The Big Day Out (bike ride)

Friday 23/02

Vlog by Ludivine: see below


By me:

I put the alarm clock before 8am to check the weather. I planned to do the Alex Knob walk but there is no great interest to do it if the weather is cloudy. It is indeed a very steep walk (4 hours uphill and then 4 hours downhill), to see a superb viewpoint (at 1,300m) on the Franz Josef glacier.

The forecasts are not great so I decide to anticipate the trip to Hokitika. We hurry up and manage to leave by 9am. In the car, I reschedule our bike day (foreseen for tomorrow) to today and I cancel the second night in Hokitika (I booked this accommodation yesterday!). We never stop changing our plans (to try to do our outdoor activities with good weather)!

We arrive at 11am in Hokitika. We go directly to the bike depot. The shuttle is already ready, with our bikes on the trailer. Mike, the guy from ‘Wilderness Trail Shuttle’, is super cool. He first drives us to the New World where we buy food for our picnic. He then drives us to the starting point of the Big Day Out. It’s at km 49. We have 50km on our programme today. It’s nearly the same distance as the Thames – Waihi ride, which we did 2 weeks ago but this one is ‘grade 2’ difficulty (while the other one was grade 1…).

The ‘Big Day Out’ goes from Kawhaka to Kaniere and takes in the major highlights of the (140km) ‘West Coast Wilderness Trail’, which goes from Greymouth to Ross.

We start at 12:30pm. The trail starts uphill. We quickly eat our first sandwich. The weather is unfortunately cloudy (clouds stay attached to the mountains), so the views are not impressive. The track is nice.

We stop around 2pm for lunch at Cowboy Paradise, where we eat our other sandwiches with chips.

The part after Cowboy Paradise is very nice. Then, there is a steep ascent. The path then goes along the water and then in the forest. Nice! And the weather is sunny for this second part.

We arrive back in Hokitika at 7pm. Deducting the pauses, we did the 50 kilometers in about 5 hours, which is quite good. Well done, kids!

We go to our camp site, Hokitika Holiday Park, where I booked a cabin. It’s small and simple (there are 3 bunk beds in the room).

We take a shower and then go back to town to eat at Stumblers. Not bad. Kids take a steak, Isabelle a Moroccan salad and I take a salmon fillet.

We are back in our room around 10pm.

We have many bites, mainly on the legs. We must have been stung by fleas. I suspect it was in the cabin of Franz Josef.


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