Day 47 | Miller’s Flat to Tapanui

You call that flat??

Date: 16 March 2024

From Miller’s Flat we crossed the Clutha to backtrack to Ettrick, where we turned onto the misleadingly named Moa Flat Road. It begins with a stiff 400 m climb, and Moa Flat itself is quite lumpy, but we were more focused on the snow falling on a nearby range, giving a distinct crispness to the air. Down the other side we passed through Heriot, once thriving, now a ghost town, and Kelso, another once-busy town, now completely gone, having been abandoned following a 100-year-flood in 1978 and another even worse in 1980. The site is now noted only by some signs at the side of the road showing the flood height – well above head-level, in a very wide flat valley.

We thought we were on our own taking this route, but at Tapanui we met a guy who’d been ahead of us – also on an ebike, with two batteries and 40 kg of luggage! (He had camping gear).

We had just settled into our motel room at the pub when a knock on the door revealed another mad keen cyclist who had spotted our steeds. Paul Jesson was a Tour de France rider for one season in the late 70’s before a serious accident left him with one leg, but he went on to a very successful career as a paraplegic rider and became a great advocate for sport for the disabled. He now runs the Whitechapel Gift shop in the oldest church in Tapanui. This biking lark sure shakes out some dead-interesting trivia.

Supplies: Tapanui 4 Square
Accommodation: Forest Lodge Hotel, Tapanui

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


Total distance: 53.32 km
Max elevation: 519 m
Min elevation: 70 m
Total climbing: 976 m
Total descent: -868 m
Total time: 03:24:53
Download file: day47.gpx

Battery use: 73% | 455Wh


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