Few places can boast such an astounding level of raw, natural beauty as New Zealand (NZ, NZL). From the abundant forests, towering mountains, and glistening lakes, to the people’s laid back attitude, there is something to appeal to everyone on both islands of this alluring land.
For years New Zealand has been considered the perfect destination for hiking, or tramping as it is known there; this is underscored by the international acclaim it has received for its ‘Great Walks’ that cover the breadth of the country.
Cycling and bike touring in NZ is hugely popular, too, both road and mountain biking. The Kiwis’ love for anything adventure-related has resulted in the recent development of a number of routes for bike riders to sink their tires into. Dubbed the ‘Great Rides,’ these routes will lead you through a dazzling array of landscapes across the country.
Riding the North Island will find you pedalling over the central volcanic plateau, through grassy highlands and wild forests, and along picture perfect beaches. On these routes you may often discover Maori villages. If that is not quite enough, there is the small matter of the Waitomo underground caves that shine brightly with glow worms, or the thermal retreat of Rotorua, where you can sink into bubbling mud and natural pools on the hot water beach.
After all of that, how could it get any better? The answer is the South Island. Milford Sound’s mystical fjords, the adrenaline rush of the world’s adventure capital Queenstown, and the jaw-dropping Fox Glacier are just a few of the incredible places South Island has to offer.
Trail wise, South Island is just as diverse as North Island for cyclists, offering a variety of different challenges and distances to tackle. One of the most notable is the 312 km (194 mi) Alps 2 Ocean route, an abounding mix of on and off-road trails, which begins at the foot of Mt Cook and winds its way through MacKenzie Country and the Waitaki River Valley.
New Zealand is a special country for so many reasons – the dazzling array of natural sights, the wildlife, the friendly people and the fascinating Maori culture – but now it definitely has another to add to its list. This gorgeous land is ripe for bicyclists to take advantage of and explore its stunning landscapes, trails, and roads. With an abundance of glorious ride options to point your handlebars at, it's hard to have a bad ride, but a guided NZ bike tour can help to ensure you make the most of a visit and experience the must do destinations. So, what are you waiting for?