Hornby (Christchurch) to Picton, 539 kms (includes the trip from home to the Port to load the containers)

Jan 31, 2019

Eeeeh haah we got our bikes and rode to the VTNZ to get a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) equivalent to our RWC and temporary registration for the bikes and were the 1st Aussies to get there then went back to the hotel to collect our bag and suitcase and headed north. Was chuffed to have the roadworthy guy say, ‘I hope all the rest of the bikes are in as good a condition as these two’. All the staff at the centre were terrifically helpful as were the guys at the Transport Company ably led by Clint who was a real gentleman. A shame we had to keep determinedly pedalling to make it to Picton by a reasonable hour tonight so we can head off on the ferry to Wellington tomorrow, but it was a blast to finally be on the bikes.

Ever since we got our bike licences, we’ve known New Zealand was a country just begging to be ridden around and yep it sure is. Awesome sights today weaving between coastal views and further inland amongst rolling grassland, intense grape vines and lumpy bumpy hills and mountains in the distance. Just beautiful.

We were originally supposed to stay 2 nights at Napier once we got to the North Island which is one of our favourite spots being the Art Deco capital of New Zealand but to keep as much of our itinerary on track without further cancellations, we decided to head for Wairoa tomorrow night.


A bridge near the airport as we headed out of Christchurch.


Exploring off the main highway but lost interest when the seal was lifting off.


A couple of many tunnels as we headed for Kaikoura.


Beachside view in Kaikoura, site of the earthquake when we were last in Wellington.


The Bay at Picton.


A cute litte apartment building in Picton called Art Deco Apartments for obvious reasons.


And the Oxley Hotel, built in 1870 and still a good spot for a meal

Last 2 nights’ accommodation:

Equestrian Hotel

6 Tower Street

Hornby NZ

I've tried to load a photo a dozen times and it wont work so I'm over it! Googe it if you want a photo.

An ageing but determined suburban pub which started off as a community owned establishment. It’s working hard now at offering a comprehensive service for all sorts of people even Aussies who cannot collect their motorbikes. New management is trying to overcome an air of previous neglect plus quake damage with new paint and carpet in the hallway of the area we stayed and a small but newly tiled bathroom. Generous sized room and comfortable bed but lacking an armchair. Wi-Fi slow and frustrating but adequate for checking mail. Staff terrifically friendly and helpful. On site ‘Ironhorse Garden Café’ named after the model railway which used to run in the garden with very nice meals as well as a bar and pokies if that appeals and multiple function rooms. Good community resource. Best bit for us is that it is in walking distance from the transport company (PF Transport) where we had to collect our bikes.