Lake Guyon

I found my way back to New Zealand on Friday morning and Katie, Simon, and I drove up to Lake Tennyson on Friday night. We arrived late in strong wind and a bit of rain and scurried into tents before they blew away. On Saturday we rode into Lake Guyon on the St James Cycleway. As we had left reasonably late we arrived after around 3 hours riding about 3 pm. We had lunch and decided not to try going any further. We didn’t really have much in the way of lights. I also seem to have contracted some sort of American energy sucking lurgi. Instead we snoozed in the funky little hut for the entire afternoon waking around 10:30 pm. Katie cooked us some dinner and it was back to sleep… Very lazy.

We rode out the way we had come in over Mailing Pass on Sunday with spots of rain and lots of wind. We then drove back to Hanmer for some thermal pool goodness. Dinner in Hanmer before driving back home to Christchurch.


Cris by Lake Tennyson (Canterbury) resize Setting off 2 (Lake Tennyson) resize

Above left: In front of Lake Tennyson. Above right: Katie and Simon setting off towards Mailing Pass.

Track into Lake Guyon (Canterbury) resize Lake Guyon (Canterbury) resize

Above left: The track is nice and friendly into Lake Guyon. The descent from Mailing Pass is quite steep but ridable. Above right: Lake Guyon is a 2.5 km detour from the main St James Cycleway route but well worth a look. Katie rides towards Lake Guyon. The hut is situated behind a patch of bush on the left side of the lake.

Lake Guyon Hut (Lake Guyon) resize View (Lake Guyon) resize

Above left: Lake Guyon hut. A cosy four bunk affair. Cosy as it’s got a fire… Above right: View from Lake Guyon hut.

Snoozilicious (Lake Guyon Hut) resize Cris, Katie, and weirdo (St James Cycleway) resize

Above left: Laziness overcame us and we snoozed the afternoon away. Above right: Heading out back over Mailing Pass on Sunday.

Staunch cyclists (Mailing Pass) resize Weirdos having coffee (Hanmer) resize

Above left: Katie and Simon are victorious after pushing their bikes back up the steep side of Mailing pass. Simon demonstrates his victory with his yoga power-drink pose. Above right: Coffee at the Powerhouse Cafe in Hanmer after finishing riding. IMHO nobody does cafe culture like New Zealanders. Of course the clientele leaves a little to be desired.

Weridos having coffee 2 (Hanmer) resize Weirdos having coffee 3 (Hanmer) resize

Above: Photoshop required to get one good photo…

Misty ride

As I am rather incompetent in some areas I didn’t go cycle touring. Instead I went for a misty mountain bike in the Black Forest. I headed up over Kybfelson and towards Schauinsland before heading around above Horben towards St Ulrich. I descended by random forestry tracks to Au.

Misty MTB ride in Black Forest 2 (Freiburg) resize Cris in the mist (Black Forest, Germany) resize

Above: Me in the mist.

Misty mountain bike ride in the Black Forest (Freiburg) resize Trees on jaunty angle in the mist (Black Forest, Freiburg) resize

Above: Some more mist for good measure plus trees on jaunty angles. Jeremy take note.

Biking Black Forest (April 2012)_web

Above: And of course a map of the route.

Time: 03:14:05 Dst: 37.95 km Avg: 11.73 km/h Max: 48.48 km/h

Mission into Hope Kiwi Lodge

Janey alerted me to the new St James Cycleway and Katie and I investigated this… After reading the description we decided that perhaps with the biking equipment that I currently have it might be a bit too hard out. Instead we opted for an easier mission on the South side of the Hope River. There’s a four wheel drive track that leads in along the Hope River from the road to Hope Kiwi Lodge. On the map it looks great but there’s just one hitch, after arriving in the Lewis Pass reasonably late in the day and tracking down the land owners we got a blunt “no, you can’t do that”.

Day 1 – Windy Point to Hope Halfway Hut

Rather than abandoning the trip altogether we decided to cycle in on the tramping track from Windy Point. The first 40 minutes or so along the track was fairly rideable but after that it deteriorated into full on tramping track. We persevered for some time before finally giving up. I was somewhat stubborn and opted to take my heavy steel stead the whole way. The others stashed their bikes in the trees.

Above left: Abbie prepares Ed’s bike. Above right: Ed looks on.

Above left: Katie and Abbie transport Katie’s bike to the other side of the fence. Shortly afterwards we realised that the gate was not locked. Above right: Abbie pushing her bike across the swing bridge.

Above left: Ed pushes his bike out of a stream. It wasn’t long after this that we decided cycling was probably less efficient than walking. Above right: Stashing the bikes. We repacked our gear into back packs and my panniers and stashed the other three bikes.

Above left: Shortly after arriving at Hope Halfway Hut. Above right: The hut wasn’t too bad. I had been expecting a run-down shack as our topomap had called the hut a shelter. Ed and Abbie read on a bunk by candle light.

Above: A slightly photoshopped view from the hut in the evening.

Day 2 – Hope Halfway Hut to Hope Kiwi Lodge

We set off towards Hope Kiwi Lodge. At times having a bike was an advantage and at times it definitely wasn’t. After crossing a river we made a deviation to St Jacobs hut before heading down in the direction of Lake Sumner to the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Once at the lodge we blobbed for a bit before the ladies went for a stroll and Ed and I decided to go and run to Lake Sumner. Ed rode the bike some of the way until we got to the edge of the bushline then we both ran at a good pace down to the lake. There was enough time for a swim before having to scurry back before it got dark. It took around 2 hours and was most excellent.

Above left: The cows had churned up sections along the way which lead to bike-in-mud sinkage. Above right: We went for a little tikki-tour to St Jacob’s hut before heading down to the Hope Kiwi Lodge.

Above left: Katie enters the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Above right: View South towards Lake Sumner from the Hope Kiwi Lodge.

Above left: Ed and I went running to Lake Sumner in the evening.

Above left: View across Lake Sumner. Above right: Ed back at the Hope Kiwi Lodge.

Above left: Evening in the Hope Kiwi Lodge. Above right: Sunset looking towards Lake Sumner.

Above: Some good old swamp bubbling.

Above: Ed and I arrive at Lake Sumner.

Day 3 – Hope Kiwi Lodge to Windy Point

We wandered (I rode) out to where the others had dumped their bike and then we all rode out the rest of the way to the road. Katie and I tried to convince Ed and Abbie to go missioning to the West Coast but they weren’t having a bar of it so we hooned off there ourselves, making our way later to Arthurs Pass, and staying the night at Kennedy Lodge.

Above left: Ed and Abbie pass a bike over a tricky bit of track. Above right: Ed demonstrates the riding technique used on the majority of the track.

Above left: Ed and Abbie on a particularly rideable bit near the end (and start) of the ride. Above right: After finishing the trip Katie and I drove to Arthurs Pass via the West Cost. We had fush and chups (fish and chips) on the beach South of Greymouth.

Mountain biking Makara

I borrowed Gina’s mountain bike and headed off to Makara to try out the mountain biking there. I turns out there are a bunch of nice little trails around Makara peak. I rode up along little tracks surrounded by green ferns. At times the trails are completely surrounded in bush and at other times you get a view either out towards Northland (the suburb) and Wellington Harbour, or over to the South Island. I descended via the “North Face”, which is a nice flowing single track that starts at the top of Makara peak.

Fern (Makara Peak, Wellington) resize On Makara Peak (Makara Peak, Wellington) resize

Above left: The single tracks at Makara wind their way through natives like this fern. At least the tracks that I tried did… Above right: Being a poser on Makara Peak.

Above: Descending from Makara Peak.

Above: Riding at Makara.


I caught up with Mark for a coffee in the afternoon before flying back to Christchurch in the evening.