10 reasons we’re excited about NZ!

1. Glowworm Caves 

The sparkling show put on by the glowworms at Te Anau Glowworm Caves will blow you away.  To reach the caves you will travel through a mysterious underground world of twisting limestone passages, rushing water, whirlpools and thundering underground waterfalls.  The caves were found in 1948 by Lawson Burrows after three years searching using clues from old Maori legends. The caves are very young, about 12,000 years old, and are still being carved by the rushing water.  The caves lie in the Murchison Mountains, across Lake Te Anau from the village of Te Anau 2.5 hours from Queenstown.  Continue reading

Chariot Training

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For the past couple of months we have been putting the girls through Chariot training.  Basically this entailed us swapping their old stroller for the Chariot so we could try to get them used to their new, soon to be, home.  We are trying to take them out as much as we can but as the Queensland summer is quickly gaining on us it is getting harder, and by mid day it’s almost like torture.  So our solution – as soon as the girls wake up in the morning, which can often be before 5am! we strap them into the Chariot and go for a jog around the island.  The jogging is serving a double purpose really, firstly it is getting the girls used to the Chariot, and early mornings and secondly it is helping us build up our pre-tour fitness. Continue reading

110 Days and counting…..

So the countdown has officially begun.  There’s 110 days until we land in Christchurch and the adventure begins whether we’re ready or not!  It might seem like plenty of time to get prepared, but as the days and weeks roll by we are starting to realise that perhaps things are going to be a little different than we had envisaged.  Over the last couple of weeks we have had a couple of glimpses of what life could be like on the road, it is both stunningly beautiful and terrifying in equal proportions.  Our girls (Sunny & Imani) are growing fast and have both just started walking.  It is amazing to watch just how determined they are to succeed, and succeed they do, they are developing in leaps and bounds, this also means they are starting to develop their understanding of what they want or don’t want!  It’s a very recent thing but on occasion, usually in public, one of the girls will suddenly decide that they no longer want to play happy families and has a miniature meltdown. Continue reading

Waterproof

Gore-Tex JacketThe weeks seem to be rolling past with ever increasing pace, and as they do we are slowly ticking things off our check list.  We have recently taken advantage of the great summer sales in the UK and have ordered Gore-tex jackets and Pants.  As always we researched long and hard before placing an order.  We had a couple of prerequisites  1. The jackets had to be Gore-tex (there are a lot of other technologies out there now, but from our research nothing still comes close to it)   2. they had to be light & pack small   3. not cost the earth.   4. We had to like the style. 

We very quickly narrowed our search down to The North Face, and ended up ordering Summit Series jackets, these are aimed at the top end athletes.   Continue reading

1st Ride

First rideWe have just come back from our first test ride with the two little ones in tow, and it wasn’t all bad…..which is good!  Firstly the bike, yet to be named, still needs a fair bit of setting up as far as saddle heights, bar positions etc go, but overall the bike feels amazing!  The tandem feels super smooth, and somehow way more efficient than our old Thorn tandem.  The tandem is set up with huge mechanical disk brakes front and back, and I instantly noticed how easy it was to stop the bike even towing the girls and going down hill.  On our last tour I used to suffer with wrist and hand pain after any day involving steep down hills and heavy breaking (this was pretty much the whole of Croatia).   Continue reading

Warm Showers

PhilippeWith each week that rolls past we slowly ramp up our preparations and research.  One area that has been taking centre stage recently is different accommodation options while in NZ.  We are going to be camping the vast majority of our tour, with the odd B&B or guest house thrown in when the weather is being unkind, if the girls get sick or just if we need a break. 

We are aiming to see as much of the “real NZ” as possible and during our, seemingly never ending research, we started to look into home stays.  The idea of staying with local families, and getting their insight, their local knowledge of the area just feels like it is going to add some real depth to our tour.   Continue reading

New Year – New Country

We have just booked our tickets to New Zealand for the new year, and now the planning can really begin!  We arrive into Christchurch early afternoon on the 2nd January 2014, and it may seem a long way down the track but we have got a lot to figure out.  We are planning to spend a few days in and around Christchurch before we properly set off on our 3 month circumnavigation of the south island, it will give us a chance to sort all our equipment out and take a couple of short test rides.  So it’s official we’re starting this cycle adventure in the new year whether we’re ready or not…..