New Zealand South Island 2019
Marlborough to Queenstown
Monday 18 February, 2019 to Friday 08 March, 2019
BOOKINGS CLOSE 15 JANUARY
|Why Choose AllTrails for Your NZ Cycling Trip?|
|Experts:||No short-cuts! Famous for extensive experience, preparation and organisation|
|Service:||Our owners are often on tour with you to make sure you have a great time|
|Quality:||From great accom & meals to our choices of inclusions, stops and rest day locations|
|Support:||Our Australian-based office is your easy-to-contact place to call for any questions|
|Camaraderie:||AllTrails cyclists are fun, positive and supportive – and waiting for you to join the community|
|The tour at a glance|
|Dates:||18 Feb – 8 Mar 2019|
|Duration:||Full tour: 19 days Short tour options: 8 or 12 days|
|Distance:||1085 km approx|
|Ave. Daily:||84 km approx|
|Bike Type:||Road Bike is best (BYO or hire)|
|Terrain:||Good bitumen roads|
|Difficulty Rating:||7/10 (a few hills and a few 100km+)|
|Accom.:||3 to 4 star hotels/motels|
|Meals:||All included except rest days|
|Price:||See ‘Pricing’ tab|
More AllTrails rides:
HighlightsJoin AllTrails in 2019 on a new and exciting adventure to New Zealand!
Starting in Picton at the top of the South Island we will make our way down the spectacular West Coast, take a train journey on the world famous TranzAlpine over to Christchurch for a rest day, then cycle over the Southern Alps and continue down the West Coast taking in some magical landscapes and locations such as The Pancake Rocks, Hokitika, Franz Joseph Glacier, Wanaka and Queenstown where we finish the ride.
Arrive a few days early to take advantage of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and world-renowned wine region or stay a few days after the tour to soak up Queenstown and surrounds. For the thrill seekers try a bungee jump or Shotover Jet Boat ride. For a more relaxed approach, a Milford Sound Day Tour is right at your doorstep or take the Gondola 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy the best views in the region unfolding before your eyes (don’t miss the luge ride at the top!).
This tour will have the perfect mix of cycling and sightseeing with 4 rest days in the best locations on the route. There is no better way to experience such a dramatically beautiful and varied landscape as doing it on two wheels, with the famous AllTrails support and camaraderie.
The full tour will be 19 days in duration although we do have shorter options of 8 or 12 days for those short on time.
Numbers are limited so get your jandals on and get moving to take advantage of the early bird pricing. If you have any questions, just let us know: email@example.com or call 03 9802 4465
Day to DayWhether you’re on the bike coasting past the deep blue lakes or taking in the endless shades of green that make up the hills and forests, New Zealand’s South Island will leave you awe-inspired. The opportunity to experience this route on a fully supported cycling tour with AllTrails – the experts in long-distance cycle tours, and with the AllTrails community, made up of wonderful like-minded people who are all in the experience together – all adds up to a spectacular trip.
Daily distances are set out below – and remember, shorter routes are always available and our support vehicle is on hand whenever you feel you have cycled enough for the day.
Meal and accom inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accom)
Day 0 (pre-tour). Picton is situated right at the top of the South Island in the Marlborough Sounds at approximately the same latitude as Launceston, Tasmania. It is a small but busy port town and the arrival point for the Interislander ferry from Wellington (North Island). We suggest that most people will arrive to begin our ride by flying into Wellington International Airport then catching the ferry to Picton. The ferry journey is a highlight in itself on a sunny day as you wind your way in through the Sounds on one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world. The Marlborough region is a wonderful location to spend a few days if you have time (as is Wellington). Our tour starts on a Monday so the weekend is yours to explore – suggestions include heading 30km south of Picton to Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough Wine Region and/or finding a relaxing pocket of the Marlborough Sounds to kick back in and soak up the beauty; from the big names like Furneaux Lodge or Portage to the hidden gems like Hopewell Lodge there’s a place for you.
Day 1 (arrival day). Arrive anytime today into the port town of Picton where this afternoon we will hold our orientation talk, briefing and registration. We will go over the route planned for the days and weeks ahead and have a close look at tomorrow’s route discussing the snack stops, meeting points, potential hazards and attractions. Our bike mechanic will be available to assist in re-assembling bikes after air travel or a few last-minute tune-ups if required, then we will all enjoy a welcome group dinner together at our hotel as we get to know each other and prepare for the exciting first day of cycling tomorrow.
Day 2. Today we are on the bike and head out of the township of Picton straight onto Queen Charlotte Drive which hugs the coastline offering beautiful views over the Marlborough Sounds through the gaps in the vegetation including Ngakuta Bay and Momorangi Bay. We then leave the sounds and follow the Pelorus River and Rai River into the Rai Valley before a couple of climbs over the ranges as we make our way into the Nelson region – the sunniest place in NZ. Our stopover is in the township of Nelson itself, on the banks of Tasman Bay, which has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 300 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you. Every evening we meet together before dinner for an entertaining recap of the day and a briefing of the following day’s ride – what to look out for and what not to miss.
Day 3. We leave Tasman Bay today – the last of the waters at the northern end of the South Island. We cut a track right down the geographic middle of the island heading for the tiny town of St Arnaud, sitting quietly beside Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park Region. It is off the beaten tourist track and doesn’t get much attention from the bulk of international tourists but the statistics showing 100 residents and 400 holiday homes shows that it is not a secret to the Kiwis. Head to the Information Centre for details on the Bellbird walk, a ten minute loop track through beech forest near Kerr Bay, or try the 40 minute Honeydew walk, named after the ‘Honeydew’ that you can find and taste on the trees in the area (it’s actually insect poo so do your research first!).
Day 4. The Buller River is our constant companion today as it winds a consistent and gentle downhill all the way to Murchison through pastoral lands, valleys, tiny townships and past rural farming communities. It’s a beautiful day on the bike as we make our way towards the West Coast. Upon arrival in Murchison you’ll notice the township is an ode to its gold mining past with many buildings still in their original form from the late 1800’s and early 1900s. In contrast to this charming old-world feel is the vibrant and active buzz around the town. Despite being a small settlement, Murchison dubs itself the ‘white-water capital’ of the country, because there are rivers everywhere. Along with that are action sports and experiences such as zip-lining across the Buller River, walking the longest swing bridge in the southern hemisphere, blasting the rivers by jet boat or hiking.
Day 5. The Buller River is again our guide today as we follow it all the way to the coast. The ride itself has small undulations all the way as you wind through the remote forests, cut through the valleys and soak up the majestic scenery. 5km before Westport you clear the ranges and leave the main road behind as you enter a town which holds a spectacular location on the mighty Buller River and the Tasman Sea. The backdrop is the steep Paparoa Ranges and around it a beautiful estuary area called the Orowaiti Lagoon. Named after a town in Ireland, it is the service centre for the Northern West Coast and Buller region making it a busy hub of activity in an area made up predominantly of small rural communities and vast landscapes of forest and bushland.
Day 6. Today is the day that we begin our ride down the West Coast, including the Great Coast Road which kicks in about two-thirds into the day’s route. It’s one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world – in the top ten according to the Lonely Planet Guidebook. Before hitting that section we pass through the historic gold mining township of Charleston, famous also for its glow worm caves, where we will stop for morning tea, after which we enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Great Coast Road leading us to Punakaiki, where beach walks, sunsets and towering limestone cliffs define the area. Tonight’s accommodation is a treat as we enjoy a beautiful resort located just 300m from the world-famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast. Tonight why not join a 1 hour stargazing tour exploring the star studded southern night sky above the West Coast of the South Island where there is almost no light, dust or air pollution.
Day 7. Today we continue on the last section of the Great Coast Road with the Tasman Sea on the right and Paparoa National Park on the left, passing through the townships of Barrytown (once a centre for flax harvesting but its claim to fame these days is knife-making), and Runanga (with a rich coal mining history), on the way to our cycling destination of Greymouth. You can pack up your bikes for the day but don’t think that the day is over just yet. A special treat lays ahead as we all board the TranzAlpine railway to Christchurch this afternoon. You will experience the South Island’s striking natural landscape from a different perspective, taking in epic vistas, travelling the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traversing the Southern Alps, and seeing miles of native beech forest. The TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 km one-way. You’ll traverse the majestic Canterbury Plains, to the backdrop of the mighty Southern Alps – the journey of a lifetime. In Christchurch, the AllTrails crew will meet you with your bikes and luggage as we settle in for a rest day in our city-centre hotel in the Garden City of NZ.
Day 8. Today’s rest day is also a ‘changeover point’ for any cyclists who are on the shorter tours (Picton to Christchurch or Christchurch to Queenstown). Despite its devastating and destructive history, Christchurch is rising again and proving it is still one of the most beautiful cities in NZ. The manner in which the local businesses and community have bounced back, adjusted and creatively adapted to the aftermath of earthquakes in 2010 & 2011 has brought out the entrepreneurial spirit of the people, shown in many aspects of the city such as the outdoor mall temporarily rebuilt using shipping containers. There is plenty to do on your day off from flat-bottomed punt rides on the Avon River, which meanders through the city centre, to the cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, a day trip to the lovely French settlement of Akaroa, or just wandering around the intriguing CBD with its mix of English heritage, Kiwi ingenuity, destruction, construction, old and new. Tonight we will conduct our nightly briefing to discuss the following day’s ride followed by a dinner together to welcome any new cyclists to the group arriving for the second part of the journey.
Day 9. Today we begin our crossing of the island via bicycle from east to west, beginning with the Canterbury Plains. The area of braided rivers and pastoral perfection between the Southern Alps and the Pacific Ocean is a long, flat patchwork of agricultural activity that ranges from grazing grass and wheat to herbs and sunflowers and is a magnificent place to cycle. The area produces more than 80% of New Zealand’s grains, crops and seeds. The ride today is a gentle, easy, consistent 400m climb over the full 66km of the route which will land us in Springfield in the foothills of the Alps. Springfield’s main claim to fame is a statue of a giant pink doughnut which was erected to promote the 2007 Simpsons Movie. It was set alight and destroyed by an arsonist in 2009, replaced by a tyre painted pink until it was in turn replaced with a concrete version unveiled in 2012. Given that Springfield is a very small town with not enough accommodation for our group and a top highlight of a Simpsons donut statue we have decided to bus the group back to Christchurch tonight for a third night in our downtown hotel (Shelbyville accom was also unavailable).
Day 10. This morning we will transfer cyclists back to Springfield to begin our assault of the Southern Alps. For the first 15km, we ride a gentle gradient that will warm up the legs in preparation for a 550m climb to the highest point of the day and the entire tour (945m). It’s a steep 3km climb, particularly the last 1km to the top. For those unwilling or unable, our support vehicle is always on hand to assist where required. For those accepting the challenge, as you roll over the summit you will be rewarded by New Zealand’s finest vista’s as you traverse a corridor of high country plateau’s margined either side by towering snow-capped peaks. Thankfully we do not climb any of those monsters! We follow the Waimakariri River through this ancient, glacier carved valley into Arthurs Pass National Park. You’ll probably spot New Zealand’s inquisitive and comical alpine parrot, the kea, along the way. We overnight in Arthurs Pass Village in cosy motels, enjoy a well-deserved rest and celebrate a challenging day on the bike. As usual, our nightly brief will recap the challenges, achievements and highlights of the day as well as discuss tomorrow’s wonderful downhill run and points of interest along the route.
Day 11. Don’t let the first section of climbing fool you – today you need to be prepared for downhill. As we pass from the Canterbury District into the West Coast District at the 4km mark, you begin 5km of downhill that can be as steep as 16% gradient until you meet the Otira River. The road itself is a piece of extreme engineering involving viaducts, rock shelters and waterfalls (that have been redirected into chutes over the road). From this point you still have another 50km of downhill before the terrain flattens out, but it is much gentler and will appeal to the “rolleur” within us. If you would like to skip any steep uphill or downhill sections on any day, remember that our support vehicle will always be there for you. Today will be a stunningly beautiful ride as the road follows the Otira Gorge and River, branches off and follows the Taramakau River to Kumara Junction and on to the Tasman Sea. After riding coast to coast, we turn south and follow the beach towards our overnight stop and rest day in Hokitika.
Day 12. After crossing over the Southern Alps you’ll be ready for the rest day today. Hokitika, at approximately the same latitude as Hobart is dubbed ‘The Cool Little Town’, and that says it all really. It’s big enough to have all the services and facilities that you need but still has that small-town feel where you can walk around everywhere very easily. It’s right on the coast and has a vibrant art, culture and heritage scene. Go to the beach, have a whitebait fritter from the Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop (or whitebait pizza!) or shop for some Pounamu (Greenstone / NZ Jade) in one of the many shops & galleries. Highly recommended is to spend the day at Bonz & Stonz studio where you get the opportunity to make your own Kiwi bone-carving or Pounamu – an ideal present for a loved-one. You can also purchase pieces made by the in-house artist.
Day 13. You’ll be ready and rearing to go again today and it’s an easy, flat 10km out of town. If you have time, take Shanghai Rd on the left at 10km to Lake Mahinapua for a nice photo opportunity. The road then travels inland for some time as we have morning tea at the lovely town of Ross and push on further past the lakes and forests that occupy the relative flatlands between the mountains and the sea. It’s a long day today (108km or full route option 136km) but you’ll love the scenery and contrasts as you make your way to the Franz Joseph Glacier village where we have a great 4 star motel located a stone’s throw from the Glacier which you can explore on tomorrow’s rest day.
Day 14. We couldn’t come all the way here and not take the time to explore the glacier, so we have scheduled in another rest day for our cyclists to take a walk or a Heli Tour to one of NZ’s biggest attractions. The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers, and one of the most impressive sights to be found anywhere in the world. Other rest day options include a visit to the Glacier Hot Pools, walking tracks, kayaking to name just a few.
Day 15. Yet another day of spectacular scenery and cycling accompanies us today on the route. It’s another long day in the saddle as the main group will ride 116km (full route option 141km, shorter route option 60km). The full route includes a climb over 3 peaks in the Westland National Park between Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers which will get the blood pumping; 600m climbing with 550m downhill over a 18km stretch. You can take this section on if you wish and you are prepared to leave very early, or you can jump in the support vehicle with the main group and take in the mountain climbs from the bus until the terrain flattens out at Fox Glacier where you can begin your day. The rest of the ride leads you through dense native bushlands with ferns, rivers, hills and mountains until we finally hit the coast again at Bruce Bay for a short stint of 2km before heading inland once more to our lunch stop at the Salmon Farm Café sitting up on the banks of the Paringa River. We don’t hit the coast again until Knight’s Lookout Point, our afternoon tea stop, from which the last 25km into Haast mostly hugs the coast offering intermittent views and lookouts over the Tasman sea and the beaches of the west coast. Haast is situated in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. There are national parks to the north, south and east and everywhere you look, Westland rainforest tumbles across the landscape.
Day 16. Say one last goodbye to the Tasman Sea as we work our way inland today around and through Mt Aspiring National Park. Today’s full route to Wanaka is 143km’s and again available for experienced cyclists up for the challenge. The rest of us will ride either the first 85km from Haast or the last 85km into Wanaka. At the 50km mark there is a very short but steep climb (up to 19%) and again our support vehicle is available to shuttle those who may wish to avoid it. The top of the climb also doubles as our morning tea stop at the beautiful Fantail Falls which drops into the Haast River which we have followed against the flow from Haast township today. Moving further into the National Park we also move from the West Coast Region to the Otago Region and begin following a new river, the Makarora, this time downstream as it flows towards Lake Wanaka. Be sure to stop at Blue Pools Walk – a definite “Well Worth A Look” (WWAL). From Makarora town, the road hugs the shores of Lake Wanaka for some time in a stunning display of natural beauty – depending on the recent weather you may get the famous picture postcard vista of the snow-capped mountains backdrop, fronted by the beautiful deep blue lake, fringed by green ferns and trees, and a crisp blue sky to accentuate the scene. Take a few photos at Lake Wanaka Lookout before the roads cuts through ‘The Neck’ and takes you past the equally impressive Lake Hawea, where we will enjoy afternoon tea on a lakeside beach. In the final leg of our day, we cross over the flatlands to the township of Wanaka where Lake Wanaka again reveals itself in all its glory, waiting for you to enjoy on your rest day here in the town tomorrow.
Day 17. Visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding natural beauty. With the backdrop of lakes and mountains and Mt Aspiring National Park, opportunities for outdoor activities abound but it’s also the galleries, stylish shops, cool cafes and restaurants that make the township buzz. For the adventure seekers there’s canyoning, skydiving, off road tours, airborne adventures, jet-boating, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. If you’d rather go down the gourmet route on your day off, try the artisan produce, world-class vineyards, boutique breweries or the award-winning distillery. Some may choose to take it easy today and take a walk to the lakeside, read a book or relax at our friendly and welcoming lodge accommodation.
Day 18. Our last day on the bike! You’ll notice a distinct change of scenery today as we take the Cardrona Valley Road up into the alpine region past the cute town of Cardrona – gateway to the Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort – and continuing along to Crown Range Road. The rich greens and deep blues that you have become accustomed to in the scenery give way to shades of brown today and the dense vegetation on the roadside has now become much more barren and open, with outstanding vistas out over mountain ranges which will often still be holding snow capped peaks in the distance, even in summer. Make sure you take a break at a few of the rest stops and roadside viewing areas. You will reach the Crown Range Summit at around 40km which is followed by 10km of downhill and a comparatively flat run for the final 30km of the day. As we plateau out for that last section we loop around the north road via the charming and quirky gold rush village of Arrowtown, where we stop for lunch, and Arthurs Point where we gather at the Shotover River, made famous by the Shotover Jet (anyone up for a ride?!). The last 5km into Queenstown we will ride together as the road snakes down through the hills and opens into the hustle and bustle of Queenstown – finishing lakeside with a celebratory champagne flute. Our final night digs are at our Swiss Style hotel with stunning views of the surrounding region. Congratulations on your achievement! Tonight, we celebrate with one last group dinner reflecting on an amazing Kiwi cycling journey.
Day 19. After breakfast the tour officially disbands however that doesn’t have to mean the end of your holiday – it’s only Friday! The world-renowned Milford Sound Day Tour is right at your doorstep and there may be a few of our cyclists who would like to join that tour today. If you would rather stick close to town, take the Gondola 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy the best views in the region unfolding before your eyes (don’t miss the luge ride at the top!). If you’re not sure what to do, just take a walk down to the lake-front and through the main centre of town where a thousand tour operators offer everything from Bungy-Jumping to 4X4 tours, to kayaking, rafting and everything in between. Thanks for joining us on this wonderful ride.
BOOKINGS CLOSE 15 JANUARY
|Picton to Queenstown (19 days full tour)
|Twin share pp AUD||$9,030 pp||$9,080 pp|
|Single room AUD||$10,945||$10,995|
|Picton to Christchurch (8 day option)
|Twin share pp AUD||$4,200 pp||$4,250 pp|
|Single room AUD||$4,990||$5,040|
|Christchurch to Queenstown (12 day option)
|Twin share pp AUD||$5,465 pp||$5,515 pp|
|Single room AUD||$6,590||$6,640|
Travelling with friends? $200 pp discount for groups of 3 or more cyclists ($100 pp for the short tours).
Bike hire: If you wish to hire a bike we have just established an agreement with a bike hire shop in Christchurch with a great range of bikes. AllTrails can pick up and drop off the hire bike for you. Just tick the box on the entry form and we’ll get the process underway.
Bike box/case freight: We will need to freight all empty bike bags and bike cases to the end of your stage with a 3rd party freight company. Cardboard boxes will not incur a charge. Single Stage: $55, Both Stages: $75
Pre tour accom: We have included one night pre tour in Picton as part of the tour cost. For additional nights we suggest finding accommodation in or around Blenheim (Wine Region) or the Marlborough Sounds (eg. Furneaux Lodge, Portage, or Hopewell Lodge).
Post tour accom: We have included one night post-tour in Queenstown as part of the tour cost. For additional nights we can book you in to our central Queenstown Hotel $145 pp twin share, $255 single room (optional extra on the booking form). includes full breakfast.
Optional extra tours, activities etc. This tour will take you to many places where optional tour opportunities are available. Most you will be able to book on the day. Following are some links to many of the activities you may be able to participate in so you can plan ahead. Natural Flames Murchison, Star-gazing Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Akaroa Tour, Punting on the Avon, Bonz & Stonz Carving Hokitika, Franz Joseph Glacier, Wanaka Day Tours, Shotover Jetboat, Wine & Gourmet Tours Queenstown, Queenstown Day Tours, Milford Sound Tour.
AllTrails t-shirts – good quality tees:
- Older stock, limited sizes. $20
- New style tee. $30
- Raglan style (3/4 sleeve). $35
A merchandise rider pack is included in the tour price (cycling jersey, cap, bottle, bag). Link to AllTrails Merchandise PDF
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share cyclist or crew member, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or more single twin share travellers together.
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.
We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.
If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or other trip related issues.
People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
Yes, yes, yes. Make sure that you are covered for every country that you are travelling to and ensure that you are covered from and including the day you leave and arrive back home. Due to the nature of our rides we are sometimes in remote areas during the course of a ride – ensure that you have medical insurance that would cover the cost of a helicopter ambulance to transport you to the nearest hospital. We recommend getting your travel insurance in place immediately after you book your ride so that you are covered for unforeseen events which may lead to you having to cancel your trip.
If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:
Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.
Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.
Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 23mm or 25mm width.
Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth) and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.
We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
Limit your luggage to two medium-sized pieces max. The best combination is a medium-sized suitcase on wheels and a small or medium carry-on bag, such as a backpack or a small duffel bag. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and kept to a reasonable minimum. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and your limit will usually include the weight of your bike if you are not renting one in NZ. You will be required to carry your own luggage at times so you should be capable of carrying your own bags up and down stairs. A good guide is to try to keep it under 15kg. If you are doing lots of shopping during your travels, it may be necessary for you to forward any excess to the city where your journey concludes, or ship purchases directly home.
Accommodation of the most suitable standard is chosen on a research trip of the route. All rooms have ensuite facilities, and are usually at least a 3 star level but in the bigger towns we can often source some 4 star properties. In the smaller villages or more rural areas we often get lovely and interesting accommodation full of character and personality. We aim to find accommodation that is bicycle friendly, with good restaurants and near to town centres wherever possible.
If you wish to hire a bike we can help you out. We have established an agreement with a bike hire shop in Christchurch who have a great range of long term hire bikes and AllTrails can collect and drop off the bike for you to/from the Christchurch shop.
For those bringing their own bike, note that AllTrails will only have room to store cardboard bike boxes in our vehicles on tour as these can be flattened. Your local bike shop will usually be more than willing to give you a bike box (they throw them out every day) and there are many good internet videos showing you how to pack your bike for transport (or your bike shop may do it for a small fee). If you decide to travel with a bike bag/case (hard or soft), let us know. Your case will likely need to be freighted to the end of the ride at your own expense with Castle Parcels, Fastway, Mainfreight or ShipMyTrade. For more info and quotes or give us a call if you have any questions at all or need some assistance.
If you are travelling on your Australian passport, or you hold a current Australian resident return visa, you don’t need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand unless you have been convicted of any crime(s) or you have been deported from any country. Passport holders of other countries may require a visa. A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country. We do not issue visas for overseas travel and cannot provide definitive information on visas. Only the representatives of the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. For all countries, contact your nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel. For Australian passport holders, additional advice can be found on the Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.
I have read and understand the terms and conditions of this event (see instructions below) and wish to enter this ALLTRAILS BICYCLE TOURS Pty Ltd event at my own risk. I understand that participation in this ride involves riding on public roads used by other traffic, and in doing this, I am aware of the potential dangers, both on and off public roads. In my judgement, I am capable and competent to participate safely in this ride. I hereby release, exempt and indemnify AllTrails and any of its contractors, local guides, officers, directors, employees, agents, staff, sponsors, volunteers and all other persons involved in the organisation of this event, from all actions, costs, demands, proceedings, and claims whatsoever made or taken by any person, arising out of my participation in the ride.
I accept that I am to wear a helmet, abide by road laws, and understand the organisers have no responsibility for my property damaged or stolen. I agree to take responsibility, and make appropriate payment if necessary, for any damage to others property that I cause including motel rooms, motel property, AllTrails property or other cyclist’s property.
I agree to carefully consider my insurance options and take note of AllTrails’ policy strongly recommending Cyclist Insurance and Travel Insurance to all cyclists on Australian tours, and the compulsory Travel Insurance policy for international tours.
AllTrails reserves the right to change the advertised ride and itinerary due to road works, bad weather, unsafe conditions, or any unforeseen circumstances. I declare I am 18 years of age or older or am the legal guardian of persons under 18 years old in my care. I consent to publication, for promotional purposes, of any photos or video footage taken of myself or others in my group, while taking part in this event without recourse or compensation to me.
I consent to AllTrails processing personal information about me and other members of my party. AllTrails may hold my name, address and other details supplied on their database. This information will be used to make my tour arrangements and to send me information about AllTrails and its tours. In order to make my tour arrangements AllTrails may need to pass on my details to companies and individuals inside and/or outside Australia, where less stringent data protection controls may be in place. I understand this and agree to the passing of necessary information to required third parties such as hotels and local tour companies.
Full terms and conditions for each ride are available via our booking system (directions to find them are below). These terms and conditions will also be sent to you with your confirmation email after booking.
To find the terms & conditions of this ride:
- Click any ‘Book This Ride’ button on this webpage such as the one below (right click ‘open in new tab’)
- Enter at least 1 participant on any package, then scroll down and click ‘BOOK NOW’
- Click the ‘SKIP’ button
- Scroll to the bottom of the questions page and click ‘terms and conditions’ hyperlink