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Pedro's NZ Cycle Holiday Report

PETER HOLT'S TOUR OF NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND, 16TH TO 28TH NOVEMBER 2013
Arrived in Auckland a couple of days before the tour began. After quickly reassembling my bike at the hotel I met up with other early comers and over dinner at a Korean restaurant decided to do a local ride the next day.
The ride took us along the harbour foreshore then turned inland over a testing hill! Following a series of bike trail signs we reached the Rotary Cycleway. This led us to Half Moon Bay where we enjoyed lunch. The return journey was basically in reverse for a ride of 60km. In the evening the full cycling group and tour organisers gathered for dinner and a chance to introduce everyone.
Monday morning saw us load our gear and bikes onto the trailers for the drive out of Auckland to Clevedon where we were to commence pedalling. The start of the ride was an easy 16km before a stop for coffee. Now was the start of the hills! The first hill was 4km long and in my lowest gear I strained all the way to the top. What goes up must come down but then it was up again for another 2km x 2 climbs. Finally we arrived at the coast and an enjoyable ride to Miranda which included lunch along the way.
This type of riding was very common for the rest of the tour except for Tuesday that was a 50km rail trail of hard packed gravel with at least 30 cattle grids to bump over and a 1km tunnel. Apart from riding we went bush-walking, swam/relaxed in hot pools and the ocean. We saw snow-capped mountains and a volcano erupting. The company mixed well every evening. All meals were provided on the tour by the organisers who also arranged our accommodation which ranged from bunk houses/cabins in caravan parks, motels and ski lodges. There were 18 riders of which 5 were Japanese and 13 Aussies. The tour route was Clevedon, Miranda 60km, Thames 50km, Whitionga 55km, Tairua 50km, Waihi Beach 75km, Rotarua –nil, Taupo 90km, Okahune 80km, giving a total of 520km that includes the 60km on the pre tour day. The weather was fair with only a light shower in the morning the day out of Thames. Temperature range: a low of 12-14°C to a high of 22-26.
The last day we were driven back to Auckland from Okahune, same 430km where after another dinner we put in our goodbyes and returned to Australia the next day..
All in all a varied, enjoyable cycling tour, wonderful scenery when you were not looking at your front wheel, good company, accommodation and healthy food.


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