Thursday February 1, 1997

Hello from camp at the Buller River. Decided to leave the retreat a pedal 105 km up the coast pass Westport thru the Paparoa National Park .The park cover the western slopes of the Paparoa Range, extending inland from the unique coastal rock formations at Punakaiki to the tussock-covered summits of the range at 1200-1500 meters. Within its boundaries are many gorges and caves, and other features typical of a limestone landscape. Nikau palms, the most southerly growing palms in the world are in abundance and give the park a sub-tropical appearance. The trip is heading inland, thru several forest enroute to St Arnaud. Were I will pick up a track and explore the Rainbow Forest. Must get going now.

Friday February 2, 1997

Hello from camp at the Owens River.

The cost to camp is three dollars per night which in- clude: shower, bathroom, and tonight the whole camp- ground to myself. Payment is due at the pub/hotel above the campground. Behind myself runs the raging Owens River quit a nice sound to fall asleep too. The ride today was 75 km of rolling tussock scenery into Nelson Lakes Area. As I travel inland away from the sea the landscape is changing to a more drier climate and higher temperatures . Still many rivers flow with crystal clear water- even drinkable, feed from mountain creeks. So long for now .

Sunday February 4, 1997

Currently in Conners Creek in the Rainbow Forest. Rode through drier terrain into St Arnaud Chose to continue riding into the Rainbow forest via Hanmer Spring on a four wheel track of 103 km . Last night set up camp Fox Flyer, this commando training site for some underground terrorist group. Actually , I am unsure of its purpose. However, it had all the making of such an area. Today, headed south on this track over many water crossing . Have a few days to enjoy because not flying out of Christchurch until the 12th. This Forest is very scenic with all the flowers blooming. Lunch break is over, must pedal on.

Thursday February 8, 1997

Hello from Hanmer Springs. From Rhian of Wales. Well, here I amat the Alpine thermal resort in the wonderful south island of New Zealand. Loving Life, Roger (my bike) has been the way to go in this country. The only way to travel! The Day off today was GREAT, the hot pools soothed those acheing limbs, but do not put your head under the water, Tim!Time topack the panneries for an early start tommarrow. OH! And by the way, if you possibly can, avoid sharing a dorm roomwith Tim and his hugh snore.


Love from RHIAN Novice- cyclist (NOW HOOKED) from Wales.

Saturday February 10, 1997

Still at the at Amuri backpackers. I have been helping out around here and receiving free accommodations. The town of Hanmer Springs has a population of 850 people plus tourist. Many people come here to bath in the hot springs. Hanmer Springs forest contains some of New Zealands oldest exotic forests. Around 1900 , reserve land was set aside for the planting the forest. Radiata pine and Douglas fir were two species planted primarily for timber production. Many other species were planted both to test timber usefulness and to beautify the area. In 1978 Park status was declared for Hanmer Forest over the whole forest estate. Mountain beech forest on the steep country plays an important role in protecting against excessive erosion. Native shrub species and sub-alpine plants are found above the bush line. The flora and fauna of Hanmer Forest are of scientific interest and educational value. The forest walks, tramps and scenic views provide recreational opportunities for the area's many visitors. Native birds commonly found in the park are bellbird, fantail, grey warbler, tui, and kereru. Introduced birds include the chaffinch ,blackbird, trush, greenfinch , goldfinch, greenfinch, and hadge sparrow.

Tomorrow I will be riding towards Christchurch to plan for my deparature on Feb 12th. Then I will be flying to Sydney Australia to explore several part of that country. Time to head out to the local pub for a few brews with the locals. Goodday, TC

Monday February 12, 1997

Last day in New Zealand. As I prepare to depart, I have mixed emotions. After spending the last six weeks with the kiwis, it is a bit sad to be moving on. Due to all the adjustments and the radical weather changes, the first few weeks here were hard. However, now it feels like home. The plus of New Zealand would be the South Island. The landscape was scenic throughout. The people are very accommodating and trusting. I highly recommend starting a trip from Christchurch and then begin exploring in the direction of Queenstown and Milford Sound. Then I would suggest traveling up the west Coast. There are too many individual places to list. However, if one chooses to visit N.Z., I am sure the experience will be rewarding. The best time to plan a trip would be February or March. The downside to visiting N.Z. is the quick climatic changes. Be prepared to carry rain gear and layered clothing. The food is greasy and expensive in the takeaways, But, at the local stores supplies can be purchased to cut cost and satisfy your needs.

Well, the time has come to explore some new country in Australia. I can only hope that it will be as unique in as many ways as New Zealand. To all my Kiwis friends, thanks and good bye for now. Hopefully the Aussies will be kind hosts as well-time will tell. Talk with you in Australia.

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