Christchurch to Auckland Mini Adventure

Forums Forums Riding Places to ride Christchurch to Auckland Mini Adventure

This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  mmeredith 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #19655

    mmeredith
    Participant
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    • Rank: 80cc 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?

    Cheers!

    #19657

    OldBeer
    Participant
    • Location: Auckland
    • Bike: DL650, DRZ250, CB500X
    • Rank: 800cc Rider

    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.

    Cheers

    #19661

    mmeredith
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    • Location:
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    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks OldBeer

    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!

    #19670

    andy mac
    Participant
    • Location:
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    • Rank: 125cc 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?

    #19672

    glitch_oz
    Participant
    • Location:
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    • 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.

    #19918

    mmeredith
    Participant
    • Location:
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    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks everyone for the input.

    Sadly it seems our plans have hit a few spanners in the works.

    Molesworth/Acheron is closed at the Clarent river bridge, so cannot be used as a through road from Hanmer to Picton.

    As for the Rainbow Road, I contacted the farm to ask about early access and they said that due to heavy rain and slips access is unlikely for quite a while.

    So it looks like there’s no viable way to head north on the dirt.

    #19921

    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Location: Hamilton
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Hi @mmeredith, did you see @stephen-clark‘s update on the the rainbow road page? He’s said Tophouse Road is open as of a few days ago.

    The Rainbow Road

    #19931

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    [email protected], email from Rainbow today 31/10/17 ‘At this stage and for the foreseeable future the road will be closed while we clear the slips that have happened due to the heavy rain we have had this year.

    Please keep an eye on the website – http://www.rainbowstation.co.nz for further updates but it sounds like it could be closed for quite a while’.

    #19933

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    Ideally you could negotiate access with Molesworth via Severn / re gate (which is usually only available 1st Jan – 28th Feb), which would allow you to ‘cut across’ & use both sides of the road.

    We’ve run out of time to do so…(leave tomorrow night).

    #19941

    mmeredith
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    • Location:
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    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    <cite>@eddieb said:</cite>
    Hi @mmeredith, did you see @stephen-clark‘s update on the the rainbow road page? He’s said Tophouse Road is open as of a few days ago.

    https://www.adventureridingnz.co.nz/gps-tracks-rides/south-island-tracks/the-rainbow-road/#post-19910

    @eddieb, I saw that and got my hopes up. But when I contacted Rainbow Farms about early access and keys etc, they said that

    “At this stage and I have been told it will be for quite a while longer that the road is closed for access.

    Please refer to the website – http://www.rainbowhoney.co.nz for updates as they happen.

    The rain has been very heavy and access there has been lots of slips that need to be cleared.”

    (Pretty much the same as what Box.a.Bits was told).

    #19942

    mmeredith
    Participant
    • Location:
    • Bike:
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    <cite>@stephen.clark said:</cite>
    Ideally you could negotiate access with Molesworth via Severn / re gate (which is usually only available 1st Jan – 28th Feb), which would allow you to ‘cut across’ & use both sides of the road.

    We’ve run out of time to do so…(leave tomorrow night).

    @Box.a.Bits Would that be to head north via Rainbow then use Severn to cut across to Molesworth?

    If so I have contacted DOC asking if Severn access is at all possible. Nothing back yet. Also would that still be dependent on getting keys from Rainbow for that small section, or are the gates higher up?

    Are you just going to head along the road?

    #19943

    mmeredith
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    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    I have started devising a slightly better alternative to the road.

    The plan is to use the basic route google suggested for a Hanmer to Picton journey (SH 7 >SH 65 >SH 6 >SH 63 etc), but then to branch off that at every dirt road opportunity I get.

    I have been logging it in Excel form so far (see attached).

    It hasn’t been completed yet, because based on time available from Point 14 we’ll either head along the Google Maps prescribed route, or if we’re doing good on time, we may head up SH 6 towards Richmond and pick up a bunch more dirt tracks along the way.

    Still trying to piece together the GPX file though.

    #19996

    mmeredith
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    • Location:
    • Bike:
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Here’s the finalized planned route from Hanmer to Picton:

    I have attached the GPX file for any of those heading north or south during the times which the Rainbow and Molesworth routes are impassable.

    As for Wellington to Auckland… some good fortune presented itself in the form of a trailer relocation, so the bikes will not be in use for that stretch. I know it’s kinda cheating, but I’d rather save my tyres and engine hours for some fun trails, haha

    EDIT: My apologies, I didn’t know that GPX files couldn’t be shared in the thread. My bad.

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