Travelling by Bike
There are many different ways to travel around the country. Some may intent to travel the whole country by bike! If this is the case, then our main tips are to pack lightly, be prepared for all weather regardless of the season and study your route options to avoid the main highways where possible - there are usually great back road alternatives with far less traffic!
If bringing your own bike, make sure it is clean of mud for biosecurity reasons, and safe and roadworthy for lasting the distance. It will often be easier to rent a bike from one of the main centres on arrival. Check out one of the reputable bike hire agencies in that area.
For most of you, you will want some motorised assistance, giving you more time for the best trails. Below are some of the options for travel around (and between) the islands - by car, campervan, bus, rail and boat!
Travelling by Car
If you are here for a longer stay, buying a vehicle may make sense. Consider what type of vehicle will be right for you, and how or if you will carry your bikes. A tow-bar may be one option. Vans are popular, especially self-contained ones with a toilet and fresh water storage, allowing users to freedom camp in more areas. Check for a current NZMCA Certification if you plan to freedom camp. To find a great vehicle, head to Turners Car Auctions, with over 2,000 cars and vans for sale.
For others, renting a vehicle will be the easier and more reliable option. We recommend checking out Jucy Rentals for a great range of suitable vehicles. They can find the right vehicle for you, and fit you out with a bike rack if needed. Check out the best deals and book a vehicle here!
Campervans and Motorhomes
Campervans are popular in New Zealand, and being self contained, they allow users to camp in more areas, often free of charge. This can save on accommodation, and help you access more areas of the country. For mid-size campervans, we again suggest the range at Jucy, such as the fully equipped Chaser.
For something larger (and a little more pricey), travel in the comfort and style of an Iconic Motorhome. You will have all the comfort and luxury in your off-days (like warm showers!) so you are ready for the mud and dust when back on the trail. For the full range of luxury rentals available, search here.
Travelling by Bus and Train
All the main towns and key tourist destinations are serviced by bus, making it entirely possible to get around without a private vehicle. The trains travel to fewer destinations, but can make for some truly iconic and memorable journeys where available!
Various national bus companies operate in New Zealand, including Intercity, Naked Bus, and Mana Bus. For your cycling holiday, we recommend Intercity for an affordable and easy way of getting around. Intercity cover both islands, and can carry bikes on almost all of their connections. Collapsed bikes can travel for free, or non-collapsed bicycles travel for only $10 extra. To book your bus travel with Intercity, click here.
There are several great train routes available too. These include the Northern Explorer (Wellington to Auckland), the Coastal Pacific (Picton to Christchurch) and the Tranz Alpine (Christchurch to Greymouth). To find fare options and book your tickets (including bus and ferry combo's), head to Rail New Zealand. Your train journey will be one to remember!
Travelling by Ferry
Two main ferry companies link the North and South Islands (Wellington and Picton) - the Interislander and the Bluebridge. The 3 1/2 hour journey is a wonderful experience (except perhaps in rough seas). We at nzbybike.com are proud to recommend the Bluebridge for your journey across Cook Strait. The Bluebridge is usually the cheaper option, departs from right opposite the Wellington Station, and has been strong in supporting cycle tourism in New Zealand. Bikes travel for free if walked on, and if you join the Bluebridge Bike Club, you get a further 10% off your entire fare! So book your ferry journey here!