A day filled with a mix of sailing on an historic steamship with a bit of cycling tacked on the end is an experience that can only be found out of Queenstown!
For our inaugural ride in and around Queenstown, the aptly named Queenstown Trail seemed like the appropriate choice. The full trail offers 120 kilometers of almost flat riding which can be managed over two or three days but the trail is easily broken into smaller segments for all levels or distances of riding.
After a Winnipeg Christmas with temperatures as cold as we have seen in 20 years and with snow as far south as Florida, it seemed essential, not merely just a good idea, to get the heck out of North America and head off to our favorite winter destination, New Zealand!
This is our third winter here and each year we like to explore a different corner of this amazing country. If one asks a group of Kiwis for advice on where to go and what to see, they most often point in the direction of the South Island, in particular, the Otago region. So here we are in Queenstown, the largest city in Otago. Queenstown is widely known as the adventure capital of New Zealand’s South Island, and some say, adventure capital of the world. That sounds like a big claim to live up to and we are keen to find out if it’s true.
Dennis and I have been in New Zealand for more than two months, yet I have hardly been out on my bicycle. First, it was a shoulder injury and then it was pure laziness but when friends visited from Canada, it was time to show them one of our favorite New Zealand rides.
Yesterday, as we made our way to New Zealand to escape the Canadian winter, I flipped through the list of inflight entertainment and noticed a film, Le Ride, the cover art depicting cyclists juxtaposed against the Eiffel Tower.
Leaving Abel Tasman National Park, we head south along the dramatic west coast of the South Island, on route to the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
It’s possible to fly to Nelson, our first destination on the South Island, from either Auckland or Wellington very cheaply on Air New Zealand. For $100 you can be in Nelson from Wellington in only 40 minutes but that isn’t very adventurous.
One never knows what the day holds. A ride on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail seemed like a benign enough way to spend a day, but we were in for a rather large surprise.
The very first line on the very first page of the Hauraki Rail Trail website is:
“The Hauraki Rail Trail is the easiest riding trail in New Zealand.” I’m lazy and I’m sold.
Today, we visit Bomb Bay – not to be confused with Bombay. Curious but I never noticed that bomb has a silent B. You have to pity the poor sod learning English as a second language. How does one explain a silent B? Are there other words in English with a silent B? Tomb and comb, but they have a different O sound. Very confusing.