Wanaka to Arrowtown

Wanaka to Arrowtown

19 January 2020

We had originally planned todays destination to be Queenstown, however having accepted recommendations from people both in New Zealand and the UK we made a slight alteration and instead opted to stay at Arrowtown, an old gold mining town, not far from Queenstown.

This made for an easy days riding, in simple terms, ride out of Wanaka towards Cardrona, then onto Arrowtown, a short distance of only 58km.

We had a relatively late start at 9.30am, and had our first stop about 1.5km along the Cardrona Road at Florences Food Stop and Cafe for breakfast. We were treated to the best cooked and presented breakfast we have had so far at a cafe in New Zealand. The place must have had a good reputation, it being packed with literally dozens of others savouring the delights of a well cooked breakfast. I had eggs florentine with spinach, with a hollandaise sauce on sourdough toast. Jennifer had croque-madame. Both were excellent and piping hot. A good start to the day.

We then had to garner the enthusiasm to ride another 25km to the small village of Cardrona, where we stopped at the Cardrona Village Store and Cafe for a well earned rest and coffee, but not before visiting the world famous Bradrona where many ladies have previously seen fit to commemorate their visit to the area by leaving behind their bras affixed to a fence wire. I was personally impressed by the variety of colours, but they were not enough to trump the cascades and colours of the lupins that lined the valley with their ever present scent. That is the scent from the lupins!

We had a brief meeting and decided that we were taking things far too fast today, so we sat down for a coffee and cake. Jennifer relaxed in the sun while I avoided getting burnt by sitting in the shade. 

The pace of the day was getting to both of us so we stayed put for another coffee and a cold drink while discussing the tabloid press' continuing character assassination of members of the royal family.

It was by now well after lunch time, so we decided to free up some seating and progress towards Arrowtown. 

The ride to the top of the Cardona valley was reminiscent of the winding roads found in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

On reaching the end of the valley we were greeted by wide panoramas toward Queenstown.

We rode the hairpins of the road to the valley floor until we turned off for Arrowtown, and our accommodation for the next 2 nights.

On arriving in Arrowtown Jen discovered that a chocolate bar hidden in a tank bag, above a hot motorcycle engine, on a 26C day, does not survive intact. Luckily we had a packet of baby wipes to hand, quite appropriate for the state of the chocolate mess she had to clear up, much to the amusement of the local residents.

After unpacking we had a walk into the historic centre of Arrowtown. The town centre has been well preserved and is now a little gentrified with boutiques and tourist shops.

Today we were in the warmest part of the South Island, reaching temperatures of 26C, so we are currently busy rehydrating.

Wanaka to Arrowtown outline of route travelled
Download Google Earth Outline of above route (requires Google Earth on your computer/phone/tablet)
Download GPX outline of above route
Trip statistics to date
Days in New Zealand 14
Todays distance KM  58
Total distance KM 1902
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