New Zealand End-to-End in aid of the Children of Syria

The ride

Whenever I finish one biking expedition, I am frequently asked soon afterwards: “So, where’s the next one to?” Coyly, I try to avoid giving a direct reply until, that is, a solid foundation is laid for the next one.

Well that foundation is now laid, and set in stone. Plane tickets have been purchased which will take me (via Singapore) to Auckland in New Zealand in mid January. This is going to be my most challenging ride to date; not so much for the distance (which is 1500 miles), as for the nature of the terrain, the challenges that both wind and rain can throw at me, and the relatively long stretches of remote country that I will be traversing, especially on South Island.

The End-to-End of New Zealand does not enjoy the same iconic status of the Land’s End-John O’Groats route here in the UK, but it does betray an equally ‘gritty character’ and a ‘Jekyll & Hyde personality’: one minute all smiling and loving, the next minute glowering and threatening. New Zealand normally enjoys a temperate, benign climate similar to that of the UK, but unannounced Pacific weather fronts can appear (even in summer) that can dog your progress and drive you indoors, sometimes for days at a time.

My starting point will be Cape Reinga, the north-westernmost tip of North Island, and I will finish 1500 miles/2400 kms later at Bluff, the southernmost point of South Island. The journey will take me from the subtropical north in the middle of summer to the point nearest the Antarctic, before ( I hope) the weather turns autumnal.

The Children of Syria

The problems of Syria are never far from our television screens. Innocent people are being killed, injured and displaced every day, and thousands have fled across the borders to escape the carnage. My focus is to support the refugee children, whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict, and many have lost one or both parents in the Civil War.

Please support these children generously and, if you are a taxpayer, please gift aid your donation so that Save the Children can increase the value of your giving by 25%.

All the expenses of this 1500 mile expedition will be mine. Every penny of your donation will go to support the Children of Syria.

You can donate in two simple ways:

1. by clicking on my Just Giving webpage

2. or by texting from your mobile to 70070, quoting the following code: FJRB49, then stating the amount (eg. £20). This is a free service offered by Vodafone, so you won’t be charged for the text, and the amount donated will be debited to your phone bill. All very simple!

If you can support this very worthy cause, a huge ‘thank you’ on behalf of Save the Children.

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on November 28, 2012, in New Zealand End-to-End 3000kms and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. An amazing challenge in such a good cause. Good luck. You’re helping make the world a better place!

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  2. Many thanks for your good wishes!

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  3. Hi, I have nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award because I think you deserve a little something for making your blog always look fab! To share this little bit of blogging kindness: 1. Display the award image on your blog. 2. Link back to the person who nominated you. 3. State 7 things about yourself. 4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites. 5. Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post. Thank you for all your great posts and congratulations! http://pymette.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/inspiring-blogger-award/
    ~leanna

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  4. That sounds amazing. New Zealand is also top on my list…only if it was a little closer!!! will be keeping a close eye on your updates! Hope you have a tailwind all the way, and not too much rain. Just out of curiosity, how many weeks do you think it will take you?

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  5. Alberto, if I were just ‘going for it’, I would expect to take about 3 weeks. But on this trip I am allowing 4 weeks, to give me time to stop off and visit places.

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  6. That is awesome! I wish you more good days than bad, may you have more tailwinds than headwinds.

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  7. Reblogged this on jimsadventure2012 and commented:
    WOW! What a journey and for a good cause.

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  8. Thanks Jim! Hope you enjoyed your first sortie to Europe……let the adventuring continue unabated!

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  9. Welcome (in advance) to New Zealand! You’ll have an amazing journey. Many people choose to see New Zealand from the seat of a bike. I’ve met quite a few in recent years as I work as a travel writer for a hostel network. One of the challenges those cyclists mentioned, and one that perhaps you have not yet considered, is that kiwi drivers can be pretty terrible! So, other than the terrain, wind rain and occasional remoteness, watch out for the drivers!

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  10. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on that……I was already aware of the Kiwi prowess as rally drivers. What I need to do is grow two eyes in the back of my head……or get a rear view mirror for the bike!

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  11. It looks fabulous, Frank. I did a ride up the West Coast last – not always easy but always enjoyable.

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  12. Good to hear, Richard. It’s usually the case that the more challenging a route is, the more scenic/beautiful the countryside. It is always worth the sacrifice!

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  13. Frank, this is a great trip and a worthy cause. Where do you think you’ll be on Feb 10? I’ll be back in NZ then (Nelson area), maybe I can ride with you for a day or two?

    Just pulled into Lake Tekapo on one of our nicest rides yet. The inland route has been really nice.

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  14. DG, that would be fantastic. Would love a bit of company for a few days. I’m still working on the route, but a preliminary guess would be that I’d hit Nelson sometime between Feb 7th-10th, depending on stops, delays, distractions…………
    I have a flight booked out of Invercargill on the 25th, but I want to build in time to spend at least a day or two on Stewart Island. So I need to be arriving at Bluff by the 21st/22nd at the latest.

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  15. Hmmm.you’ll probably have the most luck with the rear view mirror. Looking forward to hearing about your progress through the Land of the Long White Cloud. Keep us posted!

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  16. A great cause and a generous action on your part to set this up. Good luck and have a fantastic trip.

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  17. swessonswesson59

    Hi Frank – I have been scouring your blogs for a mechanism to contact you and drawn a blank. I plan to start the identical journey on Feb 1st. I expect you have done months of planning but mine is a spur of the moment decision and I would dearly like to speak to you in case you can help me fast-track my preparation since I have so little time. Would you be willing to help? Thank! Steve Wesson: swesson@hotmail.co.uk (http://grumpyoldmenonbikes.blogspot.co.uk/)

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  18. No problem Steve. I’ll send you a private email.

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  19. Frank, looks like I won’t be back into Nelson until 13 Feb, and then I’ll be heading out for a multiday trek shortly thereafter. So, I won’t be able to ride with you, unfortunately. If for whatever reason you’re through Nelson 13-14 Feb, drop me a line.

    Also wanted to suggest that if you plan to cycle between Wanaka and Queenstown, go via the Crown Range route, not the highway that goes through Cromwell. From Cromwell to Queenstown, it’s a very busy, windy road with zero shoulder in places. Not advisable for cycling.

    Safe travels, hope to see lots of updates!

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  20. Thanks dg, I appreciate your local knowledge. I will be updating on Facebook probably on daily basis, so you may be able to track me better there, and message me about your whereabouts. Can I send you an invite on FB?

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  21. Alas, Frank, I jettisoned FB on Day 30 of my 30 Days of Minimalism Rampage. Best is email: drewgagne.com@gmail.com.

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  22. Silly me……..I had forgotten. Wise move!

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  23. Hi Frank, Best of luck with your wonderful fund raising for the poor children of Syria. You may remember me, Pat Wignall (The Merchant’s Wife!) at St. Hugh of Lincoln, Buckden. I have been living in Rothesay Bay for just over two years now. Pamela Ostler emailed me with details of your plans, unfortunately, you had passed my area when they arrived. Have a great ride in this beautiful country.

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  24. Thanks Pat. What a pity! Would have loved to have met up with you.

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