South Island New Zealand Unicycle Tour


In January and February 2007, a group of unicyclists from around the world will be unicycling up the South Island of New Zealand.  The two week, 900km journey includes unicycling up the worlds steepest street, traversing an old rail trail, climbing over various mountain passes, and crossing from East Coast to West Coast and back again.  Follow their one-wheeled adventures on the daily blog as they embark on this incredible journey.


26 April 2012

It has only taken 5yrs, but better late than never. Here is the much delayed slideshow highlights from our SINZ Unitour.
How things change. The Christchurch Cathedral in our final group photo was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake, but the rest of the South Island is as beautiful as the day we rode past on our unicycles.
Perhaps one day we'll do another SINZ tour visit all these places again.

25 May 2009

Here are a couple of media articles from SINZ Unitour. Enjoy!

10 Feb 2009

Well, how quickly two years have passed! The evil webmistress is vanquished, burnt to a crisp by her evil misdeeds. So anyway, I'm left digging through the old webmistress's code, and hopefully sort out some of the issues plaguing this website. We've moved to a new server, and the photo eating gremlin seems to have gone as well. I'll add extra photos and replace the chewed up ones when I have time to spare!


16 April 2007

Meep. The evil webmistress has discovered some very important things. They are:
A secondary bout of glandular fever sucks a great deal and is likely to impede progress in many areas, including websites
Websites that are not dynamic should not be able to ghost code on to random pages, however, this does not stop them from doing it.

So, in conclusion, I have decided that this website is out to kill me, but that isn't unusual in an intangible or inanimate thing, my chair is trying to kill me too, it keeps moving.

So, here's what's up;
Daniel and Hunter Goodman's profile
Peter Beir's profile
Few random bugs fixed

Coming soon: A link to the up coming Vietnam tour, links to albums riders have set up for themselves, and a newspaper clipping scrapbook.



6 Feb 2007

We conclude our tour and say farewell to all those who have been on tour with us, all the people we bumped into along the way, and all our friends and family who have been following us online. Apologies to the slow blog updates, but keep and eye out over the next few days as we get the photos and blog up to date. See you next year for The 2008 Mongolia Unicycle Tour! Many thanks also to Sean and Martin for writing our blog entries, and our wonderful support crew for being with us the whole way.

2 Feb 2007 Newsflash!!!

Support driver Connie Cotter and SINZ tour rider Roger Davies have held a secret wedding unbeknownst to most of our riders. They tied the knot in a ceremony at the beautiful Hokitika Gorge, 30km from the town. Much to the amazement of the SINZ riders, Roger, in his tux, and Connie, in her wedding dress, arrived and announced their nuptuals at the group dinner, which was really the wedding reception!

The wedding was attended by tour organisers Ken and Tony who had to keep it a secret from the rest of the group.

"They kissed and the sun came out" says Ken.

Of course, what Unicycle wedding would be complete without a unicycle or two? The happy couple were last seen riding along the Hokitika Waterfront after the wedding.

"It brought a tear to my eye" says Dave Goodman.

For photos, check out Day 13 of the blog.

More photos are available on

2 February Group Dinner

The awards for The 2007 SINZ Unitour were announced at group dinner. Here they are as follows (drumroll please):

The Crocodile Dundee award for bushcraft: Dave Goodman
The Nuts of Steel Awards for most determined rider: Barry Clearwater
The Contact Energy High Voltage prize for rider with the most: Hunter Goodman
The Alison Holst Award for best Homebaking: 1st= Vera Clearwater and Wendy Lilley
The Metservice Prize for putting up with shitty weather: Sean "I'm from sunny Queensland" Bennett
The Inspector Gadget Award for most techno-bling carried on one wheel: Roger Davies
The Mother Teresa Honours for feeding and watering a bunch of homeless unicyclists: Connie Cotter
The Kodak Award for Cheesiest poses: James Amon
The Ken Looi Prize for best crash of the tour: 1st= to Tony Melton (for brake lever failure and helmet drip crash) and James Amon (for shoelace screw up).
The Coalminer Award for best makeup: Hans Fiby
The Happy Feet Award: Monika Fiby for her plastic bag shoe covers
The Franz Josef Award for the rider with most amusing middle name: Hans Franz Fiby
The Hermit Award for closet unicyclist: Hannah Fiby
The Beau Hoover Prize for chomping on the most food during a tour: Nick "now it's my turn to grow 5inches" Clearwater
The "we miss you and wish you were still here" Award: Martin Turner
The FIGJAM Award for best one finger salute: Bridget Hughes
The Golden Nugget for missing most of a unicycle tour: Joe Marshall
The Scholarship for most improved rider: Daniel Goodman

27 January 2007

It has occured to the Webmistress that a lack of satelite internet sucks a great deal. The riders have been detailing their days, however without access to a net connection, uploading has proved problematic. On the upshot, I've managed to sabotage Ken for the big ride tommorrow, we just need to take out Roger and Tony and the others will have a chance. Email now for your chance at success through sabotage, prices are negotiable.


20 January 2007

Aha!  I managed to escape the clutches of our evil Webmistress for one final update before the tour.  Most of us will be arriving in Dunedin later today, except for James and Sean, who have already been hounded by the local paparazzi.  Tour briefing starts at the Leviathan Hotel at 1900hrs.  See you there!


18 January 2007

Unicyclists of the world, do not attempt to adjust your browser. The tour organisers have been captured and their reign of terror is at an end. Her Imperial Majesty, otherwise known as Bridget or 'the webdesigner' is now in control. While being afraid is not compulsory, it is recomended.

As the tour kicks off this month (with Ken securely tied up in the back of the van and as far from a computer as possible) we'll be posting more updates and details and photos from each leg of the journey can be viewed on the route page.

Good luck, Godspeed, and bloody hell these people are crazy. I'm only along for the booze.


1 Jan 2007 

Happy New Year everyone!  Only a couple of weeks to go. We have one last addition to the tour. Bridget Hughes will be an extra support person from Queenstown through to Wanaka. She is also designing a new website for us (this one apparently isn't good enough! I've been banned from MS Frontpage from now on). Last minute preparations are under way. Our first rider arrives in Dunedin on the 18th Jan, followed by most of the group on the 20th. Make sure you follow the daily blog on the route page during the tour.

Dec 2006

We lied. We have several more additions to the tour. Roger Davies and Joe Marshall join us from the UK. We are also lucky to have the services of Connie Cotter, President of the IUF, and support person on many previous tours (Alps Unitour, European Unitour, Norwegian Unicycle Tour). She will be driving the support vehicle following the riders. We also have Nick and Barrys' Grandmother/mother and Sister/Aunt, who will be alongside our father and son team from Melbourne.

-Ken and Tony

November 2006

Our tour list is just about finalised.  We only have room for one more rider.  Most of the accomodation is now booked.

"You're doing what???? On what????" seems to be the reaction at most of the backpacker places when we tell them we are arriving on unicycles.

It is at this point that we announce the first challenge of the SINZ Unitour.  It is called the Worlds First Multiple Unicycle Ascention of Baldwin Street Ever.  Or WFMUABSE for short. It will be followed by the WFMUDBSE, otherwise known as the First Multiple Kamikaze Attempts by Unicyclists Ever.

If you don't know, Baldwin Street, in North East Dunedin, is recorded in the Guinness Book of records as the worlds steepest street.  It has a 35% gradient at it's steepest point. The prize for successfully completing this challenge is a Chocolate Fish and bragging rights to your future grandchildren (if you don't kill yourself first).

October 2006

We welcome some more additions to our tour- Martin Turner from Hong Kong, and Hannah Bischof who will be joining us from Austria.   Hannah will be using the trip to New Zealand to learn how to speak like a Kiwi!  We may also meet up with some recumbent riders along the tour if all goes to plan.

Training has begun in earnest for many of us.  Sean Bennett kicked off his training with an intense 100km ride from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, only 6wks after getting a Coker!  Nothing like throwing yourself in the deep end.......

Read about it: here

We are still after support drivers, but at the moment this job will probably fall on Ken, and various members of the group helping out.

September 2006

Registrations are coming in.  We have Hans and Monica Fiby from Austria, Barry and Nick Clearwater from Melbourne, Sean Bennett from Brisbane and James Amon from the USA.  Hans, Barry, and Nick are survivors of the Laos Unitour, so this challenge will be a piece a cake for these hardened Unitour veterans. James has just finished his studies at Virginia Tech in the US, and is doing the American equivalent of an OE.  He will backpack through New Zealand at the conclusion of the tour.  If you want to meet up with him, offer him a couch for the night, feed and water him etc, please feel free to get in touch with James.

Our rider profiles and photos are available on the riders page

August 2006

We've opened registrations for the tour.  We'd like to welcome Dave Goodman as a guest at the start of our tour.  He's done a lot of work helping us organise the accomodation for the tour.  Thanks Dave!  

Please note that some of the dates have changed on the registration. Check out the info page for the latest update. We are expecting the tour to cost approx NZ$1000 (well below our original estimates). We won't know the full amount until we know how many people are coming, as we may end up hiring either one or two support vehicles.  Any money leftover from the tour will be distributed back to the riders or used to hold a big farewell PARTY!

We have added a forum for the tour riders. Feel free to post any questions that you think others may be interested to hear.

It's not too early to start thinking about training for the tour. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it. Here are some ideas for training plans based on previous Unitours:

Laos Unitour training schedule

Alps Unitour training schedule

Good luck!

July 2006

We're online. As you can Tony and Ken are be going to Unicon 13 (The Unicycle World Champs) in Switzerland, so will hopefully meet up with many of the riders who are interested in the SINZ Unitour.  The route has been finalised.  Registrations will begin on 21 August and will be open until all 12 slots are filled.  If you are interested in the tour, email Ken.

June 2006

The SINZ Unitour is announced.  We have provisional interest from Australia, India, United States, and as far away as Austria.  Tony and  Ken have a preliminary route sketched out.

May 2006

Another crazy idea is born. What could be as whacky as a unicycle tour of Laos? What about a Unicycle tour of New Zealand?  I talk to Tony Melton and suck blackmail bribe convince him to be my co-organiser.  It will start in our old stomping ground of Dunedin (we were both University of Otago scarfies), head through Central Otago, up Queenstown, Wanaka, The West Coast, and then back east towards Christchurch.

February 2006

I am stuck in a hospital bed in Bangkok, feeling sorry for myself.  I would kick myself except that my kicking leg has just been screwed back together.  How do you organise a unicycle tour (, and then break your leg half way through it?  I'll have to organise another tour to make up for this.

-Ken Looi