When Art Green shared his ambitious plan to enter Coast to Coast, we knew we wanted to help him get there. And what better than your own campervan to rest weary legs in after a day's slog? Art travelled with his friends Robbie and Sam Lange, crossing the finish line to cheering crowds after two days of cycling, running and kayaking..
Christchurch to Christchurch
Best Time of the Year
all year round
- Klondyke Corner
- Coast to Coast
Christchurch to Kumara
Distance 220km - Driving Time 3 hours
We picked up the campervan, packed all of our race gear, attached our bikes on the back and set off on our adventure. We meandered across from the east to the west coast of the South Island stopping every now and then to check out the course and get a feel for places that would act as transition points in our race over the next two days.
We stopped in Sheffield to sample some of their famous pies – they certainly lived up to their reputation! We finished the day over on the West Coast in a little town called Kumara where we set up camp alongside hundreds of other competitors. Great vibes in the campsite, everyone excited for the adventure that would take place over the next two days.
Kumara Junction to Klondyke Corner
Distance 85km - Driving Time 1 hour 15 mins
We woke well before the sun was up and started to get everything ready for the first day of the race. There was a nervous tension in the air unlike anything I had ever experienced. We made our way over to the start line on the beach. I went over and touched the water knowing that in two days I would be touching the water of the ocean on the other side of the country.
The siren sounded and we were off! Day one was a 50km bike followed by a 35km mountain run.
We ran into Klondyke Corner and crossed the finish line on day one knowing that the hardest day was behind us. Pretty knackered after the day, we got showered and changed and then enjoyed a drink on the grass in the sun in the spectacular setting.
Finally the sun started to set and we crawled into our comfy beds in the camper. My body was so tired I fell asleep in seconds.
Klondyke Corner to Brighton (Christchurch)
Distance 150km - Driving Time 2 hours
Up early again with a tired body. Today would see us cycle 15km to the start of the kayaking leg where we would paddle down the Waimakariri River and through the gorge for 80km. We then jumped out of our kayaks and back on our bikes to finish the race by cycling 80km into Christchurch and over to Brighton on the east coast.
Crossing the finish line with hundreds of people cheering us on was something I’ll never forget. I ran through the finish line and straight down onto the beach and jumped in. It was a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenery.
Where was the best view? The best view we saw was at Klondyke Corner. We had completed the first tough day of the event and set up camp with all of the other competitors. It’s an incredible spot beside the Waimakariri River souranded by mountains.
Where did you stop for a picnic? We stopped for a picnic along the Waimakariri River at a stop that would act as the transition point where all competitors would come off the river in their kayaks and jump onto their bikes for the final ride into the city.
Where was your favourite place/town visited and why? Kumara: it is a tiny little town on the west coast. It was once a very prominent gold-mining town but now there is almost nothing there. Kumara plays host to the hundreds of competitors of the Coast to Coast on the night before the first day.
What was your favourite experience/activity & why? Competing in the Coast to Coast was by far the most incredible event I have ever taken part in. The fact that we went from one side of New Zealand to the other using only our body power was an incredible accomplishment. The scenery and landscape that we ran, cycled and kayaked over was breathtaking.
Top highlights? The start of the race over on the west coast. It was sunrise and the nervous tension and excitement in the air was incredible. Running over Goat Pass, kayaking through the Waimakariri Gorge, finishing the race in Brighton with hundreds of supporters cheering everyone across the line.
Best café for coffee? Sheffield Pie Shop. Best pies in NZ
Did you have a favourite Holiday Park you stayed in and why? Klondyke Corner – incredible scenery.
What would be your top tip for other campervan travellers? Make your trip about three to four days longer than you think you need – there are so many amazing places that you will wish you had more time to explore. What is your greatest memory of the whole campervan holiday? Finishing the event and going for a swim at Brighton Beach knowing that the day before I had touched the water on the other side of the island – symbolising how far we had come.
Britz provided Art Green with a special three-day hire to get him to Coast to Coast; our standard minimum hire is five days.