The Grand New Zealand Roadtrip

February 1, 2010

Day 18: Jan 12th : Dunedin to Mt Cook

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:14 pm

Day 17: Jan 11th

^More LOTR fanboyism, rain rain go away! 3D dragon composed with a dark cloudy sky.

^ But the day eventually turned out to be like this!

The ride from Te Anau to Dunedin was horrific yesterday. It was raining all 300+ kms and it was one if the few days where I didnt get to take out my camera even once. I lodged in a holiday park in Dunedin which had Batman painted on my cabin, how cool is that.

I called up Glentanner Holiday park in Mt Cook to cancel my booking for 12th Jan considering the amount of rain that South Island was getting. However, I had overshot my cancellation time by a mere two hours and it couldnt be accepted. The usual cancellation policy at most lodges in 48 hours prior to the day of check in, but here it was just 24 hours and even then I overshot it. The lady on the other side said that the weather forecast for Mt Cook was fine with high clouds, I didnt believe her considering it was almost a hurricane outside in Dunedin, but I had no choice to decide to go tommorrow as my deposit would be forfeited.

Day 18: Jan 12th

I woke today to a new Dunedin. It was calm but the sky was still grey with clouds. A lot could get better in 300 kms to Mt Cook. After a customary visit to Baldwin Street (World’s Steepest Street) I head out towards Mt Cook via Twizel.

On the way I visited the dam on Lake Aviemore. The road from Aviemore to Otematata is a must do. The weather had also compete cleared up with bright sunshine and blue skies. I will be never able to get over the difference sunshine and blue skies make to a ride and to the scenery in general. The water really gets its color under the sun and reflects the blue skies.

The road from Twizel to Mt Cook was a delight – smooth tarmac, minimal traffic and the stunning snowcapped ranges slowly becoming bigger and bigger until they overwhelm you with their rugged primeval beauty.

This was one of the most fantastic riding days in the whole trip, probably one of my best ever.

Mt Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching a height of 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. It is still lesser than the Rohtang Pass (13,051 ft) in India, but Himalayas are Himalayas. However the beauty of Mt Cook (or Aoraki or the Cloud piercer) is to be seen to be believed. Especially with a butter smooth road to approach it on.

I wanted to get real up close to it but couldnt find a suitable road after the Mt Cook village which is 12kms south of the summit.

All in all it was a great ride day!

My room in the Dunedin holiday park

^Baldwin Street, the worlds steepest street

This is how steep it is!

^The dam on Lake Aviemore

The Twizel Mt Cook road

Background: Mt Cook or Aoraki (which means the Cloud Piercer)

Approaching the Mt Cook village

How small is man in front of nature’s mighty sculptures!

Lake Tekapo on the Twizel – Mt Cook highway

Room with a view in the Glentanner Holiday Park. The best view I got in anyroom in the whole trip!


  1. Can’t get enough of NZ! I must go there this year and ride a bike! Thank you for the super pictures!
    Like the cute dragon though I can’t seem to find it’s claws! ;)

    Comment by bluevolt — February 1, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  2. Awesome Photographs Sunny, Cant get anything better!

    Comment by Nitin Gupta aka LP — February 5, 2010 @ 4:35 am

  3. Thank you Sunny for so successfully capturing and sharing the beauty and awesomeness of my homeland! Your journey takes me back 20 years when I bike toured the South Island for 3 weeks before leaving for Australia, where I live (and ride) now. Every day of the trip I kept saying to myself the scenery and roads could not possibly get any better, and I was proven wrong every day! It literally peaked at Mt Cook, just like your experience. One day I will be back to do it again…

    All the best,

    Comment by Doug — February 7, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Hello, Doug, I am glad you think I did justice to your homeland. NZ is an unbelievable country indeed!

    Comment by admin — February 7, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

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