Sunday, 24 January 2021

2021 South Island Trip

This is the plan, of course as they say "no plan survives contact" but they do also say "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" so I like to make a plan, and so far this is my plan... 


06/02/2021 | Saturday | Day 1

Home to Blenheim 

This day is pretty much all about just getting it done, just get onto the South Island, bang the two destinations in google maps and see what it thinks the fastest route for the day is, then do that.

Auckland to Wellington  | 665 km | 8:00 hr
Ferry to Accommodation | 22 km | 20 min

06:00 - Depart from Auckland.
15:00 - Check-in at ferry [my sailing is running an hour early] 
19:30 - Arrive in Picton 
Drive to Blenheim

Accommodation: Four Seasons Backpackers

2 Ferry Road
Spring Creek
Blenheim 7202
New Zealand

Cost: $70 | Standard Triple Room, Private Bathroom


07/02/2021 | Sunday | Day 2

Blenheim to Hanmer Springs

I have ridden this route, Taylor Pass and the Molesworth Track before, but never on my own so this will be an interesting experience from that perspective.  It is also a really gorgeous route in New Zealand so it may be nice to take my time, snap a few pics and take it easy.

I have just got myself a PLB so do have a button to push if it all goes sideways, but last time through there was a few people travelling the route so hopefully, for a breakdown I can't fix, it won't be too long a wait for some possible help.

Last time my friend Andrew had to change his Buell drive belt...

Hopefully this time it won't be me fixing a puncture... 
Tigers don't have drive belts but they do have tubed tyres... 

Blenhiem to Hamner Springs - Molesworth  | 204 km : 5:04 hr

Or .. perhaps a route I haven't ridden yet, the Rainbow Road, may do this route but not to keen to do this on my own .. 

Blenhiem to Hamner Springs - Rainbow Road |  212 km | 4:36 hr

Accomodation:  Hanmer Backpackers

41 Conical Hill Road,

Hanmer Springs 7334,
New Zealand

Cost : $33.00 | 1 Dormitory Bed


08/02/2021 | Monday | Day 3 

Hanmer Springs to Springfield

Looking on the  Adventure Riding NZ Site the Lees Valley to Okura Pass track looks pretty cool, so think I will have a go at that. Here is a version of it ending up in Springfield.  Then I will check in at the Motel and if time [and energy] permits I will also do a ride out to Lyndon Road .. Something like this.

Hanmer Springs to Springfield | 264 km | 6:47 hr
Springfield to Lyndon Road loop | 105 km | 2:00 hr

Accommodation: Springfield Motel and Lodge

37 Tramway Road
Springfield 7649
New Zealand 

Cost : $49.50 |  Single Room


09/02/2021 | Tuesday | Day 4

Springfield to Otematata 

I have seen a route on Adventure Riding NZ, Hakataramea Pass, which looks interesting and can be integrated into this part of the trip.  If I get to the accomdaiton early enough I may also have a run out to Benmore Hydro Station for a bit of a look around.

Springfield to Otematata Via Hakataramea Pass | 323 km | 6:04 hr

Accommodation: Otematata Eatery, Bar & Lodging

2736 Otematata Kurow Road
Otematata 9412
New Zealand

Cost : $86:34 | Single Room


10/02/2021 | Wednesday | Day 5 

Otematata - Dunedin - Invercargill

Today is the big day that Michelle joins me on the adventure, so I have to be at Dunedin Airport for 18:30 to meet Flight NZ677 or I will be in BIG trouble!

However, it's not till late in the day so I thought I would go via Dansey’s Pass  

Otematata to Dunedin Airport | 247 km | 4:20 hr

 Then we have to drive to the Accommodation 

Dundein Airport to Accomdation |131 km | 1:40 hr

And here we stay for the duration of the Burt Munro! 

Accommodation: Southland Organic Farmstay

588 Crawford Road No 2 RD Gore
9772 Invercargill
New Zealand

Cost: $508.50 | 5 Nights, Double Room with Private Bathroom | Breakfast included


11/02/2021 | Thursday | Day 6

The Burt Munroe - Day 1

The activities for the Burt Munroe start... you may wonder why we are so far out from Invercargill .. yeah there was not much accommodation available and we have gone for what we think will be a lovely stay and a few more miles up and down the road to the Invercargill area each day.

So the first day we have : 


Flagstaff Road, Bluff

Thursday 11 February 2021, 10am


Teretonga Park, Sandy Point

Thursday 11 February 2021, 6pm


12/02/2021 | Friday | Day 7

The Burt Munroe - Day 2

Bit of a free day here, may involve a bit of a lay-in, or some exploring in the Invercargill area or we could do this little road I have seen on the Adventure Riding NZ site, Borland Road.

"Borland Road is a publicly accessible maintenance road for the power pylon that feed the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter from Manapouri power station, it’s a 40km gravel road that winds deep into Fiordland.

The road climbs high up and crosses the Borland Saddle at about 1km elevation, providing spectacular views of the Grebe Valley and surrounding ranges, it then descends down following the Grebe river finally reaching the South arm of Lake Manapouri"

Waikana - Borland Road - Oreti Beach | 362 km | 6:47 hr

Then later in the day


Oreti Beach, Otatara, Invercargill
Friday 12 February 2021, 6pm


13/02/2021 | Saturday | Day 8

The Burt Munroe - Day 3


Teretonga Park, Invercargill

Saturday 13 February 2021, 9am


Oreti Park Speedway, Pit Road, Otatara

Saturday 13 February 2021, 3pm


14/02/2021 | Sunday | Day 9

The Burt Munroe - Day 4


Bill Richardson Drive, Invercargill

Sunday 14 February 2021, 9am


15/02/2021 | Monday | Day 10

Invercargil to Alexandra 

Its a couple of hours ride from the accomdation in Invercargil to our accomdation in Alexandra so on route we will take a little detour and have a look up Symes Road and the Obelisk which is an up and back.

"Symes Road is one of many amazing adventure tracks in and around the Old Man Range and runs from Fruitlands, 15.7km South of Alexandra on SH8 up to the natural rock formation called the Obelisk.

The Obelisk is 1696 metres above sea level and very exposed so weather conditions, temperature, and visibility can change quickly." 

Invercargill to Alexandra with a side tour to Obelisk | 180 km | 3:08 hr

The accommodation also features a washing machine .. so a chance to do some laundry.

Accommodation: Lookout Studio

19 Lookout Drive
Alexandra 9320
New Zealand

Cost : $540 | 4 nights, 1 apartment


16/02/2021 | Tuesday | Day 11

The Nevis Road 

The stay in Alexandra is about doing some day rides out of there, advantage being you can travel light and change days around, possibly based on weather.  So the following rides may or may not be in this order.

The Nevis Road, 25 river crossings .. Michelle is not sure about this one, but we will give it a go and if it's a bit too much two up, we can always turn back at any point. So this is a proposed loop, with a nice easy scenic ride on main roads after the Nevis.

Alexandra - Nevis Road - Queenstown - Alexandra | 260 km | 5:43 hr


17/02/2021 | Wednesday | Day 12

Skippers Canyon

Again not sure how far up this road we will get, but we will have a crack at it anyway, as a loop to and from Alexandra we should have pleanty of time to stop and take photos and explore anything we see

Alexandra - Skippers Canyon - Alexandra | 261 km | 5:13 hr


18/02/2021 | Thursday | Day 13

East Manuherikia Track, little Omarama Saddle

East Manuherikia Track, which takes you over the little Omarama Saddle, runs from the back of Omarama to near St Bathans, between SH83 and SH85.

"Departing from Omarama you rapidly climb to over 1350m elevation providing breathtaking views. The Omarama side of the track is mostly shingle with sharp rocks and is steep but not extreme. Road tyres are not recommended as punctures would be likely and traction would be limited."

Not sure on this one, I suspect we will get partway up one side and have to come back, but we will see and there are many awesome looking roads in that area, but if we end up on the road for 9 hours I may be in trouble with Michelle.

Alexandra - Manuherikia Track - Alexandra | 261 km | 9:12 hr


Alternative Ride - Spare

Thomson Gorge Road 

"Thomson Gorge Road is 30 kms long, rising over a 900 metre saddle, & bisecting the Dunstan Range. It has two steep ascents & descents, & a few minor stream crossings.

Thomson Gorge Road runs between SH8 and SH85 from near Lindis Crossing on SH8 to near Omakau on SH85. Historically, the route was used to access the Bendigo Gold workings and there is a battery stamper & gold mine on the western side, an old stone drovers hut at the summit & a number of gold workings near Thomson Creek on the eastern side of the summit."


19/02/2021 | Friday | Day 14

Alexandra to Dunedin

Time to leave Alexandra and head to Dunedin for a couple of days of sight seeing around the town and the general area.

But its not far .. so no need to take the direct route, so this is a route going through Middlemarch and Waipori Falls 

Alexandra to Dunedin - Scenic Route | 442 km | 5:44 hr

Accommodation: Captain Eady's Lookout

2 Moss Street Portobello
9014 Portobello
New Zealand

Cost : $414 | 2 nights, 1 room | Breakfast Included 


20/02/2021 | Saturday | Day 15

Sighteseeing in Dundein - yet to be defined


21/02/2021 | Sunday | Day 16

Today is Michelle's last day so we will be sighteseeing in Dundein yet to be defined then out to the Airport.  We also check out of Captin Eady' lookout today.

13:55 - Dunedin Airport - Flight NZ674 [1-hour check-in allowed]
From the airport I will ride to Methven, It will take about 4:00 hr 328km's basically up SH1, the first bit of the haul back home.

Accommodation: Big Tree Lodge Methven

25 South Belt, Methven, 7730
7730 Methven
New Zealand

Cost : $74 | 2 Nights, 1 Dormitory bed


22/02/2021 | Monday | Day 17

Methven - Double Hill Run Road/Algidus Road - Methven

Of course Methvern is not really on the way home, and taking 2 nights means I can go for a bit of an explore today.  The Adventure Riding NZ site has this track Double Hill Run Road looks like it may be a nice run

Methven - Double Hill Run Road - Methven | 67 km [each way]  | 3:10 hr [return] 

However as that is just a very short run I am also not come all way back and go up this route as well

Methven - Algidus Road - Methven | 61 km [each way] | 3 hr [return]


23/02/2021 | Tuesday | Day 18

Methven  to Blenhiem

Bit of a drive day today, couple of minor side roads but mainly about getting it done

 Methven  to Blenhiem | 404 km | 5:00 hr

Accomodation: Four Seasons Backpackers

2 Ferry Road
Spring Creek
Blenheim 7202
New Zealand

Cost: $70 | Standard Triple Room, Private Bathroom


24/02/2021 | Wednesday | Day 19

Blenheim to Picton

Okay 20 min drive I hear you say .. okay well this is the long route, out round the coast to Robin Hood bay and Port Underwood. Riden this before in the other direction, its a lovely ride and a great last ride of the South Island Trip

Blenheim - Round the Coast - Picton |  89 km | 2:47 hr

Accomodation : Picton's Waikawa Bay Holiday Park

5 Waimarama Street
7220 Picton
New Zealand

Cost: $69 | Single Cabin, Shared Facilities


25/02/2021 | Thursday | Day 20

Picton to Wellington

So an early ferry today,  06:30 Ferry check, I will be back on the North Island at about 09:55am so lots of days left.

Where to from Wellington? I will see how I feel and book something while I am away...
I don't have to be back at work until Monday 29th... But after 20 days on the bike, I may be getting low on energy :) 


  1. Jees! am I envious!!! In the middle of the 3rd lockdown and winter here in the UK this would be heaven. Have a great trip Bob and take care of Michelle.

    1. I will take good care of Her :) I am sure you will get to the TT Summer 21 .. and then it will be me that's jealous :)

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