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This 33-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 a couple of authentic "turn of the century" style hotels.
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. 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, where you will ride through rain forests and misty mountains.
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, 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, an optional soak in the thermal hot pools will be the perfect end to the day.
Leaving the lakeside resort, you will travel deep into the geothermal area of the island; this combined with an optional 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 Maori 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 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 a working sheep and beef farm where you’re treated like royalty, and one of the best meals you will experience. This, combined with an optional 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 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 optional ziplining experience 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, sending postcards to impress friends and family, 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.
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. Stop along the way to check out the local shops where you can purchase green stone jewelry produced by Native artists.
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, another great GoPro day. End the day at a quaint country pub/hotel.
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.
Enjoying a lazy day in the Adventure Capital of New Zealand, today is a treat for all adventure junkies. This stop offers a large selection of optional events, a jet boat ride, gondola rides, zip lining, or a more relaxed steamer cruise on the lake (need to book in advance), 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.
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.
Today will take you to the south end of the highway (photo opportunity) and a night’s stay in a turn of the century pub. Imagine dinner in the pub. You are suggested to try fish & chips & oysters and beer, over pool and darts. On the way, stop to see the “World’s Fastest Indian” display.
Imagine a visit to Niagara Falls. Yes, these are real and this is another photo opportunity. After enjoying the falls, you will climb steadily through great scenery. The day ends in a city with a distinct Scottish flavor. It’s also the home of a great brewery, but more about that tomorrow.
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 are right.
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 troublesome laundry thing again. Leave time for lunch at Speights Brewery.
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.
Leaving the quiet seaside town, 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 2. It is home to the best chef Pohutukawa Motorcycle Touring team members have come across in the South Island.
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 for an optional swim. 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.
Setting out early to catch the interisland ferry, you will ride to the port located in a small seaside town tucked into the picturesque hills surrounding a deep-water harbor. Once on the ferry and the bikes tied down in well-designed supports, sit back, relax, and enjoy crossing the Cook Strait. Once off the ferry, head out of the city for some easy riding through the ranges to your stop for the night.
Note: You must be on the road by 06:00 to make the 09:00-12:30 sailing.
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. An optional 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 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.
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.
Today, you will get a mix of easy riding and some optional local sights, including an optional visit to a world-famous glow worm cave and seeing native birds in a natural setting.
A treat for all "Lord of the Rings" fans, you can have an optional 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.
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.
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.
Today is a rest day with an optional 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.
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 op.
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 an optional 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.
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 can choose an optional visit to a fantastic museum showcasing the history of the area before arriving at a sleepy little seaside town for an optional 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.
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.
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.
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.
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