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New Zealand Bike Tour

South Island from Christchurch to Queenstown

From $5,098 - $5,698 pp dbl. occ. | 10 days / 9 nights

(+$1,200 for sgl. occ.)

Biking doesn't get any more epic than in New Zealand. Or more beautiful. On a bike, you're in the middle of it all. Ever-changing natural beauty through your sunglasses. Ocean mist in your face. Island-fresh air in your lungs to complement that bit of sweat on your brow. The sheep have it made here. This week, they aren't the only ones.

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New Zealand

Start Christchurch / End Queenstown

New Zealand Map

Highlights

  • Marvel at spectacular glaciers, rain forests, crashing ocean and coastline on the beautiful Tasman Sea
  • Travel by train across the South Island, getting a good look at the Canterbury Plains and the magnificent Waimakariri River Gorge
  • Spin through dramatic varied scenery and seas of vineyards, finishing in a pinot-growing wine region
  • Discover the many charms and secrets of Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand
New Zealand

Start Christchurch / End Queenstown

New Zealand Map

Itinerary

Day 1 Gear up for awe-inspiring routes in one of the world's greatest outdoor playgrounds | Take the TranzAlpine train over Arthur's Pass, soaking up views of the diverse landscapes | Pedal to the pancake rocks at Punakaiki, known for its impressive ocean “geysers.”

Days 2-4 Take in glaciers, rain forests and the dramatic Tasman Sea | Explore Hokitika, famous for pounamu, the local jade | Bike through old-growth forests and over Mount Hercules to Westland National Park, with the receding face of the Franz Josef Glacier, one of New Zealand's natural wonders, off in the distance | Cycle to the quaint coastal village of Okarito | Dine on fresh local cuisine at a luxurious forest retreat.

Days 5-8 Cross the “main divide” of the Southern Alps as you journey to Lake Wanaka | Ride to South Westland National Park | Discover the waterfall-laced Haast World Heritage area, with views of the Tasman Sea | Kick back at Munro Beach or go for a lakeside stroll | Opt for an excursion to Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most scenic national treasures.

Days 9-10 Admire the spectacularly varied scenery, finishing in pinot noir country | Follow the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers past vineyards in a burgeoning wine region.

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

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C Classic Dates

2018 March

View Private Dates

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. You can pick from the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $5,098 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $5,498 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $5,098 - $5,698 pp dbl. occ.
10 days / 9 nights

(+$1,200 for sgl. occ.)

Casual Hotels*

Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki (1 night)

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika
Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

Hokitika (1 night)

Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (2 nights)

Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Lake Moeraki (2 nights)

Edgewater Resort Hotel
Edgewater Resort Hotel

Lake Wanaka (2 nights)

Hotel St. Moritz
Hotel St Moritz

Queenstown (1 night)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 3-5

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in New Zealand

More On This Trip

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Casual Hotels*

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki (1 night)

Bordering Paparoa National Park, with a panoramic view of the Tasman Sea.

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

Hokitika (1 night)

Comfortable rooms overlooking the ocean in the jade capital of Hokitika.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (2 nights)
* Premiere Hotel

A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort—even offering a pillow menu. (spa)

Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

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

Edgewater Resort Hotel

Lake Wanaka (2 nights)

On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa)

Hotel St. Moritz

Hotel St Moritz

Queenstown (1 night)
* Premiere Hotel

This boutique hotel is located in the center of Queenstown with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 3-5

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 (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
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
1 26 900
2 27* 1400 39 1900
Hokitika Guided Walk (45 Minutes)
3 28* 1200 48* 2200 67* 3200
4 33 1700
Optional Activities in Franz Josef
5 39* 200 55* 1900 70 4000
6 21* 1400
Munro Beach Walk (1.5 Hours)
Optional Activities at Lake Moeraki
7 40* 1800 48* 3600 71* 5000
89* 5900
8 12* 700 24 1300
Optional Activities in Wanaka
9 35* 900 45* 1200
10 Queenstown Walk (1 Hour)
 

Note:

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Meals

All breakfasts, 9 dinners, 8 lunches

Available Bike Options

The key to a stellar day’s ride is a bike that’s perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip or view our full bike fleet in further detail.

Backroads Titanium Bikes (Included in your trip price)

Our custom-built titanium bikes are specially designed for you—and we offer different models for varied terrain so your bike is ideally suited to the region. Our custom-made bikes are included in your trip price.

Touring Bike (Included)

Road Bike (Included)

For trips departing before 4/15/18, please see available bike options here.

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Why Travel with Backroads in New Zealand

We Were Here before Lord of the Rings

Backroads has been in New Zealand for nearly three decades, crafting innovative routes, forging local connections and setting new standards for exceptional service – all with the goal of creating an active travel experience that lives up to the amazing diversity of this beautiful country. Thanks to a resident Trip Expert who's been discovering hidden roads and trails for more than 25 years, our unique biking itinerary explores far beyond the usual tourist haunts.

Our Superb Bikes Included

A great bike is obviously critical for a great biking trip; you don't want to gamble on one that's been sourced locally to trim costs. This trip features our acclaimed Backroads Custom Titanium bikes, expertly tuned and fitted, and included in your trip price. Learn why our titanium bikes are ideal for most riders.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our New Zealand trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

A Second Van When You Need It

Backroads is the only active travel company providing two support vans in New Zealand—because we know it's essential to ensure a truly great travel experience. It doubles our ability to be there when you need us to offer hydration, lighten your load or give you a lift if it's time to take a break. Read more on why two vans make all the difference.

The Best Leaders in New Zealand

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in New Zealand, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

We Live in the Neighborhood

Our Trip Leaders in New Zealand live in the area and are deeply engaged in their communities, giving them unique inside knowledge they're happy to share in making your experience that much richer. They'll introduce you to people, customs and parts of town you'd likely never encounter on your own—and teach you a few local phrases to help break the ice.

We Stand Behind Our Trips

Most companies' trips in New Zealand are run by local operators. At Backroads we manage our own trips; we would never subcontract your precious vacation to a third party. So as you enjoy the support of your seasoned Trip Leaders, along with our expert local guides and drivers, you have the confidence of knowing we're with you every step of the way.

A Variety of Routes Each Day

In New Zealand you head off each morning after choosing among several expertly designed routes—all with detailed directions, mileage and shuttle options. Unlike trips with one fixed daily route (or worse, one guide that everyone's obliged to follow), you're free to enjoy the best of the region at your pace, stopping wherever you want to explore further.

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

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