Broadwater Court – Thirteen members of the Broadwater Court F.I.T.S (Fun in the Saddle) cycle group recently embarked on a 5-day cycling trip in New Zealand. Resident Roger Miller reports.

Broadwater Court residents arriveFollowing successful cycling tours of the Otago Rail Trail in 2013 and Canberra in 2015, 13 Broadwater Court cyclists recently returned from a 5-day cycling trip to the Nelson, Motueka areas of New Zealand’s South Island. A 14th member, Tanya, also joined us from Cairns.

Following our arrival in Christchurch we were driven north for several hours to a small town called St Arnaud. Here we were given free range to ride a few kilometres and get used to our cycles.

The next three days were the most intense, cycle-wise, riding first to Nelson, then on the following day, over to Motueka, a delightful country town via very pleasant paths on Rabbit Island.  Later, we went on a ferry trip to Mapua for a well-deserved lunch.

The Motueka River Valley was a whizz downhill to Motueka the following day.   Kaiteriteri Beach was the kick-off place for our excursion boat ride into the Abel Tasman National Park where we enjoyed seal spotting along the shoreline.

LunchWe returned to the Motueka River Valley for our last cycle, mostly downhill, before we boarded the bus and drove to Blenheim.  We enjoyed a wine tasting and a delicious lunch in a beautiful vineyard before the last leg of our trip back to our superb hotel in Christchurch.

A support vehicle and an excellent informative guide accompanied us and saved some from the highest of the hills. There were laughs aplenty – in fact, the bus bubbled along from one quip to another. There were some grazes and tumbles but victims always came up smiling!

Some folk willingly offered themselves as leaders, although we can’t elaborate on their performances, or where the group ended up! Gravel paths near Richmond had been used, earlier by a herd of cows, which had left some very watery trademarks on the surface. Needless to say, some cyclists fronted up at the support vehicle with very smelly, green deposits spattered everywhere!

3-bored-housewivesAn unexpected paddle through a stream to reach the beach after the National Park Excursion caused uproarious laughter as shoes and socks were removed and trousers rolled up. Who was the gallant knight who piggy-backed his damsel over to dry land? And who were the smart ones, choosing the high path, a superb view and steps down to the other side?  Yes the tide was wrong for the usual dry landing but it all made good fun.

Someone was overheard to say “Why go to Europe when it is all here?” And with beautiful scenery, friendly, helpful people, excellent service and superb food we would have to agree.