New Zealand

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by jay clock, 14 Jan 2008.

  1. jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    Off to NZ in 12 days time. Flying into Auckland then 3 weeks around the North Island. Current plans are to head along the coast eastwards, round the East Cape, then back via Taupo and Rotorua. I have 3 weeks. If I have time I will do a loop north of Auckland before flying home.

    Any one been there, cycling or non-cycling, and got any useful tips or comments?
  2. redfox

    redfox New Member

    Bourne End, UK
    I'm pretty jealous, its on my to-do list.

    I remember reading a few moans, from people who tour NZ often, about a decline in respect for cyclists over recent years. Can't remember what forum that was on, but the theory was that cycle tourism was less important since Lord of the rings revived the industry.

    Make sure you take your lid, they are compulsory! ;)
  3. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Argh! Jealous!!! I love New Zealand! :biggrin:
  4. wakemalcolm

    wakemalcolm New Member

    I'm off in 4 weeks time. Main advice I was given from an Aucklander was head as far south as your schedule allows. Who knows if that's good advice.
  5. Ben

    Ben New Member

    Been twice but never as much as looked at a bike on either occasion. Looking at it from the European cycle tourist's opinion it is a country with some long hauls between larger towns or the usual tourist hotspots. There is very little choice of routes, there generally being one only road between A and B and these roads necessarily carry all traffic. Also and rather oddly I would say the South Island which is more famed for its scenery, may be easier to cycle as there are relatively flat plains either side of the Southern Alps. The North Island is seriously undulating, most days I think would be unrelentingly hilly if not seriously steep.
  6. Dormouse

    Dormouse New Member

    I went there for two months, mainly hiking in the mountains in the South Island which I would recommend. I mainly drove around the North Island because the weather turned very unsettled and wet with local flooding, a bit like UK weather now except warmer! That was in February. It is well geared up for tourists with plenty of hostels and friendly people.

    My views on the N Island: I would get out of Auckland ASAP, it does not have much going for it. Coromandel Peninsula is worth visiting, quite scenic and not too touristy but I remember some big hills. East Cape is very quiet with some interesting bits of Maori culture but not very scenic. Napier is definitely worth a visit for the Art Deco architecture. Rotorua is very touristy but worth a visit for the boiling mud pools, hot springs etc. North of Auckland, try and see the Kauri trees, they are impressive. As for the big volcanoes I only saw them from the air, the cloud was always down otherwise. The glow worm caves are also worth seeing for a different kind of experience.
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    pay this a visit :wacko:
  8. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    I spent 15 years of my youth there. No, it wasn't a sentence! Given the time you have, your proposed itinerary is as good as any. I agree that you shouldn't spend too much time in Auckland. It's a city and whilst not without interest is not special either. North of Auckland is worth a look. You are going around the Coromandel too aren't you? It'll offer a contrast to the more isolated and rugged sections of the East Cape.

    It's a shame you can't get down to the South Island but you really would need more time for that. Next time perhaps eh?
  9. raybo

    raybo Well-Known Member

    This page at provides 6 links to bike touring in New Zealand. Perhaps some of them will be of interest to you.

  10. OP
    jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    thanks for the further comments. I looked at Ray's site yesterday and it is great - really useful articles. As for Baldwin St, luckily I am only doing the North Island which is of course as flat as the Netherlands!
  11. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Take good waterproofs - at this time of the year when its nice its very nice - but when it rains it RAINS

    If you go north of auckland probably best to plan as one way - number of roads is limited

    be very careful NZ drivers are not at the top of the league wrt cyclists - or so I am imformed by a friend who works in the traffic safety department there - ive been twice and did not really have any close calls but there were two serious incidents with touring cyclists while I was out there

    campsites can be a long way apart - supermarkets in the centres are excellent New World but local shops can be a little sparsley stocked - take aways outside of the towns is generally limited to fish and chips which they never seem to be open at the sort of time you need them

    getting south out of auckland can be fraught (although I understand that there are cycle routes now)

    sand flies can be a problem so make sure that you have a good industrial strength repellent

    Sorry if this sounds negative I thouroughly enjoyed my 4.5 weeks (Auckland To wellington circumnvigation of south island) and 3 weeks cape reinga to Auckland and Auckland - New Plymouth - Wellington - Gisborn - Auckland) the people are friendly the scenery terrific (weather variable) its mega place to cycle
  12. zummerzet_lou

    zummerzet_lou New Member

    Christchurch, UK
    Hiya Jay,

    Have no advise, but wanted to ask if you could fill me in on your trip when you return?

    Hubby and I are in the midst of emigrating to New Zealand .. we are waiting for the paper work to go through and the house to sell!

    Hope you have a fab time ...

  13. I'll second Lou: please give us some sort of write-up when you get back. or or somewhere like that, maybe. Lots of pics with your new camera.

    It's on our list of places to visit; we just want to know how near the top you think it should be.
  14. OP
    jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    I will be doing CGOAB.... if I could find a super lighweight way of typing it up as I go along, I would do. I do have an old PDA with a fold-out keyboard but the charger weighs a ton. The other option is a new PDA or a light laptop (Asus EEE?) but either option will be close to a kg, and I still have to find places to log on.

    So the solution is small notebook, possibly a brief 3 line update whenever I find an internet caff, vague chance of some piccies during the trip. However I will do a full update on CGOAB when I get back. My previous tours are on there already

    My plan is now quite firm - ferry from Auckland to Coromandel, coast as far as Napier if poss, then Taupo and Rotorua. In view of the terrain, I think I will do well to average 100km a day, quite possibly less. I am interested in seeing the East Cape, as Dormouse says above "not very scenic" and my bro -in law reckons it is one of his best ever cycling days (he did three months in NZ by bike)

    Only 4 days to go!!
  15. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Jay Clock, can you make the journal funny, witty, informative and interesting in a light prose style please!!:tongue:
    I like reading other peoples' tales in the winter months to keep me going till my next trip ( Norfolk to Brighton) so not quite as exotic as yours!
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