new zealand end to end

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bobbyj
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new zealand end to end

Postby bobbyj » 7 Apr 2014, 5:19pm

Hi, I am hoping to embark on another 2 month long distance tour in Oct/nov/dec.... this time to New Zealand and have just started my research. Like the ACA in the US and the ctc here, is there a cycling association in New Zealand who issue a suggested cycle route from the top to the bottom of the two islands and has anyone got any suggestions where to fly to and from so as to secure the most inexpensive /shortest flight . Also , will I need a Visa...and is there anything else I definitely need to know. Whilst posting this, I thought I would ask if there are any interested cyclists wanting to to do this with me and they have the time [and money] . let me know. I will be camping, hostelling and staying at the occasional B & B. Bob. J.

tatanab
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby tatanab » 7 Apr 2014, 5:43pm

UK residents do not need a visa, your entry stamp is good for 6 months. Save some money for when you leave, there is an exit charge which you pay at the airport - http://www.tourism.org.nz/arrivals-and-departures.html

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mjr
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby mjr » 7 Apr 2014, 6:26pm

If you want your shoes cleaned, go walking on a farm just before you go ;-)
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simonhill
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby simonhill » 8 Apr 2014, 7:58am

Emirates fly into Christchurch (S Island) and fly out of Auckland (N Island). These are the two main international airports. You would need to take public transport or ride from start and end of your ride Emirates give 30 KGS and take bikes. You can do this as a return ticket and their prices are pretty good.

There are lots of things you need to know, however I suggest you do a bit more research then post when you have specific questions.

Guide books like Lonely Planet and Rough Guide are a good starting point for general info. Available free from local library.

Curly5a
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby Curly5a » 9 Apr 2014, 6:01am

Hello,

The website below may be helpful with information about cycle touring in New Zealand.

http://www.cycletour.org.nz/index.html

Please note that New Zealand is known for hills, wind and rain, so come prepared! It is not easy riding and while 100km days in Europe may be normal, similar distances in New Zealand can, at times, be challenging. However the scenery and beauty are very rewarding.

All the best for your travels.

RonK
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby RonK » 9 Apr 2014, 6:17am

There is nothing as organised as the ACA. Best guide books are Pedallers Paradise by Nigel Rushton. Another useful information source is the NZ I-Site. Nearly every significant town in NZ has one and they are very helpful.

NZ does tourism extremely well. There are bus services (Atomic Shuttles will carry your bike), hostels and backpacker accommodation almost everywhere, and lots camping grounds and camping sites. Almost every town has a public domain where you can camp for free, but there may not always be much in the way of facilities. It's quite possible to tour NZ without camping.

If you have an smartphone there are a plethora of useful apps for NZ. You can buy a cheap prepaid sim card from Vodafone to get internet access.

You may find a read through Ian Mitchell's NZ Top to Bottom crazy guy journal worthwhile, but Ian did take a rather unusual backroads route around days 11-13. Ian actually only took 29 days for the ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff so if you have two months you could ride up the the Cape. Personally I'd plan a little more relaxed itinerary, and spend any extra time on the South Island which has much less traffic and is very scenic. Oh, and it's not particularly hilly either. BTW, Bluff is not actually the southernmost mainland point in NZ but symbolically it's near enough I think. But the ride through the Catlins to Slope Point is worthwhile too if you don't mind riding a little gravel road.

I've been contemplating this ride myself, and think I have mapped out a route somewhere on Google Maps. I'll see if I can find it. My thoughts are to ride north to south as did Ian, flying into Auckland and then bussing to Cape Reinga and starting from there. Most cyclists seem to agree that riding in Auckland is to be avoided as much as possible due to the aggressive driving habits of the locals.

I've done a couple of tours on the South Island - you may find useful insights in my journals. I've detailed much of my research in the first few pages.

Chasing the Long White Cloud
Gone Fishin'
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

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simonhill
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby simonhill » 9 Apr 2014, 7:53am

From memory the prevailing winds are south to north.

bobbyj
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby bobbyj » 12 Apr 2014, 9:08am

Hi...thank you all so much...plenty of information there to check out especially from Ronk. I will sift thru it all and get back with anything of use to others contemplating this trip . One thing I will be looking at is going in dec.( Their Summer) instead of oct. I will then move onto Bangkok for a tour to cambodia/vietnam without having to come all the way back home. May get better weather. Thanks again. Bob. J.

RonK
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby RonK » 13 Apr 2014, 3:14am

bobbyj wrote:Hi...thank you all so much...plenty of information there to check out especially from Ronk. I will sift thru it all and get back with anything of use to others contemplating this trip . One thing I will be looking at is going in dec.( Their Summer) instead of oct. I will then move onto Bangkok for a tour to cambodia/vietnam without having to come all the way back home. May get better weather. Thanks again. Bob. J.

Regarding dates - October is probably the coolest (well, least humid) time of the year in South East Asia.

December to January is a busy time on the roads in EnZed. It's the long school holidays - the Kiwis will be on the move and the tourist and backpacker season is in full swing. You can avoid this by visiting October-November or even better February-April when the weather is most settled.

So it may be better to do SEA first.

As promised, here are my speculative route maps for EnZed top-to-bottom:

I haven't visited the North Island yet, but there are many more route options and somewhat widely dispersed points of interest. Pretty obviously you can't do all of them so I've tried to avoid the busy SH1 while visiting the geothermal area of Rotorua, then Taupo and the Tongariro National park, where if you like walking you could tackle the Tongariro Crossing. Then along the Forgotten Highway before heading to Wellington.

The South Island is pretty straightforward - just avoid the busy SH1 by heading down the west coast. I've mapped pretty much the most direct route. Time permitting you may find it worthwhile to take the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakitipu from Queenstown and follow the gravel Von River Road via Mavora Lakes to Te Anua as I did. Once at Te Anua a visit to Milford Sound is well worthwhile - you could cycle there but I'd recommend taking an excursion. Alternatively take an excursion to Doubtful Sound.

Oh yes, and if you are into trout fishing get a fishing license and bring a rod, as I did.

Also of interest is this article by Steve Glasgow, a local rider with lots of tips on routing at a more detailed level.

Cycle Touring in New Zealand Tips
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

Tour Journals, Articles and Blog: Whispering Wheels

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Marco Panettone
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby Marco Panettone » 29 Apr 2014, 5:24pm

It's not well publicised but if you're a YHA member and are travelling by bike you get 25% off under the Low Carbon Traveller scheme. If you're not already a member you can join the YHA once you get to NZ and even get 25% off membership at the first YHA you arrive at by bike.

https://www.yha.co.nz/membership/specia ... traveller/

Stating the obvious I know but it can be baking hot on the coast but if you cross any of the passes on the South Island (Arthur's, Lewis etc.) don't be surprised if it's snowing, even in the middle of summer!
My round the world ride: I Were Right About That Saddle Though

helenf
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby helenf » 30 Apr 2014, 11:39am

Hi BobbyJ,
I did a tour round (most of) the South Island a few years back (er.. 2003?!) It was fantastic - and not terribly hard core.. the campsites in NZ are excellent, with fantastic facilities. Beautiful place.. I started off using the Lonely Planet guide to Cycling NZ - but soon realised that the place was too wonderful to rush through, so scaled-back my daily mileages and took things much easier. My original plan was to spend a month on each Island.. but in the end I never even made it to Marlborough Sound! (Great excuse to go back again.)
If you've got any specific questions that you think I might be able to help with, please ask-away!
Helen

greg1984
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby greg1984 » 30 Apr 2014, 7:52pm

I can second the forgotten highway on the north island. It's like being in Jurassic park. Great road! Rotarura (forgive the spelling) especially the redwoods which has some excellent mountain biking on the north island and wanaka on the south was the highlights for me.

Hikoi
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby Hikoi » 6 May 2014, 4:51pm

Kia Ora Bobby

I'm an ex pat Brit been living in NZ for 12 years and did the End to End 2 years ago. Happy to help you out mate

Don't worry about winds, it blows in all directions! Bottleneck points that will need some planning are Auckland & Wellington. The rest of yr route planning can be made as you go, it really is that simple. The forgotten highway is beautiful. So is the Sth Island West Coast. I did my ride in October and encountered snow, wind, rain, sunburn and grey skies, so pack accordingly for all of natures emotions.

But a Telecom SIM card upon arrival for your phone. It gives you the best coverage around the countryside. Drivers here are like everywhere else I've cycled, 95% courteous and 5% idiots, sadly we only remember the idiots. Our roads are tough on tyres and nothing like the smooth tar seal of France or Switzerland. Bring tough tyres.

Camp sites, hosteling and wild camping are fine. Loads of bike shops scattered around. Plenty of pubs too. You can smash it out in 2 weeks if you really want but I would suggest having a good look around, especially in places such as Paihia, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson, Wanaka and Queenstown. There's shed loads of cycle tourists here so you won't be alone for long.

I'm currently in the UK but back in NZ in August so fire away if you need anymore info

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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby jjpeterberger » 7 May 2014, 4:47am

My wife and I plan to ride a loop around the south island next January-March and then on the the east coast of Australia for a few weeks. We'll be flying in and out of Christchurch, staying with relatives for Christmas and/or New Years!!! I've been looking into possible routes, especially the off-pavement varieties, I'm really looking forward to this part of our tour.

For those that have been around the south island, would you recommend a CW or CCW loop?

Thanks for the help and enjoy the ride,
Jay
Peterberger Bike Adventures

Fast enough to get there...slow enough to see

RonK
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Re: new zealand end to end

Postby RonK » 7 May 2014, 7:05am

jjpeterberger wrote:For those that have been around the south island, would you recommend a CW or CCW loop?

CW or CCW? It doesn't really matter. In fact it's not really worthwhile riding the East Coast - State Highway 1 is pretty much the only option but it is quite busy. It is quite scenic in places, but not as scenic as the west coast and the Southern Alps.

For off-pavement routes, look at my tour journal Gone Fishin'. I did several stages across Dansey's Pass, Hakataramea Pass, and south from Queenstown the Von River Road to Te Anau via Mavora Lakes. My original itinerary included even more back country but ultimately poor weather curtailed my plans. However my route planning was based on the Great Southern Brevet. Note that parts of the brevet route are on private land and require permission from the landowner to access.

Further north there are the Molesworth and Rainbow Roads. I have plotted a somewhat convoluted route for a tour which includes these roads, which you can see here. It's loosely based on another brevet.

Since you'll be starting from ChCh, you could combine this route with my Gone Fishin' and Chasing the Long White Cloud tour routes to get a pretty good look at the South Island, covering around 4000km.
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

Tour Journals, Articles and Blog: Whispering Wheels