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  1. #1
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    Bring bike to New Zealand

    Just wondering how clean my bike has to be to clear customs in NZ ?

    Are we talking absolutley spot clean ? What do they look for ? Dirt only ?

    What about grease and oil ?

    And what happens if they find it too dirty ? Will they "impound" the bike ?


    And another question on NZ ? I want to go ultralight and only stay in hostels. Possible ?

  2. #2
    fks
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    Just wondering how clean my bike has to be to clear customs in NZ ?

    Are we talking absolutley spot clean ? What do they look for ? Dirt only ?

    What about grease and oil ?

    And what happens if they find it too dirty ? Will they "impound" the bike ?


    And another question on NZ ? I want to go ultralight and only stay in hostels. Possible ?

    NZ MAF(Ministery of Agriculture and Fisheries) are quite pedantic, make sure there is no mud or soil on your bike at all, especially on your tyres, you are probably better off getting new tyres for this trip.
    If you go ultralight you certainly can do it using backpacker hostels, NZ has probably the best backpacker network going . Another alternative is getting cabins at motorcamps, not that much difference from hostels but no bedding supplied( Bring your own).

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    fks
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    Just wondering how clean my bike has to be to clear customs in NZ ?

    Are we talking absolutley spot clean ? What do they look for ? Dirt only ?

    What about grease and oil ?

    And what happens if they find it too dirty ? Will they "impound" the bike ?


    And another question on NZ ? I want to go ultralight and only stay in hostels. Possible ?

    NZ MAF(Ministery of Agriculture and Fisheries http://www.maf.govt.nz/quarantine/) are quite pedantic, make sure there is no mud or soil on your bike at all, especially on your tyres, you are probably better off getting new tyres for this trip.
    If you go ultralight you certainly can do it using backpacker hostels, NZ has probably the best backpacker network going . Another alternative is getting cabins at motorcamps, not that much difference from hostels but no bedding supplied( Bring your own).

  4. #4
    Member BananaMan's Avatar
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    When I flew into Auckland with my bike in a box the guy asked if it was a mountain bike or just used on roads. Since I said it was just used on roads he let us through without even looking inside.

    The independant hostels are superb. Far better than anywhere else in the world I've been.

  5. #5
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    Cool - thanks guys

  6. #6
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    Just wondering how clean my bike has to be to clear customs in NZ ?

    Are we talking absolutley spot clean ? What do they look for ? Dirt only ?

    What about grease and oil ?

    And what happens if they find it too dirty ? Will they "impound" the bike ?


    And another question on NZ ? I want to go ultralight and only stay in hostels. Possible ?
    clean your bike as much as you can, especially tyres and under the seat ...

    declare that you have a bike on the entry card you are given on the plane just before you land [or for some airlines, not long after you take off], otherwise if MAF find out, they WILL ping you $200 for starters ...
    on entry through customs, go through the red lane, be smiley and helpful and above all honest and you will have no issues ...

    if you declare that you have a bike and go through the red lane, if it has some dirt on it, then they will clean it for you, free!
    if you don't declare it, then they will take it off you, clean it for you you and charge you $200 at least ...

    your choice ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  7. #7
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    Straight through with my tourer: an ex-MTB with drops, so I legitimately described it as a 'road bike' and had no problems. I suspect a MTB would be more likely to get the cleaning regime.

    On a previous trip my hiking boots got a free wash.
    A recently used tent could be especially problematic - if it was not spotless.

    There are lots of great backpacker hostels see http://www.bbh.co.nz/.
    Sometimes, at peak times, its advisable to plan a couple of days ahead and make reservations.

    I'm looking forward to my 3rd NZ visit in January :-)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    Just wondering how clean my bike has to be to clear customs in NZ ?

    Are we talking absolutley spot clean ? What do they look for ? Dirt only ?

    What about grease and oil ?

    And what happens if they find it too dirty ? Will they "impound" the bike ?


    And another question on NZ ? I want to go ultralight and only stay in hostels. Possible ?
    I'm planning a touring trip to New Zealand starting in mid december, and finishing april 1st, I can't wait!

    You should do a search for "Camping New Zealand" under the touring section, there is all kinds of interesting bits of information.

    Anyway, just wanted to make a quick post. Good luck with your planning, are you planning a big trip?

    Also, I just came across this, you might find it useful!
    http://www.hoogie.co.nz/info/touringnz.htm

  9. #9
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbotron
    Also, I just came across this, you might find it useful!
    http://www.hoogie.co.nz/info/touringnz.htm
    gosh, thanks for the kind words!! ... i am trying to build it into a useful webpage ...
    let me know if there is something you would like to see on there ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I just got my LBS to give my bike a clean before I flew over back in February. I remember they checked it at Christchurch, but I got through without any problems.

    Something that hasn't been touched on here is that they will also be concerned about camping equipment (assuming you or anyone else reading this is taking any). It might even be worth the small expense of a few new tent pegs to avoid any problems. Also make sure the soles of your shoes are free of any dirt, too.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  11. #11
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Please bear in mind that NZ is largely free of any nasty soil borne pests and diseases, hence we have the border controls ... while some may see it as a game to try and sneak a dirty bike through customs, to others in this country it could mean the end of their livelihood and our largely pest and disease free status ...
    reference: varoa bee mite, painted apple moth, marsh mosquito, termites ... all recent immigrants from unclean imports of some form or another ...

    PLEASE ... take some time to give your bike, tent floor, tent pegs and boots/shoes a clean ... or at least declare it at the border, so that MAF officials can clean it for you ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  12. #12
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    no problem with my bike but they it was a 5 alarm fire with the tent even though it had only been used once since i bought it new
    eat sleep bike think dream

  13. #13
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    Bike to New Zeraland

    I plan to take my folding bike in a suitcase. If I say it's as bike I get the huge bike charge each way. Any way around this?

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
    I plan to take my folding bike in a suitcase. If I say it's as bike I get the huge bike charge each way. Any way around this?
    Flying with Air Canada, I can be charged anywhere from $50 each way for my bicycle, all the way up to nearly $200 each way, depending on the person behind the counter. $50 is the base charge which they have to charge for all bicycles. And then, because all bicycle boxes are oversized (not folding bicycles though), and can sometimes be overweight now with the reduced weight limits (mine was overweight when I flew this past weekend), it is at the discretion of the person behind the counter how much more you will be charged.

    So ... on my flight this past weekend, I did the following things to increase my chances of only paying the $50:

    -- I rolled up a good 2 hours early when hardly anyone was there and the ticket counter people were relaxed and not stressed

    -- I put a huge smile on my face, and was extremely friendly and polite

    -- When he told me he would have to charge me $50, I just smiled and said something like, "Yeah, I know, that's OK."

    I paid my $50 and off I went .... breathing a huge sigh of relief that he didn't bring out the tape measure and pop my bicycle box on the scale.

    If, however, you challenge them on the fee, believe me, the measuring tape and weigh scales will come into play.

    For your folding bicycle, check the airline policies, it might come in under the size limit and be OK.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I just flew into Australia with my bicycle. At customs, I had to open my box and show them my bicycle. They checked the tires and frame for loose particles of dirt. They also checked the bottom of my shoes.

    Knowing this would happen, I washed and polished (furniture polish) my frame and pedals before the flight so that it is bright and shiny. I also carefully washed my tires ... well, my rear tire was new, so it was OK. I also scrubbed my cassette so it went from rather blackish to shiny silver again. I didn't do anything with the chain, but I had washed the chain after my last ride so it wasn't too bad anyway.

    I do this sort of cleaning a number of times a year anyway, so it is no big deal.

  16. #16
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    recent trip from melbourne to christchurch the folks at the nz end were very friendly but pretty thorough - the woman checked all our tyres and then chucked a glove on and poked around at the chain and cranks to make sure there was no gunk there, also took my tent and opened it up off in one of them little "things you don't need to know of happen in here" rooms to the side.

    on the way back to melbourne (admittedly on christmas morning) they just opened the tops of the boxes - my travelling companions all had tyres with some tread on them so they had a bit of a squizz, mine had slicks and the guy was closing the box back over the second he saw them. interestingly enough by going through this process we actually avoided having any of our bags scanned. this was fortunate as otherwise i would have had a tough time explaining away the 5 kilos of kiwi steaks i had stashed in my bags.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cmcanulty's Avatar
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    I know my folder will be within size and weight limit but I usually don't say it's a bike to save the fee which they will charge even if it is within size and weight if they here bicycle here in US. My question though is you said it must be declared as a bike at customs in NZ (and Australia?).

  18. #18
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    i think i get you now, sorry.

    the answer is sort of yes. i think there was one question there that we ummed and ahhed about in both countries, something along the lines of "do you have any items that may have been exposed to dirt or mud in the last x weeks?" if you don't wanna get caught for telling porky pies then "yes" would probably be your answer and then they'll ask "and what pray tell might that item be?" and you will say "a bike" and they will say "please come this way sir" and so on and so forth.

    this shouldn't bother you for the baggage charge factor though as you go through customs after your luggage is checked no?

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