Starting in Nelson, this trip along New Zealand's popular Great Taste Trail enjoys stunning Alpine and ocean scenery, fun, safe cycling, sumptuous food and wine, and includes a full day in the inspiring Abel Tasman National Park.
Welcome to a land of pure adventure which excites thrill-seekers from all over the world. New Zealand’s South Island has a sparkling reputation for its intoxicating combination of gorgeous lakes, snow-capped mountains and mesmerizing landscapes. Throw into the mix the adrenaline capital of the world in Queenstown, Milford Sound’s jaw-dropping fjords, and a dazzling array of wildlife, and you have the perfect place for escaping on two wheels.
Similarly to the North Island, a number of excellent cycling routes have popped up on the South Island in recent years to attract lycra-clad, helmet-wearing enthusiasts. The most famous of these is the 312 km (194 mi) Alps 2 Ocean trail, which pushes off from the foot of Mount Cook, winding its way through the big-sky MacKenzie Country and past the Waitaki River Valley’s intriguing turquoise hydro-lakes.
More majestic pedalling to be found on the South Island includes a 100 km trail that spirals away from Queenstown, running through wineries, a gold mining settlement and over the famous Kawarau Bridge, where the first ever commercial bungee still operates.
However, if it’s true thrills you are in search of, it’s the traveler’s hub of Queenstown you want to head to. Boasting white water rafting, canyon swings, skydiving and the world’s largest bungee jump this city has a multitude of exciting activities to get the pulse racing just a tad faster than your bicycle may manage.
To those who think the South Island is just about Queenstown though, you better think again. There are a whole host of other sights worth riding out to and exploring where possible.
If wildlife is what you crave to see then a cruise to the fjord of Milford Sound will deliver. The towering Mitre Peak, rainforests, cascading waterfalls and gorgeous surroundings here are home to fur seals, dolphins and penguins.
For the foodies and drinkers there is the small matter of excellent seasonal produce and some of the world’s finest cool-climate wines, plus superb craft breweries that will provide you with some well-earned rewards following a day of riding.
Adventure, food, alcohol, plus dazzling cycling routes. What more could you look for in a location? Grab your bike and head for a ride.