Volcanic Action

After the Wwoofing was done we picked up the bike trail in Rotorua close to where we left off.

We stayed around Rotorua for a few days to relax and to get a few things sorted out on the bikes. We upgraded our tires to puncture proof ones. I got myself a set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and Jasmin got some Continental Touring Pluses. We did this because we knew some tougher terrain lay ahead of us and we wanted to be prepared. The town was nice and seemed to have a lot going on especially to do with mountain biking and other extreme sports. The weather was pretty bad while we were there but the hostel we stayed at was attached to a nice climbing wall so that kept us entertained. The one down side to Rotorua though is its proximity to the sulphur pools which makes the place smell like rotten eggs.

Rotorua

Rotorua

Redwood

Redwood

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One of Jasmin’s pictures

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Another by Jasmin

New Schwalbe Marathons

New Schwalbe Marathons

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Disaster

Disaster

We started off from Rotorua in the direction of Taupo and planned to take the Thermal By Bike trail. We took the turn off too early though and ended up on a grade 3 mountain bike trail for the first 2 kms. This track was way too difficult for us on the touring bikes but it made for a little adventure. We found our way back to the highway and picked up the Thermal By Bike trail. This was a pretty uninspiring concrete path that ran parallel to the highway but at least it kept us out of the traffic. The trail turned into a mountain bike track again towards the end but this time it was easier and we managed to get through it intact.

Trying to ride on mountain bike tracks

Trying to ride on mountain bike tracks

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Good to know.

Good to know.

We camped half way to Taupo in the Waikite Vally. It was really beautiful there. They had thermal pools where the water was 39 degrees. It was the perfect cure for our fatigued muscles. Don’t leave your bike against the fence over night though. When we woke up and started packing our stuff we found our bikes and panniers covered in cockroaches that had crawled out of the wood over night. The dirty rotten buggers were everywhere. I found one in the folds of my pannier when I unrolled it and another one had somehow found its way into the food bag.

After the mornings nastiness we made our way down the highway towards Taupo. We were joined this day by a french cyclist named Boris who rode with us. After 25 kms we stopped for lunch at the Mihi café. It turns out that Jasmin didn’t check her helmet properly that morning. When she took it off she found a cockroach hiding under the foam that she had transported all the way from the campsite. At that time Boris and I were inside ordering the coffee and we heard the almighty screech of disgust from outside.

Waikite Valley campsite

Waikite Valley campsite

Steam from boiling lakes

Steam from a boiling stream

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You could make your tea in that

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The logging trucks we have to deal with.

The logging trucks we have to deal with.

We stayed another few days in Taupo. Like Rotorua the place is very extreme sports orientated. You can do it all here, sky diving, bungee jumping, jet boating, river rafting, helicopter flights- you name it. We didn’t do any of that because we are not millionaires. Mountain biking was free though so I hit the tracks with my bike, free from luggage, which was a lot of fun.

Huka Falls, Taupo

Huka Falls, Taupo

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More mountain bike tracks. This time with no bags :)

More mountain bike tracks. This time with no bags 🙂

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Touring guide from 1989. NZ seemed to be a simpler country back then.

Touring guide from 1989. Travelling in NZ seemed much simpler back then.

We can relate to the second paragraph

We can relate to the second paragraph

Its normally never this flat.

It’s normally never this flat

Kinloch

Kinloch

Kawa Kawa Bay

Kawa Kawa Bay

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Stuck

Stuck

Downhill for a few kilometers

Downhill for a few kilometers

Good to know where you stand

Good to know where you stand

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Mt Doom

Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom)

Great Lake Taupo

Great Lake Taupo

Sulpher pools

Sulphur pools

From Taupo we cycled to Turangi and from Turangi we started our up hill cycle to National Park village. The cycle took us up into the mountains first passing Mt Tongariro, then Mt Ngauruhoe (also known as Mt Doom) and finally Mt Ruapehu. A few days earlier, while we were staying in Turangi, we did the Tongariro Crossing. This is probably New Zealand’s most famous one day walk and it  was the highlight of my time in NZ, so far. I don’t have any picture of the crossing here because I’m going to dedicate the next post to it.

Kiwi humor

Kiwi humour

Cycling to National Park, 50kms of uphill.

Cycling to National Park, 50 kms of uphill

Mt Ruapehu

Mt Ruapehu

64km of windy roads

The River Road from Pipiriki to Wanganui. 64km of windy bends.

It was well worth the 64kms for the view

It was well worth the 64 kms for the view

Reward

The slightly melted reward

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All the kilometers done on the North Island

All the kilometers done on the North Island

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One thought on “Volcanic Action

  1. Pingback: Tips from the Road |

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