25 Dec

Week 2 in New Zealand

It has been almost 2 weeks since I have arrived in New Zealand. After a week in Dunedin (South east of the South Island) I started travelling West. A very welcoming couple who I connected with through warmshowers.org let me stay with them in Alexandra (between Dunedin and Queenstown). The climate and the terrain was very different from Dunedin. Less green, more brownish color. It was fairly flat (compared to Dunedin). Afterwards, I headed to Queenstown, the notorious adventure town where bungee jumping was invented. What a beautiful scenery towards the lake and mountains. Yesterday I headed to Christchurch. Although the city is flat, the group ride this morning introduced me to some serious climbs which seemed to pop up from nowhere.
My conclusion so far:
Only a few hours of driving lead one to a totally different climate, landscape and terrain.
Dunedin: very hilly with steep climbs, fresh and green and wet, plenty of great routes with spectacular scenery, vibrant city
Alexandra (Central Otago):dry climate, flat in general with a few mountains which are mostly accessible via mountain bike, tiny town
Queenstown: fantastic views, great climbs (Crown Range Rd, Coronet Peak), a lot of riding options, very touristy
Christchurch: flat, unfortunately due to the earth quakes a few years ago some roads are not accessible and in rough shape, a lot of bike lanes, big cycling scene
Some pictures in no particular order:

Just to get the bearings of New Zealand. I started in the Southeast of the South Island, in Dunedin, travelled West to Queenstown and then headed Northeast to Christchurch


Christchurch – That doesnt look exactly flat to me. The city does have some great climbs.



The view towards Mt Cook with the Pukaki lake in front. The lake color is turquoise due to the refraction of the glacier particles in the water. I have never seen that anywhere else before! (Unfortunately, my camera does not do justice)


This farmer must be very popular. On Crown Ridge Rd from Wanaka to Queenstown.



Southern Alps. Awesome climbs!



One of the few days where it was sunny all day long. Weather changes quickly.


On top of the ski hill in Queenstown.



Queenstown has great downhill tracks.


The water looks unreal. (On the way to Queenstown)


I barely made it through the coming cow train. 400 cows on the way to get milked. They yield 10 liters of milk each.


That was a steep downhill into a river bed which shot right back up




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