Discovering biking heaven

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Apr 24, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, February 4, 2013

The alarm called at 0630 and after delicious home cooked pancakes for breakfast we hit the road at 0800. Unfortunately it was chucking it down with rain. Proper rain not the faint mist we are used to in the UK.

With there not being any petrol between Te Anau and Milford Sound we filled up in the local Caltex Gas station. The owner asked us where we were heading off to and when we told him he advised us to put our itinerary back by a day as we were about to do one of the best biking roads in the world in the wet!

Now we had heard that Milford Sound in the wet was the real deal as all the waterfalls would be flowing but neither of us had heard about the road to Milford Sound.

We suggest if you need info about our destination then google will make a far better job than us in describing its beauty so we will concentrate our blog on the road as we saw it.

Essentially the road to Milford Sound is a cul de sac, one that is 120km long. 120km with no towns, villages, shops,cafes. Just the odd farm and scenic viewing point or wilderness campsite.

Apart from the odd section that had been recently regraded the surface was in great condition and grippy. Full of long sweeping bends with high visibility we were able to maintain a good pace. In over 100km we came across 2 cars 4 camper vans and a push bike (pulling a trailer)!

The temperature was about 13C. The last 50km was tighter and the undulations steeper as we ran through the rain forest. Apparently this area is one of the wettest in the world as the warm damp air that has travelled many 1000s of miles hits the mountains, rises, cools down and dumps rain in the area.

Two drowned but very happy rats arrived in Milford Sound to be instantly attacked by sand flies. We took sanctuary in the impressive visitor centre where we booked a nature cruise round the Sound.

Sure enough waterfalls that hadn't been flowing on Sunday were at full flow on Monday just for us. The seal colonies were also in performance mode to entertain us. All very impressive and worth while but the bonus was to be the reverse trip.

It's not much fun putting on a damp crash helmet and while Jan in her Hein Gerike kit was as dry as a bone Wally felt like he had got a little too excited and had wet his pants.

BMW Gortex gloves didn't fare any better and they were rung out before the return journey. On the dry side both our new Alpinestars cross between hiking and biking boots did a fantastic job and kept our feet comfortable and cosy.

The rain had abated and the road even started to dry, a little more traffic on the road but with plenty of overtaking opportunities they were soon behind us. It had warmed to 19C by now and our kit was starting to dry out in the wind. But with only 15km to home suddenly and virtually without warning the temperature dropped to 11C and the heavens opened again. Drowned again!

In town for dinner by chance we came across a guy who we first met when he was picking up his GS in Christchurch at the same time as us. He too looked rather damp but all he could talk about was the road.

The guy in the gas station was right despite the rain Highway 94 Te Anau to Milford Sound must be one of the best biking roads in the world.

Queenstown the adrenaline rush centre of the universe beckons tomorrow.
15000ft sky dive, white water rafting, jet boat ride, bungy jumping its all there. What will we do?
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Galf on

I finally wet my pants!
Keep it up.

Dave Kinghorn on

Some of that sounds quite poetic Wal, I assume Jan is helping with the big words?!

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