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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.
This exciting tour includes various accommodations ranging from modestly priced cabins to deluxe quality hotels and "farm stays".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you exit the airport arrival lounge area, a representative from the shuttle service will meet you. He/she will be holding a sign identifying them. Note: verify that they are the shuttle service identified in your tour package from PMT.
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