New zealand
New Zealand - Variety in nature  

New Zealand

We cycled around New Zealand, mostly the south island. We covered about 3200 km from January to March 2003. It was Summer during that time and the weather was mostly good, apart from when we went south of the south island and we were stuck in our tent for 2 days. Incidently, I nearly burnt down the tent trying to prepare so tea with our travel stove.

So what is there to say about New Zealand? There are two major islands, the south and north island. The capital is Wellington, which is south of the north island, with about 200.000 inhabitants. Five times less than Auckland, which is north of the north island. NZ rather small and is very varied in landscape. Which makes it a perfect destination for cycling. It is similar to Norway and Scotland.

In the point of view of cycling here are the pros and cons of NZ:

good roads, off and on road truck drivers, especially loggers who don't give a damn about cyclist, and even try to kill them, hehe!
landscape - every 100 km the scenery changes. For a cyclist that is really important. I can imagine this country 200 years ago. Today 95% of forests have been destroyed. There are national parks, which are highly restricted for that reason. Some walks you have to reserve 1 year in advance to have access.
camping sites - many of them. What's great are the DOC (department of conservation) sites. It is between wild and tourist camping. There is just a shower and a toilet, and are quite empty. At the beginning we stayed in tourist camp sites, but after about two weeks, we started to camp in the wild. We would find a shop during the day and we would cook on the side of a lake, along a river, on the beach, next to a light house, and the list goes on.  
People - we came across friendly New Zealanders But we came across so not so nice ones. Especially ones who didn't like cyclists, "get off the road you piece of shit". Or a lady who explained that a cyclist killed her daughter. The cyclist killed her daughter when she drove into the cyclist, who went through the wind screen and hit her baby who was sitting next to her in the passenger's seat. The cyclist was killed by the way. She also mentioned how a poor friend of hers was in prison for killing a cyclist. He was driving too fast with his bus past a cyclist, sucked him in killing him. So you can really imagine how she hated us. On top of it, we weren't even paying road taxes for using "their" roads. By the way, she was the owner of a café where we stopped to have a coffee.






...North Island

  ...South Island