Riding the Rail Trails around Queenstown New Zealand travel blog

In the lift at International Station

All bikes assembled and ready to find the Bach

View of Lake Wakatipu from the Bach

View of Lake Wakatipu from the Bach

Jonno has found WiFi

Cooking dinner

Sunset on Lake Wakatipu


Up at 4.30am to manage the logistics of getting 4 bikes to the airport for a 9.30am flight. Simon dropped me and all the gear off at Epping station whilst the kids walked up. Simon then went home, dropped off the car and walked back to the station. Meanwhile we moved all the gear onto the platform as close as was comfortable to the first carriage. We rested on the seats till Simon arrived and we're all in place for the 5.59 train to central. We took over the vestibule and enjoyed the fact that we were all on the train together.

Our transfer from central to the airport was very quick and we made the airport train that arrived three minutes after the arrival of our train due to our strategic placement close to the lifts. It was a bit of a hike to the lifts at international terminal station and Simon reached the point where carrying two bikes at once was no longer an option. We moved into shuffle mode and soon had all the bikes and bags in the departure area.

We were asked to check in at premium economy, the closest we were going to get to the pointy end of the plane. No issues with weight as we strategically leant the bikes against the counter taking a good few kilos off their total weight. Check in done we waved goodbye to our duffel bags each containing two panniers and Georgia took control of moving four bikes on one trolley to the oversize luggage area. Fortunately she still has a few years to master turns before she can go for her L plates.

All bikes were checked in without incident and we made our way through the customs and ignored all the duty free offerings to find a place for coffee and took time to congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

The flight departed and arrived on time and there was no issues in collecting out bikes and bags. Jonno commented on how friendly all the officers seemed, but I was a little surprised to be asked both times about my occupation as manager and who did I manage.

We made full use of the bike assembly point and Simon had the bikes together in no time. A few minor casualtie, my bike computer lost its wire connections rendering it useless and Simon had his front derailleur bent. Simon was able to fix his problem, but I will need to source a new bike computer before we leave Queenstown.

We cycled the 2 km to the accommodation we had booked in Frankton and after one wrong turn, found our home for the next four days right on the edge of lake Wakatipu. Very economical in size, but with everything we would need. Finding the bike locks demonstrated the limitations of our packing, and most panniers had to be emptied before we found them. We then headed off along the lake to the supermarket. The ride there was gorgeous, with beautiful views on a sunny day.

Being in Queenstown for four days and not wanting to shop more than necessary meant that the two panniers we had brought to the supermarket were definitely not going to be sufficient, so Simon headed back to pick up some more. All supplies safely loaded onto the bikes, including the very important local wines and the beers recommended by the shelf stacker, we headed back to the Bach for a well earned beer on the balcony with its sensational view.

We discovered the bbqs in the park next door and enjoyed a dinner of marinated chicken skewers and salad in the courtyard out of the wind, which by now was blowing a gale.



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