Saturday, 9 January 2021

Lake 2 Lake Bike Trail

We just had a short break away staying in Manapouri, and one of the things I wanted to do was ride the Lake 2 Lake Trail. After 3 days of heavy rain it finally cleared with perfect riding weather. This trail goes from Te Anau to Manapouri (or vice versa) with only about 4 km still uncompleted which means riding on the road. The road isn't busy, all flat and has a pretty decent shoulder.

This isn't a very long trail...only 32 kms, but the scenery is gorgeous and the trail itself is great fun to ride. A few little climbs, a nice bit of winding single track and a very good surface. 

We decided to start in Te Anau, though I think this did mean more hills!

The trail starts out around the edge of Lake Te Anau then veers inland, following the Waiau River on and off most of the way.

Riding through the beech forest is so beautiful, it's hard to capture in the photo how green and lush it was...old fallen tree trunks covered in moss, all sorts of lichen and fungi.

There are a few wee climbs that take you out of the beech forest and to some spectacular views.

Then after the short ride on the road you pretty much ride through manuka bush, all the manuka was flowering and it looked lovely. You get the odd glimpse of the Waiau River and finally you end up at Lake Manapouri. I really enjoyed this part of the trail, nice winding track and no climbs.

After the ride we had a nice cold beer at the The Church Bar and Eatery, then headed back to the Manapouri Holiday Park where we were staying.

This is an old style camping ground with a lot of character. Our first 4 nights we had this place...wonderful views of the lake and mountains.

Then we decided to stay one more night and had to relocate to this cute place.

I would definitely ride this trail again, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the way...perfect day!

" In a world of constant change and streaming technology, I find solace in the forest where a tree remains a tree."

                                                        Angie Weiland-Crosby

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

An update.

Well it has been quite a while since I have posted on my blog, so I thought time to do a bit of an update for those of you wondering what has happened to my adventures with Birdy.

After my big tour I was all keen to do another long ride and had toyed with the idea of doing the Munda Biddi Trail in Western Australia, but then decided I would like to ride from Brisbane to my sisters house on the central coast of New South Wales.

But as sometimes happens in life the unexpected occurred. Birdy and I were out for a day ride last year and we had a wee bit of an accident. I tore the cartilage in my hip but luckily Birdy was fine. Because of this injury I ended up also tearing the meniscus in my knee a month later and needed surgery on that. Its been a long process but I am back riding though I think I will always have a bit of knee trouble now. Of course I haven't ruled out more bike touring......

So that's the update! I thought I would share with you some of the places I have been biking since my last post. All of these are local rides for me which given the current situation of lockdown, I feel pretty lucky to have this on my doorstep.

"The bottom line is, what defines you isn't how many times you crash, but the number of times you get back on the bike. As long as it's one more, your all good."
                                             Sarah Dressen

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Danseys Pass, A2O and Elephant Rocks!

This isn't a post about a long bike ride, more about a long weekend with a short bike ride. Mark and I headed off to Danseys Pass Camping Ground for a short break. What a great little campground! I highly recommend it. There is a beautiful river running right by and a really good swimming hole. The water was a bit too chilly to go swimming, but I imagine in summer in would be lovely.

There wasn't bike trails to ride, so we rode around the campground and down along the river. Great fun for Mark who loves finding obstacles to ride over and banks to ride down.

The next day we loaded up the bikes and headed to Kurow. I wanted to check out part of the Alps to Ocean (A2O) bike trial that runs from Mt. Cook to the coast at Oamaru. Its in my plan to ride the whole 300km this summer, so this was a chance to check out just a small portion. First we headed past Kurow to the Aviemore and Wataki Dams, just to have a look at a couple of the campsites on the trail.

Then Mark dropped me off at Kurow and I headed off to Duntroon on the A2O trail, telling him "oh it will only take me an hour and a bit." The first couple of km's was very pretty following the river. I  wasn't too fussed on the surface on the trail, it was loose river gravel I think, and really slowed me down.

The trail then veered off to follow the road for a wee bit, then headed back through a vineyard and down near the river again. 

After that, as much as I don't like saying this...the trail was boring. I thought I would be following the river but instead you ride along a gravel road with huge gorse bushes pretty much obscuring any view you may have. Add into this a very loose gravel surface and strong headwind and my ride was starting to feel more like a chore. After a couple of river crossings and wet feet, I hit the highway again before veering off past paddocks, and I did catch a few glimpses of the river.

I met up with Mark who was riding from the other direction to meet me and just to top the ride off, I got a puncture!!! The ride into Duntroon goes through the newly established Duntroon Wetlands, They have done an enormous amount of planting there and once it all starts growing will look spectacular.

After this experience I am still keen to do the whole of the trail, this was only a tiny portion of it and probably the most boring part. Hopefully the gravel won't be as thick in other parts, though it does make for fun skidding out on the corners!

So after all that it was getting a bit late so we headed back to the campground via Elephant Rocks. The whole area around here was once an inland sea, and there are amazing outcrops of all different types of rocks everywhere as well as an abundance of fossils. Crazy to think it was all seabed once. 

Next day it was time to head home via Danseys Pass. Absolutely stunning scenery on a very winding, narrow gravel road. I kept thinking this would be so much fun to ride, so maybe that will be my end of summer challenge. 
A great couple of days away...its always so good to discover new places that you never realized were so close by.

" Escape and breathe the air of new places."