We got down to the nearby carpark at 0715 as requested and the shuttle arrived about 0745 with our tandem bike :-). They also took our packs to deliver to our accommodation at the High Country Lodge and Backpackers in Twizel - blissful! Despite the notes saying it was about 60km, the Suunto says we did 54km in 4hr10 cycling time. The data is here.
We set off around 0800 and soon had the hang of it. We took plenty of stops as: a) it was hot and windy, and b) our bums were pretty sore given it is a long time since we have ridden a bike for any distance! Anyway, we made it safely to Twizel around 1430. The service from Cycle Journeys in Twizel was great and we would recommend them to anyone wanting to take the cycle option.
Most of the trip was along the Tekapo canal so was pretty flat. We passed Mt Cook Alpine Salmon on the way and later High Country Salmon farms as well. By about 1100 we had also caught up with Phil and Viggo who had stopped for a break in the side of the track. There was a little cycling around the side of Lake Pukaki, where we stopped at the High Country Salmon shop for a break. Met up with a lady (Faith) from Motueka who was cycling part of the A2O cycle trail with her husband. He had driven their car to Oamaru (the end of the trail) and was catching a shuttle back, so she and her son were awaiting his return before setting off.
Then we had to cross SH8 before we headed across country for the final 10km or so to Twizel, battling increasing winds as we went! This last bit was real flat, barren Mackenzie country landscape! We survived this and arrived at the outskirts of Twizel before heading to the Cycle Journeys depot to drop off our bike. Then it was a short walk to the Lodge - we are in a small room that would have been one of the workers rooms when the power scheme was being constructed. Not flash, but perfectly comfortable. Then it was out for an early meal before heading back to our room and doing a few chores before bed!
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!