Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby DogsBollocks on Wed 30/Sep/15 10:11am

Hiya,

Every year I arrange an end of year "Epic" for myself and a bunch of like minded aferletes. It generally involves an overnighter somewhere and we try and put ourselves outside our comfort zones a wee bit while finding out how much beer it's possible to carry on a bike for 8 odd hours. As an example we did the St James riding from St James homestead via Maling to the Christopher Hut, the QCT riding from Ships Cove to Portage, then Portage to Picton and last year 17 of us did Nydia Bay one day then Wakamarina the next. That sorta gives you an idea of what we are into.

This year I've got a hut booked on the Old Ghost Rd for the 1st week in December but I'm struggling to arrange an alternative just in case it's not through by then. We'd rather wait till next year when it's complete than have an 8k carry at the end of the 1st day.

Any idea's ? What say you pilgrims. Our only real caveat is it's in the South Island. We'd prefer overnighting to a hut somewhere (hopefuly a loop) and have no issues with being out there riding 6-8 hrs/day. Pub at the finish would be grand. I've been trawling teh webs and MTB mags and am coming up with a bit of a blank. I don't mind doing the homework but if any of you have some ideas you want to chuck at me it would be much appreciated.

NB: Carrying all o/night gear + 10 500mm cans of cheap German lager from the St James homestead to christopher hut the day after tophouse rd has been graded ain't a good idea :blush:
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby swtchbckr on Wed 30/Sep/15 10:52am

even if old ghost road isnt through yet, they'll only be a km or two max unfinished, which you could probably just schlepp... the route is likely pretty well marked already. some folks we met as we were going into the Heaphy in May were heading down and were gonna just carry/bash their way through. and they will have made plenty of progress since then.

One i've always wanted to do, but may be a bit flat for you and maybe not far enough, is up the Hope River. Park at Windy Point and ride in up the single/double Hope/Kiwi track on the true left side, then hang a right up the Hope Pass Track to the Upper Hope Hut. from there it's only another couple kms up stream and up Hot Spring Stream you've got yourself a nice place to drink beer in the hotpool(s?) while you batt sandflies... there was a write up on it in a Spoke mag many (many many) moons ago, but as a winter trip. It's a definite potential fatbike trip for a snowy winter, methinks... but should be pretty good for summer too.
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby Rik on Wed 30/Sep/15 10:54am

I'm watching this like a hawk, because I to am interested in doing as many overnighters as I can this summer. I'd be interested in what comes up.

I'm currently plotting an Christchurch centric two dayer

Day 1: Chch -> Bottle Lake -> Ashley Forest -> Lees valley -> Wharfdale -> Oxford
Day 2: Oxford -> Waimakariri south bank -> McCleans Island -> Chch
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby DogsBollocks on Wed 30/Sep/15 11:34am

swtchbckr wrote:even if old ghost road isnt through yet, they'll only be a km or two max unfinished, which you could probably just schlepp... the route is likely pretty well marked already. some folks we met as we were going into the Heaphy in May were heading down and were gonna just carry/bash their way through. and they will have made plenty of progress since then.

One i've always wanted to do, but may be a bit flat for you and maybe not far enough, is up the Hope River. Park at Windy Point and ride in up the single/double Hope/Kiwi track on the true left side, then hang a right up the Hope Pass Track to the Upper Hope Hut. from there it's only another couple kms up stream and up Hot Spring Stream you've got yourself a nice place to drink beer in the hotpool(s?) while you batt sandflies... there was a write up on it in a Spoke mag many (many many) moons ago, but as a winter trip. It's a definite potential fatbike trip for a snowy winter, methinks... but should be pretty good for summer too.


Yeah, I'm hearing ya about the OGR but we got the Stern Valley hut booked and that's a big enough day as it is from Lyell without the bush bash. I don't really want to aggravate the pixies either by trudging through their unfinished work or compromise any safety plans etc. they may have in place up there either.
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby Trail on Wed 30/Sep/15 1:08pm

Can overnight in Kirwans? Decent climb to get there but not too bad.

Croesus is in the same boat.

There must be a bunch of stuff down in the Old Man, Old Woman and Ben Nevis along with either huts or pubs that could be hit up along the way?

There are overnighters up Mesopotamia way. Bullock Bow saddle and over to Tekapo... bit of a carry involved.

Kill Devil into the hut at the end?

Heaps of places...
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby swtchbckr on Wed 30/Sep/15 2:01pm

Flora Saddle, into one of the huts there. down Barron Flat and out to Upper Takaka too...
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby DogsBollocks on Wed 30/Sep/15 2:15pm

That Flora Saddle is cool but I've only been to the junction and back. How far is it down into Takaka ? I could make the boy's climb up there from the Mot side ............
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby Velocipedestrian on Wed 30/Sep/15 2:20pm

Is there a bike-legal way of getting from Flora down to Takaka?

I've walked it, but thought it was only legit for bikes from the saddle to Gridiron.
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby Velocipedestrian on Wed 30/Sep/15 2:23pm

[/google]
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recrea ... lat-track/

http://www.biketrack.co.nz/tablelands.html

Would be good to do in conjunction with the Heaphy (and Rameka if you have a shuttle driver).
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby Trail on Wed 30/Sep/15 2:33pm

Velocipedestrian wrote:Is there a bike-legal way of getting from Flora down to Takaka?

I've walked it, but thought it was only legit for bikes from the saddle to Gridiron.


Yep. Barron Flat is part of the mtbs in Kahurangi trial. Comes out at upper Takaka. Could probably be ridden uphill ok. From memory a lot of the climb would be on 4wd track getting up. Barron Flat is mainly traverse and then a climb again on the 4wd track out to Flora saddle.
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby pedalingkiwi on Wed 30/Sep/15 7:20pm

swtchbckr wrote:One i've always wanted to do, but may be a bit flat for you and maybe not far enough, is up the Hope River. Park at Windy Point and ride in up the single/double Hope/Kiwi track on the true left side, then hang a right up the Hope Pass Track to the Upper Hope Hut. from there it's only another couple kms up stream and up Hot Spring Stream you've got yourself a nice place to drink beer in the hotpool(s?) while you batt sandflies... there was a write up on it in a Spoke mag many (many many) moons ago, but as a winter trip. It's a definite potential fatbike trip for a snowy winter, methinks... but should be pretty good for summer too.


did this one about 8 years ago - unless it has been markedly 'improved' the true left singletrack deteriorates into mostly rock strewn hike-a-bike after about half way to the junction with Top Hope Branch. After that though it is pretty easy river flat riding, past St Jacobs Hut, then to the end-of-the-line Top Hope Hut. As it is off the beaten track and any through routes this hut doesn't see much use so you would be very unlucky to find it occupied. The hot springs are Hot. Damn Hot, requiring the addition of nearby stream water to mediate temp. Room for maybe 6 burly blokes or blokesses. A nice wee trip, and not overly taxing so yes take beer.

P1010107.JPG
moody NW conditions at Top HopeHut

P1010113.JPG
lean athletic flesh relaxing at the springs

P1010116.JPG
the billy - which was there on site - was essential to scooping cold water out of the stream


the other trip I would suggest is at Arrowsmith Station, shores of Lake Heron, up and over Wild Man's Brother Range to to Wild Man's Hut - it is a pretty testing climb up to the top, short steep descent, it will cost you a few bucks to stay at the hut (pay the farmer), then cruise down the south branch Ashburton River and back around to start.

a'smith27.jpg
top of Wild Man's Brother Range

a'smith55.JPG
Old Man's Hut - Arrowsmith mtns in the background

a'smith73.JPG
heading back down Ashburton River, south branch
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby swtchbckr on Wed 30/Sep/15 9:16pm

That last picture... is that a lekke pole? why?
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Re: Overnighters In The Main Island

Postby pedalingkiwi on Wed 30/Sep/15 9:31pm

Cause that dude wasn't just satisfied with biking over a big friggin hill, he wanted to go walking in the Arrowsmith Range, which he did whilst the rest of us lay about in the sun at Wild Man's Hut, well satisfied. Different strokes.
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