Today's mission was a simple relocation from Roxburgh to Otematata. It would be my base for a long weekend, Friday - Tuesday, of Alps to Ocean A2O Trail riding. It is only a couple of hours drive but I had no need to rush.
(All the 'Closed' warnings in the passes are because I made this map in winter!)
Another perfect day...
Alexandra Bike Pick-up
Stopped in Alexandra to pick up En-Trance, my dual suspension mountain bike, which I left behind with a stuck through axle. Sadly the news wasn't good, they had not been able to release it and decided against cutting, the last resort, as didn't have spares.
It was still fine to ride; just harder to fit in the car (had to loosen the stem and twist the bars) and hope I didn't get a front tyre puncture, or tyre cut, as couldn't remove the front wheel to repair! It is running tubeless so small punctures should self-seal anyway...
Lake Dunstan Views
Driving up to Cromwell, on such a perfect day, gave great views of the Lake Dunstan Trail I'd recently ridden.
Highway on the left shore, bike trail on the right.
Love this view across the lake to the cantilevered bike trail. Cyclists handily placed for scale.
Cromwell Heritage Precinct Lunch
This time went to Grain and Seed Café, their outside tables with umbrella the perfect spot.
The BLT was a more traditional sandwich format, nice, and my usual iced coffee to follow. Talked with a couple at the next table who were about to head off on the trail, just to the coffee boat and back on their e-bikes. They were interested in my travels, plans, thought it was a great trip.
Highlands Motorsport Park
Although there was no event on am glad I visited Highlands Motorsport Park. It was built by Tony Quinn, such an impressive facility. I missed a chance to cycle it when down in Roxburgh, an event shared by the Central Otago Gravelleurs, as my gravel bike was broken. Pity as it would have been a wonderful experience worth the drive back!
There are track experiences, but I just toured the car display.
There's a wide range of exotic road, rally, and race cars on display.
All this exotic racing machinery, a $4.2 Million Aston Martin Vulcan (above), yet it's the 1970s supercars which caught my eye. A Lamborghini Espada in very 70s lime.
Next to it the iconic Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. Loved this car as a teenager, spent a small fortune (large to me) on Mel Nichols (Car editor) Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer Osprey AutoHistory book which I still have.
What a spectacular setting, on a spectacular day. There were a few cars doing short runs, would like to see a proper event here.
M. Schumacher's 1991 Benetton Formula 1, the Monza car where Schumacher scored his first F1 point.
Watching the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria, several months later, reminded me of this circuits alpine setting.
It was the end of my visit to the Queenstown Lakes & Central Otago Region. Time to move (a bit) North and revisit part of the Alps to Ocean (A2O) trail.
Getting there meant another trip over Lindis Pass. It's an amazing road at any time but some bad timing really helped this time. On a twisty part of Lindis Valley I had to follow some slow-moving farm equipment for about three kilometres before it was safe to pass. That meant no traffic ahead, a clear run, lovely driving, all the way up to the ridge.
Previous Lindis Pass passes
In 2003 we cycled up Lindis Pass heading towards Wanaka & Queenstown (left), in 2004 drove up in my mighty Uno 45S (right)
Same place 2022, the Bravo HGT before heading off to Otematata.
Back to Otematata
Otematata was my base to ride a new section of the Alps to Ocean Trail and reprise a favourite ride for the third time.
We overnighted in Otematata in 2007, below, as part of an extended Otago Rail Trail and rode Te Akatarawa Rd (on the northern side of Lake Aviemore) to Aviemore Dam.
In 2019, on the Alps to Ocean Trail, we rode from Otematata to Kurow. A repeat ride of Te Akatarawa Rd but so lovely to do again.
In 2007 we stayed in the 'The Best Dam Pub', or more formally 'Otematata Eatery, Bar & Lodging'.
This time I was in the Lake Escape Apartment, some new accommodation beside it. I found it on Google Maps and contacted the owners directly after a bit of web searching revealed a contact number. Find that much better than going through those third-party booking sites. It was a lovely apartment, perfect for my needs.
Plans to make my own dinner, the flat had a full kitchen unit, were foiled by the food store's early weekday closing (reduced hours due to COVID). Went to the pub, it was busy, and had an enormous, nice, Burger and Fries.
Sunset on the hills beyond the golf course, the back 'garden' of the apartment.
Tomorrow, I ride a new part of the Alps to Ocean trail with a Twitter mate.