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Deciding On A Route Across New Zealand

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Deciding On A Route Across New Zealand

Old 01-04-14, 11:19 PM
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Deciding On A Route Across New Zealand

Hi all,
I am new to posting to the touring forums, and new to the forums in general.
Anyway, in about 12-14 months, I will have the opportunity to spend about 30 days in New Zealand.
I was planning on spending as much time as possible to tour across as much of New Zealand as I can.
Luckily, it will be during their summer months.

I was hoping to get some ideas for routes, or just hear from people who have cycled around New Zealand and have tips.

I was thinking of starting in Auckland and heading south, but it is still very much up in the air.

I know it's far off.. I like to plan.

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-14, 11:40 PM
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One more thing, I guess my only criteria so far is that the more coast/water I see, the better.
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Old 01-05-14, 06:00 AM
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Deciding On A Route Across New Zealand

A couple of years ago I toured a loop around South Island. It was a six week trip.

The route was inland south from Christchurch to Invercargill on the south coast, over to Te Anau then up the west coast to Nelson and back to Christchurch.

I've been to North Island too, but for sheer, awesome nature the South Island is unbeatable.

Almost all the roads were chipseal. I ran on 28mm gatorskins, but doing it again, I'd go for 32mm tires.

Warning! The sandflies on the west coast are unbearable if you don't keep totally covered when off the bike. I had a headnet and DEET bug cream (bought in NZ). I recommend these very very strongly.

Due to the lack of hard shoulders on almost all roads, a rear mirror is a must! Beware especially lumber trucks!
Although I do "take the lane" on narrow bridges etc, doing so all the time in NZ would get you creamed really quick, so "white line riding" when being overtaken is the way to go.

Last edited by imi; 01-05-14 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 01-05-14, 11:15 AM
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Very cool, thanks for chiming in! Would you have a recommendation as to when it would be best to go?
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Old 01-05-14, 01:54 PM
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There have been quite a few discussions in the past about touring routes in NZ. Here's a link to search results:

http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8333661

Given that you especially are seeking coastal routes, I'd say the one must-do route for you would be the west coast of the South I. The East Cape area of the North Is. also has lots of nice coastal views, though I think I may have preferred my interior route on the North I. even more (but I liked both). I rode from Rotorua south to Wanganui on the south coast. I took a bus from Wanganui to Wellington and was glad I did.

I was unimpressed with the east coast of the South I. between Christchurch and Dunedin. There are some interesting things, however, to see on the Otago peninsula near Dunedin. I liked various parts of the northern part of the South I. quite a bit.

I would urge you to get out of Auckland on public transportation, if that is still easy to do with a bike. There are nicer parts of the country where you could spend your time touring, though Auckland itself has some worthwhile attractions.

As for timing, my first tour there was mid-november to mid-december. Second time was Christmas to late January. The latter trip had warmer and drier weather, but more traffic and more crowded campgrounds/backpackers/parks. Perhaps February would be a very good time. Good weather but fewer tourists on the road? Maybe Kiwis on this forum could confirm or deny that.
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Old 01-05-14, 02:07 PM
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Deciding On A Route Across New Zealand

My trip was mid january to end of february. It was a good time for the South Island, but weather changes very quickly.
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Old 01-05-14, 02:57 PM
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https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=5873&v=3w
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Old 01-05-14, 03:27 PM
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South Island is definately more majestic than the North. If touring the West Coast of the S. Island make sure you have good rain gear.

On the North Island, the far North can be quite nice and the area from Rotorua to Taupo, including Tongariro is definately worth venturing inland for vs seeing yet more coastline.

Coarsest chipseal in the know universe. Bad enough to make you say, "Belgium". ;-) (If you're at all sci-fi knowledgable) Definately bring the 32s. Or, even wider if you want to use some of the gravel options. There are some truly spactacular routes through mountains and forests that are not paved. Here they call grated gravel roads, "Metaled". Don't ask me why. I've heard numerous different explainations.

Personally, I would look at options that link a few regions by means other than the bike. Air and train cost roughly the same here. And, the ferry trip between Wellington and Picton could be a great way to move between the islands.

Depending on what you really want to see I would pick from some of these:
Far North- 90 Mile Beach through Waitangi or Whangarei
Mid North- Rotorau through Tongariro, with or without inclusion of Urewera Forest, Hawkes Bay if you like red wines.

South Island- Geeze there's a ton.
Northern South Island- Marlborough (for white wines) through Kahurangi Park, The West Coast, Arthurs Pass South to Queenstown, Quesnstown out the the East coast via the Otago rail trail through Central Otago Pinot Noir territory.

I could probably do a week plus in any of those regions the way I like to travel.
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Old 01-05-14, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
There have been quite a few discussions in the past about touring routes in NZ. Here's a link to search results:

http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8333661

Given that you especially are seeking coastal routes, I'd say the one must-do route for you would be the west coast of the South I. The East Cape area of the North Is. also has lots of nice coastal views, though I think I may have preferred my interior route on the North I. even more (but I liked both). I rode from Rotorua south to Wanganui on the south coast. I took a bus from Wanganui to Wellington and was glad I did.

I was unimpressed with the east coast of the South I. between Christchurch and Dunedin. There are some interesting things, however, to see on the Otago peninsula near Dunedin. I liked various parts of the northern part of the South I. quite a bit.

I would urge you to get out of Auckland on public transportation, if that is still easy to do with a bike. There are nicer parts of the country where you could spend your time touring, though Auckland itself has some worthwhile attractions.

As for timing, my first tour there was mid-november to mid-december. Second time was Christmas to late January. The latter trip had warmer and drier weather, but more traffic and more crowded campgrounds/backpackers/parks. Perhaps February would be a very good time. Good weather but fewer tourists on the road? Maybe Kiwis on this forum could confirm or deny that.
Thank you, that is very helpful. I would like to spend a day or two in Auckland just for fun.
As far as timing, I can basically pick when I want to go, as I am a college student, and I have the ability to take a quarter off in the 2014/2015 school year.

Thanks!

Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
South Island is definately more majestic than the North. If touring the West Coast of the S. Island make sure you have good rain gear.

On the North Island, the far North can be quite nice and the area from Rotorua to Taupo, including Tongariro is definately worth venturing inland for vs seeing yet more coastline.

Coarsest chipseal in the know universe. Bad enough to make you say, "Belgium". ;-) (If you're at all sci-fi knowledgable) Definately bring the 32s. Or, even wider if you want to use some of the gravel options. There are some truly spactacular routes through mountains and forests that are not paved. Here they call grated gravel roads, "Metaled". Don't ask me why. I've heard numerous different explainations.

Personally, I would look at options that link a few regions by means other than the bike. Air and train cost roughly the same here. And, the ferry trip between Wellington and Picton could be a great way to move between the islands.

Depending on what you really want to see I would pick from some of these:
Far North- 90 Mile Beach through Waitangi or Whangarei
Mid North- Rotorau through Tongariro, with or without inclusion of Urewera Forest, Hawkes Bay if you like red wines.

South Island- Geeze there's a ton.
Northern South Island- Marlborough (for white wines) through Kahurangi Park, The West Coast, Arthurs Pass South to Queenstown, Quesnstown out the the East coast via the Otago rail trail through Central Otago Pinot Noir territory.

I could probably do a week plus in any of those regions the way I like to travel.
I was planning on the ferry trip between Wellington and Picton. I am under 21 which is our legal drinking age here in the states, I am unsure of what it is in NZ, just to let you know. I have heard about the bad roads, so I will definitely bring 32's, but I wouldn't mind unpaved paths. I will keep that in mind. Also, lake Taupo was on my list to see. Thank for your help. I will probably be in touch with you as it gets closer.
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Old 01-05-14, 05:53 PM
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As I mentioned above the time is pretty flexible, I can go basically whenever.
I am planning on buying a dedicated touring bike this summer for a few short tours I have planned around BC and western WA. So, that will be coming with me to New Zealand.

One more thing, I just chose New Zealand because I have always wanted to go visit, and since it is in the S. Hemisphere, it wouldn't be a bad time to go during my school year, as that is the only time I can go. I am a little open to other countries, but I figure there isn't much besides Australia that I could see myself going to.

Thanks everyone for the help!
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Old 01-05-14, 06:21 PM
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FYI you're legal here at 18 :-)

Depending on your tastes, cycling past, etc. and how much gravel/rail trail you're considering, I would really consider a CX rig with 35s or even an MTB with a suitable narrow tire.

There's an ever growing national cycling trail, a large percentage of which is rail trails. For that sort of riding a CX or MTB would definately be preferrable to a true touring rig.
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Old 01-05-14, 07:27 PM
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Sweet!

I will keep that in mind. I think I will probably still stick with a true touring rig, as I would probably use that more than a CX or MTB rig.
Thanks.
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Old 01-05-14, 07:34 PM
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For the Nth Island from Auckland try Coramandel and then on to East Cape.
Best Guides are the Pedaller's Paradise http://www.paradise-press.co.nz/
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Old 01-05-14, 07:43 PM
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Hobbitshire is on the north island, sir Edmond Hillary's mountains , the South..
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Old 01-06-14, 12:13 AM
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for what its worth, i have cycled from the bottom of the south island to the top on a fully loaded road bike with 700c x 23 tires and had no issues.
i have also gone from the west coast to east coast of the north island (and back, raglan to gisborne), on the touring bike i built, with 700c 32's. Tho i stayed "on road" for the majority, 32s would be perfect if you wanted to the the rail trails down south, or the newly opened cycle trails that are all over the north island.

I did both in march as i can usually get time off work then, but its a great time to go if you catch the good weather. Any later and its going to be getting cold.
You will get wet, there is a sont - four seasons in one day- and that pretty much sums it up. I have been snowed on and sunbathed in the same day. Ditch the cotton and bring some polyprop thermals, or pick up some merino wool layers while you are here

I did the south island on a 14speed, my knees didnt thank me, but it was possible. Definitely go over arthurs pass, it was probably the nicest part.
The corromandel and east coast are also very scenic , but both have very narrow roads, a very steep drop to the ocean, no barriers, and logging trucks.

i head off this year to cycle canada to argentina, but if you come by hamilton PM me, im sure we will have a room spare, and every tool needed to sort out any issues
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Old 01-06-14, 01:52 AM
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The Pedallers Paradise books are great but a little out of date. Worth picking up anyway.

A good up to date book is Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails
http://www.kennett.co.nz/product/cla...-cycle-trails/

If you want to stick to the road 28c is fine. If you want to do some of the off road stuff either take a CX bike of park up and hire a MTB for a few days.

School holidays run until the end of Jan, Feb the weather is still nice and the campgrounds are empty.

For the North island maybe bus to Rotorua and do the touristy things there, then ride around east cape to Napier, then through to Ohakune (either via Taupo or Taihape)
Rent a MTB there and go bush for a few days for a change of pace…. eg:
http://www.bridgetonowhere.co.nz/mangapurua_trail.html
Ride to either Whanganui or Palmerston North then bus to wellington for the ferry to picton.


South island.
Down the west coast and over to queenstown if you can put up with the sandflies.
You could also do: Picton, motueka, inland through to blenheim, round the coast to Kaikoura then back to the west coast via hanmer springs and Lewis pass, then back over to christchurch via Arthurs pass.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:44 AM
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Gotta say sorry but travellers to NZ need to be aware of attacks (robbery with violence) on people camping wild are becoming more common, especially in the North Island so dont be complacent and use common sense.
Before anyone rushes to flame me, I'm not attacking NZ, I'm NZ born and bred, currently living in Australia. A google search of tourist attacked in Google I imagine will vindicate my warning.
Like everywhere in the world, there is a feral element so be aware where you camp. The attacks arnt endemic but theres been a few lately that were particularly nasty.
I normally get flamed by my warnings to people traveling to NZ to bring excellent rainwear year round due to it being (IMHO) a bit of a soak hole. Hey you dont get all that green without plenty of rain.
Suggest mid Jan to mid March for the driest and most settled weather and warn against late winter/spring for wettest coldest. Good gear will see you right but come prepared for plenty of rain at any time. No probs if you find your gear inadequate as there's plenty of quality camping shops and gear in many towns. I'm sure some people will jump in shortly to describe how dry their neck of the woods are but like most things, use common sense and before you arrive, check your Lonely Planet Guide for rainfall in the areas you wish to see. West Coast of the South Island is likely the wettest but last I was there also the friendliest and somewhere I love to keep coming back to visit.
I'll just add the common sense factor includes avoiding camping anywhere near places teenagers might congregate to drink alcohol like skate parks etc.
Obvious when you think about it, but I know what its like to be traveling cheap and being keen to save a buck. Nuff said. Its a great place to cycle with some fantastic scenery. Come and enjoy.

Oh and xtra.co.nz is the nz.yahoo.com/ site which is good for local searches.
Macpac is a NZ camping/hiking gear icon though merely my favorite and not the only one
trademe.co.nz is the local online auction

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Old 01-06-14, 02:17 PM
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My wife and I toured around NZ on a tandem for five weeks about 12 months ago (Dec-Jan). She prefers to do coastal roads and I adore the mountain roads, so we did some of both.

We only did one week on the N Island, and started by taking a bus from Auckland airport to Hamilton, a couple of hours south (with the de-coupled tandem still in the S&S suitcases), and then started riding from there because we didn't want the hassle of getting out of Auckland by bike. We achieved our goals of getting to Napier in well under a week, having visited the Hobbit set, the geysers at Rotorua, and the dirt road around Lake Waikaremoana. We then hopped on another bus to Wellington, stopped there to see a friend for a couple of days, then took the ferry to the S Island. Some of the coastal riding around Hawke's Bay was pretty nice, and wild camping on a queit beach SW of Wairoa was really special.

The N Island and the upper part of the S Island in late December was extremely hot (30-35 degrees C, 85-95 F), and sun burn times were amazingly short - put lots of sunblock EVERYWHERE.

On the S Island, the coastal road that hugs the shore of Kenepuru Sound is truly fantastic, although very tiring (full of steep ups and downs, twists and turns). After a hard day of riding, we camped near the end of it and then took a water taxi down to Havelock the next day rather than back-tracking.

The Akaroa peninsula SE of Christchurch is also a fantastic ride, particularly the road around the top of the rim of the one-time volcano. Between Oamaru and Dunedin there are several options to take smaller roads that keep you along the coast instead of taking the main road that is further inland, and that was another great day. The Otago peninsula outside Dunedin is as good for the wildlife at the end of it (penguin sanctuary and albatross nest sites) as it is for the riding experience.

We had planned to do some of the West Coast of the S Island, but the weather on that side was terrible while we were there (lots of rain, lots of bridges washed out, etc.), so we stuck to other parts, where the weather was generally great. I believe this general weather pattern is quite typical, and we never read or heard of anyone being amazingly enthusiastic about the West Coast, so we weren't too bothered to miss it. Certain sections of the West Coast road are really coastal, but quite a bit of the road is inland anyway.

I wrote up a photo-blog of our trip, including a rough map, which start here.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tortron View Post
for what its worth, i have cycled from the bottom of the south island to the top on a fully loaded road bike with 700c x 23 tires and had no issues.
i have also gone from the west coast to east coast of the north island (and back, raglan to gisborne), on the touring bike i built, with 700c 32's. Tho i stayed "on road" for the majority, 32s would be perfect if you wanted to the the rail trails down south, or the newly opened cycle trails that are all over the north island.

I did both in march as i can usually get time off work then, but its a great time to go if you catch the good weather. Any later and its going to be getting cold.
You will get wet, there is a sont - four seasons in one day- and that pretty much sums it up. I have been snowed on and sunbathed in the same day. Ditch the cotton and bring some polyprop thermals, or pick up some merino wool layers while you are here

I did the south island on a 14speed, my knees didnt thank me, but it was possible. Definitely go over arthurs pass, it was probably the nicest part.
The corromandel and east coast are also very scenic , but both have very narrow roads, a very steep drop to the ocean, no barriers, and logging trucks.

i head off this year to cycle canada to argentina, but if you come by hamilton PM me, im sure we will have a room spare, and every tool needed to sort out any issues
Thanks for your reply, I will let you know if and when I would be coming by Hamilton. Thanks a lot!

Originally Posted by znomit View Post
The Pedallers Paradise books are great but a little out of date. Worth picking up anyway.

A good up to date book is Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails
http://www.kennett.co.nz/product/cla...-cycle-trails/

If you want to stick to the road 28c is fine. If you want to do some of the off road stuff either take a CX bike of park up and hire a MTB for a few days.

School holidays run until the end of Jan, Feb the weather is still nice and the campgrounds are empty.

For the North island maybe bus to Rotorua and do the touristy things there, then ride around east cape to Napier, then through to Ohakune (either via Taupo or Taihape)
Rent a MTB there and go bush for a few days for a change of pace…. eg:
http://www.bridgetonowhere.co.nz/mangapurua_trail.html
Ride to either Whanganui or Palmerston North then bus to wellington for the ferry to picton.


South island.
Down the west coast and over to queenstown if you can put up with the sandflies.
You could also do: Picton, motueka, inland through to blenheim, round the coast to Kaikoura then back to the west coast via hanmer springs and Lewis pass, then back over to christchurch via Arthurs pass.
Thanks, I will keep all of this in mind. I am thinking of sticking to the East side of the South Island.

Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Gotta say sorry but travellers to NZ need to be aware of attacks (robbery with violence) on people camping wild are becoming more common, especially in the North Island so dont be complacent and use common sense.
Before anyone rushes to flame me, I'm not attacking NZ, I'm NZ born and bred, currently living in Australia. A google search of tourist attacked in Google I imagine will vindicate my warning.
Like everywhere in the world, there is a feral element so be aware where you camp. The attacks arnt endemic but theres been a few lately that were particularly nasty.
I normally get flamed by my warnings to people traveling to NZ to bring excellent rainwear year round due to it being (IMHO) a bit of a soak hole. Hey you dont get all that green without plenty of rain.
Suggest mid Jan to mid March for the driest and most settled weather and warn against late winter/spring for wettest coldest. Good gear will see you right but come prepared for plenty of rain at any time. No probs if you find your gear inadequate as there's plenty of quality camping shops and gear in many towns. I'm sure some people will jump in shortly to describe how dry their neck of the woods are but like most things, use common sense and before you arrive, check your Lonely Planet Guide for rainfall in the areas you wish to see. West Coast of the South Island is likely the wettest but last I was there also the friendliest and somewhere I love to keep coming back to visit.
I'll just add the common sense factor includes avoiding camping anywhere near places teenagers might congregate to drink alcohol like skate parks etc.
Obvious when you think about it, but I know what its like to be traveling cheap and being keen to save a buck. Nuff said. Its a great place to cycle with some fantastic scenery. Come and enjoy.

Oh and xtra.co.nz is the nz.yahoo.com/ site which is good for local searches.
Macpac is a NZ camping/hiking gear icon though merely my favorite and not the only one
trademe.co.nz is the local online auction
Well the attacks freak me out. I am 18, and the only other country (Besides Canada) I have visited is China, and it wasn't particularly dangerous for tourists (Just pick pockets/muggings.) But no violence. I will keep all of this in mind, maybe I should bring a friend or wait until I have the budget to sleep in hotel rooms. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
My wife and I toured around NZ on a tandem for five weeks about 12 months ago (Dec-Jan). She prefers to do coastal roads and I adore the mountain roads, so we did some of both.

We only did one week on the N Island, and started by taking a bus from Auckland airport to Hamilton, a couple of hours south (with the de-coupled tandem still in the S&S suitcases), and then started riding from there because we didn't want the hassle of getting out of Auckland by bike. We achieved our goals of getting to Napier in well under a week, having visited the Hobbit set, the geysers at Rotorua, and the dirt road around Lake Waikaremoana. We then hopped on another bus to Wellington, stopped there to see a friend for a couple of days, then took the ferry to the S Island. Some of the coastal riding around Hawke's Bay was pretty nice, and wild camping on a queit beach SW of Wairoa was really special.

The N Island and the upper part of the S Island in late December was extremely hot (30-35 degrees C, 85-95 F), and sun burn times were amazingly short - put lots of sunblock EVERYWHERE.

On the S Island, the coastal road that hugs the shore of Kenepuru Sound is truly fantastic, although very tiring (full of steep ups and downs, twists and turns). After a hard day of riding, we camped near the end of it and then took a water taxi down to Havelock the next day rather than back-tracking.

The Akaroa peninsula SE of Christchurch is also a fantastic ride, particularly the road around the top of the rim of the one-time volcano. Between Oamaru and Dunedin there are several options to take smaller roads that keep you along the coast instead of taking the main road that is further inland, and that was another great day. The Otago peninsula outside Dunedin is as good for the wildlife at the end of it (penguin sanctuary and albatross nest sites) as it is for the riding experience.

We had planned to do some of the West Coast of the S Island, but the weather on that side was terrible while we were there (lots of rain, lots of bridges washed out, etc.), so we stuck to other parts, where the weather was generally great. I believe this general weather pattern is quite typical, and we never read or heard of anyone being amazingly enthusiastic about the West Coast, so we weren't too bothered to miss it. Certain sections of the West Coast road are really coastal, but quite a bit of the road is inland anyway.

I wrote up a photo-blog of our trip, including a rough map, which start here.
Thanks! I will check out your blog!
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Old 01-07-14, 02:48 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by RamAlaRag View Post

Thanks, I will keep all of this in mind. I am thinking of sticking to the East side of the South Island.



Well the attacks freak me out. I am 18, and the only other country (Besides Canada) I have visited is China, and it wasn't particularly dangerous for tourists (Just pick pockets/muggings.) But no violence. I will keep all of this in mind, maybe I should bring a friend or wait until I have the budget to sleep in hotel rooms. Thanks!
That advice on missing the West Coast is the exact opposite of what I would advise. Many cycle tourists go from Queenstown through the Haast Pass and up the coast to Westport, then across Lewis Pass or up to Murchison. Some of the best scenery in the country is along this section and shouldn't be missed. Yes it does rain but not enough to stop a visit to these areas. Read some of my journals covering most of NZ and then decide.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/dire...?user=sglasgow

As to the problem of attacks, simply stick to the many campgrounds throughout the country rather than free camp. It is because the attacks are not common that they make the national news when they happen and so get more attention from the media than they might otherwise. Use your common sense and keep safe.
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Old 01-07-14, 05:03 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
That advice on missing the West Coast is the exact opposite of what I would advise. Many cycle tourists go from Queenstown through the Haast Pass and up the coast to Westport, then across Lewis Pass or up to Murchison. Some of the best scenery in the country is along this section and shouldn't be missed. Yes it does rain but not enough to stop a visit to these areas. Read some of my journals covering most of NZ and then decide.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/dire...?user=sglasgow

As to the problem of attacks, simply stick to the many campgrounds throughout the country rather than free camp. It is because the attacks are not common that they make the national news when they happen and so get more attention from the media than they might otherwise. Use your common sense and keep safe.
I think Steves on the money here.

If you want to free camp dont do it where you can be seen.
Make camp on dusk.
Dont use torches or light fires.
Camp way beyond the townships where lazy ferals wont bother to walk to.
Dont be seen from the road for opportunists.

I've used this method in my travels in different countries and so far without issue.
Campgrounds are safest though and I bet cheaper in NZ than here in Australia.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:35 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
I believe this general weather pattern is quite typical, and we never read or heard of anyone being amazingly enthusiastic about the West Coast, so we weren't too bothered to miss it.
I would say just the opposite. The west coast of the S. Island is precisely the area that most touring cyclists I encountered in NZ were most enthusiastic about. I toured in NZ twice, and that was the only region that I repeated on my 2nd tour.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:00 PM
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Heres a blog I enjoyed reading with a some NZ stuff in it that I hope will be helpful.
http://wheelswhisper.blogspot.com.au/
In Particular the "Gone Fishing" and "Chasing the Long White Cloud" tours.
Also for what I think is a fantastic route, scroll down the initial page of the link till you get to:
[h=3]North of the South: Another New Zealand tour route...[/h]Oh it appears I've added the link so you dont have to scroll.

Depending on the time of year, as you cant cycle it year round, check out "The Heaphy Track" as a possible addition to the top west side of the South Island.
Looking at the map I linked to above you ride from Westport up the coast, and basically theres a bush track, normally for trampers, thats open to cyclists at certain months.
I've walked it a few times and would love to return and cycle it.
Take you from roughly three quarters of the way up the map on the West Coast side and crosses the top to end up approx on the map an inch or so north of Motueka.

http://heaphytrack.com/


http://www.macpac.com.au/our-communi...he-heaphy.html
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Old 01-07-14, 11:31 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I think the plan to just camp in designated camping areas is a good one. @rifraf, thanks for the links, the map is very helpful.

I may be able to get someone to go with me, but we'll see. I may still be doing it on my own.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-17-14, 09:16 PM
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I toured New Zealand in 1990, so perhaps much of what I can say is out of date. I did month tour of the south island, crossing over at Haas (or hass) pass. I ran out of time at some point and put my bike on a bus - the back halves were for cargo, so no box needed. I ran 1-1/4" tires on my 83 Fuji Touring Series IV (still riding it) with no problems on the "metal" roads. The Kiwi's were like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - nice people, drive fast as hell and don't slow don't when they pass you. On narrow mountain road, with steep cliff against my side, I had a car come so close it's fenders touched my front panniers as it got over so another car could get on by - the road was that narrow.

There were lots of Youth hostels, many privately owned. At the time, Camping was $3.night and the hostel were $5.night. I quickly mailed my tent and cook set to the first hostel I stayed at. Hostel gave me the chance to interact with people from around the world. I liked both coasts for what it is worth. It's a great place and I am sure you will love it. I spent January there.
Happy trails,
John
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