Current road conditions in South Island NZ
Just doing a loop of South Island. I thought it would be helpful if I posted my opinions of the road conditions on the trip.
Picton – Nelson via Queen Charlotte road (just the tar sealed part). Be careful riding this straight off the ferry. The turns aren’t really marked out and the first blind left-hander I almost sailed out of my lane as the turns are sharp and abrupt. Good condition seal.
Takaka Hill (towards Farewell Spit). Great road. You really have to ride the Takaka hill on a motorbike. The Mussel Inn is about 15 minutes past Takaka and highly recommended for their own brewed beers. Suggested interest stop is the Riwaka River resurgence signposted at bottom of Takaka Hill (on Motueka side)
Murchison – Westport (Buller Gorge). This is probably my favourite road so far. Fantastic sweepers for a fast exhilarating ride. Good condition.
Near Franz Josef on either side there is a set of about 20 twisties just perfect if you are fresh in the morning. Don’t forget from Fox Glacier to Haast there is no fuel. I learned the awkward way that the first on the right after the salmon farm had spare petrol. :biggrin:
Road to Haast is spectacular but the chipseal has worn to the tar making this very slippery in the rain (and it always rains). Also I noted one section the rain had worn little ‘s’ grooves in the road which caught my front tire and wasn’t confidence inspiring. I would recommend you take it gently on this road and enjoy the amazing geography.
Wanaka – Arrowtown (Crown Range) is a must-do. Signs actually say to ‘Cardrona’ not Queenstown. So Cardrona is the route you want. Highest sealed road in New Zealand. Stop at the historic Cardrona hotel for a beer. Good condition road most of the way. The descent towards Queenstown side is sharp switchbacks worn back to tarseal so take easy.
Queenstown – Te Anau. Past the Remarkables is stunning. Some monkey has been laying cable or similar and there is an ashphalt strip running right along the centre of the road. Slippery in wet. Again I advise you to take it easy.
Okay, those are all my ‘take it easy’ warnings. Nothing there is too awkward but just something to be aware of. Through the West Coast there are extensive road works as crews battle mother nature to create sealed road.
Ah, the Mussel Inn!
When I went there for dinner some years ago, I was told they had four local brews.
The first was so good, I never got around to trying the other three, and the ambience was excellent.
Must get back to that part of the world one day.
bloody great beer.
By the way I have now changed my opinion about road conditions as I rode back over some of Nelson which has in the last 10 days been spotted with roadworks like a teenager with acne. Contractors are doing lots of last minute stuff before summer holidays strike. Just use your own nouse I suppose.
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