Breakfast and then a brief call in to the Harley Davidson shop and then the Indian shop before we headed to thInternational Antarctic Centre which was great and then a mad scramble from there to clean up bikes before shipping and get them to the transport yard. Now it’s review time and knocking our bags into shape to fit all the gear into head home tomorrow. It’s been an awesome trip!

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A hot dog stand outside the Indian bike shop. Free to customers but we contributed even though I was a customer last year (I bought my Indian leather gloves there). Was a bonus breakfast and a bit of fun. They have it every Friday apparently.

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The International Antarctic Centre and these are vehicles called Haggland’s which they use to travel around there and they’re very sturdy albeit a bit rough as we found out in a test drive which was fun.


The test track for the Haggland simulated lumpy ice, chasms, sea ice and swamp land. We had lap belts on but were glad there were grab straps because we needed them. This is half of a hill which simulated both a hill and a chasm. Very freaky. Oh and if you recognise the white archway in the distance the centre is in the Airport precinct.


And a swamp, they are also amphibious vehicles.


A husky, they are so friendly but no longer used in the Antarctica.


Flying to Antarctica simulation / information, well done. Loved all the simulations and videos.

Cleaning up the bikes before shipping.

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A sleep in was followed by a great day of discovery starting with coffee at Lyttleton Port then a ride to Diamond Harbour and onto Akaroa for lunch which was delicious as was Akaroa and then back from there on the Summit Road and the views throughout the day were spectacular from dry rugged hills and farmland to rocky crags, deep green forests and ocean and inlets in all directions, oh and did I say awesome riding?

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The tunnel entrance to Lyttleton.

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And a look across the Port which has a lot of logs built up given the Chinese manufacturing industry has somewhat stalled with virus issues.

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Heading to Diamond Bay.

IMG_1672 (2).JPG A cute boat shed on the way.


A view across from Diamond Bay to Lyttleton Port.

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Heading to Akaroa.

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The jetty at Akaroa.


The Akaroa War Memorial.

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Along the Esplanade.


A distant view to the Lighthouse.


Heading back to Christchurch.


Rugged Outcrops on the Summit Road.

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View back over the summit to the open ocean.

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A quirky Silo Motel in Little River. I've seen apartment buildings in large concrete silos but not something like this.

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A sleep in was followed by a quiet kick back day spending a bit of time on the hop on hop off tram touring around Christchurch as well as a wander about and after dinner at an Irish Pub last night we will head off to a Mexican restaurant tonight.


The Chalice Sculpture in the square last night, might get some more pics tonight, it was drizzling last night so we were focused on getting home.


The Christ Church Cathedral in disarray which will be repaired over many years for many millions of dollars.


The Old Council Buildings a long way from rebuilt.


Along the Avon River.

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Bridge of Remembrance.


A Car Park being held up by jacks! When they figure out how to repair that without it falling down the plan is to have it as a car park for the new Convention centre. By the way the Convention Center was supposed to be open in February this year (or so we were told this time last year) and they were taking bookings at that time so there has obviously been a hold up to the plans, not to mention this car park and a hotel down on the water yet to be refurbished.

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Boys Private School.


‘185 Empty Chairs’, was put here as a temporary memorial to all those who lost their lives in the 2011 Earthquake. Confronting to see all the different types and sizes. Apparently the citizens want to keep the memorial but the Council wants to move it on … we will see.


The Cardboard Cathedral, the Transitional Cathedral until the original is repaired.


And another view.


A walking street, one of many.


One of the Trams at Cathedral Junction right beside our hotel.

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 With rain and hail and all sorts of nastiness forecast for the weather today we were grateful that even though we saw very little of the mountains because they were wreathed in cloud we only experienced a small amount of rain and got in largely dry. The crappiest bit of the ride was a stretch of sloppy roadworks. Grrrr. The bikes and their owners didn’t like that! We spent some time browsing in the Three Creeks General Store & Trading Post in Burkes Pass and drove through much attractive farming land as well as some great glacial valleys and into and out of the Rakala Gorge at Mt Hutt. Truly Spectacular. A shame it was raining at the time or we would have had a lot more photos.

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The view from our room this morning before the cloud really started to roll over the mountains.

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And the cloud started to roll over the top of the mountains and started heading for the valley. Impressive.

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With varying layers of dark skies, the sun was in short supply.

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Quirky sights at Three Creeks.

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And again.

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And a morning coffee at Fairlie and this is the main street. A lovely tidy town.

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Lots of sheep country.

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Awesome glacial gouging leaves a clay cliff face.

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Dropping down into Rakala Gorge.

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And up the other side and that is another cliff face. Incredible.

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And our hotel until we leave now the Quest Christchurch Serviced apartments literally right on the hop on hop off tramline. Very convenient. Spacious room and parking underneath so good security.

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A lovely day for riding even if we did start off in the fog this morning, thankfully by the time we started heading to Mt Cook it started to lift and we were in the sun for the rest of the day. We decided to visit the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory this afternoon also in case the weather was crappy in the morning and the lovely little Good Shepherd Church here in Lake Tekapo which was built as tribute to the early pioneers of the area.

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The first lookout spot to see Mt Cook above the fog and in our 5 trips to NZ this is the first time we have really seen it through fog or rain apart from a really really long distance view from Hokatika last year.

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Mt Cook as we rode.

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Getting a bit clearer.

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More rugged glacial mountains.

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Shearing shed at the foot of Mt Cook. Great admiration for the farmers up here!


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A view from the Mt Cook Café where we enjoyed a morning coffee.

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Heading back from up Hooker Valley … and yes it really is called that and no I didn’t see any.

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Awesome damage from the glacier as it moved downhill and gouged great sides off the mountains … not to mention the great rocks randomly dropped on the valley floor, Incredible!

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View back to Mt Cook as we came down. Wow!

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Leaving the lake with all the troops, including the car … even Norm's shoulder.

IMG_1579 (2).JPG Mt John Observatory.

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And a view from it.

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View from the Church of the Good Shepherd.

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And the Church itself.

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And our hotel reception. Peppers Bluewater Resort where we also stayed last year. A very nice location with an awesome view.

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We had a big day and one of many and varied experiences and largely stayed dry despite a rotten forecast with a few exceptions, but we were rugged up, so it didn’t really matter. We started the day with a trip up and down the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street Dunedin, Google it for the stats) then a wander around the beautiful building which is the Dunedin Railway Station (the most photographed building in New Zealand) then we headed for Port Chalmers (a fully working port) for a yummy breakfast before heading off through lovely undulating country, rugged country, high country mountains and plateaus, forests, rocky cliffs, sheep and cattle country and ended up in Hydro country. Incredible. The cameras were safely tucked away out of the wet for a lot of the trip.


Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world, quite a ride.


And again.

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And again and yes it really is that steep.

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The Dunedin Railway Station said to be the most photographed building in New Zealand.

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A cute bus shelter at St Leonards on the way to Port Chalmers.

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Main Street (George Street Port Chalmers), we had breakfast just to the left.


And yes, that really is a fully functioning working port at the end of the street. Love it!

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The Lookout above Port Chalmers.


Port and street from the lookout.


The street view, the main street heads out to the right.

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Sheep country.

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A great stone wall along the road.

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Historic bridge on the way.


Alexandra from the lookout, we had a late lunch here.


The road coming down from the lookout. Very rocky country, I guess why it is ideal to put a hydro dam in.


The Clyde Hydro dam wall. Impressive.


Cromwell from the lookout. We walked around and had a coffee in the heritage precinct across the water before we left a few days ago.

Mmmm, not going to worry about a photo of our accommodation tonight. Couldn’t get into where we usually go.

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An enjoyable day was had visiting Larnach Castle then Olveston House, both vastly different and beautiful in their own ways.

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The Dunedin Railway Station said to be the most photographed building in New Zealand.

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Morning view across Otago Harbour on our way to Larnach.

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A beautiful stone wall on the way.

Sea Views on the way, it was a quirky but lovely ride.


Larnach Castle, first built without the verandas glassed in until the first winter and soon after that 16 tonne of glass was shipped from England to close them in.


Most photos inside were of intricate timber work so will concentrate on the garden outside here but this is an awesome staircase. Photos allowed inside without flash.


The garden outside what was the ballroom and is now the café. This one is called the Tapestry garden and changes colours and patterns with the seasons. The ballroom / café was a beautiful room with 3 fireplaces in it so nice and cosy today.


And again. There are many different themes in the gardens but all lovely in their own way


And a garden view again.


And again.


Olveston House from the front (no photographs allowed inside).


From the back.


A quirky little door.


The Greenhouse.


Parking instructions out front were very confusing but a parking inspector turned up  before we left so we could clarify just where we could park … which wasn’t where we were so managed to squeeze the bikes in here. The car had to go a lot further. No tickets so a good outcome.

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Started off cool but overall was a good day for travelling through the awesome undulating sheep and forest country and along some picturesque beaches heading for Curio Bay and in sight of others. We passed through a collection of little towns along the way and lunched at Owaka in a lovely little café with lots of sawmilling memorabilia. Apparently there were 5 sawmills in the town until the rail line closed in 1971 and the town is obviously struggling which is a shame. Happy to report I wasn’t’ bitten by a bumble there today! Lanning our exploring for tomorrow now.

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We start to head for Curio Bay.

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And a stretch of road, some with the surface lifted, which experiences Tidal Flooding in some high tides. Different than we are used to.

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Cute little Church in Waikawa.

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Cattle and shearing sheds everywhere.


Florence Hill Lookout. Beautiful little bay.


Cute little waterfall didn’t write the name and the photo doesn’t do it justice. A shame.

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Coming down out of the hills.

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An awesome old bridge.

Heading into Dunedin.


Our accommodation for tonight is lovely, The Aurora on George, an older motel but has been beautifully refurbished with quality fittings, generously provisioned and the central garden courtyard is an example of a labour of love by the man who has maintained it for many years. Beautifully attractive and restful. Staff terrifically helpful. Great spot to base ourselves for 2 nights.


And a small bit of the garden.

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Kick back day today exploring the local Hardware store (EHayes) where Burt Munro’s original Indian Scout (The World’s fastest Indian) is displayed as well as his original bike trailer working tools and broken bits which he referred to as "Offerings to the God of Speed" .… as well as replicas from the Movie. We loved these as well as many other historic motorbikes, cars and tools displayed throughout the shop, it was quirky but very cool and enjoyable. From here it was to the Bill Richardson Transport Museum for the boys and Queens Park for the girls before we all lunched at the Grille Café at the Museum and then a quiet afternoon.

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The World’s Fastest Indian, he (Burt Munro) really was a crazy old bugger as well as incredibly committed and passionate about achieving the speed records he pursued. Was great to see how the whole community has embraced him rather than writing him off as just a silly old bugger.

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Queens Park Entrance main gates with the Band Rotunda in the distance. The park was extensive and stunning.


Rose Garden at Queens Park.

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Another shot at Queens Park, very peaceful and restful place as well as lots of places for people to be active as well.

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The Old Town Hall & Civic Theatre.


First Church.


The Old Water Tower, incredible brickwork (as it was on the church as well).


A specie bathroom at the Bill Richardson Road Transport Museum. All sorts of great examples of yesteryear.


Norm’s all-time favourite here, the TEXACO Fuel tanker.


No 1 Bedford Bus with some of the crew.


A Kenworth log skidder!


Norm’s 2nd favourite which he would love to have to drive around town in.

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Much calmer weather overnight and we started the day with a cooked breakfast before we headed off. We rode through lots of productive farmland and forest today as well as coming across many rugged outcrops of what looks like limestone and granite and the occasional view across the ocean as well as some large rivers. We ended the trip heading down to the Bluff settled in 1824 where we found the most southerly sealed road in New Zealand as well as the Bluff lookout which is quite spectacular. Apparently the first cargo to be shipped out of the Bluff was flax in 1823 and soon after potatoes which had been introduced by sealers in the area.


This is a real sign in Te Anau which really cracked us up … especially seeing the Parking sign arrow pointy bit twisted in the wrong direction as well.

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Lake Te Anau was much more peaceful this morning.

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Awesome farms and scenery.


The Clifenden Suspension Bridge opened in 1899 to replace a ferry across a dangerous stretch of water initially for horses and drays and before long motor vehicles as well.


Part of the bridge and beyond.

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Riverton, lovely wide entrance to the river.

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The troops on Riverton Bridge.

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All the group on top of the Bluff Lookout thanks to a couple of French tourists.

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Stirling Point, the very end of the road at the end of the Bluff and here we come back again.

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And yes, from the lookout that is an aluminium smelting plant, smelting aluminium from Australia and then shipping it to customers.


And our accommodation for the next two nights, Quest Serviced Apartments, we stayed here last year, and it is lovely. Beautifully laid out, generously provisioned an ideal location and terrifically friendly and helpful staff. What more could we ask for!

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