Day 32 | St Arnaud to Murchison

A downhill day

Date: 24 Feb 24

For the ebikers out there, there’s some interesting battery-use stats at the end of this.

From St. Arnaud to Kawatiri Junction is all downhill, but we had to work all the way, with a brisk breeze in our face. I did it without power, but it wasn’t the cruise other cyclists rave about, and having to pedal downhill is a bit of a rip-off if you ask me.

Then it was SH6 beside the Buller, with heavier traffic for six km, until, with a sigh of relief, we turned up the Gowan Valley and blackberried our way up to Lake Rotoroa, with a brief pause for a coffee and a great muffin at Gowans Backpackers and Cafe. For us, these little diversions are the best part of these journeys.

After a quick look at the lake we set off up the Braeburn Track (actually a bush-lined gravel road with 4 fords – shallow when it’s fine). It’s a fairly steep but mercifully short climb (200 m over 2 km) to the top of the saddle, then a fabulous descent through virgin beech forest and the remote Mangles Valley (no wind now and not a car in sight) to one of our favorite camping grounds – the Riverside at Murchison, which is another great unspoiled village. I’m enjoying finding these as we wander.

Supplies: 4 Square Murchison and the excellent Tutaki Bakery pies.

Accommodation: Cabin at Murchison Holiday Park The hotel in town is a good option, we were told.

These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 78.23 km
Max elevation: 663 m
Min elevation: 168 m
Total climbing: 740 m
Total descent: -1193 m
Total time: 06:41:27
Download file: day32.gpx

Battery use: 55% | 345Wh

Usually given moderate riding conditions we get about 1km/1% of the battery capacity, but today,  mostly downhill with a bit of a headwind:

First 20km – 7%

At the Rotoroa Jetty , 42km – 25%

Top of the Braeburn Track 46km – 37%

Murchison, 74km – 55%

Being mostly on no power or Eco makes a huge difference, as does the altitude gain or loss, and the wind direction. Distance travelled isn’t the only consideration by any means.



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