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17 Days Self-Guided South Island New Zealand Motorcycle Tour

Merivale, Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand

Scenic Motorcycle Tour New Zealand

This 17-day tour of the South Island of New Zealand gives you a close-up view of beautiful scenery ranging from rain forests, pasture land, white sandy beaches, rocky coastlines to rugged mountain ranges. You will experience riding through old growth rain forests, along with sweeping coastal roads, through rugged hill country and lush pasture lands while enjoying gentle sweeping corners mixed with twisty back roads.

Key Information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: rental bike
  • Mileage: 3,499 kilometers / 2,100 miles
  • Daily rides: between 20 - 425 kilometers / 12 - 253 miles

Meet the guides

Colin & Lynette
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Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Christchurch
  • Visit the world-famous Milford Sounds
  • View the “World’s fastest Indian” display
  • Have a ride up the Worlds Steepest Street
  • See New Zealand’s amazing Niagara Falls
  • Pay a visit to the bottom of South Island
  • 16 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


15 riding days in English
Spoken languages: English
Airport transfer included: Christchurch International Airport
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Accommodation

This exciting tour includes different accommodations ranging from modestly priced cabins to deluxe quality hotels and a couple of authentic "turn of the century" style hotels.

Program

Day 1: Arrival day

After arriving at the Christchurch International Airport (CHC), you will be met at the airport and shuttled to your hotel to check in and then to pick up your bike. Today is set aside to allow you to settle in and rest up before the adventure begins tomorrow. Visit some of the city sights.

Day 2: Christchurch to Blackball (251 kilometers / 150 miles / 3.5 hours of riding)

Leaving the old English-style city, you will find that getting comfortable with your bike will take no time, as you head across the plains and begin the twisting climb into the southern Alps. Stopping near the top to watch the native parrots (Kea’s) is a great photo stop. Continuing on your way down from the pass and through scattered native bush brings you to your stop for the night. This 200-year old hotel is full of history and maybe a ghost or two. It is home to the best chef Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring team members have come across in the South Island.

Day 3: Blackball to Kaikoura (335 kilometers / 199 miles / 4.5 hours of riding)

After a relaxing breakfast, hit the road and cruise along between rich farmland and patches of thick native bush on smooth well-maintained meandering roads. Today, you will be taken back through the southern Alps to a lunch stop at a quaint spa resort. As you leave this picturesque location, the road will lead you along the base of the coastal mountain range to your stop for the night in a peaceful seaside town.

Day 4: Kaikoura to Nelson (280 kilometers / 167 miles / 4 hours of riding)

Picturesque seascapes, windy roads, native bush, changing elevations, and numerous photo stops make up the highlights of today’s ride. This is a GoPro day (make sure your GoPro is ready with plenty of back up batteries). Stopping at any one of the many small local restaurants to sample fresh seafood, along with some optional zip lining makes this a fun day.

Day 5: Nelson to Westport (270 kilometers / 161 miles / 4 hours of riding)

Heading towards the coast through bush covered hill leads you to some great gorge riding, fantastic cornering, and great scenery. This is another GoPro day (there will be lots more on this tour, so have those batteries charged and ready.

Day 6: Westport - free day or optional riding day (200 kilometers / 120 miles / 3 hours of riding)

Today is a free day for you to catch up on all those important things like sorting out photos, writing down all the key points, and even getting that pesky laundry taken care of.

Optional local ride routes are available for you to explore the area if the thought of doing laundry doesn’t appeal to you.

Day 7: Westport to Franz Josef (284 kilometers / 169 miles / 4 hours of riding)

Today’s ride takes you along the world famous coastal highway, sweeping through fantastic corners, racing past rocky outcrops, and screaming at the top of your lungs all the way. Mix this with some fantastic stops for one of a kind scenery, and you have a ride location that is amazing.

Day 8: Franz Josef to Cardrona (312 kilometers / 186 miles / 4 hours of riding)

If you love waterfalls, wild bush, misty mountains, and easy sweepers; then today is your day. The road will take you alongside lakes, rivers, and great photo opportunities. Also, today is another great GoPro day. End the day at a quaint country pub/hotel.

Day 9: Cardrona to Queenstown (105 kilometers / 63 miles / 1 hours and 30 minutes of riding)

Sleep in, have a lazy breakfast and then set out for an easy ride through some tight corners towards the adventure capital of New Zealand. Spend the balance of the day and into the evening enjoying some of the features that are available.

Day 10: Queenstown - rest day (50 kilometers / 30 miles route / 1 hour of riding)

Today is a treat for all adventure junkies, with an optional jet boat ride, gondola ride, zip lining, or a more relaxed steamer cruise on the lake. You will be enjoying some easy riding or you could catch up on all those important things like sorting out photos, writing down all the key points of the tour so far, sending postcards home to friends, and even dealing with that pesky laundry thing again.

Day 11: Queenstown to Te Anau (425 kilometers / 253 miles / 5 hours and 30 minutes of riding)

After breakfast, head south and follow the sweeping lake shore as you continue south. After checking into your accommodation, head out to ride to Milford Sounds, before returning for the night. Please note that Milford Sound is suggested for advanced riders only.

Day 12: Te Anau to Bluff (211 kilometers / 126 miles / 3 hours of riding)

Today will take you to the south end of the highway (photo op) and a night’s stay in a turn of the century pub. Imagine dinner in the pub. You are suggested to try the fish and chips and oysters and beer, over pool and darts. On the way, stop to see the “World’s Fastest Indian” display.

Day 13: Bluff to Dunedin (259 kilometers / 154 miles / 4 hours of riding)

Imagine a visit to Niagara Falls. Yes, these are real (another photo op). After enjoying the falls, you will climb steadily through great scenery. The day ends in a city with a distinct Scottish flavor. It is also the home of a great brewery.

Day 14: (426 kilometers / 254 miles / 5.5 hours of riding)

Taking a loop through the foothills lets you view the mountains from up close, while you lose yourself in the ride. If you think this looks like where an Orc battle could have taken place, you’re right.

Day 15: Dunedin - free day (20 kilometers / 12 miles / 30 minutes of riding)

Today is a rest day with nothing planned. One suggestion, however, is a visit to ride up Baldwin Street (the steepest street in the world) or you could catch up on all those important things like dealing with that pesky laundry thing again. Leave time for lunch at Speights Brewery.

Day 16: Dunedin to Timaru (425 kilometers / 253 miles / 5 hours and 30 minutes of riding)

Heading inland lets you enjoy some great rolling country, cruising alongside picturesque lakes, and enjoying the moment. The day ends on the coast for a relaxing evening.

Day 17: Christchurch hotel to airport (400 kilometers / 238 miles / 5 hours of riding)

The road continues to call your name for one more day of fun riding. This day loops into Christchurch through amazing scenery. With no time deadlines today, you set the pace and just live the dream. After some relaxing riding around the inlets of Akaroa, you will return to Christchurch to drop off your bike and catch your shuttle to the hotel, for that final sorting and packing. This shuttle ride is filled with talk about the adventure you’ve just had and the fun experienced. If you want to stay on for additional nights, that can be arranged.

Note

New Zealand drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Bike options

You can use your own motorcycle or rent a motorcycle, which is licensed and safety inspected and verified by the New Zealand government. Rider's minimum age is 21 years old and must hold valid drivers license suitable for the machine being hired.

Tour category A

  • BMW R 1200 RTW
  • BMW R 1200 GSW
  • Triumph Tiger 1050

Tour category B

  • BMW F 800 GS
  • BMW F 700 GS
  • BMW G 650 GS
  • Honda VTX 1300
  • Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom
  • Suzuki GSF 1250 Bandit
  • Triumph Tiger 800

Tour category C

  • Honda VLX 600
  • Honda VT 750
  • Suzuki SV 650
  • Suzuki SFV 650
  • Suzuki DR 650
  • Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom

Skill levels

Intermediate

  • Can ride for 3-4 hours
  • Average riding experience
  • Little assistance required
  • Comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • Average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Steep ascents and descents

Advanced

  • Can ride for 5-6 hours
  • Extensive riding experience
  • Assistance on demand (if required)
  • Experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • Comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Included excursions

  • Visit the world-famous Milford Sounds
  • View the “World’s fastest Indian” display
  • A ride up the Worlds Steepest Street
  • See New Zealand’s amazing Niagara Falls
  • A visit to the bottom of the South Island

Guides

Colin Rowe

Lynette Rowe

Location

This journey will take you from Merivale Christchurch, exploring the South Island of New Zealand. Several places will be visited including Blackball, Kaikoura, Nelson, Westport, Franz Josef, Cardrona, Queenstown, Te Anau, Bluff, Dunedin, and Timaru.

Things to do (optional)

  • Enjoy thermal hot pools
  • A wild jet boat river ride
  • A gondola ride to view Queenstown
  • Zip lining
  • A visit to a turn of the century gold rush town

What's included

  • Rental bike
  • Printed daily ride guide
  • 16 nights accommodation
  • Ferry fees
  • Shuttle transfers from and to airport, hotel, and bike rental location

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Insurance coverage and damage waivers (bonds) on rental bikes
  • Optional equipment add-ons to rental bikes
  • Fuel
  • All meals
  • Special / optional events
  • Entrance into various attractions
  • Incidentals and other costs once inside various attractions (i.e. rental of bathing suits or towels)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Christchurch International Airport (CHC). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Christchurch International Airport Airport transfer included: Christchurch International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 35% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
17 days / 16 nights
from --
Pricing information
  • Please note that tours booked with dates including the Christmas and New Year period (December 25 - January 4) will incur extra costs due to accommodation price rises over that period. There may also be a minimum stay period in some locations of 2 - 5 days.
Special discount

You can take advantage of the following special discounts:

  • 5% discount for bookings made 11 months in advance, with the full deposit paid;
  • 5% discounts for all seniors - 65 years or older with the full deposit paid; (cannot be combined with advance booking discounts).

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