You two look as though you are in the zone!

You two look as though you are in the zone” were the words we heard from a delightful young lady called Chantelle who wanted to take our photo as we were enjoying a well deserved lunch at the top of the Lindis Pass.

Lunch – top of Lindis Pass

Wanaka – Omarama (75 kms)

Sunday was not a good day to ride over the Lindis Pass.  The Wanaka show had been on over the weekend, Motatapu the previous day, and a rodeo on at Albert Town.  Hence the Pass was very very busy with traffic of varying speeds and it appeared at times little thought for two cyclists slowly climbing up the Pass!  The road didn’t have much verge either.  But we sure enjoyed our lunch at the top and said thanks to our angels for protecting us.

The good news for the day was that Colin had dropped us off at the top of Cluden Hill (north of Tarras), saving us 40 odd kms – oh that was a real bonus.  We didn’t think Motatapu had affected us physically  – but by the time we reached Omarama, I was sure ready for a hot shower and cup of tea.  We pitched out tents at Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park which was top notch, very clean with great facilities.

Omarama – Kurow (66 kms) part of Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail (A2O)

Today we joined the A2O trail which went via Otematata to Kurow.  Don’t expect a good coffee in Otematata!!  We crossed the Benmore Hydro Dam which was made from dirt – quite spectacular location.  As we cycled alongside the Waikati River, one couldn’t help but notice the changing colour of the trees.  The road from Benmore Dam down to Aviemore was sealed and very quiet, it was great cycling.

Autumn trees along side Waitaki River

Later we crossed the Aviemore Dam.  When growing up I’d heard of these dams but had never seen them – so to finally see them and realise their location was revealing.

GoldCard gal enjoying lunch beside Lake Aviemore

To cycle into Kurow (Richie McCaw country) was cool.  It’s a cute little town with a very informative I-Site receptionist.  We have found the I-Site centres a valuable resource in a town.  They have so much knowledge and always willing to help – no question too small or too stupid.  I know it’s their job, but they do a wonderful job.

We had another great tent site at Kurow Holiday Park.  After a meal of fish and chips we decided we needed to walk our dinner off, so off up the Kurow Hill we went.  We loved the sign at the bottom, especially the part about being “huffy puffy”, and mentioning the fact that there were armchairs on the way up if you felt you needed a rest.  It did cross our minds – however did they get the chairs up there??  If in Kurow and needing something to do, do this walk – the views are well worth the effort.  After that walk I was sure ready for bed.

Kurow – Oamaru (86 kms)

Our last day on the road saw us packed, fed, and on the road by 8 am.  It was going to be a big day for us as majority of time we would be on trails where our average speed is slower than on sealed roads (which is pretty obvious).

We intended to visit the Maori Rock Art just before Duntroon but it was closed.  But luckily for me there was a coffee van – oh it was a great coffee.  Linda, owner of the coffee cart was trying to convince us to the ride main road to Oamaru, kept referring to the two hill climbs on the trail.  We couldn’t make it out why and still don’t understand why she would recommend the main road route.  We said to each other “we can ride main roads whenever, but we can’t always ride great trails.”  We loved the trail to Oamaru, it went through beautiful countryside with magnificent views.  Sure it had a couple of good climbs but we’ve come to accept what goes up must come down and besides it’s character building – yeh right some may say.  We even met a woman who took our photo while we were having lunch (being photographed was becoming a common occurrence, which baffled us).  We meet a young French couple on a tandem and wondered however would they manage the tight hairpin turns with their longer bike??  We also meet quite a few other cyclists all on electric bikes.  The electric bikes are very common and I guess if they enable people to get out and enjoy the trails – why not.

We stopped for a much needed cuppa at at Gods Old House, Windsor.  It’s a beautiful Oamaru stone church built in 1914 but now only offers tea and coffee, no cooked food, (it used to offer accommodation).  It’s well worth the visit.

Gods Old House – Windsor

We arrived in Oamaru around 5 pm and cycled to the end/start of the A2O trail through Oamaru gardens (which are beautiful) and down to the old wharf.  There was no-one around to take our photo together, so here is me.

GoldCard gal – Oamaru wharf

Our adventure has now come to an end.  What an amazing adventure it has been.  Thank you Sari for your company, guidance, leadership and very generous spirit.  We have had incredible experiences (some out of comfort zone stuff), met remarkable people, and seen magnificent and stunning scenery.   Would I do it again – sure would.  What would I do differently – at this stage nothing.  Equipment – perhaps a faster boiling billy.  We only had one puncture the whole journey and no other mechanical issues – our bikes performed like us – reliable and steady!!

So that is it from me, there will be more blogs to come: recipes from our generous hosts; equipment we used and handy hints etc.

Take care out there!  GoldCard gal

GoldCard gal trying out a new bike!!


Swap a book – Oamaru.  Love this concept! 🙂

19 Replies to “You two look as though you are in the zone!”

  1. wow what a wonderful time you and sari have had. I’m sure there are many who are looking to plan something similar. I have forwarded to several people who have enjoy your blogs, look forward to your return home cheers MJ

      1. Well done, Heather. You”ve done us proud. been telling all my mates, about my legendary Aunt. Loved all your shots, phases, and exciting blogs. Have a great time in Aussie. Say Hi to Tracey and Rafer.
        Look forward to catching up soon
        We are off to tauranga over easter. Boys have basketball tourney

  2. See you tomorrow.
    Hope you know how the car brakes work and don,t push too hard on the Pedal!

  3. Heather thank you I have so enjoyed your story and hope you will tell many more. You are a legend. I even gave the link to a couple of friends who have enjoyed it also. We ( with Tony & Carly) leave in a week for the Wanaka Air Show and plan to search out some of your haunts. Looking forward to catching up back in Matangi at an All Blacks game. Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. Have a wonderful time down in Wanaka, as we cycled past the venue I thought of you guys! Yes bring on the AB games – look forward to catching up soon. 🙂

  4. Wow Heather , you are truly inspirational! Not only cycling a huge distance, but leaving a very small environmental footprint. What a wonderful adventure you and Sari have had. We loved having you to stay and enjoyed hearing your stories.. Best wishes for a safe trip back home and then to Australia where you can be a very proud Mum!

  5. Congratulations and a big hug to you amazing young ladies, what an adventure. Thank you so much for the blog which has allowed us to enjoy our beautiful country and especially places we have been and also many we have not. Looking forward to hearing more on your return from Aussie. Congratulations to Rafer, see you after the 1st when we will also be back home from our Wanaka adventure.

  6. Hi Heather. Denise has been mailing me you blogs and I have enjoyed reading them. Ross and I spent 3 months in the South Island in our motorhome a couple of years before he died. We also had a wonderful time, but unlike you we played numerous golf courses and walked many tracks.
    Such an adventurous playground down there and I have a yearning to go back.

    Fond regards Estelle and thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Estelle, great to hear from you. Yes it’s a stunning playground, and fill of interesting people. It’s be great being a tourist in your own country! Take care 🙂

  7. Wonderful, inspiring and entertaining reading Goldcard Gal……Is there a book in the offing perhaps? Lovely meeting you at Ben
    and Fran’s for dinner last night. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure….🚴‍♀️🌈🌳
    Best regards


    1. Thank you Claire for your encouraging words – a book you mention (not likely) – let’s get this blog thing sorted first! It was great to meet you the other night, I admire your courage, determination and willingness to give your dream a shot! I will be looking forward to the updates – you go gal!! 🙂

  8. I agree with Alison! You have also been such great company also amidst your ‘adventures..’ Always welcome & forever inspiring.

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