The road to Arthur´s Pass

Grophers Bush Public Library

Cape Reinga - NZ northernmost point

Thames - Gold Fields

Taranaki from Makau

Denniston (archive)

Cactus Backpackers, Rotorua

Anne Mustoe

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Ideal for Long Distance Cycling

The Pancace Rocks, Punikaki, South Island

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There are a number of good reasons why New Zealand is ideal for long-distance cycling; good roads a varied and magnificent landscape, wonderful and helpful people and more than 450 youth hostels, so-called  "Backpacker Hostels".


Most of your planning can obviously be made on the Internet, but as an invaluable assistance is "Pedaller's Paradise", two books written by the bicycle enthusiast Nigel Rushton, one for The North Island and one for the South Island ( Here you will find all the information essential for bike tourists:

• Description of all national roads and alternative routes.

• Topographic profile of the routes.

• Distance between cities and communities.

• Access to information and services, such as overnight accommodation, shops,    eateries /restaurants and bike shops.

Pedaller's Paradise can be purchased from the author and in Europe from the Stanford Books in Britain. Here it costs about £ 7, while e.g. the Internet bookstore Bokus (A Swedish net-bookstore) will charge about 200 SEK for each, and has at least one month delivery!

(When I checked in July 2009 I found that Pedaller’s Paradise North Island could be bought in a second-hand condition for between £31 and  £71!)

For Germans and those who are well versed with the German language an excellent page about Pedaller's Paradise is Thomas Woehrstein’s, in the German city of Emmerting. His website presents the books on which they also can be ordered. The price is 8 euros and the website has the following address:

As a valuable help in the planning you might also order BBH Backpacker's Catalog, with over 370 listed "Backpacker hostels."

Lonely Planet's "Cycling New Zealand" (First Edition 2000), may also be recommended. It is out of stock but can be found at some libraries. They can also be bought in used condition at for about £50 and at for between $50 and $150! (When this is written in late June 2009.)

NOTE: LP will publish a new version of their Cycling in New Zealand later this year. If possible I will write a review, which can be found at RYDINGS PLANET Newsblog.)

Bring your own bike or rent / buy?

Should you just make short day trips or just expect to cycle shorter distances you might just rent a bicycle. But if you plan to make slightly longer trips, three weeks or more you should bring your own bike. First, it will be expensive to rent a bike over a longer time and, secondly, it’s an advantage to have got used to your own bicycle. See more under "Bicycle Page"

It is usually just fine to take the bicycle on the aircraft. The terms vary certainly between airlines. Most flight operators require that the bicycle is boxed. A suitable used cardboard box can be obtained at most bicycle shops. Some operators only require that you dismantle the pedals, turn the handlebar and let the air out of the tires.

What conditions are applicable and how to pack your bike can be read on the Internet at:

A modern bicycle with steel or aluminium frame weighs 10-15 kg. If you stow your bike with good estimation, the cardboard-box will not exceed the stipulated 20 kg, which is the maximum weight for most airlines. In the box, except for the bicycle, you also include some spare parts, tools, rainwear, your bike bags and a helmet. Bicycle helmets are compulsory in NZ! Click here for more information. 

(NOTE. Wire locks must not be carried in the hand luggage.)


What type of bike should I choose??

In principle, any kind of bicycle will do. But it should naturally have a strong and light frame, many gears (including the so-called "Granny-gear", i.e. a low gear needed for the steepest slopes) because New Zealand is hilly as a result of its volcanic origin. Which model you then choose is not of decisive importance. It is, however, of major importance that you have cycled a great deal on the bike and set it up so that you sit comfortably. (See Peter White's article "How to Fit a Bicycle" .

You should under all circumstances give priority to comfort. It should be pleasant to ride. For example, choose a good, comfortable saddle. Modern quality saddles are now gender specific, i.e. the shape of the saddle takes into account the different anatomy of men and women. You can also mount anatomical bar-grips alternatively equip the handlebar with double bar-tape which gives you a good firm grip, or equip your bike with a so-called multi-grip handlebar.

(NOTE! It is important to change the grip often. Unilateral strain can lead to suffering from numbness in the hands. One may even suffer from the "cyclist's palsy" which means that one of the hand nerves (ulnaris) gets paralysed. The paralysis means that you have no real grip the weeks it takes for the nerve to recover.)

A touring bike is of course ideal, as it is built for the purpose, but it is increasingly common for cycle-tourists to revert mountain bikes. In that case you may preferably choose a model that has a long frame. On a short frame it’s a risk that you hit the bicycle bags with your heels when pedalling.

It is considered that steel frames are more flexible, has more "spring" than, for example, aluminium frames, and thus is more comfortable for long distances. (Touring bikes with aluminium frame are usually fitted with a steel fork to compensate for the stiffness.)

Check also that the wheels are of good quality and that they are balanced and well adjusted. Change also broad, rough tires designed for off-road to touring tires of good quality. There are now so called puncture-proof tires. Tires reinforced with Kevlar inside the tread, type Schwalbe Marathon XR and Continental Travel Contact, but there are other brands as well.

What about service, workshops, spare parts, theft and other practical things?

According to a government investigation in 2001 every fifth New Zealander or 21% is a cyclist.

But CAN - Cycling Advocates' Network writes in a recent study that "cycling in New Zealand have had a significant increase since 2001.

For example, the bicycle import increased by 45% "and it estimates that the number of adult cyclists has increased to 25% or approximately 730,000 persons.

New-Zealanders are a cycling people that have an impact on the availability of bicycle service, which is very significant. Every city and larger society has one or more bike shops with excellent possibilities to get the bike repaired or to improve and/or replace damaged equipment.

When to go?

Season, headwind, wind, and long lonely stages.

In few places in the world people talk so much about the weather as in New Zealand, except perhaps for the British Islands. The weather in New Zealand is often hopeless to predict and sometimes you can read completely different and quite divergent weather forecasts in the newspapers.

New Zealand has essentially a maritime climate, not unlike the climate we have in Sweden, apart from the fact that cold winds mainly come from the south while the warm, balmy summer winds come from the north and northeast, contrary to countries in the northern hemisphere.

Normally the North Island is a few degrees warmer than the south Island. The warmest part is usually on the east coast of the Northern Island, along the Bay of Plenty, and up towards Coromandel Peninsula.

The rainiest, but perhaps also the most beautiful part of New Zealand, is along the South Island rugged west coast.

The best time to ride is, according to Pedaller's Paradise, from November to April for the South Island and October to May for the North Island with the most stable summer weather in February and March. But with the right equipment cycling is possible in both spring and autumn.

Here it is appropriate to add a warning about the strong sunlight. In New Zealand about 60,000 people annually become ill in skin cancer, according to the NZ Cancer Society. This as a result of the strong sunlight and that the protective ozone layer is thinned closer to the South Pole. NZ Cancer Society sells a sunscreen with SPF 30, but there are also other brands. There are daily warnings in the media during the summer months. These warnings the cyclists should take very seriously, and be extra careful to protect themselves against the sun.

Equipment, tents / hostels / cabins?

Carrying camping equipment, tent and sleeping bags, increases of course the flexibility and independence. But at the same time it means a number of extra kilos to be transported up the slopes. So-called “wild camping” is not permitted in New Zealand, which means that you must find a campsite and then you can just as well choose a "Backpacker Hostel".

Unlike for example in Australia, where Backpacker hostels often are only available in major popular tourist destinations, you can find them virtually everywhere in New Zealand. Even the smallest town or village, has a Backpacker Hostel.

If there perchance would not be any hostel, you can be confident that there is a pub. And in NZ  it is customary to say: "Is there a pub, there is a bed."

The price for a room at a pub will be about the same as at the backpackers, i.e. about NZ$ 20-30.

The largest Backpacker Organization is Budget Backpacker Hostels-BBH with over 370 hostels.

Furthermore, there is the Youth Hostel Association- YHA, an international tourism association with some 50 hostels in New Zealand.

Roads and traffic.

Like many other countries, New Zealand is privatizing "unprofitable" railways. But even for the new owners the railways are no shining business. As a consequence some railroads have been closed and others are threatened, forcing the heavy transport to the roads, with increasing traffic density as a result.

New Zealand roads have almost invariably only two lanes, which means that the main roads can at times be quite densely trafficked. But in general there is a generous space alongside the road, a shoulder, with a good place for cyclists, often a meter or more.

On some road sections, especially where the road is carved out of the mountain and therefore more expensive, it may be lean with room for cyclists. Then you should have an eye in the mirror and check the traffic coming from behind.

The New Zealand traffic authorities propagate very actively that motorists should show cyclists much consideration, which in most cases they are doing.

Bob Crain, an Australian long-distance cyclist and author of cycling books says the following, in the light of his considerable experience of the much narrower and the much tougher roads in northern Australia:

"If two vehicles are going to pass you in opposite directions, my advice is to get of the bitumen altogether and ride on the gravel shoulder until they are clear. If the rear doggie of the road train (50, 60 meter long trucks. my note) get out of control it could be far worse for a cyclist than a trip into the gravel. " From the "Cycling Northern Australia" by Bob Craine.

Although the road trains are rare or non-existent in New Zealand, and the roads usually wider and with less intense traffic, it may be appropriate to have Bob Craine's advice in mind.


Your favourite route? What part of NZ should be visited?

On a website, the following message could be read, written by a young couple who would go from somewhere in Europe to New Zealand:

"Would like to have tips on NZ. We are two who are considering a trip there.

What places should be seen?

What places should be avoided? "

From the signature "Jessie," came the following reply:

"Few places in NZ should be avoided. The whole country is fantastic! "

It is easy to quickly get short of all useful superlatives when to depict the nature and the scenery in New Zealand. For the cyclist, it is neither boring nor monotonous. Rarely the roads are nail straight and seemingly infinite.

The sceneries in New Zealand are highly varied: one minute wild and dramatic, and in the next moment you feels as if you cycle through a botanical garden.

But New Zealand is a relatively small country; the total land area of New Zealand is 267,990 sq km about the same size as Japan or the British Isles or about half as large as Sweden. Despite its small size you should allow at least one month for each island, to be able to look around, maybe to do trekking, and perhaps use the opportunity of canoeing. (Many Backpacker hostel lend out canoes for free.)


If you have only one month at your disposal, you should perhaps primarily choose the South Island. Its western coast is perhaps the country's most rainy part, but nature is beautiful here and traffic is less intense. You should be aware that only 25%, about one million of the New Zealand population, live on the South Island, and the major part in the larger cities as Christchurch (316,224) and Dunedin (107.088).

If you come by ferry from Wellington via Queen Charlotte Sound you will arrive in the picturesque seaport of Picton. If you choose a western route, you can continue towards Nelson and the small town of Murchison, which is considered to be 'White-water Capital' of New Zealand and is situated at the Buller River, which would be the southern hemisphere's water richest river. Each summer, Murchison turns into a Mecca for nature lovers. Popular among anglers, hunters, mountain climbers, hikers, off-road cyclists and canoeists.

From Murchison you can continue cycling along Buller River valley via Berlin and Hawkes Crag, where parts of the road is minced out by hand of the mountain, down to Westport, one of the capitals of the "Coal Coast."

Not far from Westport is Denniston, once the centre of mining in New Zealand and made immortal by the New Zealand author and the jeweller (!) Jenny Pattrick through books like "The Denniston Rose” and  “Heart of Coal."

(In The Denniston Rose, she writes, among other things: "So, as the bright new twentieth century arrives and Denniston steam into 1900, proud of its premier position as a coal producer, Henry knows he will stay in Denniston ....

  ... Denniston is growing and so is the school's role. The Westport Coal Company is the largest coal producer in New Zealand, and Denniston the Jewel in its crown. ")

Today Denniston is a "ghost town"; Some derelict chaps, a bit corrosive ferrous scrap, parts of the rails on which the coal was transported down to Westport, a cemetery and memories...

Memories taken care of in a small museum in Westport, and depicting the miners' conditions and the daily life of Denniston.

Westport, once a vibrant city with tens of thousands of people in the golden age of coal mining from the mid-1800s and until the 1960s, currently has around 3500 inhabitants.

If you continue down along the west coast the next stay should be at the strange rock formations, the so-called Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, which is located at the beautiful coastal road and also is part of the Paparoa National Park. There are nature trails in an environment reminiscent of the tropics. Beautiful Nikau palms and tree ferns lining roads and paths. (

Here you can spend the night at the nice Beach Hostel.

Further down you will reach Graymouth, west coast's largest city and like the Westport once a significant shipping port for coal from nearby mines.

(Some kilometres north of Graymouth you pass a memorial stone erected in memory of the 19 miners who died in an accident in the Strongman mine in 1967.)

When you arrive at the Graymouth you can see snow-white mountains in the south. It is the Southern Alps with Aoraki / Mount Cook as its highest peak.

From Graymouth you can continue the bike tour further south along the coast, or you can via highway 73 and over Arthur's Pass, at about 2000 meters, cross to Christchurch. But only the most well-trained should assume the challenge with the long steep climb over the alps.

Proceeding south, you’ll pass the Franz Josef and Fox glacier. (Fox is said to be one of four glaciers in the world where you can stand in the temperate rain forest and view a glacier.)

On the way you also pass Hokitika, which each year has a very popular food festival focusing on wild food, Hokitika Wild Foods Festival. The city is also known as "the Jade City."

A great challenge for a cyclist is to pass the southwestern part of the Southern Alps with its final over Haast Pass. It is long and steep and some bicycle tourists choose to take the bus down to Wanaka or Queenstown.

Queenstown is perhaps the most popular tourist city of the south Island, and here tourists usually spend a couple of days and make day trips in the surroundings or take the bus up to the beautiful Milford Sound, as an alternative to biking up there. In case you decide to cycle you have to take the same route back.

Just north of Queenstown is Arrowtown, a small restored shantytown from the gold digging period. It is the consequence of that gold was found in nearby Arrow River in the 1860s. Thousands of tourists annually visit this "showcase city", where some 60 original buildings were restored in its original condition and it is nowadays tight between cafés and souvenir shops.

Going southbound, continue on highway 6, and do so right down to Invercargill. A slightly different and exciting option, however, is to swerve off to the west at Five Rivers and follow highway 97 to Mossburn. Mossburn has no railway but curiously enough a railway hotel – the Railway Hotel, and in whose bar farmers of the neighbourhood gather at the end of the day. Outside the pub there are rows of muddy boots and peasant farmers paws around in socks. From Mossburn you can head south to Otautau, a small provincial town with around 700 inhabitants, a few shops, a take-a-way, a small super-market and an antique shop and a small Backpacker hostel – Harbison Hostel.

When you leave Otautau towards Invercargill you’ll travels through Southland’s juicy green and undulating plain landscape. Next to an intersection at Gropers Bush is perhaps the world's smallest yet active library - Gropers Bush Public Library, established 1880. A small house no bigger than a shack and open once a month!

It was in the late 1700s that Europeans came to the South Island’s south coast. First were the seal hunters but later also the whalers arrived. The Maoris had more than 600 years earlier been attracted by the good fishing. They settled down in a place that is today’s Bluff and which is NZ's southernmost tip about 30 kilometres south of Invercargill.

From Bluff, it is very popular to take the ferryboat over Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island / Rakiura. The trip takes about one hour and costs nearly NZ$ 50.

Invercargill is together with Dunedin, which is over 200 kilometres to the north, influenced by their Scottish roots. Bagpiper, kilt and rolling r. Dunedin is proud of their rugby team, the Highlanders.

It was in the middle of 1800 as more than 200 Scots threw anchor in Otago Bay and claimed the area which today is Dunedin.

The name comes from Dun Èideann, the Scottish-Gaelic name for Edinburgh.

When cycling from Invercargill to Dunedin, you can choose two different ways: either on Highway 1, passing Gore, Clinton and Balclutha or along the coast. The latter route is longer and/but is a part of the "Southern Scenic Route" and is very popular among bicycle tourists. The area is called the Catlin and here sea lions, fur seals, and dolphins can be seen.

Apart from the approach to Dunedin, which is framed by high mountains, it is most smooth cycling along the entire east coast. North of Omaru you cycle along Canterbury Plain, the flat plains stretching from the Southern Alps in the west up to Christchurch, which is one of the driest areas in NZ.

Christchurch surroundings are ideal for bicycle tours particularly for off-road cyclists. The surroundings are criss-crossed by hiking trails that are also available for MTB-cyclists.

In March each year there is a popular bike race, "Le Race" that starts in Christchurch and finishes in Akaroa and gather over 1500 participants. Mostly amateurs but even elite cyclists.

The distance is 85 kilometres and passes through a dizzying beautiful landscape of high mountains and through river valleys via Little River and Duvauchelle to Akaroa at the tip of the Banks Peninsula, beautifully situated along the French Bay.

Akaroa is not only an outstanding beautiful place, but also New Zealand's most French city and where the streets have French names; rue Lavaud, rue Jolie, rue Balgurie etc.

Akaroa was in late 1800 and early 1900's a place where whaling ships anchored up when whaling was large industry.

The first Frenchman who arrived at the Banks Peninsula and Akaroa was the whaling captain Jean Langlois. He bought a piece of land from the Maoris. (This was already in 1838, i.e. before the British proclaimed NZ as a British colony.)

Jean Langlois went back to France but returned two years later with some eighty colonists to proclaim New Zealand or at least Banks Peninsula a French colony and let the French flag fly over Akaroa.

Unfortunately, the British had received wind of the matter and only a week before Langlois and his colonists arrived, in February 1840, the agreement with the maoris about British sovereignty over the New Zealand Islands was signed - the so-called "Treaty of Waitangi." And as it says in the history books:

  "Dreams of French Dominion over the whole of New Zealand evaporated overnight."

Anyway. The French who had settled in Akaroa and the French influence has given the city its character and once a year, during "Le Race", flies the tricolor flag on most rods in Akaroa.”

(For more information about Akaroa & Banks Peninsula -The French connection click here!) 


The North Island has a varied landscape, undulating hills that follow the mountainous landscape. There are plenty of mountains, and in New Zealand it is customary to say that the South Island has more mountains to look at while the North Island has more mountain to ride.

Auckland and the North

The Auckland metropolitan area is the largest and most populous urban area in NZ with over 1.4 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population and more populated than the entire South Island!

If you arrive in Auckland, it might be appropriate to start cycling to explore the region of Northland.

The Northland area is regarded as the cradle of the nation since one of the country's first European colonies was formed here. The place was named Kororareka after the bay with that name, now known as Russell, a calm, idyllic small town located in the north-eastern part of the Northland, called Bay of Islands.

From Te Ara – The Encyclopaedia of NZ:

Before 1840 Kororareka was the largest European settlement in New Zealand. Originally a watering base for the whaling ships, which visited the Bay of Islands, it had developed by the 1820s into an important whaling, sealing, and mercantile centre. J. S. Polack, G. T. Clayton, W. D. Brind, and others had established trading posts there by the 1830s and supplied stores to visiting ships. Kororareka's grog shops were notorious, although their conditions were probably exaggerated by the missionaries. In 1830 a tribal fracas, now known to us as the “Girls' War”, was fought on Kororareka beach. Although the incident arose from a trifling matter, before long more than 1,400 Maoris were involved, and about 100 were killed by the time the missionaries restored order.

If you do not want to struggle the intense urban traffic in Auckland, you may, in common with many other cycle tourists, take the local train a few kilometres to the north and, for example, cycle the last leg up to Helensville.

Maxx Regional Transport is responsible for local traffic and takes one dollar for the bike, but would prefer you avoid going during peak periods.

Twin Coast Discovery Highway is the collective name for the highways in Northland. They take the traveller along both west and east coast and all the way up to Cape Reinga, the very northern tip of the North Island.

If you only have a few weeks, it may be preferable to focus your cycling to explore just Northland.

Auckland and south

Choosing the train becomes a necessity if and when to go south. You are not allowed to ride a bike the initial 25-30 kilometres southbound of the Highway 1, and it is difficult to find alternative routes.

To take the suburban train to Papatoetoe or Papakura is a good solution. From Britomart Train Station or Newmarket in central Auckland, it takes about 30 minutes to Papatoetoe and just one hour to Papakura.

If you want to avoid the busy Highway 1, you can choose highway 22 down to the small village of Glen Murray, just 70 kilometres south of Papakura. The village consists of a handful of chaps and a small gas station, which will have food but it is not open very often. It also boasts Ewe Dream’ Inn; A nice hostel housed in a small villa with a fantastic view over the farmed landscape.

From here you can bike further towards either Hamilton, by using the small idyllic rural roads, or continue towards the coast down to Raglan. From here it’s just about “one day’s march,” ca 70 km, south to the famous Waitomo Caves, well worth a visit.

From here you then have two options: either continue along the coast down to the little village of Mokau (Palm House Backpackers is a good option for accommodation) and further down to New Plymouth and Egmont National Park and perhaps ascend Mount Taranaki/Mount Egmont, or select a course towards the east and the interior of the country and the Lake Taupo.

South of New Plymouth you can choose the "Forgotten World Highway", Highway 43, between Stratford and Taumarunui, which also takes you to Taupo.

The problem with the latter option is that it can be difficult to find accommodation. It requires careful planning of the route.

Further south, however, there are plenty of accommodation possibilities.

I would suggest selecting the "Surf Highway 45" between New Plymouth and Hawera.

Auckland and the east.

If you choose to leave Auckland east towards Coromandel Peninsula and further down towards the Bay of Plenty on the east coast of the North Island, you can primarily choose to take the local train down to Papakura, to escape the suburban traffic, and then cycle Clevedon Rd to Clevedon and the coastal road along Hauraki Bay.

Alternatively, cycling out of Auckland and along Remuera Rd via the suburban Ellerslie and Panmure to Whitford and Clevedon and here connect to the Pacific Coast Highway.

Suitable accommodation, regardless of route, is available at Orere Point about 75 km from Auckland.

At Orere Point is a motor camping which offers accommodation in a caravan for about NZ$ 30, with room for two. You can also rent camping cabins.

Southerly follows the flat coastal road down to Miranda and Highway 25 to the old gold-digger town Thames in the south of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Sunkist International Gateway and hostels offer excellent accommodation facilities. Here you can also get information on the many trails located in the city's surroundings.

From the Thames, you can now take a shortcut past the peninsula towards the coast and Bay of Plenty on Highway 25a. A better option is to instead continue north to Coromandel Town and further up to the peninsula's northern tip Cape Colville. Possibilities for accommodation are available at several places along the route. After Colville down to Port Charles and further down along Waikawau Bay, is a gravel road, which could be difficult to cross by bicycle. Consult local people concerning the road condition.

Eventually continue to Pacific Coast Highway to Whitianga and Mercury Bay, down towards the Bay of Plenty. Pacific Coast Highway, which starts north of Clevedon and then goes all the way to Napier / Hastings on the North Island southeastern coast and Hawkes Bay.

The winds along this part of the island usually tend to come from the north while the winds further south are more variable.

The terrain along the coast is hilly with some steep climbs, but bountiful attractions and close distance between hostels allow you to choose slightly shorter day stages.

Hahei and Hot Water Beach, just south of Whitianga and Whangamata with its surf beaches are popular locations. Furthermore Tauranga / Mt Maunganui and "Kiwi capital” Te Puke and, not least the tourist town over others, Rotorua are places to be visited.


Mountain Bike New Zealand (MTBNZ), is the mountain biking association in the country. It is an umbrella organization and a series of cycling federations are members. On Bikenz home site the readers are introduced to mountain bike- and off-road cycling as follows:

If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city streets and cars, then off-road cycling has much to offer - from quiet riverside or waterfront trails, to back country bush and mountain tracks.

While visions of downhill adrenalin junkies may challenge your sense of adventure - off-road cycling is as much for those seeking a quieter outdoors experience. But don't rule out the thrill of more challenging terrain - you just need some practice, and the mantra - 'speed is my friend'! Mountain biking is great fun and lets you explore new areas you might not get to walk.

Anyhow, cycling mountain bike (MTB) is really big in New Zealand and in most places there are special routes prepared for mtb-riders. For instance Christchurch has more than 135 kilometres off-road cycle-tracks.

Many visitors who want to do some off-road-cycling often follow a group and pay a price for a package tour, including guidance, transport and equipment. (The tourist office in the place you visit can inform about the matter.)

Environmental Protection Agency, DOC, home site, gives a certain overview of the appropriate and good areas for mountain bike cycling. Another pages New Zealand Official website and Travelplanner NZ,  with information on various organizers of excursions with mountain bike.

If you only want to buy one book about off-road-cycling, the “Classic New Zealand Mountain Biking” is an appropriate choice. It is written by the brothers Jonathan, Simon and Paul Kennett, and describes more than 350 routes across the country. Kennett Brothers are legendary on off-road-cycling in NZ and they've a very useful website at

On the web site for Mountain Bike New Zealand (MTBNZ) they list ten of New Zealand’s best mountain bike rides.

1. Woodhill Forest

2. Whakarewarewa

3. Eskdale Mountain Bike Park

4. Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park

5. Karapoti Classic

6. Queen Charlotte Walkway

7. Port Hills Tracks

8. Naseby Forest

9. Otago Central Rail Trail

10. Lake Wanaka Tracks

A description over the tracks can be found here!


New Zealand - Compact Travellers Atlas, edited by Kiwi Maps is an excellent road atlas, spiral bound in the B5-size, right size to fit in a handlebar bag. It includes over 50 pages, which included a number of city maps and a comprehensive index.

The same also applies to the Hema New Zealand Handy Atlas

They can be ordered from:

Stanford Books in UK

Products From New Zealand

Furthermore, you can have excellent road maps from the New Zealand Automobile Association, and from their numerous information centres located around the country.

Bus Transport:.

As a result of various circumstances it may sometimes be convenient to take bus. Most nationwide bus company has a policy that bikes are subject to availability. Usually this tends to resolve itself when you book the ticket and then make it clear that you also have a bike.

Kiwi Experience

Magic bus

Atomic Shuttle, operating mainly on the South Island. They have room for two bicycles on most of its lines. For the lines along the west coast they can take up to five bicycles.

Some useful Internet addresses:

Tips on Buying a Bike

Ken Kiefer's Bike pages

Sheldon Brown

Adam K Cycling site

Cycling Britain

Bicycling Around the World

About cycling in New Zealand:

Hoogie's Cycle Touring

New Zealand Cycling guide

Project New Zealand





Ortago Rail Trail

Natural High – Adrenalin Dealers

Aaron Jacob’s Biking in New Zealand, November 2005

Other cycle links:

Christchurch City Cycling (cycling maps etc)

Airline Baggage Regulation.

Long-distance-bikes in pictures.

To Anne Mustoe homepage.


Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels and the World  by Anne Mustoe.

A Long Cloud Ride by Josie Dew

Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia by Roff Martin Smith.

Boomerang Road: A Pedalling Pom's Australian Odyssey by Quentin van Marle

Damn Denniston

Damn the track

Damn the way both there and back

Damn the wind and damn the weather

God damn Denniston altogether

From "The Denniston Rose”

Click for a larger road map

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