Mt Ruapehu appeared between the clouds for a short time...

Mt Taranaki

and a few pictures from Mt Taranaki this morning: started at 5 am, first light at about 6 am today...

Volcanoes and Forgotten World Highways

Leaving New Plymouth and Mt Taranaki via the Forgotten World Highway, a quite deserted stretch of road with quirky villages like Whangamomona on the way, whose inhabitants declared their independence from NZ after a local government decision. Nice ride, but very hilly and partly unsealed...

The Endless Summer

From Taupo to the west again, mostly farmland but a few large forrests like Pureora.Waitomo Caves, Auckland and Rotorua were the Golden Triangle of tourism early last century, when it was not uncommon and encouraged to break of pieces of stalactites in the caves for souvenirs...