South Island Touring

We left Auckland, for seven weeks in the South Island, on the day that DOC closed the Molesworth Route because of the extreme fire risk which was not unreasonable but certainly bad timing from my point of view. As a result we headed first towards the West Coast in the hope that it would be reopened before we took the ferry back home at the end of March, which it did.

I am riding a 1978 BMW R80/7 which we had on a trailer behind the motorhome and I was hoping to get in a ride, two or three times a week or as time permitted. I am now 74 years old and as I was riding alone I did stick to the grade one routes from a safety standpoint, I also am not as brave as I used to be. Thanks to Josh and his website I was able to stick with roads that gave me a reasonable ride in conditions that I could handle.

From Havelock I rode the Kenepuru Road out to Titirangi Bay and down to Anakoha Bay.
Okiwi Bay: French Pass Road out to the Pass and the Liger Road out to Bulwer.
Greymouth: the Ahaura Kopara Road, Arnold Valley Road and Maori Gully Road.
Hokitika: Stafford Loop Road, Kumara Inchbonnie Road and Lake Brunner then on up to Arthurs Pass returning to Hokitika via Old Christchurch Road.
Naesby: Danseys Pass and on to Hakataramea Pass Road.
Queenstown: Skippers Canyon and the Branches Road.
Lumsden: Mavora Lakes and the Mount Nicolas Road.
Dunedin: Mahingerangi Road, Waipori Road and Waipori Falls Road.
Geraldine: Peel Forest and on the Mesopotamia Valley.
Seddon: The Molesworth and back to Seddon through Kaikoura.
Raglan: Down to Kawhia around the coast road and return to Raglan.
Port Waikato: The Klondyke Road to Onewhero and through the inland route to Nikau Caves and back to Port Waikato on the coast road.

The trip went well and the bike behaved well. If I were to do it all again I would probably look at a lighter bike but with the amount of riding I did on sealed surfaces and the distances covered each day the BMW did it all with reasonable comfort. In doing the Molesworth I had to get back to Seddon to the motorhome and it was a nine hour day with eight hours of riding and I was thankful for the extra comfort of the old Beemer.

Photo 1 of South Island Touring
French Pass
Photo 2 of South Island Touring
Mavora Lakes
Photo 3 of South Island Touring
Even the birds were welcoming at Mavora Lakes
Photo 4 of South Island Touring
Mesopotamia Valley
Photo 5 of South Island Touring
Danseys Pass and above the clouds
Photo 6 of South Island Touring
At the top of the Hakataramea Pass
Photo 7 of South Island Touring
Mahinerangi Lake
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Waipori Road
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Shotover River
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The dogs enjoying space to run at Waikato Heads
Author of this article: Hobbyhorse