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South Island Dirt Seeker MTB
The South Island is renowned for its outstanding beauty and adventures. Plant your feet on your pedals as you take a spin on some of the most thrilling and perfectly crafted trails the mighty South Island has to offer. Naturally you’ll take in Queenstown in all its glory, as well as areas handpicked by the expert MTB guides such as Arrowtown, Wanaka and Christchurch’s all new MTB park. As well as the varied tour, add an extra dose of awesome by including some fantastic add-on options such as Heli-Biking and skydiving.
- CategoryMountain Biking
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration7 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level4 - Advanced
- Activity Level4 - Challenging
- Elevation4 - Challenging
- TerrainFlow Trail
What’s the terrain like and what kind of tracks will I ride?
The operator will be including a range of different types of trails from flowy singletrack to fun downhills (and even to some uphill grinds to keep you honest). There will be daily track briefings to let you know what’s coming up.
There is a very diverse range of tracks in NZ, from smooth-packed clay to technical rock gardens and everything in between. If the terrain is different to what you’re used to, don’t worry, the guides will have stacks of tips for mastering them all.
What kind of ascents/descents will I be taking on?
It depends where you go and what tracks you decide to ride each day. There are shuttles/lifts on some days as well. The main thing is if you’re an intermediate or above rider with a good level of fitness the guides will tailor things to work for you.
What MTB experience do I need to go on the tour?
The tours are aimed towards all the MTB enthusiasts out there, so most of the day’s rides are graded 2–3+, meaning there might be a few technical sections and/or steep climbs and descents and a couple of long days. If you are an intermediate-to-advanced rider, or can handle a bike well, these tours are ideal.
How fit do I need to be?
A reasonable level of fitness is required for this active MTB tour. Included are some epic and adventurous longer days mixed in with shorter recovery and fun days. If you want to take it easy for a day it’s no problem - there are usually alternative riding options available.
I’m traveling alone, can I join this trip?
Definitely. Many of the guests are solo travelers so absolutely jump on board.
What sort of bike should I bring?
A sturdy full-suspension bike will give you the most enjoyment out of this trip, however, a robust front suspension bike may be fine as well. If you have any questions regarding whether your bike may be suitable, get in touch with the operator and they can help you out.
Do I need to bring my own bike?
Everybody generally has their own trusty steed that they love as much (if not more!) than their own loved ones. The tours are designed for riders to bring their own bikes, or we are easily able to sort out great quality, late model full suspension Specialized bikes for the duration of your tour.
How do I get my bike to New Zealand?
The operator recommends Air New Zealand (especially from AU or US), as it enables bikes to be carried on as standard checked baggage (as long as it is packed correctly).
A Bike Bag is easy and convenient to travel with, and folds down nice and small so you can take it on the road. Please avoid bringing large hard case bike boxes as they take up a large amount of room on the bus and trailer!
How is my bike transported while on tour?
The operator has its very own awesome bike specific trailer, which was custom built for exactly this type of trip.
What do I need to bring?
- your reliable bike (if you aren't renting)
- personal repairs (spare tubes/tyres/puncture kit/portable pump),
- helmet, riding shoes, gloves, and any protective gear
- sunscreen and sunglasses - the New Zealand sun is pretty strong!
- water bottle/Camelbak (the guide will let you know where to get water on the trail)
- daily riding snacks
- swimming gear
- positive attitude and sense of humor!
Your guides can provide you with a foot bike pump, lights for night riding (if you don’t already have some), and an unforgettable experience with NZ’s best mountain biking.
- your reliable bike (if you aren't renting)
What’s the accommodation like?
The operator has hand-picked every place you stay, staying in their own lodges when possible. Standard accommodation is dorm share, with the option to upgrade to a private room.
What is the average size of a tour group?
The maximum size of a Mountain Bike Tour is 14 people. The tour gets booked out in advance for during summer seasons so the average passenger number can be very close to 14.
Can you help me out for extra days before and after the tour?
Absolutely! The operator can sort you out with accommodation both before and after your tour.
What happens if a track is closed or very bad weather?
On the rare occasions that any tracks, parks or activities are shut or have very poor conditions, going to a different, but still awesome track is usually the compromise. If not possible, the operator will refund the wholesale rate for any activity passes for that day.
What type of helmet do I need for the optional activity of Heli MTB?
Whatever helmet you're taking for the tour can be used for Heli MTB. It will be back country tracks with heli access and a few areas of exposure so we recommend a comfortable helmet that you're used to.
Can you tell me more about the optional activity of Cardrona MTB park?
Cardrona MTB Park activity is available from 1 December - 31 March (closed Christmas day)
It's an optional activity on Day 6 of the tour or you can go Pre or Post Tour.
Lift-accessed mountain biking in the heart of the Southern Alps. It'll take your breath away.
-Trails available from Beginner to Advanced
-25+ kilometres of trails
NZ$69 for half day lift pass (Half day passes are valid from 10am–1pm or 1pm–4pm)
NZ$89 for full day lift pass (10am-4pm daily or until 8pm Fri nights)
**Please let us know if you like to book the above via live chat/phone/email.
Can you tell me more about the optional activity of Heli-MTB?
Heli MTB is an optional activity during the tour on Day 5 or you can do the activity Pre or Post Tour
It's available from November to May (season sometimes starts from October depending on the weather and can be confirmed closer to the date)
NZ$399 with your own bike; $399 if you have the Tour operator's rental bike and go during the tour. After the tour ends and you need to rent a bike, it'll be NZ$459.
You'll be going on the Crown Peak ride - Grade 3 – with easy or more technical descent options.
Heli flight- 8min+
Landing altitude, 1750m
Total descent 1500m
Ride Time- 2hrs+
Return to Queenstown - 1.30pm
A beautiful 8-minute flight to the top of Crown Peak at 1750m will offer epic 360 degree views of the Wakatipu to Queenstown and the Cardrona Valley. This stunning heli bike trip drops down through high narrow ridge lines and tussock land, historic gold-mining relics to historic pack track single track.
There are two options on this trip- it is possible to ride a rough 4x4 track (grade 3) or ‘off piste’(grade4) trail from the top – a great ride of groups of mixed abilities.
The final descent off the Crown Terrace is fast and takes us down the historic Tobin’s Track or Murphy’s run single track to picturesque historic village of Arrowtown where we stop for some southern hospitality and refreshments.
I'm arriving the night before and departing a few days after the Tour ends. What's the cost of accommodation?
A lot of riders arrive earlier and depart later as there are tons of fun activities in Queenstown. It will cost NZ$79 per night Pre-Tour at the Haka Lodge, Queenstown for a Private room with TV (but no en-suite.) NZ$109 Post Tour (from Sunday onwards).
Dorm is $29/night Pre-Tour and $36/night Post-Tour.
The rooms are always available for riders from the tour.
Please let us know if you'd like to book via live chat/phone/email.
What is the tour bus like?
The operator normally uses a 22 seater Mitsubishi Rosa, with a trailer for all your gear and bikes. As they only fill the bus to a maximum of 14 people, there are always some extra seats to lounge about!
Will I have the time of my life?
Ohhh yes you will!
For the Heli MTB Add On, would the Vanguard Peak or Crown Peak be appropriate for intermediate mountain bikers?
If you're a mountain biker who loves rough single track, the Vanguard Peak would be perfect and is not too difficult. A guide will be with you throughout the whole experience and you can ride at your own pace. Vanguard Peak takes approximately 3+ hours and has a skill level of Grade 3 - 5.
But if you're unsure, Crown Peak would be a good alternative. It is the shorter and easier version compared to Vanguard. Crown Peak takes approximately 2+ hours and has a skill level of Grade 3.
What tires would best suit the terrain?
New Zealand can produce 4 seasons in a day all year round so it’s best to use a tire that can handle all conditions. A tire with medium tread, reinforced walls and possibly tubeless is ideal.
The tour operator uses Specialized Butcher Grid 2.8 on their bike rentals and it's perfect for the NZ conditions.
An all-around knobbly tire like a Maxxis Highroller is a good choice too.
Where does the tour start and end?
The tour starts in Christchurch at 7:00am on Day 1 and ends on Day 7 in Queenstown.
Who are the tour guides?
The Tour Guides are passionate MTB-enthusiasts with heaps of experience in guiding – and they love hitting the trails hard themselves. They are there to ensure you have the best time possible, feel free to ask them any questions. For tours with nine or more people, it's ensured that there are two expert guides on tour.
What are the rental bikes like?
The Stumpjumper bikes provide the latest technologies developed by friends at Specialized. When you need to blend ruggedness, efficiency and downright nimbleness into one trial bike, it's hard to beat the construction of the Stumpjumper!
Please read here for the tour operator's Covid-19 policy amendments:
We understand that travel can feel a little uncertain right now, therefore we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure your travel safety and provide maximum flexibility as the situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve.
LATEST TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IN NEW ZEALAND
Outside of NZ citizens and residents, currently the following travelers are able to enter New Zealand:
• Quarantine-free travel with the Cook Islands - commenced 17 May 2021.
• Quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand - commenced 19 April 2021
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
We understand that the world is ever-changing right now in terms of borders and bubbles opening and closing, therefore we want to reassure you that we offer flexible bookings:
Secure your tour with just NZ$99 deposit
• 100% travel credit applies if you cannot make your tour (due COVID-19 restrictions)
• Any tour amendments can be made 45 days prior to departure with no charge
YOUR SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
For those of you booked onto an upcoming tour, you can be reassured that your health and safety is our number one priority and therefore we will be undertaking the following activities:
• Our buses are thoroughly sanitised before each tour.
• Following the World Health Organization (WHO) advice, we are undertaking additional measures to adhere to the latest hygiene practices. These include cleaning & disinfecting including door handles, seats and overhead lockers on a regular basis.
• Our Lodges are also undertaking additional measures to meet the WHO guidelines.
• We request our guests to follow the hygiene guidelines from WHO including the regular washing of hands.
• Hand sanitiser will also be readily available on tour.
• Our processes will be updated based on the latest guidelines.
Please refer to the World Health Organization (WHO) or the New Zealand Covid-19 website for any additional guidelines.
World Health Organization https://www.who.int/
NZ Covid-19 website https://uniteforrecovery.govt.nz/
PREPARE FOR YOUR ARRIVAL
The NZ Covid Tracer app helps you protect yourself, your whānau (family) and the community by enabling faster contact tracing. Download the app before you travel to New Zealand so you’re ready to start tracking the places you visit.
CHANGING YOUR DEPARTURE DATE
Should you require to amend your departure date owing to updated border restrictions etc, our flexi-booking policy allows you to change your tour or tour start date for free up to 45 days before your tour departs. If you would like to amend your booking please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standard terms and conditions apply for any tour cancellations.
If your tour has been canceled you will be offered an alternative departure date. If that does not suit, a future travel credit valued at 100% of the price paid for your tour and any ancillary services including hotels and pre-paid optional activities, but excluding airfare and insurance.
This travel credit can be applied toward any tour scheduled to depart before 30 September 2023. The Tour Operator is not offering refunds on these canceled tours.