This tour is the perfect mix of comfort, independence and physical activity. You will discover the natural wonders of New Zealand, explore the diverse landscape, see unique flora and fauna and walk along endless beaches. You’ll see many highlights of New Zealand and visit the best National Parks, but you will also have time for leisure and relaxation.
Detailed driving instructions guide you to your daily destination and accommodation. From there you can make use of our suggested cycle tours. They are suitable for beginners and experienced cyclists alike. They also include many tips for professional bike tracks. If you are not in the mood for biking, there will be plenty of alternatives to choose from. Recommended time for bike travel is between October and May.
Price from €5,200 per person*
Day 1: Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland. If you’re not too tired after your flight, we would recommend a walk around Auckland’s waterfront, and the Wynyard Quarter.
Day 2: Auckland – Coromandel Peninsula/Tairua
Approximate driving time 4 hours, 260 km
Pick up your rental car and your bike at the depot. Travel along the western shores of Coromandel Peninsula to Coromandel Town. Many of the cafés and small shops along the way invite you for a stop. You stay overnight in Tairua, where you can play golf, do some kayaking or simply relax at the beach. The short walk to the top of Mount Paku rewards you with a great view.
Day 3: Tairua – Rotorua
Approximate driving time 3.5 hours, 215 km
You travel along the East Coast and pass through the Kiwi growing area of Te Puke. Make a stop at the visitor centre and learn all about the national fruit of New Zealand. Later you arrive in Rotorua, the heartland of Maori culture and centre of thermal activities in New Zealand. We recommend a Maori cultural show with a traditional Hangi for the evening.
Day 4: Rotorua
Bike tours grade 1-6
There are several bike tours to choose from in Rotorua. For an easy cycle ride, head along the lake and visit the interesting Ohinemutu Marae. Or bike to the historic Whakarewarewa Village and Whakarewarewa Forest, with the oldest bike network in the country. The tracks are an unbeatable mix of challenging terrain and great scenery. There are around 70 km of tracks, and paths for every difficulty level (Cycling grades between 1 and 6*).
If you don’t feel like riding a bike today, the many forests and lakes around Rotorua offer a wide range of walking tracks and water sports. After your sporty adventures you can relax in the warm waters of the Polynesian Spa.
Day 5: Rotorua – Taupo
Approximate driving time 2.5 hours, 215 km
You drive south, and pass Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. A side trip takes you to a viewpoint of the roaring Huka Falls. Lake Taupo fascinates on a clear day with spectacular views to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.
Huka Falls Trails, 23 km round trip – easy
Today you have the option of cycling Huka Falls Trails. The track starts in Taupo at the Spa Thermal Park and heads north. The track meanders through gullies, twists around trees, runs alongside open farm land, crosses two streams via bridges, passes through culverts and has great views of the Waikato River and open valleys all the way to the Huka Falls.
Day 6: Hawkes Bay
Bike tour max 50 km, grade 1*
This tour takes you through the wine region of sunny Hawkes Bay. You can visit some tasting rooms and have lunch at one of the fine restaurants of the bay. The route through beautiful Tukituki Valley takes you to Ocean Beach.
Bird lovers can bike at low tide from Clifton to Cape Kidnappers to visit the Gannet colony. And if this is not enough real bike specialists can let off steam at a mountain bike park.
Day 7: Hawkes Bay – Wellington
Approximate driving time 5 hours, 320 km
Today’s tour takes you first through the wine region of Martinborough. This is another good opportunity for a short bike tour through the vineyards. Then you head for Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. The city lies on a large bay with a harbour, from where the ferries to the South Island start. Apart from being the political centre of New Zealand it is also a centre for arts and culture.
Day 8: Wellington
Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital city and New Zealand’s centre of government. It is also New Zealand’s cultural capital. We recommend a sightseeing tour and a walk along the waterfront to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand. Here you get in depth information about the country’s history and culture. A walk up Mt Victoria rewards with 360 degree views of the city and harbour.
Day 9: Wellington – Picton – Blenheim
Ferry crossing 3.5 hours, driving time 0.5 hours, 35 km
You cross Cook Strait today to the South Island. The trip takes you through the picturesque Marlborough Sound to Picton. You stay overnight on a boutique vineyard from where you can do a relaxed bike tour of the area. For the more advanced biker we recommend the drive over Tylors Pass to Wither Hills Mountain Bike Farm.
Day 10: Blenheim – Nelson
Approximate driving time 1.5 hours, 114 km
Drive via Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock, the mussel capital of New Zealand, and then on to Nelson, with the most hours of sun in the country. Nelson is also the centre of fruit and wine growing industry of this region, and has a wonderful local art scene as well.
Day 11: Nelson
Today you have the option to cycle or to visit Abel Tasman National Park.
Cycle Option One: The Great Taste Trail, part of Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail: Nelson to Wakefield, 31km one way, easy
From Nelson, cycle on the Coastal Route towards Richmond where the Great Taste Trail splits in two. Through Brightwater, the trail weaves along a mix of streets taking you to Wakefield, where you can have your well-deserved break. You take the same route back to Nelson.
Cycle Option Two: Nelson to Mapua via Rabbit Island Ferry, 33 km one way, easy
From Nelson follow the cycle path that runs parallel to SH6. Continue towards Richmond on the Coastal Route. The trail will offer riders views stretching from the Western Ranges to the stunning blue waters of the Tasman Bay and the Waimea Estuary – home of a range of bird species including the white heron. From Rabbit Island (30km west of Nelson) you can catch the Flat Bottom Ferry across to the village of Mapua, which has a range of shops to buy food from. After refuelling, catch the ferry back to Rabbit Island and cycle back to the start.
The Abel Tasman National Park
The Abel Tasman National Park offers a wide range of activities and plenty of walks for all fitness levels. For example, you can take a water taxi to Tonga Bay and walk from there to Torrent Bay and take the water taxi back. Or just walk from your accommodation to the next bay, or take a kayak along the coast on your own or with a group. Or simply relax on the golden sand of Kaiteriteri Beach.
Day 12: Nelson – Paparoa National Park/Punakaiki
Approximate driving time 5.5 hours, 315 km
The drive along the winding Buller Gorge takes you to the wild West Coast. A side trip in Westport to a seal colony at Cape Foulwind is worthwhile. We also highly recommend a walk along the Pororari River near Punakaiki. If you can manage to be at the Pancake Rocks for sunset, it will be a memorable experience.
Day 13: Punakaiki
Bike tour ca. 20 km or longer if desired, grade 2*
You have a full day to explore the West Coast. Go along the coastal road with the opportunity to branch off into the Paparoa National Park. The bizarre rock formations at the coast and the subtropical climate with plenty of sun and rain are responsible for the diverse flora. Insiders consider this to be the best National Park in New Zealand. Explore the park with your bike and on foot. Take advantage of the hiking tracks and get close to nature in this very remote part of the country. Bikers can do the trip to Cave Creek or ride the Tiropahi Tram Track (Grade 3*, 25 km).
Day 14: Punakaiki – Westland National Park/Franz Josef
Approximate driving time 4 hours, 225 km
You continue along the West Coast. Greymouth and Hokitika are the jade centres of the country. Visit a workshop and watch the jade carvers at work. Glaciers, rainforest and coastal areas are close together in Westland National Park. The many different shades of green of the dense rainforest will amaze you. There is a lot to see and to do in this area, such as a jet boat tour in Whataroa to a White Heron Colony where you can watch these rare birds. Or visit Okarito at the coast, and take a kayak trip through the quiet lagoon. Helicopter flights with glacier landing are possible from both the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. You can even bike to one of the glaciers, and do one of the many walks from there.
Day 15: Westland National Park – Wanaka
Approximate driving time 4.5 hours, 290 km
In the morning we recommend taking a walk around Lake Matheson when the water is still and the surrounding mountains are reflected in the lake. Follow the coast to Haast and take advantage of the many walks on the way. We recommend a stop at Ship Creek Walk and a side trip to the Monro Beach Walk. During the months of October to December you might even see penguins and hector dolphins playing in the sea. From there you drive over the Haast Pass and on to Wanaka.
Day 16: Wanaka
Bike tour ca. 18 km, grade 1*
Explore the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka. Bike the Wanaka Outlet Track and the Millennium Track along the lake and the Clutha River. More challenging are the many tracks of the Plantation and Hikuwai Reserve bike network. If you would like to do a walk instead, you could do a trip to the Rob Roy Glacier, which is highly recommended.
Day 17: Wanaka – Queenstown
Approximate driving time 2 hours, 70 km
You drive over the Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest official pass. We recommend a side tour to historic Arrowtown before you drive to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of the world. Jet boat tours, white water rafting, river surfing, all kinds of bungee jumping and river safaris – there are no limits for adrenalin junkies. If you feel like taking a more relaxed approach, do a leisurely walk in the Remarkables and admire the view or play golf at one of the many world class golf courses.
Day 18: Queenstown
Guided bike tour Lake Wakatipu – Mavora Lakes, 48 km, grade 3*
You are booked for a guided tour to the remote Mavora Lakes. The steamship TSS Earnslaw takes you over Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station where a tour guide with minibus and bikes is waiting for you. You bike through uninhabited pristine scenery to the lakes. This area also served as a location for filming the Lord of the Rings-Trilogy.
Day 19: Queenstown – Rail Trail (Omakau or Lauder)
Approximate driving time 1.5 hours, 120 km Biking on the Otago Central Rail Trail
Drive via Cromwell to Omakau/Lauder. Park your car at one of the car parks close to the Rail Trail in Omakau/Lauder, and proceed to bike on the Rail Trail.
Day 20: Omakau or Lauder – Twizel
Approximate driving time 2.5 hours, 195 km
Drive back to Cromwell and over the Lindis Pass and Omarama to Twizel.
The Pukaki Flats conservation area is signposted 1.5 km north of Twizel. It is a very flat region of hard tussock grasslands, with great views. Duration 1-2 hours.
Day 21: Twizel
Approximate driving time 4 hours, 250 km Bike tour Twizel, 22-38 km, grade 2-3*
In the morning you can do a bike tour on the Dusky Trail between Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau. The track is easy, the scenery is spectacular.
Say goodbye to the Alps with a scenic flight from Tekapo over lakes and glaciers. Or drive to the top of Mount John, near Tekapo, and enjoy the breath taking view from above. You continue along the foothills to Mount Hutt where you stay overnight. Your host can give you some information about bike tracks in this area. The more ambitious biker can test their skills at the Mt. Hutt Trails near the ski field.
Day 22: Twizel – (Mount Cook) – Tekapo
Approximate driving time 1 (+2) hours, 56 km (+110)
Tekapo Lilybank Road – 30km, or as long as you like. Bike along the eastern shore of Lake Tekapo and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Tekapo Hydro Canal – 27km one way
Bike one of the best bike trails in the South Island along the 27 km from Tekapo to Lake Pukaki on a sealed road.
Simons Hill Conservation Area, 14km return, easy, 2-3 hours
The ride starts from a signposted car park and travels along a public access easement to the Simons Hill Conservation Area.
Day 23: Tekapo – Christchurch
Approximate driving time 2 hours, 125 km
You drive along the foothills and over the endless wide Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the “Garden City”, often referred to as the most English town outside England, where you can even go punting on the Avon River. Take the opportunity to tour the inner city, and marvel at the innovative and artistic reconstruction of the city, following the 2011 earthquake. Make sure you visit the fabulous new Cathedral designed by prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (and made out of cardboard!), and stop for afternoon tea at one of the many great cafes dotting the inner city. (We love C1 Espresso.)
Day 24: Depart Christchurch
Drop off your vehicle at the rental car office at the airport.
*Cycling grades for the above listed bike tours: 1 Beginner – Fairly flat, wide and smooth track. 2 Easy – Mostly flat with some gentle climbs on smooth tracks. 3 Intermediate – More challenging, steeper grades on a loose surface. 4 Advanced – Mixture of steep climbs, loose track surfaces & obstacles. Requires experience & good fitness. 5 Experts – Technically challenging, prolonged steep climbs. For experienced bikers only. 6 Extreme – Extreme steep sections with large drop-offs and unavoidable obstacles. May include jumps. For absolute free-ride specialists.
Price from €5,200 per person
Package includes 23 nights of standard accommodation, rental car, 1 Mountain Bike per person, car bike rack or bike bags for transport inside car, Guided bike excursion to Mavora Lakes, cruise on Lake Waktatipu, and the Interislander ferry. Also included is a personalised Tour Manual with detailed day-to-day driving instructions and recommended activities, New Zealand road atlas and map as well as regional brochures.
*Flights to New Zealand are not included in the above package price. Flights from Germany to New Zealand cost from €1500 and above, depending upon how far in advance you book, the season of travel, the airline, and the route. Please let us know if you would like us to assist you with booking flights to New Zealand.