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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East Coaster
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    385

    New Zealand beta needed

    here's the deal.... Getting Married in July, taking an epic honeymoon.

    My fiance has 3 weeks off in November so we're planning to go to NZ. thinking about doing a self supported bike tour but wondering whats reasonable to expect in 3 weeks.... North Island only, South Island only, etc. We're fit as fiddles and can easily do 60 mile days. Also don't mind camping, but if the weather is gonna suck a big one i'd rather do hotels.

    We're looking for a general sightseeing trip.... enjoying wineries, nice food, cool sites, some fishing, culture, etc. Dont necessarily need to ski while we're there although the reports Skier666 sent in last year are fkna sweet! I was looking at some self guided auto routes that provide a good starting point but it seems there is cool shit to see pretty much everywhere!

    seems like the north island might be slightly more compact and therefore better to tour. also looks like thats were some serious fishing is (any fish to be caught in the NZ spring?). Any thoughts on this statement? true or false?

    and now for the bonus round. I'm probably coming a month or so earlier. Thinking about hitting up Australia on some additional NZ spots that we won't be able to cover. I'll start working on that trip after the first one is planned out!

    obviously this message is slightyl nebulous, but its at least a good starting point.

    Who's got the beta? anyone done a similar trip? I've beens scouring the net and am completely overwhelmed by how much there is to try and squeeze in. need to start refining a plan! help!

    thanks
    -Tick
    I like chicks who ride. Especially if they're cyclists.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    in the mouth of a desert
    Posts
    2,117
    Did four weeks in NZ on my honeymoon (6 years ago). Really, the south island is bee's knees; north is OK, but doesn't have near the majestic scenery. Trying to remember everything we hit on the North--we didn't go north of Auckland.... (we drove, which was a breeze--no cars or people in NZ--lots of sheep and roadkilled "possums" though)

    - Auckland is pretty much a generic int'l city--fun for a day or two, but I wouldn't plan on spending too much time there.
    - Roto is, meh; Wisconsin Dells of NZ; unless geo-thermal really floats your boat, skip it (though the Blue & Green Lakes (?) just outside of town are beautiful)
    - There is a huge national park due east of Roto which was stunning. Can't recall the name. We only drove through, but I'm sure the hiking/camping would be amazing. No. People. At. All.
    - Napier is a cool, smallish city on the east coast; whole town is Art Deco. Lots of great wineries in the area.
    - We did a night in a dinky town called Martinborough halfway between Napier and Wellington; very quaint, great wine.
    - Wellington is really cool--feels like a real NZ city, as opposed to Auckland which, like I said, is kind of generic international.

    If you have any specific questions, or want info on the south island shoot me a PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,278
    Both islands have spectacular biking potential but the South Island has more stunning scenery and less people. I would say South Island unless compactness is truely important and overshadows the variety you see one the South. For biking some cool loops could be done on the East side of the Alps which is typically drier and more open vistas, think Rohan from LOTR. Stark difference from the lush West side which is awesome as well.

    Fly into Christchurch - Methven - Fairlie - Lake Pukaki/Mt Cook (hike there) - Omarama - Wanaka (cool town on Lake) - Cromwell - Queenstown if you must - Alexandra - Dunedin (cool city) - back alongt the coast to Christchurch.

    Or anywhere, with NZ you literally can't go wrong. Don't worry about hotels ahead of time, the backpackers (hostels) are wonderful and often have single rooms. Guidebook will help you there.

    I spent 3 months over there with a campervan I bought in Auckland. I will be back. When you get closer to a plan, let me know or bump this and I may be Abel to help out on specifics.
    Last edited by Rip'nStick; 05-25-2010 at 01:41 PM.
    Education must be the answer, we've tried ignorance and it doesn't work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    113
    Always wanted to go there...so can't wait to see your TR upon return!

    Check out Backpacker Mags recent NZ article. Got some nice info in there for your side trip.

    Cheers

    http://www.backpacker.com/trip_docto...aily_dirt/1799

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    106
    Hey there

    I can probably help out here, have a fair idea of NZ and its goodness... Firstly questions tho to try and narrow down what you want cause you talk about cycle touring 100km/day but also say you want a general sightseeing trip...

    1) How set on cycle touring are you? I've never done it but know plenty of people who have loved it and I think NZ would be a great place for it. Another great option would be to rent a camper van and cruise round for how ever long you are here, gives you a bit more flexibility than cycling but still with lots of the fun you would get from touring with being able to camp out and exploring random places. Also a bit more comfy particularly if the weather isn't so good. On that note spring time is typically pretty changeable.

    2) Are you the sorts of people who want to see and visit as many places as possible and tick all the boxes or are you content to cruise round, explore places and maybe not see everything but probably experience more? Reason i ask is that while NZ is a small country there is seriously loads of cool stuff here to see and travelling round will take longer than you think for a whole bunch of reasons.

    3) Have you seen anything that you really really must do?

    4) you mean freshwater/fly fishing eh? As opposed to sea fishing??

    So now my thoughts...
    The South Island is better than the North. less people, more consistantly great scenery, more outdoor/adventure opertunities etc etc...

    There is fishing nearly everywhere in NZ, obviously Taupo in the center NI is prob the most famous spot but lots of the SI rivers have great fish and are relatively untouched. Not sure about that time of year, i only really like eating sea fish so don't usually bother freshwater fishing.

    By far my recommended 3 week trip would be a lap of the south island. If in a camper i would say start in christchurch - kaikoura - blenheim/marlbrough-nelson-golden bay(spend a min of week in marlbrough/nelson/golden bay area, consider a couple of days sea kayaking in able tasman)-punakaiki-hokitika-fox/franz glaciers-wanaka-queenstown-milford sound-queenstown/wanaka-mt cook-christchurch. If mostly bike touring i would say start in the south, say qt and go up the west coast to nelson/golden bay. this would leave you time to not have to ride your bike every single day, say take a bus trip to milford, have a few rest/rain days, cruise round vineyards near nelson, go sea kayaking in abel tas etc.

    if you are set on the north island i can give you a similar list/route but really SI kicks arse. flick me a pm if you have any more questions or want specific answers on stuff i can give you my email or skype which might make it a bit easier. Later Nigel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Mexitana
    Posts
    2,439
    swim with the dolphins in kaikoura. Its touristy but if you hit it right its really fucking cool to bob with wild dolphins in the middle of the ocean.

    If you wanted to you could just bike and fish every creek you cross on the south island and find trutts.

  7. #7
    Hugh Conway Guest
    I wouldn't pick the North Island based on the fishing (at least for trout). I wouldn't pick the North Island period. If trout are of interest I'd rent a car - decent streams will be a decent distance from major roads in my experience (if you want nice trout on a major road, head to Argentina/Chile)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Squaw Valley
    Posts
    541
    Seriously, south island all the way. Get a campervan in Christchurch-methvan-lake tekapo-lake benmore-mt cook-wanaka-queenstown-Te anau-Doubtful and milford sound. Back to Queenstown ditch campervan and bike up the west coast to fox-franz josef-greymouth-westport-nelson Campervan back to christchurch.

    Ok three weeks might be a little ambitous, but thats were ive been and would go...


    If you go to Milford Sound, spring for the overnight cruise. ten times as cool as the day cruises, and you'll be in the quiet season so it's cheaper and less crowded. Doubtful sound is best by kayak, had a dolphin literaly jump over the bow of my kayak. Also doubtful is probably one of the least human effected and accessible places on earth. When in Te Anau be sure to see a movie called Ata Whenua (ah-ta fu-na), mind blowing aerial footage of Fjordland.

    DO NOT take a charter bus to Milford, seriously rent a car, or hitch (would not recommend biking on the Milford highway but it's doable, take VERY bright lights and clothing for the tunnel and there is little to no rideable shoulder) you will want freedom on the drive out to stop and look around. I hitchhiked all over, no problems at all.

    Weather on the west coast that time of year is wet, very wet. But the rainy days in Milford were better then the sunny days, the waterfalls just go off!!!
    Last edited by karma; 05-26-2010 at 05:17 AM.
    If things seem in control, Your just not going fast enough.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    600
    ^this guys got good advice. I'm a huge fan of the south island, as thats where i lived for my time abroad there (christchurch) and the overnight cruise in milford sound was a definite highlight. Not that expensive considering its accomodation/food/kayaking/boat cruise.

    To be fair though to the north island, I loved wellington. Also, bay of islands, which is north of Auckland is really cool and would be great in November. Auckland is a really nice city too, just not as "kiwi" as wellington.

    I also loved christchurch, but i'm not really sure how much appeal that would have if you weren't staying there for a while... its hard to judge how a weekend would go their versus staying and living for some time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East Coaster
    Posts
    385
    thanks mags for all the great information!

    the trip is moving ahead... at the moment its looking like i've convinced my family to join for a warm up month in Aussie land, then 3 weeks in NZ with a couple days in Fiji.

    I've gone on some good trips before, but this one has me me completely pumped!
    I like chicks who ride. Especially if they're cyclists.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    in the mouth of a desert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tick View Post
    thanks mags for all the great information!

    the trip is moving ahead... at the moment its looking like i've convinced my family to join for a warm up month in Aussie land, then 3 weeks in NZ with a couple days in Fiji.

    I've gone on some good trips before, but this one has me me completely pumped!
    We did a a week in the Cook Islands (vs. Fiji) on the way back. Air NZ stops in Roratonga on select dates--from there it's a breeze getting to Aitutaki/other islands; all the beauty of the South Pacific, but very, very low key. Worth a look if that's appealing to you.

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