Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cycling In New Zealand 2018: Day 6 - Cycling Arrowtown To Queenstown

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Cycling New Zealand 2018Day 6 - Cycling Arrowtown To Queenstown
New Zealand, North & South Island : Friday 26th October 2018
This is part of a multi-mode cycling tour North Island & South IslandNew Zealand:
Cycling Distance: 20.67km.     Level: Medium
Time : 12:30am to 8:00pm
Time Taken :  7 hrs. 50 mins. (inclusive of stops for lunch, tea, dinner, visiting Arrowtown, shopping at PAK'nSAVE and stops at various scenic spots with lots of photo opps).

This is page 5 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D4 Milford            |          Go to Other Days         |       Go to D7-8 Hobbiton >

Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic Directions!
    Traffic in New Zealand is right-hand drive, so cycle on the left. Same thing applies when crossing the road, take note of the direction in which traffic is approaching from!
    Some New Zealanders can get quite impatient when it comes to driving. So do not hog the road, stay within your lane and put on your indicators when turning or changing lanes so as not to irate them.

2. Route & Traffic Conditions  
   The route goes along two of the most renown tracks of the Queenstown Trail: the Lake Hayes Circuit and Lake Wakatipu Trail. The Lake Hayes Circuit goes along one of the most photographed lakes of New Zealand on a very undulating course that have many steep stretches. The Lake Wakatipu Trail the route was fairly flat with certain gentle undulating stretches. There was a steep climb on leaving Arrowtown at Berkshire Street. There is no cycling lane at the Frankton-Ladies Mile Highway bridge spanning over the Shotover River, traffic is heavy do cycle with care there.
    For cycling, New Zealand has fairly well developed cycling routes that run in the cities, town, villages, and country side. Some of the cycling trails are on dedicated cycling lanes, some on shared lanes with pedestrians or other traffic. Some are on paved tracks while others are on gravel or earth trails, and they go through fairly busy towns, green forests and bright blue lakeside.
    The New Zealand Cycle Trail site provides an interactive map of exciting journeys on 2,500km of trails suited to everyone from sightseeing easy-going riders, to hardcore mountain bikers up for a challenge. The Queenstown Trail site provides cycling routes for various levels of rides in QueenstownNew Zealand law requires cyclists to wear helmets while cycling.

3. Navigation
    When cycling, we used Google Maps in Cycling Mode for navigation but there is a lag when starting off, so one would have to cycle a bit to get the orientation right. Google Maps is also useful as it shows various places of interests that were not shown on GPS units.
    Alternatively, download the MAPS.ME app together with the relevant country maps. This app can be used offline.

4. Weather
   Average daytime temperatures in Arrowtown averaged 13°C with a high 16°C with light overcast skies. Evening temperatures in Queenstown averaged 9°C.
    Useful weather forecast sites for the New Zealand are the New Zealand Met Service and AccuWeather. For more detailed weather, including cloud cover and wind speed, use Weatherspark and Ventusky.

5. Places of Interests
    Along the route were several places of interests, some of which we visited others we did not for lack of time:
Arrowtown (GPS: -44.93828, 168.83356).
Arrowtown Lakes District Museum (GPS: -44.93866, 168.8334).
Arrowtown Post & Telegraph (GPS: -44.93881, 168.83315).
Arrowtown Old Chinese Settlement (GPS: -44.9378, 168.82807).
Arrowtown War Memorial Park (GPS:-44.93973, 168.82826 ).
- Akarua Wines & Ktchen (GPS: -44.93973, 168.82826).
Lake Hayes (GPS: -44.97267, 168.81662).
Lake Wakatipu (GPS:-45.02931, 168.70128 ).

6. Food
Breakfast: Take-away sandwiches.
Lunch: Thai food at Arrow Thai Food (GPS: 44.93816, 168.83161) in Arrowtown.
Tea: Take-away roast chicken, sausages, cakes from PAK'nSAVE Queenstown (GPS: -45.01084, 168.7492in FranktonPAK'nSAVE is a great place to get budget meals, and often they have a good choice of warm meals to take away. They even provide aluminium-lined to keep the food warm.
Dinner: Fish and Chips at Remarkable Takeaways (GPS: -45.01586, 168.73076) in Frankton.

7. Accomodations
We stayed Sherwood Queenstown (GPS: -45.02377, 168.69611):
Address: 554 Frankton Rd, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand.
Tel.: +64 3-450 1090
Email: reservations@sherwoodqueenstown.nz

8. Bringing Bikes Onto Buses
    The local ORbus serving Queenstown and the Otago Region allows folded bikes on board without being bagged. Click here to see a forum discussion on bringing bikes onto buses. If one travels frequently by bus at the Queenstown locality it would be good to get their GO Cards; the card cost NZ$10 and can be used simultaneously by two persons. They can be purchased from the driver and credit can be bought together and topped up then. With the card fare per pax within the region covered is NZ$2/- per pax, otherwise it's NZ$5/- if paid by cash.

9. Communicating with Each Other
   When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost from the rest. Vodafone prepaid phone cards can be bought at the Vodafone stall located just outside the Arrival Hall. We got ours from a promoter at the shopping arcade within the arrival hall, with each of us getting the prepaid mobile cards at NZ$25 (inclusive of GST) which came with 1.5Gb of data lasting 30 days. Also included were 200 minutes for local calls and calls to selected countries, including Malaysia. This also includes text messages to the selected countries. There's also free chat data when using FaceBook Messenger and WhatsApp.
    Most hotels, motels, home-stays, restaurants, and airports have free Wifi; do note that these free wifi may not be secure and registration could be required. But one can safe on one's mobile data by using these especially for uploading or downloading videos.

10. Communicating with Locals
    All locals speaks very good English and communicating with them should not be a problem.
    
11. Service Your Bicycles & Carry Tools and Spares
    Before leaving on your tour, it will be good to service your bike and bring along some spares like tubes, puncture patches, brake pads and the relevant tools.
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PRELUDE

A day earlier we had given our bikes a rest and had taken a day long road trip to Milford Sound. We were luck to escape bad rainy weather in Queenstown and even luckier to have a beautiful sunny day at the sound. Today, good weather is back again at Queenstown and we are back on our bikes, taking them to Arrowtown by bus and then riding back after that.
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THE ROUTE

The route starts with a short steep climb at Arrowtown and then goes along the fairly flat Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road. At Lake Hayes is a stretch on off-track trials on the Lake Hayes Circuit which are undulating with some steep sections. It then continues on cycling lanes along the Frankton-Ladies Mile Highway; at the busy bridge spanning over the Shotover River, there are now cycling lanes. It ends with roads along the residential area at Frankton before going onto the Lake Wakatipu Trail.
Cycling Distance: 20.67km.     Level: Medium
(Click here for a Relive of our Arrowtown to Queenstown Ride)


12:00 noon - Yup, after the previous day's long but rewarding trip to Milford Sound, we are sleeping in late again. We woke up had breakfast while enjoying the views from our private garden at Sherwood Queenstown.
Today, good weather have returned to Queenstown, so better not waste a good day and head over to Arrowtown. We popped onto a No.2 ORbus, it was easy as they allowed folded bikes on board and the fare was only NZ$2 for the 17km. bus ride.


Cycling at Arrowtown is such a quaint experience, it's like riding down one of those old American cowboy towns with quiet streets lined with wooden houses.


We did a couple of loops around Ramshaw Lane and Arrow Lane at the old town centre. The old Post & Telegraph building were just too tempting not to stop and take photos with, pity we did not have some cowboy hats on!


An had some fun with giant stamps; with me in the stamp, I think it should be worth more than a penny 😎.


Done with the town, we rode on the Queenstown Trail over to the Old Chinese Settlement. The trail here were good to cycle on - although these were gravel trails, it led us through shady woods.


Parked our bikes and took a walk tour around the Old Chinese Settlement. This is Ah Lum's Store, restored to look like what it was back in the gold rush period of the 1860s. Back then, the store stocked a wide variety of imported goods from Europe and China, including Chinese tea, rice, ginger, gambling pieces, medicine, opium and smoking accessories. Ah Lum (Also called Lau Lei, which means Old Lei in Chinese) was a respected community leader who was proficient in both English and Chinese to transact business deals, serve as an interpreter, and letter writer.


Come lunch and we rode back to the cowboy street and dropped into Arrow Thai Food for lunch. The chefs here were from Thailand, their food were rather good but they had toned down the spiciness to cater for their Western patrons. Amongst other things, we had this Thai Green Chicken Curry, it was not as good a those we had back home, but having missed Asian food, we wolfed it down.


Full of energy, we were pepped up to start our ride back to Queenstown.....
with some pushing! Berkshire Street was just to steep to cycle up! At the top we saw the WM; with a red sphere atop, it looked like one of those centopaths that were seen in Chinese cemeteries. Shall we go up and have a view...? Forget it! We had just pushed our bikes up a steep slope, no more climbing! It time to cycle!


Fortunately, the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road was not that steep and also very scenic, suddenly this gentle undulating road seems easily manageable. Lake Hayes was on our right, we must find some way to get down to the trails that are at the lakeside.


But let's enjoy the flat road first, we stopped by the Akarua Wines & Ktchen and thought of popping in to sample some wine but we just had our lunch, and still had a distance to ride to reach Queenstown and so gave this place a pass.


An Austrian alpine looking house.


3:45pm - We found the connecting junction that leads to the Lake Hayes Trail; with much excitement we rode in .....


..... and encountered more slopes. Unlike the Lake Wakatipu Trail, this trail had many steep undulating sections; often we had to eat humble pie and come down to push. Also the trail was mostly made of loose gravels; this coupled with the steep slopes make this trail more suitable for mountain bikes and not our small-wheeled Bromptons.


But we persisted, this place is just too nice not to cycle at. Lake Hayes is the most photographed lake in New Zealand.


And we can understand why as we stopped very often to take beautiful photos with the trees at the lakeside.....


.... and the little bright white flowers that dot the bright green grass patches.


There was even a section that ran on boardwalks going over marshland.


Met this group of children coming for a swim and swinging away like Tarzan from a rope tied to a tree branch.


More beautiful scenery of cows and deer grazing at a pasture with a green plateau in the background.


We rode about four kilometers along the Lake Hayes Circuit and got out where it joined the Queenstown Trail (near the Gibbston Highway). Getting out was even more difficult as the section joining to the Queenstown Trail was very steep ... more pushing... and this time slipping once a while on the loose gravel.


Now back on easier flat trails running next to the Frankton-Ladies Miles Highway, we can fondly think back at those tough sections as part of a beautiful adventure. But ahead would be some more difficult sections 😨.


A quick respite at McDowell Drive that leads to the Threepwood Farm...


Ahead was the long bridge that spans over the Shotover River, oddly the cycling lanes ends before the bridge. Not realizing that further upstream was a cycling bridge (Old Lower Shotover Bridge) we took our chance and rode across. Some drivers were patient and slowly followed us quietly when the could not overtake; others honked at us like crazy!


But our troubles were not over; ahead road construction was ongoing. The works took up a fair width of the road and as there was hardly any room for us to cycle on the traffic side of the orange barricades, we pushed our bikes into the construction area. One of their supervisors came over and told us that the public (meaning us) were not allowed within the barricades; I explained to him the predicament of dangerous cycling on the other side. Fortunately he was amicable (perhaps he was also a regular cyclist), he had some of his men walk us safely through the site, with the crane drivers stopping their machinery to make way for us. Thank goodness for all these kind-hearted gentlemen.


Feeling relieved and back on cycling lanes after our bridge and construction ordeal.


6:00pm - Having some sausage snacks while Lynne goes shopping at PAK'nSAVE; girls will be girls, they will shop anywhere and everywhere 😏.


At Davies Park, adjacent to the Queenstown Airport were lovely views of the mountains.


6:30pm - Went food hunting at the Frankton Village hoping to find good food for dinner. There was a Chinese restaurant there but it was full of tourists from China, so we ended up having Fish n Chips from the Remarkable Takeaways. It was okay only, nothing fantastic, what I can say is that the fish was fresh.


Not wanting to use the busy Frankton Road again, we headed down to the Lake Wakatipu Trail via Beach Access Road. It was getting late and so we had a different view of the lake, not a bright sunny day one with blue skies but one of a quieter nature....


..... one that is still calmly attractive with a setting sun.


Now to figure out a way to get back up to Frankton Road and our hotel. We carried our bikes up some steps, across a bridge, cutting through a private road that connected steeply with Frankton Road... and Wah-lah... we were home (after some heavy panting heehehe!)

CHEERIO!
Tomorrow we head back to Auckland and after that will see some hobbits!

Click here for a Relive of our Arrowtown to Queenstown Ride
(For more photos of the day Click Here)
This is page 5 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D4 Milford            |          Go to Other Days         |       Go to D7-8 Hobbiton >

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