Christchurch to Auckland Mini Adventure
October 2, 2017 at 4:41 pm #19655
Rank: 50cc Rider
I have found myself in a situation whereby I live in Auckland but my bike resides in Christchurch. I moved up north about 3 months ago, but in about another month (2nd weekend in November) I will be going down to fetch my bike.
The bike in question is a 2015 Husqvarna FE350 with 19L long range tank, 14:50 gearing (as opposed to factory 14:52), KTM 690 wind shield, Steg Pegz, and Motoz Tractiontor Desert tyres. So I have kitted it as much for a distance t enduro balance as I could.
There will be 2 of us on bikes, with another 2 in a vehicle. The plan is to ride from Christchurch to Hanmer after work on the Friday. Ride the route up to Picton via Molesworth Station (the car will go the current alternate road route). Then catch the 18:45 Ferry to Wellington. Spend the night there, and do Wellington to Auckland on the Sunday.
I have thought about a few variations on this though:
A. Take our time travelling up to Picton as we would only need to board the planned ferry at 17:45
B. Leave a little before 7:00 so we can make boarding time on the 14:15 ferry. Get to Wellington around 18:00 and have a relaxed evening.
C. Do the same as above but once reaching Wellington we continue on to Palmerston North (ETA 20:00) and shorten Sunday’s leg from 8hrs down to 6hrs.
D. Spend Friday night in Christchurch, and do Christchurch to Picton on the Saturday (approx. 7hrs excluding stops). We’d still arrive with 2hrs to spare, plus we would save on 1 night’s accommodation.
Does anyone have any recommendations on which option works best? Are there fun dirt tracks on the North Island stretch that we (on the bikes) could use as an alternative to just sitting on the main road?
Attachments:October 2, 2017 at 7:27 pm #19657
Rank: 650cc Rider
- Location: Auckland
- Bike: DL650, DRZ250, 1992 Africa Twin! (Temporarily)
Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend.
Don’t know what you are used to doing but AFAIK long days on trail bikes = sore arses.
I’m a fan of taking things a bit slower (I’m old) and enjoying the ride rather then continually consulting your watch to see if you are going to make the ferry. From what I understand of the Molesworth, (havent done it yet, on my bucket list) I wouldn’t want to rush through it.
In terms of off roads and gravel, others will have a better idea of what you can do around the bottom half of the NI. I suspect once you get north of the mountains, you will probably be keen to get home and get off your bikes. Plus will probably be getting a bit dark once you’re up here (Auckland) so gravel is not so attractive.
Good luck whatever you choose to do and safe ride up.
CheersOctober 3, 2017 at 7:32 am #19661
Rank: 50cc Rider
Totally agree! those sort of distances on a trail bike will be sore butts for sure!
I haven’t ridden properly in a few months, so I may be in for a world of discomfort. That said though, I had a great time at the Dusty Butt ride in Feb (approx 10-12hrs per day x 3 days). And since then I have fitted some Steg Pegs, and the mini wind shield. Now standing for long periods of time is a pleasure.
But yeah, by Sunday afternoon I will probably just want to get back to Auckland, so all ideas of riding fun trails will have vanished, haha!
Safety first though!October 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm #19670
Rank: 80cc Rider
From Hanmer Springs the Rainbow Rd, 88 Valley Rd, Nelson, Maungatapu Track, Queen Charlotte Drive is more interesting than the Molesworth – but approx 50 km more.
In Lower North Island – Turakina Valley Rd is a good long windy gravel run heading in the right direction from Turakina to Tangiwai.
I think I had a beer with you in Fairlie after the Dusty Butt, when I was awaiting the recovery of my mates dead bike?October 4, 2017 at 11:41 am #19672
Rank: 400cc Rider
I think I’d stick to the original plan and see what the weather/ conditions bring on the day.
With an early start, running up the Molesworth and with the bulk of the distance behind you. there’s always a ~1.5hr return trip up Mt. Altimarloch (you’re coming past the front-gate while on the Molesworth).
If cloudy up top, keep going towards the coast, cross SH1 and spend an extra 30-45 mins around the Redwood Pass and a few beach access points.
Or get off the north end of the Molesworth and use Taylor Pass into the south of Blennie (about the same time as using the main roads, but mostly gravel).
Or add another 1-1.5hrs to the main-road option from Blennie->Picton via the Port Underwood option.
I’d get the bulk of the distance off my chart, then start playing with the remaining time.
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