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Nevis Road

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  • #3643
    Frank Widmer
    • Rank: 50cc Rider

    Unlimited ford crossing

    The Nevis Valley is in central Otago, I took the main road to Bannockburn. From there it took only few minutes to get to the main gate into the valley. Then the road ascents for 1370 M to the Nevis Pass therefore the highest public road in New Zealand. There are many photo stops on Carrick Range, to take a look back to Lake Dunstan and Cromwell. It is much better to travel on dry road than the wet one as it could get very slippery. After Nevis Crossing, there are sections with bigger rocks on the road while other sections are very loose with dust. After heavy rainfall the fords rise very fast and results the crossing difficult or impossible from fast current.

    On the day I did the Nevis road has no rain for a week and very dry which is perfect to travel. A few fords were still half wheel deep, up to 60m wide. The splashing water was very refreshing in the intense heat. I loved each crossing! There are a few gates close to Ben Nevis Station which are usually closed but not locked up therefore easy to open and pass with the bike. The valley is divided by steep rocky gorge, the lower and upper Nevis whereby the upper Nevis is very isolated but with breathtaking beauty of the valley. There are numerous remainders of history are on both sides of the road which is worth to take a look at the old cemeteries, or old Nevis Village. They are the remaining foundations and former settlement. As usual it will be very hot during summer time while winter months are very harsh with thick snow in the valley.

    Around 40km before Garston, the road is very rocky and very difficult to ride with a full loaded Adventure Bike of mine. However, it is a very good work out. It is worth to have enough time on this trip as there are numerous camp spots beside the road which are welcomed to pitch up the tent and to stay with the most beautiful scenery of Otago.

    I recommend traveling in a group on this trip just in case there is something goes wrong and there is always a support behind. Otherwise, it will be difficult as there is no mobile phone coverage in the whole valley.

    The Nevis Valley section from Cromwell to Garston is around 90km long of journey. It took me around 7h to travel included the photo stops and lunch break. If you get on the Sh 6 by Garston, there is a Pub which offers welcoming refreshments. Of course, I will do it again for 2 to 3 days on my next day off. There is too much of the gold mining history to explore!
    To see more pictures of this trip please visit:

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    Looks great Frank.

    You can include your images in the ride reports on the website by going to your milfordart website and for each image you want to include in the ride report, right mouse click on the image and select ‘Copy Image URL’.
    When entering the ride report here use the ‘img’ button just above the text window and paste the image url into the popup window that appears.

    I have added one of yous pics above in so you can see how it appears.

    For those that are not familiar with the Nevis, here’s some info and a downloadable GPS track file.

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