New Zealand

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  • I am spending just over a month in New Zealand next February/March.

    Any tips welcome. I will be on my own most of the time. Is it worth joining a tour? Fancy hiring a touring bike too.

    thanks in advance

  • If you can hire a car, then that could work. Only you know if you're an organised tour kind of guy. Where do you fly in and out of?

    You could go to: Aukland; Lake Taupou maybe; Rotorua; Wellington; Nelson's alright; You should do one glacier at least - Fox or Josef; Queenstown's a must; Milford Sound is worth seeing; I never made it to Dunedin but that's supposed to be good; Christchurch I liked, but that was before the earthquake; Kaikoura isn't bad...

    It's such a diverse place, physically speaking.

  • Hot water beach.
    Mt ruapehu/ tongariro crossing.

  • So many good places to go. So much good riding as well (except for the drivers).

    Tongararo crossing is amazing. The pinnacles in the Coromandel is amazing as well. I would say hire (or buy) a car and trip round. I would say, Auckland, Toupo, Napier, Wellington, ferry to Picton, Kaikura, Christcherch, then up into the mountains to Tekapo, Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, up the West coast to see the Galciers, Nelson, Tasman National Park, then back over to Wellington. The north island has amazing places as well. Forgotten World Highway is an amazing (but bloody tough) ride.

    Send me a message if you need any tips. Ive been here for about 3 years now and seen and done quite a lot.

  • At that time of year Bay of Islands , Coromandel ( Hot Water Beach , Whangamata ) , Mount Maunganui , Taupo , New Plymouth is a nice coastal / agricultural city that's cycle friendly and nestled below Mount Taranaki / Egmont . Given you have a month you could take in pretty much everything that's been said and some .

  • Awesome! Thanks everyone.

    I am flying in (10th feb) and out (12th mar) of Auckland. Got 2 days to get oriented in Auckland then going to a wedding in Kuaotunu on the Coromandel. Think I'll stay on for a day or two, and after that the only thing I have sorted is the england v nz cricket world cup in wellington on 20th feb.

    Getting so many good tips from people that I know I'll have a blast! I'll be in touch if I need more info.

  • I thought Aukland might be your point of entry/exit. There's a train from Auckland to Wellington that might be useful to you:Ā­rlander

    I rode it overnight so I didn't get to appreciate the views.

  • ah cool yeah my Dad recommended that to me, and said the alpine one on the South Island is amazing too.

  • The ferry from Wellington to Picton is amazing as well. (although it can be quite rough).

  • definitely doing that, yeah.

  • Go to the South Island, the sounds,Renwick for good wine and over to Nelson and the Takaka hill, that's in the photo.I lived in NZ when I was a kid.
    If you ever come to Portugal we have great riding here and cheap accomodation.
    Enjoy your trip.

  • So Jealous reading this, NZ is an absolutely stunning place.

    In my opinion you will need to hire a car. We had a camper for three weeks as was a great way to see both islands.

    Would seriously recommend (in no order)
    Napier - beautiful Art Deco town.

    Wellington - great vibe with great bars and places to eat

    The Otago Peninsula - Dunedin

    Caitlin's National Park - is an immense drive

    Milford or Doubtful Sound - simply epic.

    Whale watching in Kaikoura is pretty cool aswell

    Lake Taupo is brilliant with some decent trails.

    Enjoy it, I loved it a very special country.

  • My photo did not load up will look how to do it.
    My Mum lives in Renwick but when I went back in Feb 2014 a neighbours friend leant me a MTB but in Blenhiem there is a bike shop that rent bikes out.
    But next time I would take my own. If you need some contacts let me know.

  • solid advice here, apart from the bit about the train. Avoid avoid, it's really crap and slow.
    hire or buy a car and drive yourself, bus/train etc are really limited and you miss a lot of the good bits.

  • If you do end up going to Queenstown they have transformed the ski lifts into mountain bike lifts. Also if you rent a car you can drive to Fox Glacier for ice climbing (if that's your thing), it's about a day each way with stops to take some insane photos of the scenery.

  • Cor, I haven't logged into LFGSS for yonks. Thanks for the advice and tips guys!

  • Hello, I moved to Dunedin from London about two years ago. You really should do some of the Great Walks while you're here - Routeburn, Kepler, Milford are all amazing (all start in the Te Anau area). The South Island is really quite different to the North Island - more mountainous, rugged, cold, remote. It would be a real shame to miss it.

    There's also a world-class MTB here in Dunners, as well as a few long-distance off-road touring routes. If you're about six foot and want to borrow a bike, hit me up.

    I know you aren't necessarily reading this thread but, just in case, you know...

  • How did you find the transition, did you have a job lined up or did you just jump in at the deep end? Or have family from over there?


  • I jumped in at the deep end. First six months were hard, working in a bike shop until I found work in my profession. It's very much a who-you-know sort of place, and I only found the job because I happened to go mountain-biking with someone that knew someone that worked there...

    Compared to the UK:
    Good - Rent's cheap. Easy access to the most incredible wilderness you could imagine. Best hiking and mountain-biking in the world. People are nice - much like British people they have a sense of irony.

    Bad - Riding on-road is scary. It's 100% car-dependent with no public transport, and no motorways either. Here in the South Island things are a bit spread out to say the least - four hours to the nearest town of over 150,000, or six hours drive to Christchurch which has 400,000 people. It can be boring at times, and to be honest if you aren't into outdoorsy things there's not much to do.

    And the food, oh good lord the food - four types of cheese and they all taste like Babybell but cost a tenner for a small block. The desserts, they may as well hand you a bag of sugar and vegetable oil, because that's what they all taste like. I can't tell you how much I yearn for mortadella, or Roquefort, or a good cheap restaurant. Christ, Pizza Express or even a fucking Wetherspoon's would be heaven, seriously. The only people that come to NZ and say the food is good are Americans.

    Also if you criticize NZ, even in the smallest and most tactful way, expect to be lynched.

    All in all I've painted a rather negative picture. I do enjoy living here in NZ but we'll be going back to the UK in a couple of years. I'd like to have a holiday-home here in the South Island one day.

  • Yeah, but the pies, man. The pies!

  • @lae thanks for that, good insights I've toured NZ South and North for 3 weeks. My sister and brother in law have actually lived in Auckland for a year, so I its often been on my mind.

    Where are you based in the South?

  • @eyebrows, Pies yes man. Arrowtown.

  • Hmmm Dunedin food. Mutton bird is something I will be happy never to eat or smell again.

  • Hahaha yeah NZers can't take criticism, it's true.

    Bear in mind that not all the country is like Dunedin. It's like judging England on just Newcastle.
    Food in Auckland and Wellington is really good, with lots of cheap places to eat as well as excellent fancier places.
    Supermarket food is more expensive than the UK except red meat is cheaper (and better). Quality is pretty good but Euro deli type stuff (like mortadella and roquefort) is expensive.
    The rent isn't cheap though.

  • Indeed, Dunedin is perhaps not a sound basis on which to judge nz food in general.

    I had the strangest pizza of my life in Te Anau - it was tasty but was really a quiche. And we were then confused when our waitress suggested a dessert of beery ice cream.

    I'd love to get back out there. This thread is making me remember all the amazing stuff we saw out there when we stayed with my sister in Dunedin

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New Zealand

Posted by Avatar for Cyclodunc @Cyclodunc