26 Days Fully-Guided North and South Island Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand

Breathtaking Motorcycle Tour New Zealand

Join Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring for this tour of the North Island and part of the South Island of New Zealand which will give you a close-up view of beautiful scenery ranging from rainforests, pasture land, white-sandy beaches, and rocky coastlines to rugged mountain ranges. Don't hesitate to join this tour to experience the excitement.

Key Information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: rental or personal bike
  • Mileage: 6,450 kilometers / 3,820 miles
  • Daily rides: 16 - 457 kilometers / 10 - 284 miles
  • Meals: 23 breakfasts and dinners

Meet the guides

Colin
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Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Auckland
  • Stop for a visit to the lighthouse located in Waitiki Landing
  • Experiencing Maori culture and interacting with friendly New Zealanders
  • Have a gondola ride above Queenstown for a spectacular view of the city and surrounds
  • Visit Hobbiton Movie Set, the glow worm caves, and a kiwi preserve
  • Visit the Kauri Museum and the giant kauri tree Tāne Mahuta
  • Ride over the Southern Alps to reach Geraldine
  • 25 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


25 riding days in English
Spoken languages: English
Airport transfer included: Auckland International Airport
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Accommodation

Your accommodation will be ranging from modestly-priced cabins to deluxe-quality hotels and a couple of authentic "turn of the century"-style hotels.

Program

Picking up your bike and leaving Auckland, you will ride through the rich farmland of the central North Island, visiting the geothermal volcanic center of the island, along beautiful sweeping coastal roads, through old growth forests, and rugged hill country.

Enjoy gentle sweeping corners mixed with twisty back roads. You will experience the rugged mountains of the Southern Alps running the length of the South Island.

The roads in New Zealand are in good condition with light traffic out of the cities. Other than road repairs, you will not be required to ride on any unsealed roads.

This tour combines highlights from both North Island and South Island. Riding from North Island to South Island and then returning to North Island, you will experience some of the best that both islands offer.

Notes

  • This tour is suitable for novice, intermediate, or advanced riders.
  • New Zealand drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Use your own motorcycle or rent a motorcycle which is licensed, safety-inspected, and verified by the New Zealand government.

Day 1: Arrival day

After arriving at the Auckland Airport (AKL), you'll 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. The day will include a safety meeting to review road rules and safety requirements and a "get to know you" dinner.

Day 2: Mangere to Taupo, 354 kilometers / 211 miles (approximately 5.5 hours' riding)

Leaving your hotel and the city behind you, you will head out on lightly traveled country roads, through rolling farmland.

Stopping along the way for breaks and lunch in small out-of-the-way country towns, combined with viewing the amazing scenery will have you pinching yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. After a relaxing lakeside dinner, a soak in the thermal hot pools will be the perfect end to the day.

Day 3: Taupo to Ohope, 207 kilometers / 123 miles (approximately 3 hours' riding)

Leaving Taupo, you will travel deep into the thermal area of the island, combined with a visit to one of the important cultural interruptive centers for the native population of New Zealand, will give you a firsthand look at how New Zealand's Maori people live in harmony with nature.

Riding the twisty roads through the lake county, you will end your day on the coast where a walk on the white sands will be a relaxing end to the day.

Day 4: Ohope to Whiorau Station, 450 kilometers / 268 miles (approximately 6 hours' riding)

Today, you will follow a lightly-traveled road as it hugs the coast, taking you into a part of New Zealand that is a mix of rugged hills, inspirational coastal seascapes, and rich farmland. This, combined with a small population, makes for an easy riding day.

Tonight's stop is at a working sheep and beef farm where you're treated like royalty and one of the best meals you will experience. This, combined with a soak in local hot pools, will have you sleeping like a king or queen.

Day 5: Whiorau to Palmerston North, 339 kilometers / 202 miles (approximately 4.5 hours' riding)

After a typical New Zealand breakfast, you will continue to follow the coast through more rugged twisty roads crossing rivers and gorges, before arriving in New Zealand's North Island wine region.

After a light lunch and a visit to local points of interest, you will continue riding on well-maintained roads towards your stop for the night. On the way, various detours provide opportunities to experience local culture.

Day 6: Palmerston North to Nelson via Interislander ferry, 292 kilometers / 175 miles (approximately 4 hours' riding)

Setting out early to catch the Interislander ferry, you will ride to the port located in New Zealand's capital city. Once on the ferry and the bikes tied down in well-designed supports, relax and enjoy crossing the Cook Strait.

After leaving the ferry on the South Island, head out through some fantastic twists and sweeping corners with picturesque seascapes, windy roads, native bush, changing elevations, and numerous photo stops, along with some ziplining that will lead you to your stop for the night. Make sure your GoPro is ready with plenty of back up batteries.

Note: You must be on the road by 06:00 to make the 09:00-12:30 sailing.

Day 7: Nelson to Blackball, 456 kilometers / 271 miles (approximately 6 hours' riding)

Today's ride menu consists of riding on great roads with thick native bush down to the sides of the road, easy sweeping corners mixed with lush open farmland. This is a day designed for fun riding that brings you to your stop for the night. The 200-year-old hotel is full of history and maybe a ghost or two. It is home to the best chef Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring has come across in the South Island.

Day 8: Blackball to Geraldine, 318 kilometers / 189 miles (approximately 4 hours' riding)

After a good breakfast, head inland to climb over the Southern Alps. The twisting climb takes you through beautiful riding scenery. Stopping near the top to watch the native parrots (keas) is a great photo stop. Riding down the east side of the range leads you to the rich fertile plans of the South Island. It is another great GoPro ride.

Day 9: Geraldine to Queenstown, 347 kilometers / 207 miles (approximately 4.5 hours' riding)

Today takes you through the high center of the South Island. Riding past tranquil lakes with the Southern Alps as a constant backdrop leads you to the adventure capital of New Zealand. Have that GoPro changed and ready.

Arriving in the afternoon allows you to have a relaxing dinner and a ride on the gondola above Queenstown for a spectacular view of the city and surrounds.

Day 10: Queenstown - Rest day, 50 kilometers / 30 miles (approximately 1 hour's riding)

Enjoying a lazy day in the adventure capital of New Zealand, today is a treat for all adventure junkies, a jet boat ride, a gondola ride, ziplining or a more relaxed steamer cruise on the lake (booking in advance is needed), 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, and even dealing with that pesky laundry thing again.

Day 11: Queenstown to Franz Josef, 356 kilometers / 212 miles (approximately 5 hours' riding)

If you love tight corners, 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, this is another great GoPro day. End the day in a quaint mountain town.

Day 12: Franz Josef to Westport, 279 kilometers / 166 miles (approximately 4hours' 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. It goes without saying that this is a GoPro leg. Mix this with some fantastic stops for one of a kind scenery and you have a ride location that is amazing.

Day 13: Westport to Picton, 286 kilometers / 170 miles (approximately 4 hours' riding)

Leaving Westport, you will jump straight into some amazing river gorge riding (you can say GoPro riding). Today, you're going to see windy roads, native bush, changing elevations, and numerous photo stops.

Day 14: Picton to Palmerston North via Interislander ferry and Masterton, 195 kilometers / 116 miles (approximately 3 hours' riding)

After catching the northbound Interislander ferry, strapping your bike into specially designed supports, settle in and enjoy crossing the strait. Once off-loaded, head out of the city for some easy riding through the ranges to your stop for the night.

Day 15: Palmerston North to Whanganui, 269 kilometers / 160 miles (approximately 4 hours' riding)

Leaving the university city behind, you will steadily climb towards the mountainous central part of the island. The countryside becomes more rugged and the riding becomes more fun. A visit to a local museum, followed by a lunch break, sets you up for a fast-paced ride along one of the most fun roads in the country, through some beautiful scenery.

Day 16: Whanganui to New Plymouth, 209 kilometers / 124 miles (approximately 3 hours' riding)

Today, you will have a shorter riding day along the west coast, giving you a view of the black sands found on this side of the island. The horizon is dominated by the dormant volcano known as Mount Taranaki. This mountain and surrounding countryside have played significant roles in many films such as The Last Samurai and some of the "Lord of the Rings" films. A ride around the base of this mountain leads you to your stop for the night.

Day 17: New Plymouth to Cambridge, 330 kilometers / 196 miles (approximately 4.5 hours' riding)

Heading north along the windswept coast before turning inland is a highlight of this tour. You will ride sweeping bends, rugged ranges, deep gorges, and along the tops of hills looking out over rich farmland and thick native forests while traveling alongside deep rivers and lakes.

Day 18: Local ride in Cambridge, 211 kilometers / 126 miles (approximately 3 hours' riding)

Today, you will get a mix of easy riding and some local sights, including visiting a world-famous glow worm cave and seeing native birds in a natural setting.

Day 19: Short ride to Hobbiton and rest day, 48 kilometers / 29 miles (approximately 1 hour's riding)

A treat for all "Lord of the Rings" fans, you will get to walk through Hobbiton and have a drink in "The Green Dragon" tavern. This location is surrounded by some great riding roads and the day is a fun day.

The afternoon is free time 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 off.

Day 20: Cambridge to Helensville, 457 kilometers / 272 miles (approximately 6 hours' riding)

After a relaxing night, you will head northeast towards some fantastic riding locations. Riding from open farm country, into twisty gorges, over bush-covered ranges, and alongside white sand beaches will have you saying "wow!!!"

Today has lots of photo opportunities; keep your camera handy. A short ride through New Zealand's largest city brings you to your stop for the night.

Day 21: Helensville to Paihia, 265 kilometers / 158 miles (approximately 4 hours' riding)

You're now heading into parts of New Zealand that are rich in history for both the native population and the European settlers that followed them. The roads are lightly-traveled and full of easy sweepers. Today will take you from seaside to hilly elevations, through open countryside and thick native bush.

Along the way, you will stop in areas where the first European settlers landed and carved out a new life as they colonized the country. Stopping for a break in the seaside town of Russell lets you walk in the footsteps of these early adventurers, while you live your own adventures. Crossing the bay on a ferry brings you to your stop for the night.

Day 22: Paihia - Rest day, 16 kilometers / 10 miles (approximately 30 minutes' riding)

Today is a rest day with a planned visit to the location where the treaty was signed between Europeans and the Maori tribes. This is a short ride from your accommodation. The rest of the day is set aside for you to explore the Bay of Islands, catch up on various tasks, walk on the beach, or deal with that laundry thing again.

Day 23: Paihia to Waitiki Landing, 260 kilometers / 155 miles (approximately 3 hours' riding)

Leaving the seaside town of Paihia, you will ride to visit some of the local historical sites as you travel further north. The island is getting narrower from this point on and you are never far from either coast. The influence of the warmer weather is evident in the type of forest growth, parrots in the trees, and the warm friendly people.

You will ride through to the most northerly point of the North Island and stop for a visit to the lighthouse located there. An area rich in history, this is a must-stop photo stop.

Day 24: Waitiki Landing to Kaihu, 236 kilometers / 140 miles (approximately 4.5 hours' riding)

After a relaxing night, you will ride south down the west side of the island stopping to walk on the "90-mile" beach, cruise through "old growth" forests, small towns, and cross one of the many harbors by ferry.

As you ride, you will enter one of the oldest forests in New Zealand, home to some of the largest trees in the world. Here, you can sense that time stands still.

A stop to visit the largest tree in New Zealand is followed by a fantastic ride through to your stop for the night. Tonight's stop is topped off by a guided night walk through a Kauri forest where you may see kiwis, glow worms, as well as eels, and hear the calls of the night birds.

Day 25: Kaihu to Orewa, 185 kilometers / 110 miles (approximately 2.5 hours' riding)

Leaving the most beautiful location you have stayed in, you will enjoy some fun riding through easy sweepers as you work your way south. Along the way, you will visit a fantastic museum showcasing the history of the area before arriving at a sleepy little seaside town for a well-earned soak in hot pools before a short ride to your seaside accommodation for the night.

A short walk across the lawn, you're on the beach. Watching the sunset from this spot is the perfect end to a fantastic tour. Tonight is capped off with a farewell dinner on the beach, of world-famous New Zealand cuisine.

Day 26: Orewa to Auckland, 30 kilometers / 18 miles (approximately 50 minutes' riding)

After a typical New Zealand breakfast and a short ride, you will drop off your bike and catch your shuttle to the airport. 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.

Beginner

  • can ride for 2-3 hours
  • minimal riding experience
  • assistance required
  • comfortable with curves and leans
  • basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • short distance ascents and descents

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

  • Experiencing Maori culture and interacting with friendly New Zealanders
  • A night bush walk to experience the New Zealand bush and wildlife up close
  • A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set, glow worm caves, and a kiwi preserve
  • A visit to the giant kauri tree Tāne Mahuta
  • A visit to the Kauri Museum
  • A visit to the top of the North Island
  • Exploring the Bay of Islands

Guides

Colin Rowe
Colin and his wife, Lynette, grew up in New Zealand and have been riding since 1973, and are familiar with most of the roads there. In 2010, Colin and Lynette established Pohutukawa Motorcycle Tours to share the thrill of riding in New Zealand and western North America. Based in Colorado, jointly they have clocked over half a million miles. They both lead tours with Lynette focusing on ladies only tours. Colin and Lynette specialize in providing their clients with unforgettable motorcycling experiences through jointly developing and providing the motorcycle adventure of a lifetime.

Location

This tour will take place on North Island and South Island in New Zealand including Mangere, Taupo, Ohope, Whiorau Station, Palmerston North, Nelson, Blackball, Geraldine, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Westport, Picton, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Cambridge, Helensville, Paihia, Waitiki Landing, Kaihu, Orewa, and Auckland.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Full guide service
  • A jet boat river ride
  • A night bush walk to experience the New Zealand bush and wildlife up close
  • A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set, glow worm caves, a kiwi preserve
  • A visit to the giant kauri tree Tāne Mahuta
  • A visit to the Kauri Museum
  • A visit to the top of the North Island
  • Printed daily ride guide
  • Shuttles (transfers) to and from the hotel, airport, and bike rental location
  • Ferry fees
  • 25 nights' accommodation
  • Access to a Maori Hangi
  • Access to various Queenstown attractions
  • Entry into museums and interpretive centers
  • Entry into various native bird displays, glow worm caves, and bush tours
  • Entry into Hobbiton
  • Entry into national and provincial parks
  • Entry into hot springs
  • 23 breakfasts and dinners

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Bike rental
  • Fuel
  • Meals on days off
  • Special or optional events

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

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

Airport: Auckland International Airport Airport transfer included: Auckland 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.
26 days / 25 nights
from --

Availability

Start: Monday March 16, 2020
End: Friday April 10, 2020

Pricing information
  • Please note that tours booked with dates including the Christmas and New Year period (December 25 - January 4) will incur extra costs dues to accommodation price rises over that period. There may also be a minimum stay period in some locations of 2 - 5 days.​
  • Prices include all taxes, shuttle fees, ferry fees, and event / park entrance fees.

 

Tour information

There are minimum 4 riders required for this tour. Tours can accommodate 1 or 2 riders alone, with different prices; please inquire.

 
Special discount

You can take advantage of the following special discounts:

  • 10% 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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