The West Coast is a particularly special and beautiful part of New Zealand but it is serviced by one main road - State Highway 6. The fact that there is only one road means that there is a lot of traffic on it, and a lot of different types of traffic too - trucks, cars, campervans, motorbikes, bicycles and livestock all use the road at various times. Often the road is narrow with sharp bends, sudden steep inclines and lots of one lane bridges. Generally people are good but driving on SH6 can be a lesson in patience.
The number of cycle tourists on the road is growing each year and a number of cycle trails are being developed to enable them to travel the length of the Coast without having to spend long stretches on the highway. The most recent of these trails is the Wilderness Trail which is being built from Greymouth through to Ross - about 40 km north of Hari Hari.
Now I might be biased but the best scenery is well south of Ross, so I was excited to learn of a group of people planning to take this trail further south - all the way to Franz Josef. It is a massive project, unfortunately the more spectacular the scenery the more expensive a trail is to construct. The project is still in it's conception with lots of challenges ahead to get it off the ground and it will be many years before the first wheels roll down the track, if they ever do.
Meanwhile we expect to see lots of bikes on the road again this summer, and as always we wish them fine weather, tail winds and long down hill roads.
In early 2012 Penny & Nairn moved from central Wellington to South Westland. Welcome to the record of their adventures.