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Edwins Bicycle Tour Downunder
Thursday, 10 February 2005
Queenstown to Te Anau Sunday 6 February







1) The Kingston Flyer Steam Train

2) Lake Wakatipu





We had originally planned for today to cross the Lake on the local Steam Ferry SS Earnslaw and then a rough stuff route over the mountains. However engine problems with the 100 year old ferry and forcast wet weather for the mountains forced a change of plans.

Martin and I decided to take the road round to cover a distance of 107 miles. Peter decided this would be too far for him and booked the Atomic Shuttles bus.

With the aid of a continental breakfast delivered by the hotel the previous night we set off at 7.30. We cycled alongside the peaks of The Remarkables Mountain Range and then alongside Lake Wakatipu as the sun gradually rose from behind the towering peaks of The Remarkables.

Our first stop was at a cafe in Kingston at the southern end of the lake after 27 miles.

A short distance on as we cycled along a valley surrounded by remote mountains we spotted some steam in the distance. This was the Kingston Flyer a steam train running a short route for tourists. The train crosses unfenced prairie land next to the road. We put the bikes down and got pictures from within 10 yards of the track.

Our next stop was at the small village of Athol with a pleasant Cafe. We then climbed to the 398 metres Jollies Pass. The road was then down or flat on straight roads to our last stop at Mossburn and another cafe. The village had streets such as Dorset Street and Sussex Street.

At the cafe at Mossburn I had my 3rd Carrot Cake of the day. One thing about New Zealand is that food portions including cake sizes are much more generous than in the UK. Cake sizes were usually twice as big.

We gradually climbed after Mossburn to a pass at 1699ft near the village of "The Key" The day had been mainly dry with sunny periods and temperatures of 28C. We had a few spots of rain as we crossed the pass, the first in a month of touring.

We descended from the pass and gained our first glimpse of the remote primordial mountains of the Fiordland National Park. The mountains were partly shrouded in misty clouds.

We descended to Te Anau to meet up with Peter at the House of Wood B&B.

Mileage for the day was 107.3. Climbing was 2985ft and an average speed of 12.6. Riding time was 8 hrs 22 mins.

remote Posted by Edwin at 7:52 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 10 February 2005 7:58 AM EADT
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