Ormiston Gorge + water = fun!

This long weekend we headed out to Ormiston Gorge (1.5 west of Alice) for a nice little summer camping trip. When we left it was a chilly 37 degrees so I was expecting a weekend of unpleasantly hot weather.  As it turned out the cloud came out, the water level was seriously high and everything was awesome aside from some vicious and evil mosquitos.

The past year or so the water level at Ormiston has remained pretty low with only a few pools of water that aren’t connected.  I’d certainly never seen a stream flowing the whole length of the gorge. You can imagine our surprise when instead of being able to walk the length of the gorge we were forced to swim every where!






New Zealand North Island


Hi Everyone!

Welcome to our photo collection from the North Island of New Zealand. Over the two and a half weeks we were in NZ we took about 1700 photos so you’ll only be getting a snap shot of the trip, but I’ve picked out some of the good ones for a little selection of highlights. There are so many more, some of them even good, but here are some favourites.

For anyone who likes words as well as photos the itinerary for our trip was roughly as follows:

  1. Auckland and Mt Eden
  2. Waitomo Caves
  3. Waitomo and drive to Taupo
  4. Taupo, kayaking and fairy garden then drive to Rotorua
  5. Rafting and louge in Rotorua
  6. Geyser, hot springs, Cultural show
  7. Drive to Bay of Islands
  8. Dolphin watching tour
  9. Drive back to Auckland


One of the commonly asked about is what gear I use and what I carry  on a cycle tour. On this page I aim to cover the basics of what we carry with a few little rants about things I think are important.


I like bikes, and I like to have the right one so I have Surlys. Surly makes big heavy steel framed bikes, and then they fit them with big heavy steel racks and everything ends up being heavy. The upside of this is that you can carry an immense amount of stuff and never worry about hurting your bike, or as experience has shown you can be run over at low speed and hurt the car more than your bike. The downside of this is that the Long Haul Trucker weighs in at 21kg before it is loaded, and for a longer trip can easily reach 50kg on the road. Thank god for gears!

My Surly loaded up for an 8 day ride.

My Surly loaded up for an 8 day ride.


So for my current trip I am using a different Surly, an ECR which I have taken to mean Everything Combined Really, but Surly themselves have since defined as Escape Common Routine. Eitherway it is an awesome bike and it what I recently spent five months riding around Europe.


I use Ortlieb Panniers. No particular reason other than that I like them and I could order 7 at once when I wanted to get our panniers. They are super tough and very reflective so I don’t think anyone could have a bad word to say about them.

To be specific I have back-roller plus and front roller plus models with a large handlebar back. I also got the map case that fits onto the handlebar back which has proven to be a great investment because it is just so convenient.

I also use a Bike Bag Dude bar roll on the front of my bike to carry my sleeping bag because otherwise it just takes up too much useful space in my panniers!

Wet Weather Gear

Over shoes! I don’t really have much else to say because raincoats are raincoats and safety vests are safety vests, but if you are planning on riding a lot invest in some water proof overshoes to keep you feet warm and dry. We both use Gore City Overshoes which are great.

I’ve previously invested in a pair of dutch RainLegs which are a great invention. They are a waterproof rain cover for the tops of your legs, that leave the underside of your legs free to sweat and stay cool.

For my latest trip I have bought some brilliant rain gear from Showers Pass who make some rather cool gear such as rain jackets and pants specifically for cycling.

Useful Links

If you want to read more come back and read again one day, or go to the following links which provide excellent advice on gear.