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.
- 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
Casual & Premiere Inns
Punakaiki Resort (1 night): Bordering Paparoa National Park, with a panoramic view of the Tasman Sea.
Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (1 night): Comfortable rooms overlooking the ocean in the jade capital of Hokitika.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat (1 night): A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort - even offering a pillow menu.
Te Weheka Inn (1 night): The private balconies offer expansive vistas in a beautiful locale.
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki (2 nights): This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.
Edgewater Resort Hotel (2 nights): On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa, tennis)
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa (1 night): A luxury boutique hotel with a mountain backdrop set in the heart of delightful Queenstown. (spa)
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 11/13-22 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1320 for sgl. occ.)
- 11/27-12/6 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1320 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/15-24 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1320 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/27-1/5 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1320 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 1/8-17 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 1/22-31 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 2/5-14 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 2/19-28 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 3/5-14 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 3/19-28 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 11/12-21 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 11/26-12/5 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/14-23 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/26-1/4 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1070 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
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
The New Zealand trip was my favorite of all... The biking was challenging but there was plenty of time to sit, relax and enjoy the surroundings and the New Zealand wines!- Billings, MT
I saw New Zealand like most people don't see it. I experienced what a rain forest is truly like. I think of the rides I did almost daily. I know that I challenged myself in the miles I rode. It gave me a great sense of peace that I have been able to carry with me even though I have been home eight days.- Wilmette, IL
I would do this trip over and over again - it was fantastic. The leaders were great, knowledgable, funny, motivational, supportive, organized... Thanks for a great experience!- Stoneham, MA
This was one of the best vacations I ever had. The location, the other guests on the trip, the trip leaders, the cycling, the weather, and the alternate activities all added up to a wonderful and memorable experience for me.- San Marcos, CA
I recently traveled with Backroads to New Zealand, and I believe it was one of the defining vacations of my life (and I have probably been on several thousand vacations in my life). Two reasons it was so terrific were the leaders. Both represented Backroads at its best: attentive, gentlemanly, athletic, sensitive to the guests' needs, and always there when you needed them.- New York, NY
I love your trips. I had no idea about what New Zealand was like and now I feel I have learned so much. We are so well taken care of, the biking is perfect for all levels, and I saw so much of the country.- Issaquah, WA
This was my first bike trip and I will admit that I was nervous about it. My husband is the biker in the family, but my trepidation was overcome by my desire to share this experience with him. I need not have worried. Your leaders never once made me feel that I was an encumbrance. With their expert advice and warm support I felt as good about reaching my own goals as did those who were able to finish every mile. Kudos to you for your excellent choice of staff and obvious good training. I have been singing the praises of Backroads ever since we returned. Thank you for a wonderful experience!- Portland, ME
I cannot say enough good things about this trip. I believe it was a combination of great leaders, a great group and of course the wonderful country.- Naples, FL
Such an awesome, fun, great trip...I loved every day. From the riding, to the group and of course the guides, all made the experience an unforgettable one! You guys do a great job! Being catered to is something I had never experienced on a trip, as we have always done our own thing, but I must say I adjusted to the pampering very quickly and it made our trip oh so easy. All we had to do was have the most fun we could have every day!- Telluride, CO