Blogs from Mackenzie District, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District March 15th 2014

After a sparse breakfast and a walk around the golf course, we left our bags and collected our lunches from the shop across the road. From there we headed to the Benmore Dam where we had to bike up a steep incline to the top of the dam. That was not a nice way to start the day! It was steep and I was knackered by the time I reached the top. It was a grand view out over the Waitaki Valley and well worth the effort. From there the Speedos flew down the incline on the other side of the dam. From there on it was an easy ride on the far side of the Lake Aviemore past lovely picnic and camping areas along many part of the lake. It would be a superb place ... read more
Morning tea stop

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District March 14th 2014

The stay at Lake Ohau Lodge has been fantastic. The service is excellent and the outlook stunning - looking up to the head of the lake with flat station grazing at the head waters. After a full breakfast we headed off early on a cool morning. We knew the day would be long so we wanted to get the hilly part out of the way before it warmed up. What was supposed to be rolling at the start followed by a long continuous uphill, turned out to be long continuous uphill from the start. It was a slow grind uphill all the way for nearly 11kms. The description says easy cycling. Yeah, right! Maybe for someone in their 20s or 30s! The track was often very rough with angular stones to bounce you about or slow ... read more
At the end of the tussock ride
The completed bike trail along Lake Benmore

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District March 13th 2014

We left our bags at 8.30am for the coach to take through to Lake Ohau. The cars were also left at a parking area to be picked up in a few days on our return. For ourselves, after we had prepared our lunches and got ready for the day we headed into Twizel for some decent coffee to start the day. We eventually left Twizel around 10am. The first part of the bike ride is very easy going out along Glen Lyon Road past lifestyle properties and eventually along the Pukaki and Ohau Canals. Along the Ohau Canal were large salmon farms to provide a bit of interest but mostly it was a time to cycle easily and swiftly. This was flat and in stark contrast to yesterday's lake and Alps. We were surrounded by the ... read more
Lunch stop along Lake Ohau
Dinner time with the crew
Evening on Lake Ohau

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District March 12th 2014

Last night the 10 of us met at our Motel in Twizel (The Chalets), some of us having travelled from afar - us from New Plymouth to Christchurch by plane and then car to Twizel. All of our group are Nelsonians - 2 from Nelson, the rest from the Ruby Coast, Tasman. This morning we all met at the Cycle Journey's office just along the street where our bikes were loaded onto a trailer and we piled into a mini-bus driven by Eaven. From Twizel we were transported up the northern side of Lake Pukaki to Jollies Car Park which is 12km beyond Braemar Station and right beside Mt Cook Station. The morning was cold and foggy but very calm. We broke out of the cloud near the top of the lake to a most fantastic ... read more
On the road below Braemar Station
The farmer from Braemar Station
At the end of Lake Pukaki

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District December 22nd 2012

Kimber, lake Tekapo Twizel and Wanaka. We had a good nights sleep on the farm in Kimber but awoke to cloudy cold weather. We left by 9 and as we travelled along the road, mountains on either side the sky began to clear and we could see the tops of the snow covered mountains. All along the road were lupins and then we arrived at Lake Tekapo. It was stunning! The lake was a beautiful blue and so still and the snow covered mountains were all around. We went to visit the church that was built around 1935 and saw the view the parishioners would see when listening to the sermon as there is a window overlooking the mountains at the back of the pulpit, the guide was a very pleasant fellow as we find most ... read more

2 and 3 March. Today we transferred to Sydney without anything exceptional happening. Our flight to Christchurch was delayed by an hour so it was late when we arrived (around 01.00 am). They had arranged wheelchair assistance for me which enabled us to fast track through immigration and baggage but we had to open our cases at Environmental Control because we’d been walking in the forest in the Blue Mountains and our boots might have been carrying some undesirable bug. Anyway the nice lady with the nicely pressed uniform and holstered Smith and Weston hand gun took my boots and gave them a jolly good clean with some sanitizer but for some reason wouldn’t apply leather dubbing and weatherproof when I asked her! Because our bed and breakfast in Christchurch, booked before the quake hit, couldn’t ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District February 18th 2010

Day 83: Thursday, February 18th, 2010 Milford Sound to Lake Ohau: "In the morning we'll breakfast on board before heading back to the mainland. We travel past Lake Te Anau and the Clutha River to Arrowtown for the chance to find gold. Then we head to the Southern Alps to our lodge at Lake Ohau which affords views over Australasia's tallest peak, Mt. Cook." I can't say I slept well. I'd roll over and apparently I'm a violent roller because I'd thwack my arm against the cabin wall. At least the sheets/beds were clean, so I didn't have that fear all night (not sure if I'll ever be able to try an overnight train again... thanks Egypt.) We had breakfast on the boat and it had rained last night and was still raining so suddenly we ... read more
Us walking over the Bridge of Doom
Taliban Toga meets Hawaiian Tropic Toga
Mikey & Emmo with some of the gals.

Hi All, Have visited loads of places and having a great time. A motor home is the way to see all. DAY 1 Antarctic Centre, then to Geraldine and stayed at Grumpy's Caravan Park. DAY 2 Lake Tekapo and Cook Mountain and Twizel Day 3 Cromwell and on to Queenstown The snow covered mountains are beautiful and the lakes bright blue. Our photos look like picture postcards. I never knew you could wear the same clothes so many times you only wash when they start to smell. Camping facilities are geared for motorhomes if you dont mind walking across a pitch black camp site to minus 2' shower blocks. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District March 25th 2009

Then we moved on to Adrenaline heaven - Queenstown. We had tried to do a skydive over Lake Wanaka on the way down to Queenstown it would have been very impressive especially with Mount Cook in the background but alas the weather was too windy and too dangerous. On to Queenstown. We happened to mention to our driver the hostel we had booked in Queenstown and he was horrified. It was the highest rated hostel in the BBH guide for Queenstown so we assumed it was a safe bet. The driver warned us away from the place. We didn't know who to believe. We suspected that the driver was possible trying to steer us towards one of the Magic Bus affilliated hostels and away from the competuition. But what if he was right. We were waiting ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Mackenzie District December 17th 2008

I'm getting progressively more behind with this blog, it's over 5 months since I was at this stage of my NZ journey. I'm not sure where the time has gone. Anyway, this part of the story was really the last chapter in my circuit of South Island - it was almost time to fly to Melbourne for Christmas. We left Dunedin and drove along the coast, stopping for a while at Moeraki to see the boulders which are strewn along the beach - my lonely planet tells me they were formed millions of years ago around lime crystals within the surrounding mudstone, for which I will just have to take their word. After Moeraki we arrived in Oamaru, which looked like an interesting town, with lots of impressive old buildings built from the local limestone - ... read more
more boulders
Early morning, Lake Tekapo
Aoraki/Mt Cook

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