Day 39 | Harihari to Franz Josef

A good, well-roadworked highway

Date: 6 March 2024

Hotel Harihari was – interesting. Good food, very friendly owners, clean rooms, but badly in need of a makeover. Hope they keep the carpet though – an extravaganza of electric blue and shocking pink.

A quick coffee at the cafe across the road thus morning, then over Mt. Hercules to Whataroa, and a pause at the Lonely Stag cafe.

It’s very noticeably colder down here. Wearing more of our luggage, we biked on, at times surrounded by original untouched bush, then into farmland with remnants of old Kahikatea towering over paddocks backed by snow-capped mountains almost close enough to touch. To break the lovely monotony we stopped at the two lakes, Wahapo and Mapourika – their surfaces rippled by a slight breeze so we missed the iconic reflections.

A couple of traffic light-controlled roadworks bunched up the cars, making it easy to pull over to let them all past, leaving us with empty roads for a while. I like a well-roadworked highway. And south of Whataroa, at bike speed, we discovered an emerald pool, crystal-clear, right beside the road, with stonework around it suggesting it had been Something at Some Time.

We stayed at the Franz Josef Top 10 holiday park and walked into town along a two km path through more virgin bush, bought groceries for the next couple of days, but were not tempted into the bars and restaurants heaving with tourists, some of whom I’m sure were the polite and considerate drivers who passed us today.

Supplies: Franz Josef 4 Square

Accommodation: Franz Josef Top 10 holiday park

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


Total distance: 61.1 km
Max elevation: 193 m
Min elevation: 36 m
Total climbing: 590 m
Total descent: -525 m
Total time: 04:54:03
Download file: day39.gpx

Battery use: 49% | 310Wh


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