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Thread: ASITT (Another South Island Tour Thread)...

  1. #1
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    ASITT (Another South Island Tour Thread)...

    Hey all, I haven't been on here or posted for a while. I was reading some of the other south island tour threads, but I don't want to hijack another thread, so this is a new one.

    I'm planning to do a 1-2 week quick ride/tour around the south island in December or January, starting and ending in CHC.
    I've always wanted to do a tour on a nice, large-engined, modern bike, something like a BMW R1200GS or similar.
    I like all the fancy stuff on the brand new ones, but I can't afford to buy a new one, so I'm thinking of 3 possible options:

    Option 1: I can do a self-guided tour, where the accommodation is all booked, route all planned, and the rental bike is included (2017 BMW R1200GS or R1200RS) (About $6-7K including air fares to/from CHC and food, petrol, rental/accommodation/itinerary/gps package). It's a crap-ton of money to spend on a one week holiday, I could buy a very good motorbike for that kind of spend...
    https://goo.gl/ekwr5a

    Option 2: Use the same bike rental outfit to rent the same 2017 R1200GS for 8 days, but plan the tour route and itinerary myself, and find places to stay with AirBnB (About $4K including air fares to CHC, Food, petrol, Accommodation, Bike Rental).
    https://goo.gl/JS4LZd

    Option 3: I could buy an older touring bike, like an old R1100RT or similar with reg/wof/luggage/panniers, anywhere in NZ, fly there to pick up the bike, ride to the south island, do the tour, ride back to AKL, and then try to sell the bike for as close to what I bought it for as possible. The final tour cost here be might be under $1-2K after selling the bike (depending on what, if anything, I lose through reselling the bike afterwards), but there is more hassle, and time spent, and upfront cost: Buying the bike, organising insurance, The long ride maybe from AKL to CHC and from CHC to AKL again afterwards, including ferry crossings, selling it again afterwards, etc. But maybe that's part of the fun?
    https://goo.gl/FFe5nX

    This is a rough idea of the tour route I had in mind:
    https://i.imgur.com/SCUMp3H.png
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Basically something like, CHC - Tekapo - Queenstown - Franz Josef - Punakaiki - Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura - CHC.

    So, I'm open to ideas and suggestions: Important stuff to pack? Hints for making the plans? Ideas of places and roads not to miss in that area? I'm not very good at planning this sort of thing. I'll be touring solo too, by the way. Best of the three options I've mentioned above, and reasons why? Maybe a fourth option I hadn't considered? If I go the buy/tour/sell route, things to look for and avoid in older touring BMWs? I've been looking at 2001-2008 bikes between about $4-9K: R1200GS, R1200RT, R1150RT, R1100RT, Honda VFR800, Triumph Tiger 955i, etc. Which will be the most comfortable for touring, the most capable/safe/reliable, and will hold its value the best, and be the easiest to resell after the tour?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    You have a GSXR 600?. That will do nicely. Ventura pack rack. Ride it down. Ferry, tour your heart out......

  3. #3
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    I drove over Takaka Hill for the first time in my life yesterday. In a van with half a ton in the back. Fuck it was epic. Anyone who does a "South Island Motorcycle Tour" without doing the Takaka Hill at least once in either direction is a knob.
    Quote Originally Posted by onearmedbandit View Post
    ...people will disagree, call one another an 'egg' or idiot. That's fine.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madness View Post
    I drove over Takaka Hill for the first time in my life yesterday. In a van with half a ton in the back. Fuck it was epic. Anyone who does a "South Island Motorcycle Tour" without doing the Takaka Hill at least once in either direction is a knob.
    The last two tours down the west coast from the ferry have included Takaka hill.

    Twice on one occasion, four times on the other.
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  5. #5
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    Westport's a stopover? Either way consider Karamea also/instead.
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVboy View Post
    You have a GSXR 600?. That will do nicely. Ventura pack rack. Ride it down. Ferry, tour your heart out......
    Yeah, I would've done, but I recently sold the Gixxer for ...financial... reasons. I'll be getting another replacement for it soon, probably something like a Duke 390 for commuting mainly, but I've always really wanted to do a south island tour on a nice big touring bike. And my back hated the gixxer's riding position. From now on sports bikes aren't for me; it'll be nakeds and tourers only going forward. Reminds me I must update my profile.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madness View Post
    I drove over Takaka Hill for the first time in my life yesterday. In a van with half a ton in the back. Fuck it was epic. Anyone who does a "South Island Motorcycle Tour" without doing the Takaka Hill at least once in either direction is a knob.
    Thanks for the tip! If I end up touring down from Dorkland to do the SI tour, and then back up again, I'll try to include Takaka Hill as I head back up North via the west coast all the way back up towards Picton via Mot and Nelson (Is that even possible?). But OTOH, if I end up hiring a bike in CHC to start and finish a round trip in CHC, it might add an extra few hundred Kms to the trip...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean1 View Post
    Westport's a stopover? Either way consider Karamea also/instead.
    Cheers... Yeah, nah, I just put the dot in Westport there so google would show the route I wanted between the actual stopovers Punakaiki and Hanmer Springs. Without that dot google maps was going north into Punakaiki, then back out again South via the same route and looping back around to Hanmer springs via a weird route that would've had me doubling back on myself. Same thing happens if I drag the dot to Karamea; google maps just has me going in from the south, and then just turning around and backtracking.
    But from some of the suggestions I've read here, perhaps I can extend my loop between Punakaiki and Kaikoura to go all the way up the west coast, hook around via Karamea, Takaka/Takaka Hill, Mot, Nelson, Blenheim, and then head back down south, and skip Hanmer Springs. I'm not sure if the roads connect between what I just mentioned above though; google maps sure doesn't want to allow that...

    Edit: I don't think this is possible? There doesn't seem to be any road to head north from Karamea towards the top of the SI, and there also doesn't seem to be any way to connect Takaka to Karamea by road, other than by going way down on a U shaped loop of nearly 400 Kms going via Westport, Murchison, etc... Is that correct? (Oh, the Heaphy track connects those two places?) Excuse my ignorance of the SI roads. This is why I need help with planning...

  9. #9
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    Karamea is a dead end one way in one way out

    Though seeing you're heading over the Reefton Spur from Springs J to Reefton and then up to Westport you're missing the best part of the Buller gorge.
    You could do a loop back through via Greymouth back up to Reefton & Inangahua Junction, head towards Murchison from there and then back down to Springs J again & back toward Greymouth and continue on your intended route

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by samgab View Post
    Cheers... Yeah, nah, I just put the dot in Westport there so google would show the route I wanted between the actual stopovers Punakaiki and Hanmer Springs. Without that dot google maps was going north into Punakaiki, then back out again South via the same route and looping back around to Hanmer springs via a weird route that would've had me doubling back on myself. Same thing happens if I drag the dot to Karamea; google maps just has me going in from the south, and then just turning around and backtracking.
    But from some of the suggestions I've read here, perhaps I can extend my loop between Punakaiki and Kaikoura to go all the way up the west coast, hook around via Karamea, Takaka/Takaka Hill, Mot, Nelson, Blenheim, and then head back down south, and skip Hanmer Springs. I'm not sure if the roads connect between what I just mentioned above though; google maps sure doesn't want to allow that...

    Edit: I don't think this is possible? There doesn't seem to be any road to head north from Karamea towards the top of the SI, and there also doesn't seem to be any way to connect Takaka to Karamea by road, other than by going way down on a U shaped loop of nearly 400 Kms going via Westport, Murchison, etc... Is that correct? (Oh, the Heaphy track connects those two places?) Excuse my ignorance of the SI roads. This is why I need help with planning...
    Yep, you'd need a trials bike for the Heaphy track, but Karamea is still worth a visit. So is Takaka, (although personally I wouldn't go much past Pupu springs) and so is Milford.

    The thing is a lot of the best roads in the south are dead ends. Maybe most of them.
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean1 View Post
    So is Takaka, (although personally I wouldn't go much past Pupu springs)

    The thing is a lot of the best roads in the south are dead ends. Maybe most of them.
    ...au contraire...I reckon that the best bits of Golden Bay are North of there...to not stroll on Farewell Spit or have a look at Whanganui Inlet and Westhaven would be a crime...officially, in times gone by the farm at the end of that road , which is really only just North of Karamea, was/is the most isolated address in NZ...spectacular and beautiful...

  12. #12
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    don't forget to swing by gloriavale, the girls are real good at blowies down there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellipsis View Post
    ...au contraire...I reckon that the best bits of Golden Bay are North of there...to not stroll on Farewell Spit or have a look at Whanganui Inlet and Westhaven would be a crime...officially, in times gone by the farm at the end of that road , which is really only just North of Karamea, was/is the most isolated address in NZ...spectacular and beautiful...
    Yep. I've been to Cape Farewell a couple of times, one of the boys got a puncture there last time and the wusses aren't keen on gravel at the best of times. On tour we average about 700k / day, personally I'd rather do less and have enough time to just wander around a bit and explore but if you're back to Nelson for the night there's just not time.

    Haven't seen Whanganui inlet for a while, passed it on the way to see a woman some 10 miles south of there some 40 years ago. On an XL350. The ride was magnificent. Wonder if you can get knobblies for the SDR....
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up Bike and flights booked!

    Well, it's really happening! Today I booked a 2017 R1200GS for 10 days, 19/01/2018 to 28/01/2018. I also booked flights. Going down to CHC by plane early on the 19th, and flying out on the evening of the 28th. I can return the bike late on the 28th, I confirmed that, they don't need it by 5pm or whatever. So I have the bike, and the South Island to myself for a full 10 days and 9 nights.
    Now I have to get to work planning out a good itinerary for the 10 days, CHC to CHC. I'll try to incorporate some of the suggestions you guys have made, thanks for your help and ideas so far! Eg; I would've never thought of doing a "one way in, one way out" trip to Karamea and back, or Takaka, but I might try to include at least one of those two into the trip.

    I'm not sure whether to keep it loose, and just try to book AirBnB places on the day as I go depending on what's available and where I am at the time, or if I should plan the whole thing out and pre-book accommodation at every destination point well ahead of time. I'm not into freedom camping, I'll be looking to find BnBs along the way near the stopover points.

  15. #15
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    I'm crossing south tomorrow. Looks like perfect weather! Karamea first night for us.

    If you end up at Westport, at the very least shot up to see the Denniston Incline. Not far out of your way and an amazing place to visit.
    Happiness is a means of travel, not a destination

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