This day trip from Dunedin is an absolute must, especially if you get the weather we got today.
Along the way I rode through the morning cloud bank and got many nifty photos looking down into the clouds. Afterwards I got more photos once the clouds burned away. Absolutely magic weather, couldn't have asked for better.
The tour of Larnach Castle (built by an obscenely successful bank manager during the gold rush era) was fascinating. As an aside, the family history towards the end made most soap operas look sane in comparison. The castle was bought by another family in the last 40 years or so for restoration to original condition and contents. The restorers have done an amazing job, and the castle is well worth a look.
Lunch at Larnach Castle then off towards to Taiaroa Heads to see the Royal Albatross colony. This involved a couple of really fun descents to pay for the earlier climbs. Unfortunately there was a deadline for that and the following Natures Wonders Penguin Tour so Justin picked me up about 4-5Ks out whilst I was on the flat coastal road.
The Albatross colony was very cool, as was the Natures Wonders tour. Both are examples of ecotourism done right IMO. The tourist is not allowed to get close enough to interfere, but is close enough to get a good look at the wildlife without the wildlife (seals and penguins) being aware of the intrusion.
By then it was 4:30 and I rode back to Portobello before riding to the Hotel along the mostly flat coastal ride. With a mild tail wind this was huge fun and I covered the 21Ks back to the hotel in less than an hour.
And now (drum roll please) the final stats for the tour:
|Total Distance||1325.1 Km||Distance Today||53.82 Km|
|Total Ride Time||78:17||Ride Time Today||3:19:40|
|Average Speed||17.20 KPH||Delta||-0.01KPH|
|Tour Maximum Speed||70.1 KPH||Maximum Speed Today||51.8 KPH|
All in all, very pleased with the tour and my efforts. My first ever 10,000Ks on a bike is in sight & I'm sure I'll be coming back to NZ again.