Thursday, 5 February 2009

Planning around

Yesterday evening was playing a bit with Google Maps, and this resulted in a general route [1] that I would like to ride across New Zealand (approximately 3000 km). I'm planning on cycling from Auckland to Hamilton on a pretty scenic route that I will take from Nigel Rushton's "Pedallers' Paradise" [2]. In order to be able to ride on the South Island I intend to take the Intercity coach from Hamilton to Wellington, from there taking the ferry to Picton.
In the northwest part of the South Island I found a lovely route (the Heaphy track [3]) straight through the Kahurangi National Park [4], however after contacting the Department of Conservation (DoC) I found out that cyclists are not allowed in the national parks. Therefore I will have to cycle around the Kahurangi NP, but I'll try to get close enough for some nice photos ;-).
Next big 'attraction' will be the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, taking me straight through the Westland Tai Poutini National Park [5]. I'm guessing that I need pretty good gear for the cold and wet weather out here .. but I guess the scenery will be worth it! From Haast I will go back east across the South Island, maybe taking a tour to Mount Cook, eventually making my way to Christchurch. After a days rest, the east coast will be followed up north back to Picton for the ferry to take me across Cook Strait for the rest of my trip across the North Island.
On the North Island I've decided that I should visit Napier for it's art deco style, just curious. After that taking on a couple national parks, Kaweka Forest Park and Tongariro National Park [6] to see if I can find a couple of cycling routes there. Then of course I'll have to pay a visit to Turangi and pass Lake Taupo on the westside making my way back up north to Rotorua. Here my focus will be on the geothermic activities in the region, and gradually moving closer to the airport.
However, I also planned to visit the Coromandel Peninsula, to see how much fun that is during the winter period. But if I run out of time earlier I might skip it and save it for another journey in a couple of years, as I have also decided to do with Fiordland [7] on the South Island.


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