Best of New Zealand
13 Days, 13 Nights 4000km / 2400 miles
We call it the best because that’s what it is. There is no finer guided tour of New Zealand, of that we’re pretty sure. You’ll pass through stunning scenery and visit the most breathtaking attractions both islands have to offer. Start in Auckland on the North Island and ride through some truly epic landscapes en-route to your final stop in Christchurch. 3 weeks of the finest experiences you can possible imagine and then some!
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most cosmopolitan city and its perfect blend of culture, harbour, islands and city lifestyle ensure there is something for everyone. You don’t have to be a yachtsman to appreciate the ‘City of Sails’!
Stroll through Queen Street, enjoy some of the best dining in New Zealand and cruise magnificent Waitemata Harbour, the ‘heart’ of the city. Wherever you are in Auckland, you’re never very far from the water, hemmed in on either side by the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. A day spent in Auckland is a day well spent, and one that you’ll remember for a long time to come.
Mount Maunganui and the Coromandel Peninsula
An area immensely popular with Kiwis everywhere, so you know this place must be something special. The Coromandel is one of the most popular and best loved holiday destinations in New Zealand, and you’ll easily be able to see why.
The abundant serenity attracts ‘alternative lifestyle aficionados’ away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland, but most come for the best beaches on the North Island and coastal scenery unrivalled anywhere. With a backdrop of rugged hills and mountains draped with lush green native forest, the pristine white sandy beaches offer a marked and pleasant contrast.
What better way to end the day than swim in crystal clear blue water, then dig a hole in the sand at Hot Water Beach and relax in your own sandy hot water spa!
Mount Taranaki’s 2,518m towering volcanic cone dominates the landscape in this lesser travelled area of New Zealand, a promontory far in the western reach of the North Island. New Plymouth is an affluent deep water port and serves as the hub for exploring around the legendary mountain.
Vying for your attention is epic surf, spectacular yet surprisingly intimate gardens and parks, the unmistakable mountain and countless outdoor and cultural adventures. Round it all off with some brilliant roads to ride, and it’s easy to see why the region prides itself on being a destination ‘like no other’.
Tongariro National Park
A ride along the famous ‘Desert Road’ brings you to Mount Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s first national park, designated in 1887. You’ll recognise it from a distance though if you’re a fan of J.R.R Tolkein. Mount Ngauruhoe featured as ‘Mount Doom’ in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, whilst the rest of the park featured as the somewhat less than enticing ‘Mordor’.
In reality of course it’s a fascinating and magical landscape, rich with significance in Maori heritage and a true wonder of nature. Three active volcanoes tower over the landscape, around which the park offers excellent hiking in summer and great skiing in winter.
Hawkes Bay and Napier
Napier is famous as one of the finest examples of an Art Deco city anywhere in the world but there’s so much more! Situated at the southern end of Hawkes Bay, palm trees fringe the city streets, parks and gardens punctuate the blocks of art deco buildings at frequent intervals and a Mediterranean climate all combine to create a superb atmosphere.
Friendly people, great restaurants offering various culinary delights and over 30 local Hawkes Bay wineries are simply the icing on an already pretty fantastic cake.
Capital city of New Zealand and either the welcoming port of arrival from the South Island, or majestic harbour backdrop to your departure from the North. As well as the administrative capital, Wellington is also graced with the honour of being Arts and Culture capital of New Zealand, and as such, is blessed with a liberal sprinkling of great cafés, restaurants and bars that seem to follow the artistic types around.
Fine museums, including the internationally renowned ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’, a bustling waterfront, the Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Ballet and magnificently preserved 19th century buildings and so much more.
Some might argue there’s more to see than you could ever fit into even a week’s worth of lingering in the pretty streets.
Abel Tasman National Park
Explore New Zealand’s ‘most liveable’ city. Nelson has some beautiful Victorian houses and is an epicentre for alternative lifestylers. There are also superb beaches and national parks to visit further afield.
A once little known region of New Zealand the Abel Tasman National Park is a place that well deserves its new found reputation. A perfect blend of physical exertion and beach life make Abel Tasman a highlight of the South Island. Golden beaches washed clear by crystal blue waters, fringe an area liberally sprinkled with caves, potholes and rolling limestone hills.
Sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling can be a welcome break from the saddle, or if you’re hankering after something a little more challenging, there are plenty of walking trails close at hand.
The West Coast
The West Coast is an untamed place of wild rivers, lush rainforest, glaciers and geological marvels, rugged beaches and high mountain peaks. Hemmed in by the energetic Tasman sea to the west and towering peaks, lush rainforest and bush to the east, the whole area is never more than 50km wide along the whole stretch of the South Island. The locals are a bunch of independent, fiercely self-reliant, unfailingly friendly and hospitable people. Enjoy their company along the way, but expect a lot of unspoiled wilderness as there are only 31,000 residents in the whole region!
The ‘Pancake Rocks’ and blowholes at Punakaiki are among the West Coast’s most famous sights, formed by the relentless actions of wind and rain over thousands of years they truly are a sight worth seeing. There are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs off the bike along the way. Scenic walks that explore the surf pounded beaches, native forest, lakes and natural hot pools will ensure that there’s never a dull moment.
Hamner Springs is the centre of the Hurunui district of New Zealand. The area offers a diverse landscape ranging from towering snow-capped peaks, through to breathtaking ocean views and whale watching at Kaikoura. The town itself is built on a popular natural hot spring which was discovered in the late 19th century, and which now offers a luxurious way to ease any aches and pains you might have from your time spent in the saddle, exploring this fascinating area of New Zealand.
Westland National Park and Fox Glacier
The ride over the Alps via the beautiful Haast Pass, through the Westland National Park is probably one of the best motorcycling road you can imagine. The route twists around steep slopes with breathtaking views over the glacier lakes of Hawea and Wanaka, then down into the lakeside town of the same name. Peaks that are over 3000 metres high relax into lowland rainforest at the edge of the Tasman Sea, this area is an exquisitely beautiful slice of wilderness.
After experiencing the fantastic riding in the area, you’ll arrive at two of the fastest moving glaciers in the world – ‘Fox’ and ‘Franz Josef’. Tumbling rivers of ice, streaking down the valleys towards the sea at a rate of up to four metres per year. There are plenty of great bush walks or hikes out onto the ice, but the best way to see the glaciers themselves is via helicopter. Of course just because the glaciers are in a hurry doesn’t mean you should be.
The aptly titled ‘adrenaline capital of the world’ has plenty to keep you busy, and is situated right on the shores of the majestic ‘Lake Wakatipu’ which forms the perfect backdrop to any of the thrilling activities on offer. If biking round New Zealand wasn’t exciting enough as it is, you can choose from bungy jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, river surfing, white-water sledging, paragliding, parachuting, canyoning, mountain biking and aerial sightseeing to name but a few of the activities on offer.
For the more mellow visitor, Queenstown has some of the best restaurants on the South Island, fascinating sightseeing tours, spa treatments, boutique shopping and much, much more…
Although…with so many things to jump off, swing from or leap towards it would almost be a shame to keep your feet on the ground!
Superb roads and heart arrestingly awesome scenery must mean you’re in Fiordland, one of the most dramatic and beautiful regions of New Zealand. This indescribably picturesque area was carved out by glaciers over 100,000 years ago and is on every tourist’s agenda.
Waterfalls cascade into the deep black fiords, immeasurably ancient rainforest clings to the slopes of the mountains and shimmering lakes hold secrets just waiting to be discovered. A region untouched by time, and seemingly crafted specifically for motorcycle touring. Visit Milford Sound for a spectacular cruise, investigate the smaller fiords by kayak or simply explore the area on your bike.
There is only one main road in and out but you won’t mind, you’ll spend ages pulling over and admiring the scenery.
Mount Cook [Aoraki]
Arguably most impressive things you will see in New Zealand, Mount Cook will get you in the right frame of mind for riding the fantastic alpine roads which surround this natural marvel. At 3,574 metres high Mount Cook dominates the surrounding area for miles around, gazing down on the ‘Four Peaks Range’ and motorcyclists alike as they enjoy the twisting roads, turquoise lakes, snow capped mountains and everything else this World Heritage Area incorporates.
A ski plane flight over the Tasman Glacier would be a good opportunity to get a birds eye view of the sort of terrain you’ll be riding over as you explore what New Zealand has to offer.
Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand South Island. There is plenty for you to see including Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Cathedral Square, Christchurch Arts Centre and Museums, plus a lot more!
Prices are based on your bike choice :
|Suzuki DL650/SV650; Honda VLX600/VT1300||£6256|
|BMW F700GS/F800GS; Triumph Tiger 800/1050||£6735|
*Prices quoted may fluctuate due to exchange rates. Please contact us for up to date prices.
Not Included in our New Zealand guided motorcycle tours:
Flights, visas, fuel, lunch, dinner and drinks (including from hotel mini-bar).
If you are riding in hot temperatures, you may wish to consider our Mesh and Hyperkewl products.