New Zealand Bicycle Tour with Sandy Carson January 12, 2012

And now here’s part 2 of Sandy Carson’s down under cycling tour adventure (you can catch Part 1 here)…

The 2 weeks flew by in Australia and I was already regretting only having a week to enjoy New Zealand’s South Island as I flew in. I’ve always wanted explore NZ and i’m sure it won’t be the last. Need. More. Time. ugh!

Flying over the glaciers and making a to do list. Hike, ride, explore, skydive? getting ADD already.

This was my route. Fuck. Who was I kidding? There was way I could do half of this on a bike in a week, so o I had to rent a car and stuff my bike in it. That still counts as touring, right? I could squeeze more in and use my bike to explore towns.

I flew into Christchurch, which had just been flattened by yet another earthquake tremor. It was pretty devastated had turned into ghost town, dead silent, even the grocery stores weren’t playing music. People thought I was nuts when I said I was flying into there to start my trip, but I didn’t mind. I’m actually used to it and find the beauty in documenting natural disasters in my line of work sometimes ( Paradise Has Relocated by Sandy Carson ). I ended up staying in town for 2 days in the only hostel that wasn’t destroyed, picking up some personal photo work interviewing people and making photographs the disaster. I felt really bad for the city, how do you rebuild knowing that It may strike again at any time?

A vitamin store’s shelves shook to the ground.


Wooster disaster shot.

Okay this driving isn’t so bad after all. The Mogwai soundtrack was made for this.

About 8hrs later going West, I checked into the YHA hostel and got up early to hike the Franz Josef Glacier  despite having not much sleep. Drunk English people snoring. My worst nightmare or both accounts! Ear plugs and single dorms from then on. I’m too old for this shit, need beauty sleep!

This glacier is about 7.5 miles long, according to the Wiki page. It’s receding quite and I was eager to hike about on it before it melted, after all, I had my banana skin climbing shoes on and wanted to put them to use.

Here’s the Fox Glacier. It’s a bout 20k from the Franz Josef one. Are the mints  named after this? Sadly I had no time to hike around here because I figured it would look better from the sky…

I’ve always wanted to go Skydiving  so I figured if I was going to do it, might as well be over a Glacier!

I was thinking on the way up that it was worth it just for a close look at the Glaciers. I was probably just blocking out crapping my pants.

I felt safe flying tandem with Will Ferrel, he did Elf and Ron Burgundy quotes on the way down.

Her’s the video of me bricking my pants, sorry Mum. (watch the video of Sandy’s jump here with sweet techno!)

I’ll never forget the Royal Wedding of Prince Willie and Kate. I was in a bar in the Franz Josef Village celebrating a virgin Skydive.

It was full of backpackers playing some weird bungee game where you’d run your team mate for beers, then get catapulted backwards. Sounds like a drinking hazard and sure looked like one. I know you guys are outdoorsy in NZ but c’mon now!

This dude was dressed up as Kate Middleton in some mingin’ trash bags.

Insert Scottish velcro gloves joke here-

A lake on the road to Wanaka. New Zealand is like Scotland on steroids. Every corner you turn, you have to pull over.


Wanaka was a cool town sorta like a smaller version of Queenstown. Lots of hiking trails, biking and some excellent curry! Wish i had more time here. I had to get strict and get German on my schedule.

A lonely skatepark across the road from the Hostel. Of course, I had a few laps on the touring bike. Feels crazy hitting bowl corners.

Back on the road again and checking out some fall colours.


Made it to Queenstown for my last day and a half to the hotspot of outdoorsiness for the south island. Take your pick here, Road ride, bmx, MTB, xc, dh, hike, bungee, parachute, skydive, kyaking, skiing, . You name it. Oh yeah and their trees had some girth.


Classy hostel roach meal. Ed Docherty would be so proud. I forgot to mention how bloody expensive it is in NZ coming from the US. Pints are about $8 and a regular meal is about $20 with the exchange rate.


Does heaven have a ghetto? Is god a DJ? Is earth a dancefloor?

Jody Donnely’s unicycle?

This was the closest I came to seeing Chopper when I was down under.  Funnily enough this was my first bike as a kid!

For some reason, this reminds me of Leland Thurman on the left.

No trip would be complete without the brown water. Had to post one of these and i know how much my Taj loves to hate Coffee.

Was really looking forward this. Here I am taking the Ski lift up the Mountain to do some Downhill Mtb in Queenstown with vegemite sarnies. The guy who took my photo told me that they the American army captured and killed Osama Binladen.

Double Wooster shot with Queenstown in the background.

About to curvy swerve on the course. 8 inches of travel on the fork. that ought to about do it.

Camera n a tripod and hoping that I don’t tomahawk down the mountain at 45mph.  Friends don’t let their friends ride DH alone.

If they had curse word box at the bungee jump for every time someone jumped, I bet it would be rammed.

Slap up dinner for 2. Just me, a curry and a fat bird.

Back on the road to Christchurch for the next 6hrs at 100mph to drop the car off in time. That was a super quick crammed week of fun. Made it in time to drop my car off and ended up sleeping at the airport to catch an early flight, then took me 24hrs to get to LA.

till next time.



Till next time. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible and let me be weird and crash at their house- Jamie & Meagan and the Moore family, Paul & Pauline, Craig Savage for the custom bike, Colin, Reggie, Peddler Bike Shop, Matty Alsberg in LA, Seth Holton & Ryan Worcester, Taj & Fairdale.