Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby XCguy on Tue 14/Dec/10 10:42am

G wrote:excuse my ignorance but where is McDonald Downs?

They may not charge you for this sort of "passing through" ride but they would certainly asppreciate who was on their property and when. I can give you their contact details if you want - just flick me a PM.
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 14/Dec/10 1:14pm

G wrote:excuse my ignorance but where is MacDonald Downs?

between Lees Valley and the upper reaches of the Waipara River
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby Simonius_Titius on Tue 14/Dec/10 2:24pm

Dunno what is feasible for MTB but another couple of crossings are Brownings Pass and Whitcombe Pass.
Browning Pass is too dangerous - outraged trampers would likely seize and burn your bikes. And some of the route is in Arthur's Pass National Park, DoC would have your balls in a bun with mustard and onions if you tried to sneak through.

More importantly, DoC is trialling limited MTB access in the Poulter River.

Whitcombe Pass is a rare gap in very big mountains further south at the head of the Whitcombe River. It is pretty rough country though, maybe too lumpy and slippy and dangerous for a bike. Also it sometimes takes a bit of imagination to identify the track. It is a good 4 day walk. I spent a summer cutting the track up there but we didn't consider MTB because they hadn't been invented yet.

Ask the DoC office in Hokitika if it is feasible and allowed. If so they can advise on access for the East end which should not be a problem, I think it is Lake Heron station or something. Condition of the track varies greatly due to lush regrowth and the local specialty, slips. Heh, it is well worth a walk up there just to see the slips. Best in the country!
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 14/Dec/10 3:08pm

i'd always thought Browning was totally fair game... there seems to be the odd account of people riding (carrying) it. i looked at it a couple years ago (posted questions on here about it even). i dont think it goes through APNP, was about to check but pesky ArcGIS has seized.
yeah, thought as much, Browning is free of National Park. you've got Waitaiki Historic Reserve, Central Southern Alps Wilberforce Conservation Area, and Rangitata/Rakaia Head Waters Conservation Area, AND a lot of the track looks to be paper road / easement, so, i reckon you'd get away with it alright...
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby wallyg on Tue 14/Dec/10 9:15pm

did refton to lake coleridge over browning pass 3 years ago.bit ugly but doable if you prepared for a bit of carry.
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby shifty on Tue 14/Dec/10 11:03pm

If you go over Harpers, down Taramakau to Aickens at confluence of Otira river, then you'd have to do a section of SH73 (or the rail tracks to Jackson's) to either Wainihinihi, then Milltown (Arahura Valley) and out to Hokitika water race track at lake Kaniere, then over Blue Spur or through Noname road near Kumara through to Shantytown/ greymouth. I think Bluedog was going to do the highway milltown option.
If you didn't do the road, the riverbed's full of basketball sized rocks or sand or gorse and the farmland doesn't have much in the way of tracks, just electric fences.

Hope this helps...
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby shifty on Tue 14/Dec/10 11:05pm

Hokitika VIA water race track...
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby Simonius_Titius on Wed 15/Dec/10 2:12am

Browning's Pass was considered for the road instead of Arthur's Pass, which might be how the paper road got there.

I heard a theory that Brownings was a better choice but politics/skullduggery/a communist plot resulted in Arthur's being chosen. Presumably Arthur Dudley Dobson would have pushed hard for the pass which carried his name since he surveyed it. Arthur DD was shown "Arthur's" pass by Maori who had long used it for access to the greenstone just south of there and presumably already had a perfectly good name for the pass.

Quite a bit of old road or at least cart track was built up the river on the West Coast side of Browning's for some reason, access to some kind of mine I think. There are still remains of the cart track, making that side nicely graded. Scratch the idea of doing the Whitcombe by MTB, it is a lot rougher than this route.

Carry a compass! The open tops part of the route has potential for disastrous lostness if it is in cloud. Here is how lost you can get, even when well familiar with this sort of country:


We were en route from Klondyke Korner on the Arthur's Pass road, to the head of the Whitcombe -> Hokitika. Got up before dawn, went hard all day. Had some adventures crossing from the Rangitata into the Mathias in the mist - found ourselves on a glacier with crevasses, which we were barely equipped for. Crept out of there and over the top, phew.

Descending the seldom-travelled valley saw fresh prints of two guys who have come from the opposite direction. But we didn't pass anybody!
The prints were of laceup rubber gummies with horseshoes on the heels. That is is West Coast pro gear, not suitable for where we are in Canterbury. There were iceaxe prints too, which is unusual for Coasters, particularly with gummies. Coincidentally that is exactly how we were equipped.

Eventually we reached a nice hut which strangely was not marked on the map. We got to 10 metres from the hut before realising it was the one we had left that morning. Aaaargh! Use the compass! Food budget unsafe so we retreated to the base of Browning Pass, then over and out to the Coast the next day. Epic wild route replaced by long slog on pleasant route plus embarrassment :cry:
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby tanadog on Tue 29/Jan/13 1:30pm

Was searching for something else and saw this old post... given the interest in brevet-type riding thought would pass on trip we did in 2005. Coast to Coast, Doubtful Sound to Kakanui. Did it with support vehicle that met us each night, but would be possible to go super light and pay by plastic the whole way too (in summer)

Day 1; Doubtful to Borland: tourist boat & bus to Doubtful Sound, out via Wilmot Pass, Percy Saddle, Borland Saddle.
Day 2. Borland to Mavora Lakes via road to Whitestone (not a good option) then pick up tracks into west side of Mavora Lakes. Alot of pushing in giant tussock. Big day
Day 3 Mavora To Athol (nearly). Up road from Mavora Lakes beside Von Rv, hike a bike over saddle into Eyre Ck, epic (!!) hike down creek, benighted - rode out next morning to Athol.
Day 4. Athol - eating
Day 5. Athol to Bannockburn, via Nokomai & Nevis Rd. Simple, dusty. lots of lube.
Day 6. Bannockburn to Thompsons Track via Dunstan Range. Up
Day 7. Thompsons Track To St Bathans via Dunstan Range. Along & down. Windy.
Day 8. Rain , rest day
Day 9. St Bathans to Danseys Pass pub via Hawdun Range & Mt Kyeburn. Awesome.
Day 10. Danseys Pass pub to Kakanui via Danseys Pass, Kakanui Mtns, Herbrt (SH1) to all Day Bay for sunset. 12 hrs, 2 hr carry, v little water. Fantastic.
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby jo on Tue 29/Jan/13 1:44pm

In a sidenote: I am greatly amused by the below account. :D
Simonius_Titius wrote:We were en route from Klondyke Korner on the Arthur's Pass road, to the head of the Whitcombe -> Hokitika. Got up before dawn, went hard all day. Had some adventures crossing from the Rangitata into the Mathias in the mist - found ourselves on a glacier with crevasses, which we were barely equipped for. Crept out of there and over the top, phew.

Descending the seldom-travelled valley saw fresh prints of two guys who have come from the opposite direction. But we didn't pass anybody!
The prints were of laceup rubber gummies with horseshoes on the heels. That is is West Coast pro gear, not suitable for where we are in Canterbury. There were iceaxe prints too, which is unusual for Coasters, particularly with gummies. Coincidentally that is exactly how we were equipped.

Eventually we reached a nice hut which strangely was not marked on the map. We got to 10 metres from the hut before realising it was the one we had left that morning. Aaaargh! Use the compass! Food budget unsafe so we retreated to the base of Browning Pass, then over and out to the Coast the next day. Epic wild route replaced by long slog on pleasant route plus embarrassment :cry:
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby sifter on Tue 29/Jan/13 1:59pm

:lol: That's fantastic!
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Re: South Island Coast To Coast Without Using Any Roads...ideas

Postby scatter on Tue 29/Jan/13 2:08pm

Hass wrote:
neels wrote:
D2 wrote:Didn't Bluedog organize a ride or race that went from Nth Cant beach to the coast via Lake Sumner last year?

I don't think it has happened yet, although a bunch of people did more or less what he is planning, I don't know the whole route but I remember it involved heading up the hurunui and over the pass.


Spoke to Rod Hibberd [Blue dog] last night. Has a 5 year concession to run a MB race from Amberley to Hokitika via Harpers pass. Looking for sponsors and if all goes to plan will be held 2012.


I wonder what ever happened to this........
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