Bike & Drive

Duration: 24 Days
Starts: Auckland
Finishes: Christchurch

Our Bike & Drive tour is for people who love cycling but do not want to miss the classic highlights that New Zealand has to offer.

Travel in the comfort of a rental car and simply get on your bike whenever you feel like a ride. With the bonus of fresh air and exercise, the day rides are an unbeatable way to go exploring.

Imagine riding through dense New Zealand bush where the only sound is the call of native birds above the hum of your bike. Or a trail with views of a snow capped mountain and lake that simply takes your breath away. The New Zealand Cycle Trail has it all to offer.

You can choose to ride as much or as little as you like - we provide everything you need for the trip, including high quality bicycles and comprehensive cycle tour descriptions.

DAY

01

Arrive Auckland

On arrival in Auckland Meet & Greet by REST NEW ZEALAND TOURS. Transfer to your accommodation in Auckland and handover of travel documents.

Please note: If you bring your own bike the pick-up procedure will change accordingly.

DAY

02

Auckland - Coromandel Peninsula (Tairua)

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 4 HOURS, 260 KM

Pick up your rental car and your bike at the depot. Travel along the western shores of Coromandel Peninsula to Coromandel Town. Cafés and small shops invite you for a stop. You stay overnight in Tairua, where you can play golf, do some kayaking or simply relax at the beach. The short walk to the top of Mount Paku rewards you with a great view.

DAY

03

Coromandel Peninsula - Rotorua

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 3.5 HOURS, 215 KM

You travel along the East Coast and pass through the Kiwi growing area of Te Puke. Make a stop at the visitor centre and learn all about the national fruit of New Zealand. Later you arrive in Rotorua, the heartland of Maori culture and centre of thermal activities in New Zealand. We recommend a Maori cultural show with a traditional Hangi for the evening.

DAY

04

Rotorua

Rotorua is a region rich in stunning landscapes. Discover 18 sparkling lakes, magnificent native and exotic forests, geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and the best of New Zealand’s fascinating Maori culture.

Bike tours grade 1-6

You can cycle along the lake and visit the interesting Ohinemutu Marae or bike to the historic Whakarewarewa Village and Whakarewarewa Forest, with the oldest bike network in the country. The tracks are an unbeatable mix of challenging terrain and great scenery. Length is around 70 km and difficulty grades between 1 and 6.

If you don’t like to ride a bike today the many forests and lakes around Rotorua offer a wide range of walking tracks and water sports. After your sporty adventures you can relax in the warm waters of the Polynesian Spa.

DAY

05

Rotorua - Taupo - Ohakune

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 2.5 HOURS, 215 KM

You are driving south and pass Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. A side trip takes you to a viewpoint of the roaring Huka Falls. Lake Taupo fascinates on a clear day with spectacular views to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.

Huka Falls Trails, 23 km round trip, grade 2

Today you have the option of cycling Huka Falls Trails. The track starts in Taupo at the Spa Thermal Park and heads north. The track meanders through gullies, twists around trees, runs alongside open farm land, crosses two streams via bridges, passes through culverts and has great views of the Waikato River and open valleys all the way to the Huka Falls.

DAY

06

Ohakune/Tongariro National Park

Bike tours grade 2-4

Explore the inspiring and challenging landscape in Tongariro National Park. The active volcanoes change the countryside all the time and make this park one of the most spectacular and interesting in New Zealand. Bikers love the varied landscapes and typography discovered on the many trails with two of the seven trails which are part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project to be found in the region - Central North Island Rail Trail (The Timber Trail) and Mountains to Sea Trails.

DAY

07

Ohakune - Wellington

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 5 HOURS, 320 KM

Today drive via Whanganui River Road to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. The city lies on a large bay with a harbour, from where the ferries to the South Island start. Apart from being the political centre of New Zealand it is also a place for the arts and cultural life.

DAY

08

Wellington

Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital city and New Zealand’s centre of government and it is also New Zealand’s cultural capital. We recommend a sightseeing tour and a walk along the waterfront to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand. Here you get in depth information about the country’s history and culture. A walk up Mt Victoria rewards with 360 degree views of the city and harbour.

DAY

09

Wellington - Picton - Blenheim

FERRY CROSSING 3.5 HOURS, DRIVING TIME 0.5 HOURS, 35 KM

The trip on the ferry takes you through picturesque Marlborough Sound to Picton. Stay overnight on a boutique vineyard from where you can do a bike tour in the area. For the more advanced biker we recommend the drive over Tylors Pass to Wither Hills Mountain Bike Farm (2-3).

DAY

10

Blenheim - Nelson

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 1.5 HOURS, 114 KM

Drive via Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock, the mussel capital of New Zealand, to Nelson with the most hours of sun in the country. It is also the centre of fruit and wine growing industry of this region. Enjoy the local art scene.

DAY

11

Nelson

Today you have the option to cycle or to visit Abel Tasman National Park.

Great Taste Trail, part of Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail: Nelson - Wakefield, 31km one way, grade 2

From Nelson, cycle on the Coastal Route towards Richmond where the Great Taste Trail splits in two. Through Brightwater, the trail weaves along a mix of streets taking you to Wakefield, where you can have your well-deserved break. You take the same route back to Nelson.

Nelson to Mapua via Rabbit Island Ferry, 33 km one way, grade 2

The trail offers riders views stretching from the Western Ranges to the stunning blue waters of the Tasman Bay and the Waimea Estuary - home of a range of bird species including the white heron. From Rabbit Island (30km west of Nelson) you can catch the Flat Bottom Ferry across to the village of Mapua, which has a range of shops to buy food from. After refuelling, catch the ferry back to Rabbit Island and cycle back to the start.

Abel Tasman National Park offers a wide range of activities and plenty of walks for all fitness levels. Or simply relax on the golden sand of Kaiteriteri Beach.

DAY

12

Nelson - Paparoa National Park/ Punakaiki

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 5.5 HOURS, 315 KM

The drive along the winding Buller Gorge takes you to the wild West Coast. A side trip in Westport to a seal colony at Cape Foulwind is worthwhile. We recommend later a walk along the Pororari River near Punakaiki. Sunset at the Pancake Rocks will be a memorable experience.

DAY

13

Punakaiki

Bike tour ca. 20 km or longer if desired, grade 2

You have a full day to explore the West Coast. Go along the coastal road with the opportunity to branch off into the Paparoa National Park. The bizarre rock formations at the coast and the subtropical climate with plenty of sun and rain are responsible for the diverse flora. Insiders consider this to be the best National Park in New Zealand. Take advantage of the hiking tracks and get close to nature in this very remote part of the country. Bikers can do the trip to Cave Creek or ride the Tiropahi Tram Track.

DAY

14

Punakaiki - Westland National Park/ Franz Josef

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 4 HOURS, 225 KM

You continue along the West Coast. Greymouth and Hokitika are the jade centres of the country. Visit a workshop and watch the jade carvers do their art work. Glaciers, rainforest and coast are close together in Westland National Park. There is a lot to see and to do like a jet boat tour in Whataroa to a White Heron Colony where you can watch these rare birds. Helicopter flights with glacier landing are possible from Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. Bike to one of the glaciers and do one of the many walks.

DAY

15

Westland National Park - Wanaka

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 4.5 HOURS, 290 KM

In the morning walk around Lake Matheson when the water is still and the surrounding mountains reflecting in the lake. Follow the coast to Haast and take advantage of the many walks on the way. We recommend a stop at Ship Creek Walk and a side trip to Monro Beach. During the months of October to December you might even be lucky and see penguins and hector dolphins playing in the sea. You drive over Haast Pass to Wanaka.

DAY

16

Wanaka

Bike tour ca. 18 km, grade 1

Explore the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka. Bike the Wanaka Outlet Track and the Millennium Track along the lake and Clutha River. More challenging are the tracks of the bike network of The Plantation and Hikuwai Reserve with many tracks to choose from. If you like to do a walk instead, the interesting tour to Rob Roy Glacier is highly recommended. You will never get so easy so close to a glacier.

DAY

17

Wanaka - Queenstown

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 2 HOURS, 70 KM

You drive over the Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest official pass. We recommend a side tour to historic Arrowtown before you drive to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of the world. Experience unique scenery, search for adventure, seek out relaxation and rejuvenation, or to just breathe pure mountain air. The region is home to plenty of hiking and biking trails, guided tours, family activities, boat cruises, and scenic flights to Milford and Doubtful Sound or spa and wellness centres.

DAY

18

Queenstown

Guided bike tour Lake Wakatipu - Mavora Lakes, 48 km, grade 3

You are booked for a guided tour to the remote Mavora Lakes. The steamship TSS Earnslaw takes you over Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station where a tour guide with minibus and bikes is waiting for you. You bike through uninhabited pristine scenery to the lakes. Mavora Lakes also served as location for filming the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

DAY

19

Queenstown - Clyde (Otago Central Rail Trail)

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 1.5 HOURS, 90 KM

Unguided bike tour on the Otago Central Rail Trail, pre-booked, min. 30km, grade 2

Leave Queenstown early this morning to spend the day on one of the Great New Zealand Cycle Trails - the Otago Central Rail Trail. Drive via Cromwell to Clyde where you will be fitted with bikes. The transport goes north into the peace and quiet of the Ida Valley from where you begin your tour through the Poolburn Gorge to Omakau for your arranged lunch stop. Continue through Chatto Creek and Alexandra back to Clyde where you stay overnight.

DAY

20

Clyde - Twizel

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 2 HOURS, 160 KM

Bike tour, grade 2

Drive back to Cromwell and over Lindis Pass and Omarama to Twizel where you can use the afternoon to explore the Pukaki Flats conservation area (signposted 1.5 km north of Twizel). It is an open, expansive block of hard tussock grasslands with great views towards Aoraki/Mount Cook. Not less interesting is the side trip from Omarama to the Clay Cliffs. This bizarre rock formations change colours depending on the time of the day

DAY

21

Twizel

Bike tours Twizel, 22-38 km, grade 2

Today, enjoy a leisurely day to explore the Dusky Trail between Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau in Ruataniwha Conservation Park or cycle part of the Alps2Ocean trail to Lake Ohau.

DAY

22

Twizel - (Mount Cook) - Tekapo

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 1 (+2) HOURS, 56 KM (+110)

The short drive today gives you time for a visit to Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Many walks of various lengths start at Mount Cook Village. Guided and unguided glacier and climbing tours are also available.

Then choose one of the biking opportunities below, as you make your way to Tekapo.

Tekapo Lilybank Road – 30km, or as long as you like.

Bike along the eastern shore of Lake Tekapo and enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Tekapo Hydro Canal – 27km one way

Bike one of the best bike trails in the South Island along the 27 km from Tekapo to Lake Pukaki on a sealed road.

Simons Hill Conservation Area, 14km return (2-3 hours), grade 2

The ride starts from a signposted car park and travels along a public access easement to Simons Hill Conservation Area.

DAY

23

Tekapo - Christchurch

APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIME 2 HOURS, 125 KM

You drive along the foothills and over the endless wide Canterbury Plains to Garden City Christchurch. Take a walk through Hagley Park and along the Avon River. Enjoy the many cafés and restaurants and take advantage of a last opportunity to purchase souvenirs from Aotearoa.

DAY

24

Depart Christchurch

Drop off your vehicle and bikes and depart from Christchurch.

REST NZ Tours