Cycling in Sydney Australia
The roads are good, traffic generally light once you are away from Chch. It can get very hot in summer and shade is scarce.
Look at routes in Lonely Planet's Cycling New Zealand.
Some more detail of your proposed trip might be appropriate:
Length of time?
Where's sus when he's needed?
Ha ha, I was expecting that last line - it came in while I was checking maps and writing commentary.
Not sure yet about camping or support, trying to get familiar with what I could expect there., thanks
Sticking to the eastern side of the divide is the right way to go, but as well as avoiding Arthur's Pass I'd also suggest you go via Lake Tekapo rather than through Lake Tekapo. It can be quite cold even in December, and your stuff will get soaked... ;-)
I know quite a few people here have ridden in this general direction before and can probably provide more advice and information. It's about 500km, so expect it to talk about 4 days on your expected averages. However I'd suggest that if you put in a big effort on the first day, try and make it to Geraldine for the first night (about 137km). It is relatively flat across the Canterbury plains, so as long as you don't get a southerly this should be not too difficult.
The second day is where the climbing will begin and a little more tricky - either go short to Lake Tekapo (90km), or push on to Lake Pukaki or Twizel (I can't remember if there is much of a township at Lake Pukaki) which is about 140km. Third day is Twizel to Wanaka, which is longish again (about 140km). Fourth day is in to Queenstown - either climbing over the Crown Range (tough but spectacular - 70km) or 110km the long way round via Cromwell.
Before deciding on any of these distance I'd recommend trying to find some profile maps that will give you an idea of the climbing involved - I can't remember sorry.
If you've got time to kill, and want to extend your ride by a few days, then consider adding in the Central Otago Rail Trail - it's fantastic. Probably the best way to do it would be from Clyde to Middlemarch (and then the historic train back to Dunedin). Clyde is about 80km from Queenstown. The rail trail is really well supported - lots of towns for supplies and places to stay etc, and easily rideable. You can knock it off over 3 days / 2 nights quite easily.
And if you need any advice about where to stay and what to do in Christchurch... just ask.
Lots of useful tips, thanks for mentioning the word "via"
Do you think it would be less windy and better traffic condition if I start at Qeenstown and finish at Christchurch? What do oyu mean by sticking to the eastern side...
Doesn't really matter, I'd suggest starting out of Christchurch simply because there are more flights, and it is easier to get yourself sorted (more shops, accommodation, bike shops etc).
The wind isn't a factor to consider - if you get a nasty southerly you'll probably want to get on a bus or bunker down anyway. If you get an easterly (predominant wind) or nor-wester these are better going Ch-Ch >> Queenstown.
Eastern side just means travelling down the east coast rather than traversing the southern alps to head down the west coast (i.e. via Arthurs Pass). The West Coast is spectacularly scenic, but it has more rain and when it rains... But one thing to consider - if you have the time - is doing the full traverse: down the east coast (along the lines of what I mentioned above) and then up the West Coast. Then take the even more spectacularly scenic Tranz Alpine express train back to Christchurch.
Aaaah yes, Dunedin! Brings back memories of a car trip of NZ that the leader of the opposition and I did back in 1974.
We'd had a change of plans and had to buy a 2 man tent in Christchurch. Our first port of call where we had to pitch the tent was the lovely Scottish town of Dunedin. Storms brewing - tired and irritable after driving long distance - pitch tent for the first time only to find that it had no pegs. So, leaving the bride to hold the tent in place, I wandered off to the camp store to see if I could acquire any pegs. In my usual Oz accent, I asked the bird there whether they had any tent pegs. She rattled around the back of the store for a little while and then came back with a packet of tampax. Obviously these Kiwis have very soft ground if that's all they use to hold their tents down! :-)
Very Impressive Bob!
I was there in 2003, but I didknee Ride there, got the TransAlpine up from CCH.
One of the Best train trips I've ever been on!
Proof, Bob? Something's missing!
Funny, we were in NZ in January '05. I don't remember seeing you.