Well after 4wk staying in Havelock North and exploring the area, in between helping out at Napier, I’m heading south tomorrow. Was great visiting fishbike most days and chatting with Brian the owner and wade who had cycled 95% of NZ and gave me advice on routes to take. Here are a few pics of the area around.
One of many ocean wall murals painted all around Napier.
Cycle path running for miles along the beautiful coastline.
Every day view from the bridge at Clive while cycling to Napier
Looking out from one of the many winery’s in the area.
Pie night at Puketapu Tavern
Ride out to Puketapu pub
View from Te Mata peak
Having a laugh and cider with Brian at Fishbike.
Helping out in Napier at Fishbike.
Ride out to Cape kidnappers
Well I arrive at my mum’s Airbnb but only Doug is there. Lots of expletives come out when Doug reslizes it’s me. Ha. Mum arrives an hour later and is very emotional with happiness as I surprise her with my arrival. Karen, who owns the property is there and very kindly allows me to camp in the big beautiful garden which I share with various fruit trees, lots of plants, lovely lawned grassed areas and 2 chickens. It’s paradise for me and end up staying for 4weeks due to volunteering to help out at a cycle rental shop 14ml away. This was great as it helped cure any boredom I would have through the day and allowed me to spend this extra time with my mum and Doug.
Beautiful sundown view from the garden.
Nightime in the garden
Surprise mum and Doug.
The big trucks that populate the highways.
54ml. 2 big climbs after leaving Putorino but beautiful scenery again. Eventually you are following the coast and when you arrive at Bay View, the cycle path starts on a network of over 250km around the area of Hawkes bay. Due to the Xmas hols and lots of families visiting I find it hard to get a positive reply from any warm shower host’s but late in the afternoon I get an invitation from Dave and his wife to camp in the beautiful garden. When I arrive they have family staying over from Hastings but welcome me with open arms and sit me down for a great family meal which was delicious. After a great English breakfast made by Dave I set off on a 1.5km journey to surprise my mum and doug for Xmas.
Road to Bay View
Cycle path on the way to Napier.
54ml. Nice weather again today and had to rejoin state highway 2 so the shoulder isn’t too wide so you have to be careful as it’s a busy road without an alternative. I tried to get to lake Tutira but arrived at a small town called Putorino which had a freedom camping area but it was 13km down a gravel track. I asked in the bar if there was anywhere nearer and the locals said I could camp outside the sports ground around the corner. Happy days. I end up in the bar all night with the locals for a few sherberts or more.
38ml. I wake, the rain is relentless so I have to shelter until 11.30 before setting off. I stopped to dry the tent out when the sun appeared later in the day. I had now reached Lake Waikaremoana and the scenery was stunning. My progress was slow on the gravel road and I fell off a few times due to loose road surface combined with bad cambers on the bends. My own fault for not pushing the bike on these bad bends but there was no damage to me or the bike due to the low speed. Got a rear wheel puncture but was going again in 15mins after a quick change of tube. After running alongside the lake and the beautiful views for a long way, the road turned back to asphalt, I sheltered in a barn due to a heavy downpour. I waited for a couple of hours for the rain to stop but there was no easing of the downpour, 10ml short of my camping area I walked to the farmhouse to ask permission to sleep in the barn and the farmer said no worries. He made me laugh as I walked away, he told the dog off and told it to wash it’s ears out because it never alerted him to my presence ha.
Beautiful lake Waikaremoana
Beautiful lake Waikaremoana
Camping in a barn
67ml. Lovely day and got to Murupara for some dinner. After leaving here the road was quiet regarding traffic. I got a 3ml and 5ml section of gravel and then when I arrived at Ruatahuna and filled my water bottles, the gravel section started along with the ascent. The hill wasn’t too steep but it was long and the loose surface made it tricky and harder than normal to pedal a 60kg loaded touring bike. I made it to the top and on the downhill, managed to reach a freedom camping area next to a stream with only me there. It was going dark and I just managed to warm up my Beans on the stove and make a cup of Yorkshire tea before I lost the light and retire into my pitched tent in a lovely spot in the middle of nature. The sound of the running water and sounds of nocturnal animals and insects soon put me to sleep under the star lit sky.
Gravel road on a good section
23ml. Late start this morning after leaving Dave’s and heading to Havelock North on the east coast via Murupara and lake Waikaremoana. I only got to lake Okora and it was so nice and it had freedom camping on the edge of the lake, I decided to stay there for the night. I travelled to Kerosene creek, after pitching the tent, and the water at the small waterfall was so hot it had steam coming off. Then it was back to the tent for a tin of Irish stew with some bread for my supper before listening all night to the chorus of mating calls from hundreds of tree frogs.
Freedom camping at Lake Okora
Bike trail to lake Okaro
52ml. After leaving Phillip and Helen, I head to Te puke then take a quiet road down to Rotorau. I got a last minute reply from warm shower host’s, Jim and Lisa which I was grateful for as I was struggling finding a freedom camping area. As I stopped to check my navigation, a cyclist stopped to ask if I was ok and after a bit of a chat he offered me a place to stay the following night. This is typical of the friendly people here. I camped in Jim and Lisa’s beautiful garden and after chatting for a while about how they came on a working holiday and decided to stay, ( so many people I’ve met here from the UK have done this) I bedded down for the night under the star lit sky. In the morning I took their dog for a walk around the redwoods I explore the thermal springs, a Maori village and the beautiful lake then head to dave the cyclist, who I met the night before, for a few beers, great conversation and a fantastic roast chicken dinner. Turns out Dave’s mate from Auckland is on warm shower and I talked with him on the phone when I was up there. Small world.
Walking the dog through the Redwood’s
50ml. After a day off and a 50ml ride up the Coramandel peninsula and back, I say goodbye to Maria and Geoff and head to Katikati via the Hauraki rail trail to Waihi. A great trail and very scenic with no obviously no traffic. It’s an old rail line made into agood gravel cycle trail beside flat green pastures, gold mining relic’s and a forrested gorge honeycombed with gold mining tunnels. Then I headed out to Waihi beach and then the last 10ml to my next warm shower host’s, Diane and Ian. I meet a German woman at the end of the street walking her dog and invites me in for a cup of tea and chat about my travels. This hospitality is one of countless times from the kind people of NZ. Diane and Ian are great host’s and let me sleep in my own room with on suite bathroom. Really lovely and kind host’s with a lovely breakfast to help me on my way.
32ml. Have no other option than state highway 2. I kept skirting off into the old road but you had to rejoin due to the old road heading into a different direction. Very busy and not a lot of shoulder, in fact the shoulder disappears on the bridges. Not nice on the highways as most seem to be speeding and don’t give you much space when passing, even if nothing is coming the other way. I arrived in Tauranga via Bethlehem to miss out the busy road into town. I arrived at my warm shower host’s for the night, Helen and Phillip and received a warm welcome and was treated as family, as all the host’s have acted in NZ, and had a day off to go up Mt Maunganui. Phillip had already done a 60km ride by the time I surfaced that morning ha. Kids were also great and their manner towards me was as if I was an old friend. So blessed to experience friendly and trusting host’s.
View from Mt Maunganui
75ml. Arrived in Auckland on 30th Nov and my old mate, Mark chaddy Chadwick picked me up from the airport. He kindly put me up with his girlfriend Kathy in their lovely home and took care of me while I departed south to surprise my mum.
I headed to a warm shower host at Matatoki, south of Thames, via Clevedon, Hunua, Mangatawhini and Miranda, choosing quiet roads. The route was scenic and I struggled the last 20ml due to having new spd shoes and the cleats being in a slightly different position than I was used to. I arrived at Maria and Geoff’s in the evening and pitched my tent in their beautiful garden. Maria served me a lovely broccoli soup and I had a good night’s sleep. In the morning Geoff suggested I stay another day and look up the Coromandal peninsula.