The South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its mountains, lakes and glaciers. The Southern Alps, home to 3,724m-high Aoraki Mt. Cook, run along the entire length of the island. In the southwest is Fiordland National Park, with steep-sided Milford Sound.
Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. It is a place to enjoy marine adventures, wine trails, bungy jumping, harbour bridge walks and a whole lot more. So, consider coming a few days earlier or leaving later to enjoy all that this city has to offer.
Upon completion of picking up our bikes we will head out of the city towards Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, and arrive at our destination Ohakune – the ride to Ohakune offers spectacular views of beautiful farmlands – surrounding mountains and National Parks. Ohakune is in an area known as the Central Plateau, a volcanic region featuring the three active peaks of Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu.
Today we ride to Wellington where we will take the ferry ride from the North to the South Island and nearing the end of our crossing you will see the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound – so sit back and enjoy the beautiful sight.
Riding out today we head, over twists and turns with impressive scenery to Nelson, onwards to Murchison, we travel south through Maruia and onto Lewis Pass which is one of the three main passes across the Southern Alps we pass through extensive Beech Forest (Native tree) and onto our destination Hanmer Springs, which is ringed by mountains and has a slightly European feel, enhanced by the fact that many of the streets are named after English spa towns (Bath, Harrogate, Leamington) The town is the main thermal resort of the South Island.
Leaving Hanmer Springs we head to Amberly then turn inland to ride through Arthurs Pass which is an impressive mountain pass in the heart of the southern alps – its high mountains with large slopes, deep gorges and wide rivers straddle the main divide and are the backbone of the South Island, which makes for fantastic riding, ending up on the west coast in Hokitika where we are to spend the night.
Following the beautiful west coast, we stop at Franz Josef Glacier which was first explored in 1865, we continue down the coast to arrive at Hasst. Haast is the west coast white bait country and famous for its dramatic landscape. Wild life is so close to Haast you may encounter it walking down the main street. Little blue penguins and NZ fur seals are seen often and at times dolphins can be seen surfing in on the waves as they hunt tuna. As we leave Hasst we head inland and ride along the side of the beautiful lakes and arrive in Cardrona for the evening in a very well-known hotel.
Today we make our way out to Arrowtown, such a beautiful little town and head into Queenstown early afternoon to unpack, relax, or keep yourself busy with the many attractions to offer from jet boating, bungy jumping, rafting, sky diving etc., and you may like to take a leisure ride out to Glenorchy.
Enjoy the beautiful city of Queenstown, which sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns. There’s bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. In winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Leaving today we ride out towards the Catlins. Stopping at the most southern point of New Zealand, and on though the stunning Catlins region of the South Eastern corner of the South Island. The Catlins features scenic coastal landscapes, dense rain forest, both of which harbour many endangered species of birds. Tonight, we stay in the Historical City of Dunedin (A City which has the look of Scotland).
This morning we ride out to Mount Cook with more stunning lakes alongside our ride. Mt Cook is the highest mountain in N.Z., making it popular with the trekking population and has N.Z.’s most extreme alpine environment. Mountains, glaciers, lakes, braided rivers, valleys, and snow —It is all here. We will then ride on through Lake TeKapo, arriving at our destination Ashburton.
Today we leave Ashburton riding through to the Garden City of Christchurch, well known for the 2011 Earthquake, the City still shows a lot of damage which is still under repair. We follow this beautiful coastline once again all the way to Kaikoura which is a coastal town well known for its abundance of wild life and sperm whale population, and the rock platforms are a home to a colony of New Zealand fur seals. And for all of you who love your seafood Kaikoura is the place.
Heading out of Wellington we ride through roads surrounded by farmland, leaving the last of the coastal roads behind us we ride along very straight roads, past mountains on the aptly named Desert road, then approaching Lake Taupo (which covers many miles) we then settle into the township of Lake Taupo. We will be taking a boat ride on the beautiful Lake Taupo to see the great Maori carvings.
Today we ride to Auckland, we will make our way through the middle of the Island, arriving in Auckland to return our bikes and have our last Farewell Dinner together.
Auckland to Invercargill
Invercargill to Auckland