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Breathtaking Motorbike Tour New Zealand

This 27-day grand tour during which you’ll experience a combined tour of both the North Island and South Island of New Zealand giving you a close-up view of beautiful scenery ranging from rainforests, pasture land, white sandy beaches, rocky coastlines to rugged mountain ranges.

Key information

  • Bike: personal or rental bike (BMW, Triumph Tiger, Honda, or Suzuki models)
  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Mileage: 7,740 kilometers / 4,610 miles
  • Daily rides: between 16 - 457 kilometers / 10 - 272 miles

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Auckland
  • Visit the world-famous Milford Sounds
  • Experiencing Maori culture and interacting with friendly New Zealanders
  • Ride on a mix of rugged hills, inspirational coastal seascapes, and rich farmland
  • Cruise along between rich farmland and patches of thick native bush
  • Visit the top of the North Island and the bottom of the South Island
  • Transfers to and from hotel, airport, and bike rental location
  • 26 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


26 riding days
Airport transfer included: Auckland Airport
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Accommodation

This exciting tour includes various accommodations ranging from modestly priced cabins to deluxe quality hotels and "farm stays".

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. All while enjoying 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.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Auckland

After arriving at the Auckland International 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. Visit some of the city sights. The day will include a safety meeting to review road rules and safety requirements, and a “Get to know you” dinner.

Day 2: Auckland to Taupo (354 kilometers / 211 miles / 7 hours)

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 / 130 miles / 8.0 hours)

Leaving the lakeside resort, you will travel deep into the thermal area of the island; this combined with a visit to one of the important cultural interpretive centers for the native population of New Zealand, will give you a firsthand look at how New Zealand’s Māori people lived 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 Nuhaka (430 kilometers / 268 miles / 7.75 hours)

Today you will follow a lightly travelled 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 farm land. This combined with a small population makes for an easy riding day. Tonight’s stop is on 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 / queen.

Day 5: Nuhaka to Wellington (485 kilometers / 305 miles / 8.5 hours)

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: Wellington to Nelson via interisland ferry (145 kilometers / 89 miles / 5.0 hours)

Setting out early to catch the interisland 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.

Day 7: Nelson loop free day (280 kilometers / 175 miles / 6:75 hours)

  • Optional ride along the coast

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 8: Nelson to Blackball (321 kilometers / 200 miles / 8.0 hours)

Heading towards the coast through bush covered hills, leads you to some great gorge riding. This is another GoPro day (there will be lots more on this tour). Have those batteries charged and ready. Continuing on your way 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 has come across in the South Island.

Day 9: Blackball to Fairlie (365 kilometers / 227 miles / 7.25 hours)

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 (Kea’s) is a great photo stop. Riding down the east side of the range leads you to the rich fertile plans of the South Island. Another great GoPro ride.

Day 10: Fairlie to Queenstown (330 kilometers / 205 miles / 7.75 hours)

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. This is wide open country similar to the prairies of the US, only slightly smaller. Enjoy the ride. If you think this looks like a place where an orc battle could have taken place, you’re right. 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 11: Queenstown loop (102 kilometers / 65 miles / 3.0 hours)

Start the day off with a great breakfast followed by a wild jet boat ride. You will have fun, followed by a relaxing easy ride along the lake shore to you lunch stop. With photo stops and sight seeing along the way this is a great day to just unwind and enjoy the moment.

Day 12: Queenstown free day

Enjoy 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, zip lining, or a more relaxed steamer cruise on the lake, 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.

Day 13: Queenstown to Fox Glacier (332 km / 210 miles / 6.75 hours)

If you love tight corners, waterfall’s, 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, another great GoPro day. End the day in a quaint mountain town.

Day 14: Fox Glacier to Westport (300 kilometers / 190 miles / 7.50 hours)

Today’s ride takes you along the world famous coastal highway, sweeping through fantastic corners, racing past rocky outcrops, and grinning all the way. 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 15: Westport to Wellington (285 kilometers / 180 miles / 7.50 hours)

Leaving Westport, you will jump straight into some amazing river gorge riding (can you say GoPro riding). Today you’re going to see; windy roads, native bush, changing elevations, and numerous photo stops. After catching the north bound Interisland ferry, strapping your bike into specially designed supports, settle in and enjoy crossing the strait. Once off-loaded, head into the city to your stop for the night.

Day 16: Wellington to Whanganui (385 kilometers / 245 miles / 7.50 hours)

Leaving the capital city behind, you will steadily climb towards the mountainous central part of the Island. The country side 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 17: Whanganui to New Plymouth (205 kilometers / 130 miles / 4.25 hours)

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 has 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 18: New Plymouth to Cambridge (340 kilometers / 215 miles / 7.75 hours)

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 farm land and thick native forests, while traveling alongside deep rivers and lakes.

Day 19: Cambridge loop (235 kilometers / 150 miles / 6.5 hours)

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. 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 is a fun day.

Day 20: Cambridge rest day (24 kilometers / 15 miles / 1 hour)

Today is a rest day for you. Its your free time for you to catch up on all those important things like sleeping in, sorting out photos, writing down all the key points, writing and sending postcards to brag to friends and relatives, and even getting that pesky laundry taken care off. You could even get another wild jet boat ride in. Your choice.

Day 21: Cambridge to Orewa (459 kilometers / 287 miles / 8.25 hours)

After a relaxing night, you will head north east 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 and keep those GoPro batteries changed. A short ride through New Zealand’s largest city brings you to your stop for the night.

Day 22: Orewa to Paihia (250 kilometers / 158 miles / 6.75 hours)

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 travelled 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. A short ride takes you to visit the location where the treaty was signed between Europeans and the Māori tribes.

Day 23 Paihia to Waitiki Landing (245 kilometers / 155 miles / 6.75 hours)

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 northly 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 (242 kilometers / 150 miles / 5.75 hours)

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 stop is topped off by a guided night walk through a Kauri forest where you may see kiwis, glow-worms, eels, and hear the calls of the night birds.

Day 25 Kaihu to Orewa (180 kilometers / 115 miles / 6.25 hours)

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 and you’re on the beach. Tonight, is capped off with a farewell dinner on the beach, of world famous New Zealand cuisine.

Day 26 Orewa to Auckland (30 kilometers / 20 miles / 1.0 hour)

Watching the sun rise from this spot is the perfect start to your last day. After a typical New Zealand breakfast, and a short ride, you will drop off your bike and catch your shuttle to your hotel. If you want to stay on for additional nights that can be arranged. Contact Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring for a list of rental bikes and prices.

Day 27: Auckland

After a relaxing breakfast, you will catch your shuttle to the airport. This shuttle ride is filled with talk about the adventure you’ve just had and the fun experienced. Now is the time to start planning your next Pohutukawa Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand or North America.

Note:

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

Motorcycle categories:

Tour category A

  • BMW R1250GSW
  • BMW R1200GSW
  • BMW R1200RTW
  • BMW F850GS

Tour category B

  • BMW F700GS
  • Triumph Tiger 800
  • Honda Shadow Aero 750

Tour category C

  • Honda VLX600
  • Suzuki DL650 V-Strom

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate and advanced

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

Location

This combination of North and South Island tour allows you to see more sight to enjoy additional rest days to soak up the culture and enjoy some of the local attractions. Riding North to South and then returning North, you will experience some of the best that both islands offer.

Things to do (optional)

  • Access to a Maori Hangi
  • Enjoy thermal hot pools
  • A night bush walk to experience the New Zealand bush and wildlife up close
  • A visit to Hobbiton
  • A visit to world famous glow worm caves
  • Walk through a Kiwi preserve
  • View the giant kauri tree Tana Mahutu
  • A visit to the Kauri Museum
  • A jet boat river ride
  • A visit to the top of the North Island
  • View the “World's Fastest Indian”
  • Ride to Milford Sounds
  • Zip lining

What's included

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

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Insurance coverage and damage waivers (bonds) on rental bikes
  • Optional equipment add-ons to rental bikes
  • Fuel
  • All meals
  • Special / optional events
  • Access into museums and interpretive centers
  • Access into various native bird displays, glowworm caves, and native bush tours
  • Access into national and provincial parks, hot springs, and Hobbiton
  • Incidentals and other costs once inside various attractions (i.e. rental of bathing suits or towels)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

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

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
27 days / 26 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 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, and ferry fees, and don’t include event / park entrance fees.
  •  
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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