Cycling in New Zealand
Park up your Campervan or Motorhome, and stretch your legs. You might get fit too!
Good ideas for city cycling
If you’re over 35, a novice or experienced bike rider and looking to hop on a bike while in Auckland, the Manukau City Veterans’ Cycle Club is a good place to start. The club is known for its camaraderie, and actually encourages anyone from the age of 25 up to join. As it’s only $NZ15, it doesn’t matter that you may not be riding there forever. It’s a good way to experience the rural-style rides of South Auckland, through areas such as Clevedon, Drury and the Hunua Gorge.
Manukau City Veterans’ Cycle Club
All day sitting in your Campervan or Motorhome is not the way to go – get out and exercise!
Cycling Safety and Tips
New Zealand cycling rules can be found online at the Land Transport Safety Authority website. Rules include the compulsory wearing of helmets and riding on the left hand side of the road. Cycling is not permitted on motorways.
Sun Sense on Cycles
Beware the damage caused by the New Zealand sun, which is extremely harsh. Even on seemingly harmless cloudy days, it is imperative to wear a hat and sunscreen. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world due to the location of the ozone hole, whose impact is most evident in spring. Cover up!!!
Hiring a bike
If only in New Zealand for a short time, there’s little point in bringing a bike, unless you’re on a world cycling tour. Bikes can be rented long-term in Auckland, Christchurch, Taupo and Nelson, and there are also ‘buy back’ schemes at some cycle stores. This is where half the purchase price is refunded if the bike is returned in reasonable condition. If it’s just simple sightseeing you’re after, bikes can be hired in most cities and tourist resorts.
Taupo bike hire
Debbie and Chris Howard
Rent a Bike, Taupo
Mobile +64 0274 322 729
Most Campervans and Motorhomes can be fitted with Cycle Racks – don’t forget to ask when booking!
New Zealand cyclists are generally very ecology-conscious. As such, tour companies like EcoTours (Environment Cycletour Operator) are common throughout the country. Cyclists follow the ‘take in, take out’ approach to disposing of their litter on trails and roads. They also ensure the way they ride their mountain bikes does not damage the environment.
Eco-friendly cycle tour operator
Bill & Lenni Allen
Phone +64 3 476 1960
Fax +64 3 476 1960
The Department of Conservation (DOC) and city councils all over New Zealand have committed resources to developing a workable system of land access and conservation of natural areas, while still making them available to mountain bikers. Kiwi mountain bikers have a strong ‘green’ ethic and local bike clubs often work together with landowners and managers to build custom bike tracks.
Like the New Zealand landscape in general, the terrain for mountain biking is enormously varied. Cyclists come across anything, including soft sand, packed clay, single tracks, 4WD (four-wheel drive) tracks, gravel roads, steep ups and downs, relatively flat areas, native forests, pine plantations and world-class custom-built tracks. However, riding away from formed roads in National Parks is banned. Mountain biking has continued to boom over the past 10 years and now dominate the bike shop floor.
Helibiking is an excellent way to cycle through high-altitude places, otherwise inaccessible. Cyclists are helicoptered in to their chosen destination. Lake Wanaka has alpine and heli-biking tours daily amongst the highest mountain bike tracks in New Zealand. The tracks are suitable for all riding abilities. Other areas popular with helibikers are Mt Fyffe in Kaikoura, Queenstown and Mt Tekapo.
Further helibiking information
Charles and Jenny Law
Phone +64 3 443 8943
Fax: +64 3 443 5453
Mobile +64 27 277 3358