New Zealand – it really is an amazing destination for a self guided motorcycle tour. Pick your dates, book your flights and we'll do the rest! A fantastic two week tour of the ever popular South Island.
On hired motorbikes ride from Christchurch to Mount Cook, across Arthurs Pass, alongside the Franz Josef Glacier and up to the majestic fjord of Milford Sound. You will see dolphins and seals, cascading waterfalls and extraordinary landscapes - including the movie locations for The Lord of the Rings. You will taste the best Marlborough wines during your stay in Nelson, you will see whales at Kaikoura, and you will ride your motorcycle on tour through unspoilt countryside where sheep outnumber cars… Stay in Queenstown where you can bungee jump at Skippers Canyon, go white water rafting or Jet boating up the Dart River. Queenstown thrives on outdoor adventure activities! The ride up to Glenorchy is unforgettable as the road undulates alongside the beautiful lake in the shadow of the Remarkables mountain chain.
On an exciting motorcycle ride out to Invercargill at the southernmost tip of the South Island you can stop off and see an Indian motocycle built and raced at Bonneville salt flats in the USA by the late, legendary Burt Munro. You will meet some olde boys who knew Burt and whose tales add to the mystique of this extraordinary character made famous and immortalised by Anthony Hopkins in the movie "The World's Fastest Indian".
We have mapped out a detailed 15 day itinerary that takes in the whole of the South Island. Arriving at Christchurch we give you a day to chill out before embarking on this antipodean motorcycle adventure. Fourteen days on the bike of your choice along a planned route where the accommodation is pre-booked to make sure that you get the best out of your holiday (and out of the bike)
Day 1 - Arrive in Christchurch. Airport pick up and then to your hotel for a chill out for therest of the day or a walk around town.
Day 2- Christchurch to Mount Cook 357 kms
You leave the city and its earthquake history to ride through the Canterbury Plains and the faming towns before passing through the scenic lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki before arriving at the highest mountain in NZ, Aoraki (the Cloud Piercer, otherwise known as Mount Cook).
Day 3 - Mount Cook to Dunedin 377 kms
Travelling from Mt Cook you ride through the Otago towns of Twizel, Omarama, through the Waitaki Valley (note the hydro dams including the largest earthen dam in the southern hemisphere) to Oamaru where there is a large white stone precinct that is well known in the area plus a penguin colony you can visit to watch the penguins leave their burrows and return after fishing; you then travel down the coast past Moeraki and on to Dunedin.
Day 4 - Dunedin to Te Anau 304 kms
Dunedin is the Scottish capital of NZ and the home of New Zealnd's only castle. After enjoying the Castle and its fascinating history, you ride through the farmlands of Southland, through Milton, Gore and some of the most beautiful scenes possible. Your farm stay hosts are ready to welcome you with a nice home cooked meal, and a tour around their farm. They are also bikers so you can swap tall tales and experiences over a nice glass of wine.
Day 5 - At Lesiure in Te Anau
Day 5 - At Lesiure in Te Anau
Ride out to Milford Sound and enjoy a boat trip along the Fjord
Te Anau, where you depart from, has glow worm caves on islands in the lake. Te Anau is the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and base for trips to Lake Manapouri (and its underground power station), Hollyford Valley and Milford Sound. Milford sound is an experience not to be missed as the scenery is dramatic whether in sunshine or rain. The only access is via the Homer Tunnel and the scenery along the way is a camera magnet. The boat cruise is very popular and the commentary informative, especially for the Scenic Cruise.
Day 6 - Te Anau to Queenstown 168 kms
This road is a picture all the way. There are many little towns on the journey, The Key, Mossburn, Five Rivers, Athol and Kingston to name a few. The road then follows the lake shore with the Remarkables Mountain Range on the other lake shore until you get to Queenstown itself, a tourist mecca. Here you have a free day, so you can look around for what appeals most, shopping, cruising the lake on a steam powered launch, ride to Glenorchy at the head of the lake... the choices are endless. A longer route another 240kms takes you via Tuatapere, Bluff, the most southern point of the country and Invercargill ( the worlds fastest indian)
Day 7 - Free day in Queenstown
Day 7 - Free day in Queenstown
Day 8 - Queenstown to Fox Glacier 333 kms
Via Wanaka, and the Crown Range, Cardrona Valley, and Haast Pass. Don't miss the fish and chips at Jackson's Bay. The scenery changes dramatically from open grassland to thick jungle all within a few miles. The glaciers come almost to sea level and are easily accessible.
Day 9 -
Day 9 -Glaciers to Hanmer Springs 420 kms
This is a ride up the West Coast with all its forest and dramatic beaches, do not leave the bike unattended or the kea mountain parrot will extract any loose rubber mountings! Hokitika is a mecca for greenstone or Pounamu so a good place to take home a souvenir piece of jewellery. Shanty town is along this route, known for gold panning, you might even find some of your own!
Hanmer Springs boasts natural hot springs to soak the weary bones...... you can even hire towels, swim togs, and then while the evening away in one of the many bars and cafes on the main street
Day 10 - Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura 135 kms
This section travels across the mountains to the pacific ocean of the along to the known twists and turns of the Hundalee Hills, a biker's paradise to ride. Just as you exit the twisties you arrive in Kaikoura. At Kaikoura, you can book a whale watch trip either by boat or by plane.... all leaving from the main street. Try not to miss the Ohau Point baby seal pool just north of Kaikoura -its well sign posted.
Day 11 - Kaikoura to Nelson 260 kms
From Kaikoura we ride up the coast through the wine valleys of Blenheim and to the Queen Charlotte Drive through Marlborough Sounds, with its myriad of twists and turns, each giving a pretty view of either forest or bay depending on where you look.
Day 12 -
Day 12 -You have a free day in Nelson so make the most of it and take in some of the local sights to see. There are beaches galore, craft markets on a weekend and if you wish to ride further there is Takaka Hill and a nice salmon farm where you can catch your own dinner and have it smoked.
Day 13 - Nelson to Punakaiki 330 kms
So after leaving Nelson you plunge into the forest which doesn't let up until you pop out of it at Westport. The winding road follows the Buller river down the impressive gorge that took early explorers weeks to traverse. A quick blast down the coast brings us to Punakaiki. A wonderful location beside the ocean, dolphins, seals, palm tress and blow holes all closeby.
Day 14 - Punakaiki to Christchurch 300 kms
And now to ride home via Arthurs Pass, through the higher of the two mountain passes, with its dramatic mountain scenery and the engineering marvel of the viaduct which replaces a once treacherous stretch of road. Stop a moment to look at the signs and check out what was there previously. But don't leave the bike unattended or the keas will strike again!! Then you are back to your hotel for the last night of the tour. Return bike to rental depot.
Day 15 - Tour ends! A trip to remember..................time to plan the next one!
Please note that the distances between stops are very approximate as we cannot guarantee that travellers will ride without diverging from the route to view something interesting....
New Zealand really is heaven on earth. You will want to live there.
This is an self-guided tour with accommodation, bike hire, day by day detailed route plans and helpful touring advice included. The most popular time to visit New Zealand is during our winter (December-March) to enjoy the summer months. Early March is a good time as Summer starts to turn to Autumn in the Antipodes at this time of year. You will need to book your own cheap flight. There is a broad choice of available machines – our preference is the Honda VFR or Pan European if two-up but please make sure to book early to secure the motorcycle of your choice!
For further information on this motorbike tour request our Fact Sheet via our Contacts Page CLICK HERE.
For those who wish to make the most of New Zealand we offer a wonderful 3 week self-guided tour of North & South Islands.
We had a great 2013 escorted tour so check out our blog HERE