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  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
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    New Zealand in January a problem? What about March?

    My wife and I will be traveling down to New Zealand in February. She doesn't ride a bike and I don't expect to have any biking opportunities while we are together, probably the entire month. However, I can travel there before or stay after she leaves for biking around. That would mean either January or March.

    I know that January is the height of summer and vacations, so things can be crowded. Is this a problem the entire month? Or, is it only during Christmas? Are there places on the South Island (likely the only one I would ride on) that aren't crowded but good for bike touring?

    What about March? Would it be better to do my biking there after my wife leaves at the end of February?

    Thanks,

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  2. #2
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    School holidays finish at the end of January. I would probably do March as you won't have any issues with accommodation.

    However, most of the South Island is fairly sparsely populated so it is likely you won't have too much trouble there at anytime after New Year's.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    January can get pretty damn hot, even in New Zealand. Given a choice I would go cycle touring in March rather than January in our neck of the woods. Early Autumn is usually the nicest time to cycle.

    Anthony

  4. #4
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    It doesn't get too hot in NZ. Around 30C is usually the maximum it can get to. Most summer days will be in the 20s.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey View Post
    It doesn't get too hot in NZ. Around 30C is usually the maximum it can get to. Most summer days will be in the 20s.

    Yes I suppose you can't get too far away from the coast in NZ. Nowhere for scorching inland temps to develop.

    Anthony

  6. #6
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    The sun is just as harsh as in Aus though so remember to use sunblock liberally.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey View Post
    It doesn't get too hot in NZ. Around 30C is usually the maximum it can get to. Most summer days will be in the 20s.
    This is true. And the lower South Island roads (otago etc) rarely get super busy, the biggest issue is campervans. But yes, if you want it quiet go after the summer holidays end, which is Jan 4 for workers, and first week of february for schools. Feb would be my choice.

  8. #8
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    March would be a better time. It's a bit cooler and there may not be as many tourists around and the ozone "hole" should have closed up so that the burn times should be measured in times longer than 15 minutes. In January is when the Ozone "hole" is at its largest and closest to NZ.

    One thing to be aware of is that for sealed roads in the South Island, chip-seal is the predominant surface.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
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