Sunday, February 23, 2020

Dusty Butt Chronicles Part 6


With the weather curtailing the trip to the Denniston we had plenty of time for a quiet cruise through to Richmond for the night and our last day of riding in the Sounds.

We loaded the bikes back up on the ute and packed our "still not quite dry" gear in the back and hit the road.

Once again it was a nice quiet drive through to Inangahua and then we were into the Upper Buller Gorge.  Really weird to be driving this rather than riding it!

Nearing Murchison we decided to stop and check out the big swingbridge.  Someone even made me have a go on the zip-line thing which was pretty cool too.

Excitement over, we trundled into Murchison for the usual coffee/pie stop and were soon joined by a heap of bikes that were heading South for the Burt Munro festival - they were late - and lucky as the rain had flooded all of the highways down South and a lot of people had a hard time getting to Invercargill.

Back on the road again, it was just a short leg to Richmond to my sister's place where I parked up for the night while Colin shot over to Mot to stay with a friend.  It was a scorcher there so I finally got all my gear dried out too.


We were booked into a motel in Picton on Thursday night so had all day to get there and intended to have one last ride in the South Island.

A leisurely start  got us through to Havelock where we fueled all the vehicles before taking the Queen Charlotte road through to Linkwater.

In Linkwater we parked up at the pub and offloaded the bikes for a trip through Portage and then onto Titirangi Bay.

The road out to Portage and Kenepuru Head is all seal but there are about twenty zillion corners (checkout the map!).  I'd ridden it before on the V-Strom which I think was probably the better bike for it.  On the WR's we felt like we were riding hard and had to be up and down the box constantly, whereas the big Vee would have just stayed in one gear and would have stuck to the road a bit better.

The road goes to gravel at Kenepuru Head, but it's good gravel, reasonably wide and actually less tight and twisty.  There is a bit of traffic on it though...

After a good little play on the gravel we popped out of the bush to this:

To get down to the bay there is a turn-off to the left which drops down a neat little track to a pretty basic camping ground.  An absolutely gorgeous bay though!

We explored another little track but got to a gate onto private property so turned back and had a spot of lunch overlooking the bay.

Lunch taken care of, we rode back up the hill and then went in search of Endeavour Inlet.  I'd seen it on the map and figured it sounded like a place worth checking out.  As it happens, it's really hard trying to find tracks on a small GPS screen.  It's even harder finding roads that do not exist...we got to explore a few more neat gravel roads though...

Not Endeavour Inlet (Port Gore I think)

Giving up on a road that didn't exist, we returned to Portage for a quick nosey before tackling all those corners again.

Back at Linkwater we had a cold drink and a snack before carrying onto Picton for a decent steak and our last night in the South Island.


On Friday morning we learned that the ferry was running late so had plenty of time to go and meet Al in town for a coffee.  Great to catch up with him again, although no riding this time around - we'll be back...

At the terminal we lined up next to the bike lane and so had a chance to ogle the bikes and chat to some of the riders.  There was even a heap of Poms lined up on bikes that they had brought with them - and their van too!

I likee

Touring Poms...
Another nice crossing of the straight yakking with another Dusty Butt rider soon had us back in the North Island where Colin was unloaded at his place and I carried on to home.

Great trip with some great riding (especially the Dusty Butt) and really happy with how the little bike went!  Just might have to do it all again someday...


  1. Love the views around the bays there such a beautiful place. Maybe you need a WR450 instead of the 250.

    1. I could do with the extra ergs but don't like the 5 minute service intervals...

  2. Some nice views off of Kenepuru Head!

    1. Cheers, it's really nice around there...quite a few tourists who aren't sure which side of the road they should use...