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Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Colorado
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Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Another potentially weird question...

Is there an alternate route from Geraldine to the Catlins, avoiding SH 1 along the east coast?

I realize Fairlie-Burkes Pass-Tekapo-Omarama is an option, but at that point I'm not sure if it makes more sense to then turn towards Oamaru on 83 ( I seem to remember the east coast getting prettier after Oamaru) , or continue to Alexandra, Roxburgh and Milton via 8.

OR, is there a sealed road that runs parallel to SH 1 that might be more scenic than SH 1?

We've got all day to make the drive, but if it's an ugly drive or just downright silly in terms of distance and time of year (June), we'll certain listen to reason.

PS - Fingers crossed I didn't ask this same question previously!

Edited: 09 May 2012, 02:07
Colorado
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1. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Okay, I've done the math.

Looks like both drives are about 450 km (as far as Milton anyway) and 6-7 hours vs heading straight down the east coast at 288 km, about ~4 hours.

Any thoughts on if it's worth it just for the scenery (keeping in mind we've seen Lindis Pass many, many times)?

New Zealand
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2. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

yep, there is a sealed road that runs parallel to SH 1 and yep, it's far more scenic - it's called the West Coast ;)

Colorado
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3. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Ha, ha.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

sorry, couldn't resist :)

My suggestion- head on down via Alex and Roxburgh. No need to go to Milton --- at Beaumont (you can't miss it as there is the Beaumont pub on your right just before the long wooden single-lane bridge which has been undergoing repairs for seemingly ages. Instead of going over the bridge turn right. This road follows the right bank of the Clutha River to Clydevale (another long one lane bridge undergoing repairs) and then you follow the left bank of the Clutha River to Balclutha. It is a slightly shorter route than via Milton, it passes through farmland and areas or forestry with some lovely patches of native bush.

Also stop at the old punt (wooden raft to cross the river) which still operates - if feeling adventurous cross the river by punt then turn right to Clutha Valley and Balclutha - the punt operator will point you in the right direction.

Enjoy :)

Colorado
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5. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Brilliant, exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you very much!

Colorado
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6. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Other thought, while I've got your attention...

Would 85 from Palmerston to Alex and then down to Beaumont be a pretty drive, just as a change from Lindis Pass?

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7. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

I adore the Lindis, so think it difficult to beat.

But yes, the 'pig route' - don't ask, no one seems to know why it's called that, Palmerston to Naseby, is scenic - specially in winter with snow on the hills and frost on the paddocks http://www.jimpollardgoesclick.com/2011/01/morning-sheep-on-pig-route.html#!/2011/01/morning-sheep-on-pig-route.html

It will add mileage but if you have all day then why not :)

Colorado
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8. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Thanks again. That gives us a couple of options, we can decide on the fly if need be.

Te Anau
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9. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

If you do decide on the Pig Root, stop of at the Hayes farm and workshop at Oturahua (?sp) Ernest Hayes started making windmills & farm equipment here about 100 years ago, and eventually marketed a range of stuff throughout Aust & NZ. You have quite likely heard of Hayes wire strainers (if you are a cocky anyway). The Hayes family still own the farm, homestead & workshop, but it is operated by DOC as a historical site. All the machinery is still there, and mostly in working order. A group of volunteers run regular "crank up" days, which I have never attended, but it's on my bucket list.

E Hayes & Sons still own a hardware shop in Invercargill, where there is a comprehensive display of vintage cars,and much stuff from Bert Munroe's workshop (The Worlds Fastest Indian), including the original bike.

Incidentally, AFAIK the Pig Root was so named because the road was so awfull before it was sealed that it resembled a padock which had been worked over by pigs (a pig root). May not be correct, but it makes intuative sense.

Colorado
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10. Re: Geraldine to Catlins, avoiding east coast?

Thanks vbc...great and helpful info

Never heard of Hayes wire strainers or cockies though.