Lake Hayes to Queenstown - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 5 - CycleBlaze

March 14, 2021 to March 16, 2021

Lake Hayes to Queenstown

A tale of two trolleys.

Day 19, 20, 21 March 14 Sunday, 15  Monday, 16 Tuesday 

Lake Hayes to Queenstown 27Km

A tale of two trolleys.

Sunday. We have no problem finding the trail as the Estate has a walkway and path directly to the river. The path wends its way among trees along the water’s edge. Our Airbnb host told us that there were wonderful swimming holes hidden along there. We cycle back alongside the Kawarau climbing a bluff or two before we reach the Shotover Delta. 

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As we cross the bridge, we meet a couple who have touring bikes and panniers, coming from the opposite direction. We stop and have a chat, comparing notes. They have been doing a camping tour of the South Island and have covered a lot of territory. Hearing about what they’ve accomplished leaves us in awe. Time for such conversations is always too short and just as we get on to the subject of bikes and equipment, we have to move on. 

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The old Ferry Hotel.
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From the Shotover bridge.
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Great views on a clear morning.
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Once we reach the Shotover Bridge we decide to follow the sign indicating the commuter route to the airport. This starts easily but then confronts us with a hill of impossible gradient. It’s a short climb, but I wouldn’t fancy meeting that at the end of a day’s work. At the top we’re immediately landed in an industrial area and then a shopping complex. After buying some supplies, we follow a cycleway around the back of the airport and find our accommodation- the Wyndham Garden apartments. 

Approaching civilisation.
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School with a view.
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This space to be filled .... but when?
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Settling in here is easy and they are happy for us to use the ski room (minus skis) to store and dismantle our bikes and give us use a card for entry. It’s a good sized room so it should serve our purposes well. We reflect on some of the other places we’ve had to dismantle our bikes in the past- seminar rooms and camping chalets- this compares well. From Torpedo 7, a short walk from the apartments, I obtain two good sized bike boxes for the cost of a donation to the local mountain biking club. Relieved to have found them so easily, we carry them back to the ski room. 

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The ski room without skis.
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Feeling a little like Jason Bourne planning an escapade, I head for Mitre 10 and buy parcel tape, nylon ties, string and some PVA glue. Possibly a little low tech for Bourne. An additional plus comes at New World when I notice an airport baggage trolley among the supermarket trolleys. (According to Google, we’re 1.6Kms from the airport). I measure the width roughly to see if it might fit through the narrow door to the ski room. I have a hunch it will. If so, we can stash it overnight and cart our bike boxes on it on departure day.

It’s been a fairly relaxed day but we are confident we can dismantle and pack our bikes tomorrow.

Monday. Dismantling our bikes is straight forward and the boxes’ dimensions couldn’t be better. Fitting in the removed front wheel, I find a little challenging but soon it’s all completed satisfactorily. We add a few extras to the boxes, taking care not to exceed Air NZ’s  23kg limit. Later I pick up the trolley, still outside the supermarket, and casually push it back to the ski room. It fits through the door with a centimetre to spare. We’re good to go.

Tuesday. By 7:30 am we’re ready to go with our boxes on the trolley and the trolley on the path. Balance is tricky but once we hit the smooth seal we’re away. At the halfway point we pick up another trolley we have noticed earlier, semi secreted behind some shrubbery. Ann splits the load and this makes the going even easier. 

Stashed.
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On the road again. 7:30am start.
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Perfectly judged.
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Trolley two rescued from the foliage.
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After that, the check in goes without a hitch. Soon our plane is speeding down the runway at full revs, with the view of the Remarkables out of one window and the Alps and distant greenery of the West Coast and the blue Tasman appearing in the other. It seems ages since landing at Dunedin but this three week trip has given us a wonderful new perspective on Central Otago, its geography and its history. We’re bound to return.

Today's ride: 27 km (17 miles)
Total: 640 km (397 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Rachael AndersonSounds like you had a wonderful trip. We are hoping to do a bicycle tour of New Zealand again soon. Our one an only bicycle tour there was 30 years ago!
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1 year ago
Michael HutchingHope you can try these Central Otago Trails one day Rachael. Hopefully they may eventually all link up so that it would be possible to catch the scenic train from Dunedin (when it’s running again) to Middlemarch and cycle the various trails, finishing at Queenstown!
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1 year ago
Kathleen JonesSo nice to be able to follow you again. What a great trip. I had no idea how beautiful that area is.
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1 year ago