New Zealand2024-01-12T04:29:13+00:00

New Zealand – Mountains to Sea

This breathtaking 21-day journey of New Zealand covers both the North and South Islands. We start in Auckland and finish in Christchurch, visiting iconic attractions. You will ride the twisty, scenic roads of the Coromandel Peninsula, explore the North Island’s wine country, and delve into the fantasy of the Hobbiton movie set. After crossing the Cook Strait by ferry, discover the Marlborough wine region, Franz Joseph Glacier, Queenstown, Invercargill, and Mt. Cook on the beautiful South Island. This captivating tour promises spectacular landscapes, thrilling roads, and encounters with the friendly Kiwi locals, ensuring an unforgettable adventure in the land of the Long White Cloud.

from

CAD $17,545

per person

DIFFICULTY

MORE INFO

DURATION

21

DISTANCE 4,200 km / 2,600 mi

PAVED 100%

GRAVEL 0%

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

PRICES AND DATES

Prices

CAD $17,545 with BMW F750GS and Shared Accommodations

OPTIONS

  • Passenger price +CAD $10,895

  • BMW F850GS +CAD $1,595

  • BMW R1250GS +CAD $2,590

  • Single room supplement +CAD $2,545

Includes

  • All highlights as noted

  • 21 nights accommodation

  • All breakfasts

  • All dinners on riding days (some picnic lunches, weather permitting)

  • Guide on motorcycle
  • Second guide with chase truck

  • Park entrance fees and tolls

  • Airport transfers

  • Motorcycle rental with basic insurance

  • Dedicated office staff for trip planning
  • Road book for day-to-day routing
  • The BEST welcome pack in the motorcycle touring world!

Excludes

  • Any visas, pre-trip medical items, trip & medical insurance

  • Personal travel to or from Tour
  • Most lunches

  • Dinners on rest days

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Fuel
  • Staff and local guide gratuities

Dates

2024
November 23 – December 13 | Open

2025
February 22 – March 14 | Open

See full list in Terms and Conditions

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Auckland, North Island

Welcome Day in New Zealand – No riding

KIA ORA!

Riders will normally arrive in Auckland a day or two before the tour starts to explore this beautiful city or get a head start on jet lag.

Our tour officially starts at noon from our hotel located in the beautiful suburb of Parnell, with a welcome dinner and a pre-departure tour briefing this evening.

DAY 2

Paihia – North Island
Riding Distance – 230km

We kick off the riding part of the tour when leaving the hustle and bustle of Auckland behind, heading north on New Zealand’s State Highway 1 to Paihia in the historic Bay of Islands in Northland. Enjoy your first bit of riding over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and then on to Paihia through New Zealand farming country and, conditions permitting, via a wonderful section of road around Helena Bay before arriving in Pahia – a first day that is reasonably short to allow everyone time to get into their tour modes.

DAY 3

Paihia – North Island
Riding Distance – Optional

We find ourselves in the amazing Paihia and the adjacent settlements of Russell and Waitangi, which were the first places settled by Europeans in New Zealand. Waitangi is also where the chiefs of New Zealand ceded sovereignty of New Zealand to the British Crown by signing the Waitangi treaty in 1840. Today is an optional day for you to either choose to ride north towards Cape Reinga through the spectacular Northland or to be a tourist and take part in one of the many enjoyable activities on offer in this area, such as a dolphin cruise to the Hole in The Rock.

DAY 4

Waimauku – North Island
Riding Distance – 340km

Leaving the coast and the sheltered Bay of Islands to travel west to the Hokianga Harbour, we will be riding through typical Northland farming country, before we reach Ōmāpere, set on the south shore of the Hokianga harbour with swimmable beaches and views across the harbour of massive sand dunes. From here we will turn south again to visit the Waipoua Kauri Forest and then some more enjoyable roads to ride until we reach our overnight stop outside Waimauku.

DAY 5

Coromandel – North Island
Riding Distance – 250km

Today we will cross over to the East Coast and towards Coromandel Township, quite a leisurely ride around different beach communities and down and around the Inlet of the Firth of Thames. Lunch is normally in a quaint beach café, followed by a few scenic stops overlooking the Haruaki Gulf. Lookout for beautiful overhanging Pohutakawa trees on this section of road, before finding our way over hills with spectacular panoramic views of the sea, farmland, and islands, before reaching Coromandel Town

DAY 6

Rotorua – North Island
Riding Distance – 300km

(Image Credit: Sara Orme)

A big day today!

From Coromandel, we ride down the east coast shoreline, taking in more views of sublime beaches and sheltered bays with calm and clear water. The riding today will be hilly and twisty, so you will need to be on the top of your game! After Whangamatā, we leave the coast and head inland towards Matamata, providing the opportunity for those who want to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, before reaching Rotorua, our stop for the next two nights. Rotorua has always been a great center of Māori culture and will prove to be an enjoyable stop on the tour. During the evening we will visit the Redwood Forest, for a magical treetop walk.

DAY 7

Rotorua – North Island
No Riding – Optional Day

Given that there is quite a bit to do in Rotorua, you have a lot of options to choose from during this optional day – Cultural villages, plenty of places to view the old settlements, luge racing, hot geothermal spas are but a few options to consider, other than just relaxing next to the hotel pool. During the early evening we will visit the famous Te Pui Geyser and a Maori Cultural show.

DAY 8

Napier – North Island
Riding Distance – 370km

Today is another long ride, but it will be worth it. Our route will take us past the Huka falls and then through the tourist towns of Lake Taupo and down State Highway 1 to Taihape. We then head east and over to the biker-famous road called Gentle Annie, a long and sometimes twisty rural road. Conditions permitting, we will have a picnic lunch at the historical Springvale Suspension Bridge that spans the Rangitikei River before we reach yet another beautiful and popular area in New Zealand, Hawkes Bay, famous for its wine, fruit, and agriculture. Our overnight stop is in Napier with its downtown art deco architecture.

DAY 9

Masterton – North Island
Riding Distance – 230km

Leaving Napier we will quickly ascend the Te Mata Peak, before heading off to Masterton, the largest rural service town in the Wairarapa District. Masterton is our last overnight daystop on the North Island and will set us up well for our escape to the South Island the following day.

DAY 10

Blenheim – South Island
Riding Distance – 130km (+ 100km Ferry Ride)

(Photo Credit: MarlboroughNZ)

During our last day on the North Island, we travel to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, but not before we ride through a few quaint towns. In Wellington we will board one of the inter-island ferries for a 3-hour sea voyage to Picton, reaching the South Island after crossing the Cook Strait to enter the magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound through the narrow Tory Channel. From Picton, it’s a short hop into Blenheim, the largest town in the world-famous (from a Sauvignon Blanc perspective) Marlborough Province – tonight is your chance to sample the local produce in its home environment.

DAY 11

Hanmer Springs – South Island
Riding Distance – 260km

(Photo Credit: Kyle Mulinder)

From Blenheim we travel down the east coast of the South Island past a seal colony and hopefully we also spot some whales. This region was devastated after a major earthquake in 2016, so keep an eye out for areas of bleached white former ocean floor, which is now high and dry as a result of the earthquake. Leaving the coast west towards Hanmer Springs, we will navigate a twisty country road past a privately owned Formula 1 track. The town of Hanmer Springs is a gorgeous small resort town in North Canterbury with oak-lined streets, so get your swimming togs ready!

DAY 12

Punakaiki – South Island
Riding Distance – 260km

Today we ride through the Waiau and Hope river valleys and cross over the Southern Alps to what is colloquially known as the “West Coast” or simply “the Coast”. The road follows a gradual uphill climb where the scenery changes from farm pasture to sub-alpine beech forest. We will cross the Alps via Lewis Pass, the northernmost of the South Island’s three passes over the Southern Alps. We will most likely have lunch in Reefton, a small mining town and very proud to have been the first in New Zealand to install electric power in 1888. With the mountains behind us we will head north from Reefton to run down the Buller River to the sea and then on to Punakaiki, our stop for the night.

DAY 13

Franz Josef Glacier – South Island
Riding Distance – 230km

Another easy and enjoyable day of riding lies ahead as we continue south down the coast to ‘Franz.’ On the ride south, we will encounter many small rivers to cross, but beware – a number of them only have one-way bridges. Riding the coast is an experience of isolation and natural beauty. It’s pristine, with windswept beaches, farm grassland, snow-covered mountains, tree-fringed lakes, and dense beech forests. The town of Franz Josef Glacier is named after a glacier that flows from the Southern Alps Grand Plateau at 12,000 feet to less than 1,000 feet above sea level.

DAY 14

Queenstown – South Island
Riding Distance – 360km

From Franz we wind our way down the remaining coast passing through Fox Glacier, with mountains on the left and sea on the right, riding past lakes and rivers in an area inhabited by very few humans. At the little town of Haast we head inland up the Haast River and then over the southernmost of the mountain passes to the east – Haast Pass, finding our way through Wanaka and over the Crown Range to Queenstown where we will spend the next two nights.

DAY 15

Queenstown – South Island
No Riding – Optional Day

(Photo Credit: Dennis & Alice Law)

Queenstown is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, a lake renowned for its scenic beauty nestled in between the mountains. It is one of the world’s most popular venues for adventure tourism, with ski fields, paragliding, and tramping tracks within easy reach. Queenstown however is the place where jet boating and bungee jumping were put on the world map, so make some wise choices when you decide what to do during this optional day, so that you make the most of it!

DAY 16

Te Anua – South Island
Riding Distance – 180km

(Image Credit: Corin Walker Bain)

We have a relatively short ride today, but a lot on the menu. The road skirting Lake Wakatipu just outside Queenstown is just spectacular before we pass through Garston, New Zealand’s most inland village and furthest from any coast. At Te Anua, we will get ready to explore the Te Anua Glow-worm Caves, but not before we see the movie “Fiordland”, a documentary only shown in its own dedicated theatre, made by a local helicopter pilot with remarkable aerial shots of the mountains, waterfalls, and fiords that would otherwise be impossible to experience.

DAY 17

Te Anua – South Island (For Milford Sound)
Riding Distance – 250km (Optional)

It’s back out to the coast to the spectacular Milford Sound. Today is an optional day trip with a fjord cruise while enjoying lunch sailing through the Milford Sound. A spectacular ride out and back to the Sound and because of its ruggedness, this area of New Zealand is largely uninhabited and comprises New Zealand’s largest National Park. Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is breath-taking in any weather – with its fiord’s cliffs, mountainous peaks, and waterfalls as high as 3,000ft. Make sure not to sleep in during this optional day!

DAY 18

Gore – South Island
Riding Distance – 260km

From Te Anua we head south towards Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost town. Riding through rolling Southland countryside with hedgerows and small country towns along the way, reaching the south 46th parallel of latitude. For those interested to see Burt Munro’s “World’s Fastest Indian”, which appeared in the movie of the same name, we will stop in Invercargill’s E Hayes and Sons Hardware store, which also host the E Hayes Motorworks Collection and Burt’s famous Indian Scout. From Invercargill we may choose to ride all the way down to the Bluff, or proceed directly to Gore – just a small hop to this small country town with its population of about 8,000, known for its country music scene.

DAY 19

Aoraki/Mt Cook – South Island
Riding Distance – 370km

Our second last day of riding on this tour has us heading north back to the Southern Alps, crossing another mountain pass, the Lindis, to get into the Mackenzie Basin. You will find the countryside is semi-arid because of its altitude, but during the last 20 years, new irrigation schemes have seen the introduction of green grass and livestock. We then hug Lake Pukaki to reach Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain at just over 12,000 feet. This was Sir Edmund Hillary’s training ground before conquering Mt Everest in 1953, and we will also have a short stop at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

DAY 20

Christchurch – South Island
Riding Distance – 340km

(Photo Credit: Miles Holden)

All good things come to an end! This is our last day of riding, backtracking down Lake Pukaki and then turning north through the “Mackenzie Country”, named after a famous New Zealand sheep stealer and on to the Canterbury plains, riding through farming communities with dairy being their particular speciality before we eventually arrive in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island and New Zealand’s second city. Although badly affected by an earthquake in 2011, the city has largely been rebuilt. Christchurch is a particularly English city with oak trees, parks and gardens and gothic architecture. After handing back our bikes, we will enjoy our final group dinner.

DAY 21

Christchurch – South Island
Flyout

After breakfast the remainder of our paperwork will be completed, and we will be left with New Zealand memories as our trip officially comes to an end.

Until next time, kia ora!