Posted by: paulgilders | November 28, 2012

Christchurch to Wanaka

Our flight from Hong Kong was thankfully uneventful and were soon outside Christchurch airport under clear skies, but cold winds. We booked in at the nearby campsite – deciding to take a cabin to perform bike reassembly. New brake cables were required for the tandem and we also set about obtaining maps to plan the next few weeks.

Christchurch itself is still recovering from the earthquake, with much of the town centre undergoing either demolition or construction.

After a few days preparation, we cycled west from Christchurch and then south along the eastern side of the southern Alps. We stopped at a wonderful and cheap campground in Mt Somers, with a great view of the peak.

We were soon making our way west again and approaching the snowy peaks of the southern Alps.

We stopped for a few days at Lake Tekapo.

Overnight at the Lake Tekapo campground we had snow fall. It was pretty chilly for camping!

From Tekapo, we rode along the Tekapo-Pukaki canal – it should have been an easy downhill ride, but we were riding into a steady headwind.

We found wonderful free camping on the shore of Lake Pukaki, with great views to Mount Cook.


Here is the view from our tent – camping doesn’t get much better than this!

After two nights in Omarama we headed over the Lindis pass (971 m). It was a difficult ride, but a perfect day.

After the pass we camped at the derelict Lindis Hotel. The campsite was free and with wonderful natural bathing in the Lindis river.


We had one more hill to cross before arriving in Wanaka.

The views from Wanaka are wonderful and there are blue lupins everywhere.



Our campsite at Wanaka was close to the edge of the lake. We had wonderful views to Mt Aspiring. After many days of eating soups and pasta, we managed to get a proper barbeque and enjoyed some New Zealand lamb – wierdly expensive in New Zealand!




  1. Fantastic – a meal for the hungry!! And I’m guessing you have found some wonderful way to fold up the Webber and gas bottle and take them on the bikes too??
    Enjoy the lamb … and the beautiful scenery. WOW.

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