From High Peaks To The Pacific: The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

alps 2 ocean cycle trail Natural High tour guide Leona recently led a group along the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail.

This 310km route has fast become one of the South Island’s must-do trails – and for good reason.

Running from Aoraki/Mount Cook to the cool little coastal town of Oamaru, it’s the longest continuous ride in New Zealand and serves up a dazzling array of scenery; from sweeping mountain vistas to beautiful blue lakes and golden grasslands.

Along the way there’s intriguing Maori rock art, interesting townships, an old railway tunnel, great vineyards and some exceptional hot pools all waiting to be discovered.

There’s even the possibility of a helicopter ride, since the official start is on the eastern side of Lake Pukaki (just out of Aoraki/Mt Cook Village and not accessible by vehicle). Alternatively, you can kick off your riding from Lake Tekapo and ride along the canals.

The trail generally takes between 4-6 days to complete and is a Grade 2-3 ride (easy to intermediate). Be aware that it’s not all downhill riding – there are several steep climbs and lots of off-road terrain. You’ll want to be moderately fit and have experience riding on loose gravel.

The best way to get a feel for this ride is to read Rachel Lamb’s blog of the recent Natural High tour:

Cycling Tips also posted a brilliant account of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail. Head to their website for a read:

And if all this reading inspires you to ride the Alps 2 Ocean trail in real-life, we offer a 6-day guided tour. Find more details here:

Small City New Zealand: Gisborne

small city new zealand gisbornePerched on the very easterly edge of the North Island, Gisborne is popular with surfers, beach lovers and anyone looking for a few days complete peace and quiet. It’s got some interesting cycling opportunities too…

Getting there:
Getting to Gisborne is all part of the experience – it’s a long way from anywhere else! From Whakatane you have two options: scenic State Highway 2 or the even more scenic (and considerably longer!) drive around the East Cape. If you have time, this is well worth the extra fuel – you’ll pass beautiful beaches and coves and small, isolated settlements. Highlights along the way include: Waihau Bay – where the movie Boy was filmed, Te Araroa – home to the largest pohutukawa tree in the world, the East Cape Lighthouse – the most easterly place in mainland New Zealand, beautiful Tikitiki Church – built in 1924 as a tribute to those who fell in World War One and Tolaga Bay Wharf.

From Rotorua, you can take State Highway 38 through the wilderness of Lake Waikaremoana and the Te Urewera National Park. It’s mostly unsealed and slow going but it’s a drive you’ll never forget! This route brings you into Gisborne past the Mahia Peninsula, a popular spot with surfers and fishermen.

See the sunrise first
Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun rise. Head to Wainui Beach, Tatapouri or any other easterly facing beaches to catch the show. (The town beach faces west, so it’s best for sunset viewings).

Surf’s up
Beaches and surfing are what life in Gisborne is all about. Makorori and Wainui beaches offer reef, beach and point surf breaks and are lovely spots to wander. Waikanae Beach is a good learner’s spot.

Follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook
There’s a monument to Captain Cook at the bottom of Kaiti Hill – the spot where he first set foot on New Zealand soil. Close by, there’s a walking track which takes you up Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) for fine views of the coast, another Cook monument and the Cook Observatory.

Tairawhiti Museum
Learn about East Coast Maori and the region’s colonial history. The museum has excellent historic photographic displays and a maritime wing, with displays on waka, whaling, Cook’s Poverty Bay and a vintage surfboard collection.

The Rere Rockslide
Head to the Rere River, 50km northwest of Gisborne along Wharekopae Rd, where you’ll find a 60m-long rock slide. Tyre tube or boogie boards are recommended to cushion the ride. A few kilometres down the road are the stunning Rere Falls.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum
35km from Gisborne, this forest and garden contains New Zealand’s largest collection of northern hemisphere trees and shrubs set among 100 hectares of hills, valleys and ponds. A network of easy walking tracks makes it a great day out.

Riding around the East Cape is popular, although large logging trucks still use the road. It’s a 4-5 day trip that’s best ridden clockwise. Otherwise, pick up a map and explore the huge network of back country roads (these are mostly unsealed).

Mountain bikers can hit up the Whataupoko Reserve, which has great trails for all levels of rider. There’s also the Mander Road Mountain Bike Park. To ride here you’ll need to buy a permit from Avantiplus Maintrax, Bikeys or the Gisborne Cycle Tour Company. Permits are valid for a week.

The Rere Falls Trail is another great ride option. This runs from Gisborne to Matawai (or vice-versa) and links Gisborne to the Motu Trails. It’s 103km (one-way) and takes you past the Rere Falls and Eastwoodhill Arboretum.

Exploring the Eastern Bay of Plenty and the Motu Trails

Here’s an absolutely fantastic set of rides we haven’t talked about yet: the Motu Trails. They’re located in the quiet, unspoiled Eastern Bay of Plenty and offer three different riding experiences. Here’s the lowdown:

Dunes Trail
An easy, 22km return ride suitable for beginners and families.
Starting from Opotiki, this trail follows the coastline to Jackson Road. It’s an easy (grade two) ride, with lovely views of the ocean, White Island and the East Cape ranges. Take your swimming togs as there are plenty of spots to access the beach along the way.

Motu Road Trail
An intermediate ride, 67km one-way.
This trail follows the first road between Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty and runs from Jackson Road to Matawai. (Connect with the Dunes Trail to start or finish your ride in Opotiki). The route can be ridden in either direction, but offers more downhill sections if you start in Matawai. It passes through remote bush and farmland and there are several steepish hills – reasonable fitness is required! At Motu, you can take a short detour to the spectacular Motu Falls.

Pakihi Track
Advanced riders only, 44km total.
When the Pakihi first opened in 1914 it was a horse track that provided a link between the town of Motu and the coast. These days it’s a wild and exhilarating mountain bike experience. The track runs one-way from Motu Road to Opotiki. The top half careens through native forest, while the bottom half follows the Pakihi River. The track is well formed, with a steady downhill gradient all the way. Free-draining soil means there’s very little mud even after heavy rain. It’s rated advanced because in places there are steep drops to the sides. From the end of the track, you can return to Opotiki via gravel road, then quiet rural road. Just before Opotiki, turn right onto Te Rere Pa road, and then follow the Otara stopbank track for 4km back to the start of the Dunes Trail.

The Loop
Combine all three rides, 91km.
To complete the full loop, start and finish in Opotiki. Set off along the Dunes Trail, which links directly with the bottom of the Motu Road Trail. From here it’s mostly uphill riding to the start of the Pakihi Track, which takes you back to Opotiki. It’s possible to ride the loop in one day, but most people take two days.

For more information on the Motu Trails, head here:

Cycle Touring NZ: A Photographer’s Perspective

cycling franz josefScandinavian-based photographer Wiebke Schröder pedalled her way around New Zealand with Natural High in 2013. Here she shares her experiences, her favourite spots and her tips for keeping camera gear safe on the road.

Where did your cycle tour take you?
My tour took me all the way from Auckland on the North Island to Christchurch on the South Island and included a couple of transfers by bus and ferry. So I had a chance to visit some places of Maori heritage like Te Puia with its volcanic areas, mud pools and geysers and Tongariro National Park, as well as the glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox on the west coast of the South Island and Fiordland with Milford Sound. So pretty much some of the nicest spots across New Zealand – even though I still have some open on my bucket list.

How long were you biking for in total?
The organised part was a 15-day bike ride with two days for sightseeing in Wellington and Queenstown and I added one more ride before meeting with my group in Auckland, where I rode my bike up to Mount Eden.

What was your favourite place? (Or places if hard to pick one!)
Is it possible to have only one favourite place in New Zealand? To me, it seems to be some sort of collection of favorite places with a few in between areas where you can relax from being stunned from what you’ve just seen. But ok, favourite spots…
cycling hokitikaTongariro National Park for the mountains.
Rotorua / Wai-O-Tapu for the volcanic experience (even though I must admit that I don’t miss the smell, just the photos that I could have taken if I had the time).
The Driftwood Art and black sand in Hokitika.
The Crown Ranges – a kind of reward after climbing continuously for 40km from Wanaka on my bike.
Franz Josef Glacier.

Did you encounter any problems/mishaps along the way?
The Natural High bike mechanic in Auckland – Andrew from Scotland at the time – fixed my bend derailleur hanger upon arrival, so a problem sorted before it could cause any trouble. And I am still thankful to him that he figured I had mounted my saddle post the wrong way.

At one point, on a right turn, my chain came off and I could not get out of my click pedals fast enough and I had a car behind me. Thankfully the driver was observant and I got out of it without an accident.

And a couple of times I was close to dehydration or was dehydrated – not the best feeling in the world, but thankfully it never reached the dangerous degree. So really just small stuff.

Can you tell us about your choice of gear. And how do you keep your photography gear safe (and dry) while cycling?
I brought my own hybrid bike – a Hard Rocx Cross Machine C4SL, 27 gears and V-brake – with me, just to be 100 per cent certain I had a good bike that fitted me right from the start.

I use an Ortlieb Ultimate 6 classic attached to my handlebar for my camera and the phones. And a Vaude Aqua Back pannier bag to hold rain clothes and spare lenses as well as filters and spare batteries.

The camera back then was a Pentax K20D with the battery grip attached and three lenses: a 18-55mm, a 50-300mm and a 100mm macro lens.

Plus I have a Garmin GPS mounted to my handle bar – if not for finding the right route then for saving the GPS data to later add it to the photos.

The pannier and handlebar bag are waterproof already and so far I haven’t had any trouble with that. So the keeping it dry factor is not an as big issue. Of course, in pouring rain I just don’t take those things out of the bags to start with – which only gets impractical if your last granola bar is in the same bag as your camera and it’s pouring cats and dogs… no food! Additionally the camera has like 72 seals against water, so it can handle some rain, not that I would want to deliberately try it but I wouldn’t give it up right away if there was some moisture in the bag.

And for keeping it safe from crashes I have some padding for the handlebar bag and an insert from another camera bag that fits the pannier bag. So should my bike just fall over the photo equipment should survive – unless bigger forces are used.

What do you love most about cycle touring?
I like the challenges that come with it – like have I trained enough to be able to do that climb from Wanaka to Crown Range and pushing myself to the limit and above what I thought to be the limit. 
But I also like the freedom that comes with it. If there is a nice sight somewhere along the road I’m usually able to pull over, take some photos and jump back on. If I were in a car I would have to find a parking spot or I wouldn’t see it because I would be focusing on driving the car too much. And not to mention the freedom of not thinking – it’s just me, my bike and my camera (and possibly a travel companion and friend).

Can you tell us a little about your photography business and life in Scandinavia?
I am a semi-professional photographer and have published two books about the New Zealand bike ride as well as a couple of calendars since I started taking this more seriously in 2013. I have been photographing for almost 36 years now. So my bread and butter is at this point paid for by my work as a database developer.

Lille Ulven is a nickname or trail-name that I have been given by a fellow New Zealand bike traveler after apparently having had 17 steaks and a whole pizza – it means “little wolf” and incorporates more than just the amount of food I can inhale.

You really cannot mix Sweden, Norway and Denmark together when it comes to cycling. In Denmark and Sweden, they have a long cycling history, so you’ll find bike paths and new bike paths are being built. In Copenhagen, I am more afraid of being run over by a cyclist than I am afraid of being run over by a car. And well Denmark is rather flat – compared to Norway – which is why it’s sometimes referred to as pancake country.

In Norway you will find so-called gravel bike paths up a mountain or in areas where, if you start your bike ride too late in the afternoon, you’ll not get to a place where you can get dinner that day. Not to mention Norway has real mountains: steep with narrow roads and no shoulders for cyclists.

So while you would have no big trouble finding roads to use a road bike on in Denmark, if you wanted to cycle in Norway, you would really need at least a cross if not a mountain bike.

Where would you like to visit/cycle next?
There are a couple of places that I want to go to. Starting this year I will cycle a bit – just a few hours – in northern Denmark. Next year I have plans to visit Tennessee again and maybe I’ll have the chance to cycle the Natchez Trace and a round in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. And then I do want to do a four-week bike ride in Ireland.

But dream tours: if I can somehow find a way to make that kind of money, I would like to come back to New Zealand to stay at least three months, cycle as much as I can and stay at some places a little longer to enjoy the locations.

Wiebe took our 17-day Auckland to Christchurch guided cycle tour. Find full details here:

If you’d like to see more photos from Wiebke’s trip, check out her website: She also has 2015 and 2016 calendars of her New Zealand bike trip available for sale online. Head here for previews.

cycling rotorua
Top image: Franz Josef Glacier.
Middle image: Gollum fishing at Hokitika.
Bottom image: Te Puia – Geyser.
All images courtesy of Lille Ulven.

Cycling ALL of New Zealand

cycling all of new zealandMichael recently posted on our Facebook wall:

“I’d like to cycle through ALL of New Zealand. Any suggestions? ;)”

We’ve got HEAPS of suggestions, Michael! Here are the regions we highly recommend visiting. It isn’t a complete list – you’d need a lifetime to see everything New Zealand has to offer – but it should provide a good starting point. Happy planning!


The Far North
Highlights: Cape Reinga with its windswept lighthouse and end-of-the-world feel, bodyboarding on Ninety Mile Beach.
Cycling option: Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Once fully completed this will run from Horeka to the Bay of Islands. Sections currently open for riding can be viewed here.

Bay of Islands
Highlights: Picture-postcard coastal scenery, the Waitangi National Reserve and Treaty House.

Highlights: Golden sand beaches, digging a natural spa bath at Hot Water beach, Cathedral Cove.

Highlights: Geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and a fascinating Maori heritage.

Central Plateau
Highlights: The towering mountain peaks, active volcanoes and deep blue crater lakes of the Tongariro National Park, shimmering Lake Taupo.
Cycling option: Mountains to Sea Trail. This runs from Ohakune to Wanganui along local mountain biking trails, public roads and the river.

Highlights: Café-hopping, great restaurants and bars, Te Papa museum, Weta Cave.
Cycling option: The Rimutaka Cycle Trail which runs from Wellington Harbour through the Rimutaka Mountain Range to the southern coast.


Marine wildlife, whale watching.

Highlights: A city on the up. Check out the Gap Filler projects, the Cardboard Cathedral or walk or bike in the Port Hills.

South Canterbury
Highlights: Beautiful Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook National Park, crystal-clear night skies.
Cycling option: Alps 2 Ocean Trail which runs from Mt Cook to to Oamaru.

North and Central Otago
Highlights: The Victorian buildings of Oamaru, blue and yellow-eyed penguin spotting, Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

The Catlins
Highlights: Remote and rugged scenery, abundant wildlife.

Fiordland National Park
Highlights: The dramatic splendour of Milford Sound, the Te Anau to Milford Highway.

Queenstown Region
Highlights: Buzzing Queenstown with its bars, restaurants and stunning mountain scenery, picturesque Glenorchy, laidback Wanaka.
Cycling option: The Crown Ranges between Queenstown and Wanaka, one of New Zealand’s classic road rides.

The West Coast
Highlights: Wild, rugged scenery and exhilarating twists and turns, the Gates of Haast, Fox Glacier, the vibrant little town of Hokitika.

Nelson region
The city of Nelson, wine-tasting at one of the many wineries, Abel Tasman National Park, swimming at beautiful Totaranui.
Cycling option: The Great Taste Trail

Cycle hire options:
If you’re planning an extended cycling tour, our buy back scheme, which refunds half the purchase price if the bike is returned in reasonable condition, could be a good option. And don’t forget, we also offer combined bike and campervan rental.

Christchurch: New Zealand’s Comeback City

discover christchurch
The colourful containers of the RE:START Mall.
Several years on from the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch is bouncing back. Here’s the inside scoop on what to see and do in this newly-thriving city.

The Cardboard Cathedral
Debate continues over the future of ChristChurch Cathedral, badly damaged after the 2011 earthquake. To fill the void, the Cardboard Cathedral was opened in 2013. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, this temporary structure – built using a variety of modern construction materials, from cardboard tubes to timber beams, structural steel and concrete – provides a symbol of hope and a place of hospitality and worship for the city and wider community. To view upcoming, events and services at the Cathedral, head to its website.

Over 50 boutique stores and food outlets, located in colourful shipping containers within the heart of the city. Re:START was a way of breathing life back into the CBD after the 2011 earthquake, but the mall has become a hugely-popular tourist spot in its own right. Open Monday – Friday: 10am – 5.30pm and Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 5.00pm.

Gap Filler Projects
A seriously cool initiative, Gap Filler plugs vacant sites within the city with cool, creative projects. Since 2010, the team have helped establish temporary cafes, live music events, poetry readings, outdoor cinemas and more. Because projects are constantly changing, the best way to discover what’s happening is to check out their website.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Christchurch is fondly known as the Garden City and for good reason – there’s an abundance of beautiful parks and charming residential gardens dotted all over the city. The Botanic Gardens are one of Christchurch’s most visited public spaces. Wander through on foot or discover their beauty from the water – Avon River Punting Tours float right through their floral splendour. If you’re planning a visit to Akaroa (1.5 hours drive from Christchurch) don’t miss The Giant’s House, home to colourful, oversized mosaic sculptures.

Port Hills
Only 10 minutes from Christchurch city centre, the hills provide a seemingly limitless network of tracks for walking, running and mountain biking – not to mention views that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the Southern Alps. Full track details can be found on the Christchurch City Council website. Make sure you check the status of tracks before you head out as some routes remain closed due to rock falls.

Banks Peninsula and Akaroa
Beautiful beaches, a thriving artisan community and a vast network of walking and biking tracks are all good reasons to spend a day (or longer) on the peninsula. The small seaside township of Akaroa is home to boutique shops, craft galleries and delicious dining options. Another great way to discover the peninsula is to cycle the Little River Rail Trail, which runs from the edge of Christchurch to the township of Little River (approximately 49km). If you feel your legs aren’t up to the full distance, you can choose to ride shorter sections of the route and we can provide transfers to various access points for the trail.

Watch Andy showing TV journalist Jack Tame around Christchurch
Just before Christmas, Andy helped Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism and TV journalist Jack Tame film a short video about the awesomeness of Christchurch. Take a watch…

Don’t forget…Natural High is located in Christchurch. You’ll find us on Harewood Road, close to Christchurch International Airport. Pop in for bike hire, to book a tour or just to say hi!

Top image: Re:START Mall. Shelia Thomson.

Want to Up Your Mountain Bike Skills? Here’s How…

MTB-skills-trainingIf, like us, you’ve been glued to the Cricket World Cup you’ll know that New Zealand’s generated plenty of excitement on the cricket pitch over the last few weeks. But there’s been thrills and spills of an off-road kind going on as well – the Crankworx World Tour recently stopped off in Rotorua for the first time ever, the town hosted the New Zealand Mountain Bike Championships and the 20th anniversary of the Rainbow Rage took place down south.

New Zealand is well and truly on the map as a great mountain bike destination, with popular spots including Rotorua, the Ruapehu region, Woodhill Forest in Auckland and Queenstown.

If you fancy giving mountain biking a go but you’re not sure your riding skills are up to the challenge, we offer mountain bike skills training in Christchurch and Auckland. Here’s what’s involved:

What and where:
A half-day of mountain bike skills training on local hills in either Christchurch or Auckland.

We’ll start by assessing your current level. From there, we’ll give you feedback and tips to help you develop your skills and boost your confidence. We might work on nailing the basics: braking, use of gears and uphill/downhill riding position or we might focus on more specific areas: riding the rough, negotiating switchbacks or mastering hops and drops.

Our experienced instructors can teach any level required, from complete beginners through to advanced riders looking to sharpen their skills. Come by yourself or bring a buddy. We can also cater for larger groups.

From $125. For more info, or to book a session, drop us an email.

Great Walks You Can Bike

bike heaphy trackDid you know that two of New Zealand’s Great Walks – the Heaphy and the Queen Charlotte Track – can also be tackled by bike? Here’s the lowdown…

The Heaphy Track
Mountain bikers can ride the Heaphy Track between 1 May and 30 September. It’s an 80km route through the Kahurangi National Park, in the northwest corner of the South Island. Along the way, you’ll encounter dense beech forests, limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches. Also keep an eye out for the giant and rare land snail Powelliphanta, which can be spotted on certain parts of the track during the day, particularly after rain.

The Heaphy is a tough ride (Grade 4-5), suitable for those with advanced riding skills only. Most riders complete it in two days and hut accommodation is available at a number of spots along the route. Riders can travel in either direction, but most choose to start in Collingwood and finish in Karamea.

For more information on riding the Heaphy, and to check hut availability, head here.

The Queen Charlotte Track
Biking is permitted on the track all year round except for the section between Ship Cove and Kenepuru Saddle, which is closed to bikes from 1 December to 28 February each year. It’s a beautiful ride through native bush, that offers stunning views across the Marlborough Sounds.

Allow two to three days to ride the entire 70km track. It’s classed as a Grade 3 ride, which means it’s suitable for intermediate riders. Be aware that there are several steep sections and the track can get slippery and muddy after rain. There are accommodation options to suit all budgets along the way – from basic DOC campsites to luxurious lodges.

For more information on riding the Queen Charlotte Track, head here.

Important: both these rides travel through remote areas, with no facilities for repairing bikes. Make sure you carry adequate tools and equipment and are competent to complete your own repairs.

Need mountain bike hire? We can help. Head here to check out our range of off-road warriers.

Image: Andy riding the Heaphy Track.

A Jewel in the Crown: Queenstown to Wanaka Road Ride

queenstown to wanaka road rideUK cyclists Dan and Tash have spent the summer traipsing round New Zealand. They’re keen road riders and have sampled several of New Zealand’s classic road routes. Here’s their top pick: Queenstown to Wanaka over the Crown Range.

Head out of Queenstown towards Coronet Peak Ski Field. You’ll cross over the Shotover Gorge where, if you’re lucky, you’ll see one of the jet boats whipping through the narrow canyons. Continue on through Arthur’s Point to Arrowtown, a quaint little village full of heritage buildings. You might feel like you’ve cycled back in time!

You’ll know when you’ve hit the Crown Range because the road goes up – relentlessly! Locals call this section the zig-zags and you’ll soon see why: lots and lots of switchbacks that inch you closer to the Crown Range Plateau. Luckily there’s a rest area at the top (and some mighty fine views of the Wakatipu Basin).

Unfortunately this isn’t the actual summit – that’s a further 5km of tough climbing away. We promise the end view – and the fast downhill that follows – is more than worth it.

All that uphill slog means you’ve definitely earned a drink at the Cardrona Hotel. This much-photographed pub has a great beer garden to recuperate in. From the hotel, the last 25km to Wanaka are (thankfully) either flat or downhill. Keep your eyes peeled for that first glimpse of Lake Wanaka – it’s a stunner!

We spent a few days in Wanaka before re-tracing our route home. We found Wanaka to Queenstown a much easier ride, with fewer climbs and a more favourable wind direction (that helped blow us towards Queenstown). As you come back into Queenstown we recommend stopping for a soak at the Onsen Hot Pools, high on the cliffs above the Shotover River canyon.

This ride is 70-km each way and classed as a Grade 3-4, meaning it’s suitable for experienced riders only.

Images: Dan and Tash.

crown range bike ride

Wander At Will With A New Zealand Self-Guided Cycle Tour

Self-Guided New Zealand Cycle TourWhile our all-inclusive, guided tours are highly popular with overseas travellers they’re not for everyone. If you’re more of a free-spirited traveller, sticking to a set route and timetable can sometimes feel a little restrictive.

If that’s the case, a New Zealand self-guided cycle tour could be more your style. These provide you with the all-important essentials: detailed route maps and top-quality bike gear, but give you the freedom to organise each day as you please.

What’s included:

  • Leading-brand bike hire to suit your journey, including pannier and storage options. Our bike rentals come with a lock, multi tool, tyre levers, spare tube and repair kit, and are fully serviced before hitting the road. You can choose to hire a helmet (compulsory in New Zealand) or buy a fresh new one for a discounted $45.
  • Route maps and itinerary suggestions to make exploring as easy as possible.
  • Accommodation suggestions. We provide you with a list of recommended motels, backpackers, B&B’s and campsites along your route. You make your own bookings to suit your timeframe.
  • Bike transfer. Planning a one way tour? Not a problem. We’ll make sure your bike is returned to our Auckland or Christchurch depots at the end.
  • Complete flexibility. Each tour is broken down into a recommended number of days – but you don’t have to stick to this timetable. Add on extra days and stay longer at a destination that tickles your fancy…or combine two days into one for a faster, more challenging journey. The choice is yours.

New Zealand self-guided cycle tour suggestions:

Great for beginners:
3-Day Self-Guided Waiheke Island Cycle Tour
Just a short ferry ride from Auckland, the beautiful, laid-back island of Waiheke offers picturesque bays, rolling hills and award-winning vineyards. Quiet country roads, fabulous restaurants and cellar-door tastings are what this tour’s all about.

For slightly more experienced riders:
6-Day Self-Guided Christchurch to Queenstown Road Tour
This route takes you through the centre of the South Island via the Canterbury Plains and the Rakaia Gorge. You’ll cross Burkes Pass and cycle the Tekapo hydro canals (while checking out the stunning views of Mt Cook). Then it’s on to the Lindis Pass and beautiful Central Otago before you roll into the adventure capital of Queenstown.

A more challenging tour:
9-Day Self-Guided Auckland to Taupo Road Tour
The route from Auckland to Taupo via the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and the Central Plateau is one of the most popular cycling routes in New Zealand. The scenery is diverse (from sandy beaches to snow covered mountains) and the riding is challenging enough to reward seasoned cyclists. A rest day in the adventure hotspot of Rotorua gives you time to soak up the cultural highlights, seek out an adrenaline fix or hit the world-renowned local MTB trails.

Check out the full list of self-guided tours on our website.