NZ motorbike tour - day 4 Punakaiki to Franz Josef

I am woman, hear me roar (on my motorcycle haha). On our ride from Punakaiki to Franz Josef, we found the long white cloud, and the torrential rain it held, just for us….

motorbike riding in the rain


Today was International Women’s Day – and what better way to celebrate than riding my own motorbike in the rain, through the amazing mountains of NZ!

On this amazing tour, I was joined by another solo female rider and a female pillion who is a boss babe in her own wright, on her own ride. In fact, there were more women than men in our group (see pic at bottom). I am always in awe of the strength, determination and skill level of these amazing women, who I am proud to call my friends.

motorbike rock wall beach

With the forecast today for rain, rain and more rain, today I was ready. Rain gear on, everything tied together. It was actually a comfortable temperature and I was quite happy to ride as long as needed. This ride was only 2.5 hours but it had a mixture of coastal beach roads and amazing mountain twisties.

The only place free from drops was the petrol station!

petrol station in the rain

After twenty minutes of lovely coastal roads, we diverted inland and found ourselves the long white cloud this land is known for. The familiar paddocks full of sheep, cows, alpacas and deer were scattered along most of the flat parts of the landscape.

mountains and motorbike

Trucks carrying not only logs, but massive boulders seem to be commonplace here. Which is fine as they all seem to be more than happy to move over for bikers. Today’s twisties also included lots of cyclists, bikes carefully laden with a lot, but as little as possible. I can’t help but wonder what’s going through their heads in torrential rain. As I look at their super brown calves, I also wonder how lily white the rest of their body must be!

As we rode into our stop for the night at the Alpine Glazier Motel, as if it were choreographed, the sun peeked from behind the high cloud cover and a snow sprinkled Franz Josef came into view. WOW!!!! An hour later, the clouds swallowed her up and the rain set in again. We did however find a great way to dry our gloves…using the towel warmers in the hotel bathroom! 

gloves on a towel warmer
SnakeBite brewery imageStarving, we popped into the Full of Beans Cafe for what I can only describe as the weirdest Eggs Benny I’ve ever (half) eaten. Still unure what the bacon was. Then popped to the SnakeBite Brewery to try and wash it down. My advice here people, look around at what other people are eating BEFORE you order haha.

Hungry, happy and mostly dry (well, except for my crutch area – awkward haha).…off we went by foot, to see the locals. Kiwi’s that is. We paid a small fortune and entered a very small, dimly lit room where just two Kiwi’s were hanging out. Once my eyes adjusted, there they were, fossicking about. They were bigger than I’d imagined, and they certainly use that long snout well to forage about. Their babies are born fully formed and look like the unwashed. Lucky they’re cute once they dry.

With the rain again on it’s way, we headed to The Landing for a great quick dinner and drinks (we loved the vibe here), then bunkered down in our room with a bottle of wine, reminiscing over the day’s near misses and funny moments.

group at dinner

As we settled the bikes for their well early rest, little did we know about the predicted precipitation scheduled for tomorrow. We were thankful for the signage reminding us of what do to in an earthquake! earth quake sign

motorbikes parked outside motel room

motorbikes parked outside hotel room


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