"The journey of my life."
Sometimes, adventure just comes to you out – you just have to come across the right people. Herbert Unger met several of these people on his journey through New Zealand and experienced adventures that cannot be found in any travel guide. He met gold miners, crazy Kiwis, shepherds and fishermen. It is often the unexpected encounters that hold the promise of adventure and they uasually happen to people like Herbert who are open-minded, curious and keen to approach strangers – this is the Spirit of GS.
The gold miners.
Near the small town of Reefton, Herbert meets with an old gold miner. His family has lived in this area for over 150 years. The old gold miner has worked in mining his entire life – you can tell by his rough hands. One of his friends suggests going to visit the mine – an opportunity for a GS adventure.
And so they are headed north to the Echo coal mines. Around 20 kilometres outside the city, the adventure lays before them in a deep hole in the ground. The view is astounding; layers of earth in countless colours – impressive. A narrow and tricky path leads them right to the heart of this strange man-made landscape.
The gold and coal mine is a real off-road adventure. Hence, you need a bit more HP if you want to combat these rocks. The coal-grey surroundings are stunning and the "small" red GS is a a colourful speck in the grey. These strange lands leave no room for any doubt – this is an adventure – breathtaking and unable to be replaced by anything in the whole world.
The crazy Kiwi.
The crazy Kiwi.
Herbert Unger originally planned to spend his evening in the relaxed atmosphere of a 140-year-old pub – now, there is a race scheduled for tomorrow. His opponent: Roscoe, who looks like a farmer and has worked in mining for 30 years. Among other things, he has five to six Enduros, a BMW X6 and three helicopters to his name. He challenges Herbert and his GS to a race against the AC Cobra. What a crazy Kiwi.
The next day is all about Bavarian bike versus Yankee bullet. The GS was pushed into the red zone in order to keep up with Roscoe – a Mad Max-style race. After a few minutes of adrenaline-crazed racing, they made their way back to Roscoe's shed, calling it a draw.
For one moment one almost believed that the adventure was over for the day. Until someone had the idea of pulling the new R 1200 GS up with a helicopter.
The Spirit of GS literally reaches new heights – above the clouds of New Zealand.
On and on we go.
On and on we go.
With the old gold miner and Roscoe, Herbert Unger encountered plenty of other people during his eight-day travel to New Zealand. The R 1200 GS is always a good excuse for starting a conversation. The journey of his life began in Christchurch.
The journey took them over paved roads to Reefton, one of the biggest mining towns. At lakes Hāwea and Wanaka, he discovered the most beautiful route he had ever ridden. Along the coast on old roads, they headed towards the Franz Josef Glacier, taking the helicopter to the top.
On they go to Queenstown, taking their GS on the deck of a 100-year-old steamboat. The day's stage ended on John's sheep farm with an introduction to sheep shearing. The next day, the journey continued on overgrown and colourful roads through the mountains. Near Naseby, it was time for a game of curling.
The tour ends with a stop at a cozy 150-year-old pub. The next day, they travel from Danseys Pass along gravel tracks on Mount Cook and along lavender fields to enjoy a typical Kiwi lunch. Stomaches filled and thirsts quenched, the journey continues at the beautiful Lake Tekapo and stretches on to Lake Pukaki.
The last day of the journey takes them to a famous location known from "The Lord of the Rings": Castle Hill. Three hours of pure off-road biking. Finally, the New Zealand tour is rounded off with a traditional Maori meal.
Alongside breathtaking landscapes, unusual experiences and a great deal of adventure, Herbert Unger will never forget the people he met along the way. "This was an unforgettable tour which will always put a smile on my face!" Herbert sums up his experience.
Always in a good mood.
The constant smile on Herbert Unger’s face is probably his best asset. And this is how the people he meets along his journey remember him by best: His curious and cheerful personality is infectious.
His laugh makes it easy for the Bavarian to take a leap into different cultures. And his warmth is the key for the conversations and laughs with strangers – who will soon become friends.
What have you experienced?
Tell us about your journey with #spiritofGS