NZ over the ditch tour - Nelson to Punakaiki - Phone box aliens, perky nanas and police

NZ over the ditch tour - Nelson to Punakaiki 

Phone box aliens, perky nanas and police.

Today we rode the awesome Buller gorge, Kahurangi National Park, Murchison, and Hawks Bluff to the beautiful beachside town, Punakaiki.

The weather today was perfecto! It was super hot and sunny but that makes putting on all the warm gear horrendously uncomfortable when you're getting ready. But, knowing you’re heading into the mountains and will need cooler clothing later means, it's a must.

The forest lined roads were just incredible.

curve in road

Lots more logging trucks but they were outweighed by dozens of beautiful bridges and rivers. Stopping at one bridge, the biggest bumble bee in history made its presence known. If it wasn’t so enthusiastic I wouldn’t have screamed so much and stalled the bike haha.

Many of these bridges have fairly slippery sections, so riding straight on was important. It's easy to be distracted by what lies beneath!


Each of the crossing or streams have a name, which makes travelling a lot more interesting, as do the other things you see, like Aliens in phone boxes! 

The beach road was lovely. Here's a short video.

Bridge across water

Stopping for yet another coffee at the Motueka Café, I happily said 'I do' to another cinnamon topped cappuccino. When in Rome! On the flip side, no one seems to have lactose free milk, just almond, macadamia, oat, soy or coconut!

Angel wings wall art

Fuelling up is a fairly regular occurrence when riding. For anyone on a budget, make sure you add in the cost of petrol as it's fairly exie. The most per litre paid so far was $2.92 NZ.

Petrol pump

The afternoon ride was spectacular, with rivers, bridges, overhangs and wild goats abound. We hit the coast a few kilometres from Punakaiki and wound our way South. The ocean here is sparkling aqua.

curves on road in forest

 tight curve

Andy was so lucky, he got to have a chat with the local police half way through the day. It was the usual culprit, 100 down to 80 on a straight stretch. Got done for going 94. No big deal here in NZ as the fine was $80 NZ dollars. So off we toddled. Considering how spirited our riding has been, we were lucky. Bit disappointed in you NZ Pol - we were told you'd only give a warning. She was having a great day, we were her sixth unsuspecting tourist that morning!

booked by police

After throwing our stuff into our gorgeous cabin, we popped to the local for an early dinner before walking to Pancake Rocks to watch the sunset. These rocks are spectacular and confusing at the same time. I highly recommend a visit.

We met some of the locals - birds that is - and had a peek in one of the caves on route.

A great day.

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