New Zealand Biking
- Epic biking at its best in one of the world's greatest outdoor playgrounds
- Glaciers meet rain forest meets crashing ocean coastline
- Travel by train across the South Island
- Dramatic varied scenery, finishing in a pinot-growing wine region
- Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand
The Sensational South Island from Christchurch to Queenstown
Biking doesn't get any more epic than New Zealand. Or more beautiful. The greens of Ireland. The skyscapes of Switzerland. The friendly feel of, well, New Zealand. It's where glaciers get cozy with rain forests. Where the Tasman Sea surf pounds an Oregon-rugged coastline. On a bike, you're in the middle of it all. Ocean mist in your face. Ever-changing natural beauty through your sunglasses. Island-fresh air in your lungs to complement that bit of sweat on your brow. Here the sheep have it made. This week, they aren't the only ones.
Day 1 Awe-inspiring routes in one of the world's greatest outdoor playgrounds Take the TranzAlpine train over Arthur's Pass, spotting the Canterbury Plains and the Waimakariri River Gorge Pedal to the pancake rocks at Punakaiki, known for its impressive ocean "geysers."
Days 2-4 Glaciers meet rain forest meets the dramatic Tasman Sea Explore the coastal town of Hokitika, famous for pounamu (New Zealand jade) Pedal through old-growth forests and over Mount Hercules to Westland National Park Hike to the face of the Franz Josef Glacier, one of New Zealand's greatest wonders If you're up for more riding, tackle the challenging route to Fox Glacier.
Days 5-8 Cross the "main divide" of the Southern Alps, with the bright teal-colored water of Lake Wanaka as your reward Ride to South Westland National Park along a gently rolling route Discover the waterfall-laced Haast World Heritage area, with fantastic vistas of the Tasman Sea Kick back at Munro Beach, go for a stroll or a canoe ride Opt for an excursion to Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most scenic national treasures.
Days 9-10 Spectacular varied scenery, finishing in pinot noir country Follow the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers past vineyards in a burgeoning wine region Check out Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
The natural beauty of the island was spectacular but the knowledge, energy level and service of our leaders combined with the terrific group of fellow Backroads travelers, made for the best vacation we have ever had. All I have been doing for the last week is telling people how truly spectacular our New Zealand trip was and I have been giving out the link to the Backroads website like it is candy.- Chicago, IL
The best active vacation I've ever experienced. Everybody should see New Zealand at least once in their lifetime, and this Backroads trip is the best way to do it.- Park City, UT
Great fun and excellent coordination of every detail by your team. Everything from the pre-trip information, to the day-in and day-out support, was handled perfectly. The Backroads Team operated with great efficiency and smiles throughout.- Marana, AZ
Casual & Premiere Inns*
Punakaiki (1 night) Bordering Paparoa National Park, with a panoramic view of the Tasman Sea.
Beachfront Hotel Hokitika
Hokitika (1 night) Comfortable rooms overlooking the ocean in the jade capital of Hokitika.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Franz Josef (1 night) A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort - even offering a pillow menu.
Te Weheka Inn
Fox Glacier (1 night) The private balconies offer expansive vistas in a beautiful locale.
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Lake Moeraki (2 nights) This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.
Edgewater Resort Hotel
Lake Wanaka (2 nights) On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa, tennis)
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa
Queenstown (1 night) A luxury boutique hotel with a mountain backdrop set in the heart of delightful Queenstown. (spa)
Hawaii's Big Island Biking
Coastal Roads & Volcanic Slopes
Circle an Alluring Island on Two Wheels
Ancient Treasures & Modern Icons in Beijing, Xian & the South
New Zealand Multisport
Adventure Unleashed on the North Island
Exploring the Golden Triangle Near Laos & Myanmar
Vietnam & Cambodia Biking
Old Indochina from Hanoi to Angkor Wat
This Trip Is Rated Level 3-5
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Hiking (3, 4 miles)|
|Optional scenic flights from Franz Josef|
|Beach walk (1.5 hours)|
|Optional afternoon canoeing, guided excursions or kayaking|
|Optional hiking, wine tasting or scenic flight/boat cruise (all day)|
|10||Queenstown city walk|
* Includes a shuttle