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#63903 - 25.11.03 05:16 South Island NZ - Route suggestion...
Brad and Emillie
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does anyone have any tips for the stretch of land between Christchurch and Timaru? We were told that the land is flat, windy, and potentially bike unfriendly (~120km highway). Our information is from a Lonely Planet and a kiwi from ChCh. We were curious if anyone who has done this leg has tips for sideroads or even bike paths that are as effective as the highway.

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#64370 - 29.11.03 23:34 Re: South Island NZ - Route suggestion... [Re: Brad and Emillie]
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Hello Brad,
I don't know how much time you have. I looked in my very good NZ road map. There are many small roads along the SH1. But it's too difficult to explain and for crossing the big Rakaia River you have to use the same bridge as the SH1. For this you need also a road map.
If you have more time, you can travel along the 72 via Darfield, Mt Somers and Geraldine through the Rakaia George. On this way you only have the last 25km to Timaru on the Highway. The way along the 72 is about 35 km longer than the the SH1 and in total with about 600m altitude.
If you want to continue to Oamaru and have more time, the cycling guide "pedallers paradise" suggest to go along the SH8 to Twizel, Omarama to Oamara. It also explains an alternative to avoid some kilometers with the tourist busses. But it's a much longer way. So may be that's not the best way.
You should buy the small book "Pedallers paradise" and a road map.
I want to tell you about a speciality for cyclist. Have you ever heard about the Central Otago Rail Trail? Take the train for a wonderful trip from Dunedin through the Taieri George to Pukerangi and follow the cycling way from Middlemarch via Ranfully, Omakau to Clyde in three days. The cycling way is an old rail trail and a great trip through Central Otago.

Hope fully I was able to help you.
Have a good trip. When are you going? We may be will be there in NZ, but we want to cycle this time from Auckland to Wellington.
Yours Renata alias Tangelo
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#64371 - 30.11.03 00:00 Re: South Island NZ - Route suggestion... [Re: Rennrädle]
Brad and Emillie
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Thanks Renato!
Ours plans right now are to bike from ChCh to Timaru, then double back through Geraldine, Methven, and Springfield, taking a detour up to the Castle Hill bouldering fields for a day or so. Then back to ChCh (we have about 8 days for the trip, and we think that this works out fine). We'll look at the detour you suggest (through the Rakaia gorge).

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#79943 - 24.03.04 19:31 Re: South Island NZ - Route suggestion... [Re: Brad and Emillie]
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the way between Rakaia gorge and Geraldine is part of the "Mountain Scenic Route". Not much trafic, good for biking, sometimes good view on the mountains.

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