Cycling New Zealand

On our way to Titirangi BayNew Zealand is one of the world’s most popular destinations for bike touring.

On any tour of this small island-nation, you’re bound to meet dozens of other cycle tourists, also here for the striking mixture of coastline, mountains, glaciers and volcanic hot pools that make New Zealand so special.

Of course, it’s not all glorious.

The roads can be busy (although far less so in the unpopulated South Island) and that has raised some questions about safety for bike tourists in New Zealand.

Keep it in perspective though. The challenging terrain and  the unpredictable weather are more likely to test your motivation than the roads. Leave room in your itinerary for a few rain days and tough-going against the wind and hills.

Using trains and buses to link up the highlights is a fine idea, especially if you’re short on time. And we have plenty of route suggestions if you need inspiration!

As for your bike, bring something with fatter tires and possibly suspension so that you can take advantage of the many wonderful unpaved roads and trails. They’re the true gem of New Zealand cycling, taking you away from the traffic that hogs the few paved roads and into the heart of the rugged landscape.

  1. Where should I go?
  2. What kind of accommodation will I find?
  3. What’s the camping like? Can I wild camp or free camp?
  4. How good are the roads? Are the drivers good or bad?
  5. Do I need a visa?
  6. How much time do I need to cycle around?
  7. Can I put my bike on a bus?
  8. What about ferries between the North and South Islands?
  9. How much should I budget?
  10. What’s the weather like?
  11. Will the sandflies eat me alive?

If you’re still pining for information about New Zealand, check out Cycle Tour New Zealand – an insightful and free web guide, written by a local Kiwi.

Comments

  1. Kayleen
    8th April 2010 at 8:34 am #

    We have just returned from a very relaxing doddle along the Otago Rail Trail and a few days cycling in and around Christchurch.

    The Otago rail trail is stunning and the riding wonderful. The amenities are outstanding and the people hospital and friendly. What more can we say?

    We used the free Let’s Bike Christchurch brochure for maps in and around Christchurch. It is available from the city council office and is a fantastic resource.

  2. Bruce
    16th May 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Consult Pedallers’ Paradise by Nigel Rushton! I rode from Picton to the Hira dairy without it…but promptly got one from Whitcoull’s in Nelson upon arrival, and I was set!

    http://www.paradise-press.co.nz/

  3. Jacqui Gooding
    29th August 2012 at 8:10 am #

    I WROTE A LIGHTHEARTED POEM ABOUT CYCLING AROUND TAUPO – THE THRILL AND THE SAFETY
    MY POETRY TUTOR THOUGHT I SHOULD SEND IT TO A ROAD SAFETY MAG OR O/SEAS TOURISM MAG. THOUGHT I WOULD SEND IT TO YOU FIRST.
    DO YOU HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS I COULD SEND IT TO. HAVE LOOKED HIGH AND LOW, TAUPO TOURISM AND ROAD SAFTEY – CAN’T FIND AN EMAIL ADDRESS.
    HOPING YOU CAN HELP ME OUT.
    CHEERS
    JACQUI GOODING

  4. Nigel Francis
    29th August 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    I am arriving into Christchurch in October, and have provisionally booked a campsite near the airport while I sort my bike, food out, etc.. http://www.219onjohns.co.nz/

    Anyone have experience of camp grounds in Christchurch please? Just to get me on the right footing.

    Nigel

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