I am in Christchurch on 13 March and have until 8 April before I fly out of Auckland to Santiago with my V-Strom 650.
Although I have visited NZ before, I would welcome any advice regarding a good itinerary. I would like to cross the Southern Alps, if this is possible. Likewise, some advise on bike-friendly accommodation would be helpful.
Any advice regarding air freighting out of Auckland would be welcomed as Qantas Freight have not been particularly helpful. Qantas in Sydney were much better; they just wanted a dangerous air cargo certificate and the fuel had to be on reserve before the bike was strapped down onto one of their pallets.
26 days should allow you to see all the really good bits, NZ, it's only a small country but there is a huge amount to see. Luckily the scenery changes very quickly, you can go from sub tropical rain forest (West Coast) to sub alpine tussock (Otago) and on to lush rolling farm land (Southland) in a single day.
Starting form Christchurch is ideal and gives plenty of options, perhaps you could consider heading south and going in a clockwise direction around the South Island, go inland via Methvan and Geraldine than on to Mt Cook, (NZ’s highest mountain). From Mt Cook head south again towards Cormwell and Alexandra then on towards Invercargill (This is where Burt Munroe is from, (Worlds Fastest India)) via Gore. From Invercargill head north to Milford Sound via Te Anau. Milford is one of the wettest places on the planet, it gets something like 7 or 8 meters of rain every year, If it’s rain the day you are there, which it is likely to be, just enjoy it, the waterfalls are truly wonderful. Queenstown is worth seeing, It is VERY commercialised and not a good place to stay if you want to avoid crowds. The next place worth visiting is Wanaka which is a lovely lake side town surrounded by stunning mountains. From Wanaka head north over Haast Past an on to the famous West Coast which can also be wet. Head north towards Greymouth and turn inland and go over Arthur’s Pass back towards Christchurch, after the pass head north via the inland road via Oxford and Rangiora, Whai out for the police, that are very anal about the speed limit and will ticket you for anything over 110 kph (the limit is 100 kph). Then head to Lewis pass via Hanmer Springs which has thermal ho0t pools, just the thing after a days riding, the beer is pretty good in NZ too, especially the small boutique brewery’s offerings. After the pass you’ll be in the Buller region and the site of a major earth quake last century. Head north east towards Nelson, the Golden bay area (Motueka and Takaka ) is well worth a visit if you have time, especially the Mussel Inn traven. Don’t plan on riding anywhere after a couple of their pints as the beer is quite alcoholic. From Nelson head to Picton to catch the ferry to the North Island.
I think the key to really enjoying NZ is taking your time, the distances are quite small but there is so much to see and the scenery changes dramatically in very short distances so it’s a good idea not to rush the experience. You can ride from one end of the South Island to the other in a day but all you a likely to see is a hand full of speeding tickets.
Try this link for a Google maps image of the South Island
http://maps.google.co.nz/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=2138063803417364459,-43.514340,171.714060%3B2820522396847949261,-44.119190,171.025340%3B16399991971584881946,-43.794120,170.117110%3B752471008200557178,-44.690400,167.967970%3B8088306066447423347,-46.344810,168.347320%3B5363645678013350215,-46.033250,169.063010%3B4423301817151074829,-43.932140,169.110240%3B9277296131740935844,-42.533130,171.154860%3B10516908196110472782,-43.330470,171.900050%3B7406667792647871039,-42.590330,172.777150%3B2972387911476026434,-41.768200,171.592490%3B706986328342186138,-41.288900,173.272220&saddr=christchurch&daddr=Wind whistle+Rd+%40-43.514340,+171.714060+to:Geraldine+Fairlie+Hwy+%40-44.119190,+171.025340+to:Mt+Cook+Rd+%40-43.794120,+170.117110+to:Milford+Sound+Hwy+%40-44.690400,+167.967970+to:Winton+Lorneville+Hwy+%40-46.344810,+168.347320+to:Waikaka+Valley+Hwy+%40-46.033250,+169.063010+to:Haast+Pass+Hwy+%40-43.932140,+169.110240+to:Main+South+Rd+%40-42.533130,+171.154860+to:W+Coast+Rd+%40-43.330470,+171.900050+to:Mouse+Point+Rd+%40-42.590330,+172.777150+to:SH+67+%40-41.768200,+171.592490+to:Waimea+Rd+%40-41.288900,+173.272220+to:picton&mra=dpe&via=1,2,3, 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12&sll=-44.182204,172.023926&sspn=5.136746,10.030518&ie=UT F8&ll=-43.261206,171.298828&spn=10.431139,20.061035&z=6
The North Island is stunning as well, NZ is a wonderful country to explore by bike, you are in for a real treat.
The New Zealand Motorcycling Atlas by Peter Mitchell is very very good, get a copy and you can't go wrong, you can probably get them online, it's a smallish book that easily fits in a tank bag map pocket.
Here's a link for an other Google maps page for the North Island, hope the link works.
Have a wonderful trip.
http://maps.google.co.nz/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=12911798932413223147,-41.118377,175.362041%3B2424818738468278283,-40.639660,175.707990%3B6342619736097509700,-39.478810,173.882970%3B9297914872960730958,-39.134470,173.944670%3B9502399658505169829,-38.908250,175.244400%3B7118484428602697551,-39.419490,175.283700%3B14469645737385822972,-39.467620,175.664320%3B5925263241502244831,-38.708918,176.088447%3B3393392681055964896,-38.794980,177.538860%3B2536284483633020778,-38.649050,177.970370%3B1596663393344858223,-37.533730,175.914720%3B11778948704275494481,-37.023230,175.841370%3B15725022136940514131,-36.758850,175.581670%3B1948072610645767543,-36.986590,175.193580%3B13383078753581091716,-35.322980,174.109230%3B9263928512763124645,-35.492700,173.417630%3B10227937264259700390,-36.588390,174.488280&saddr=wellington&daddr=SH+2+% 40-41.118377,+175.362041+to:Newman+Rd+%40-40.639660,+175.707990+to:Surf+Hwy+%40-39.478810,+173.882970+to:S+Rd+%40-39.134470,+173.944670+to:River+Rd+%40-38.908250,+175.244400+to:SH+4+%40-39.419490,+175.283700+to:SH+49+%40-39.467620,+175.664320+to:Lake+Terrace+%40-38.708918,+176.088447+to:Tiniroto+Rd+%40-38.794980,+177.538860+to:Main+Rd+%40-38.649050,+177.970370+to:-38.125915,176.253662+to:SH+2+%40-37.533730,+175.914720+to:Tairua+Rd+%40-37.023230,+175.841370+to:Whangapoua+Rd+%40-36.758850,+175.581670+to:Kawakawa+Orere+Rd+%40-36.986590,+175.193580+to:Paihia+Rd+%40-35.322980,+174.109230+to:SH+12+%40-35.492700,+173.417630+to:Kaipara+Coast+Hwy+%40-36.588390,+174.488280+to:auckland&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&m rsp=11&sz=8&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,1 5,16,17,18&sll=-38.169114,176.594238&sspn=2.815665,5.015259&ie=UTF 8&ll=-38.505191,175.770264&spn=11.203026,20.061035&z=6
Ah, now I see why no one posts Google map links, they don't work> Oh well, the NZ Motocycle Atlas won't let you down.
Shipping Auckland, NZ to Santiago, Chile
We flew our 1150gs, Santiago, Chile, to Auckland with Lan Chile.
I collected it from the Air New Zealand Frieght depo where I left the pallet.
If its still there your welcome to it.
We had a bit of a run around from the Chile side, and here in NZ!!! details on our web site www.pooleglobaltrek.com
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