Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Cycling or Biking is a really popular way to get into the beautiful back country of New Zealand. The government has committed to having a cycle trail from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South and this has encouraged tourist operators to provide accomodation, equipment and transport for tourists to enjoy the great trails on offer. NZ Rent a Car have rentals cars, 4 wheel drives, trailers and vans available for hire to get you, your group and your gear to and from the trails.
There are also a large number of resources, books and websites with information on the trails. You can find a trail with terrain and climate to suit your ability, time restraints and the weather conditions. Two books which are really informative are the New Zealand Cycle Trail, North Island and South Island publications, both by Claudia Harsft. The detail covered in these books are Duration, Grade, Distance and Highest Point, websites and the best time to ride the trail. Points of interest such as activities, vistas and places of historical significance are included.
My favourite must do is the Alps 2 Ocean Trail in the South Island book. The starting point is the base of Mt Aoraki, New Zealand’s tallest peak and travels down through the beautiful MacKenzie Basin, past the beautiful hydro lakes, the Waitaki Valley and on to the coast at Oamaru. During the summer the weather is beautiful, with temperatures reaching into the 30′s .
Excerpt from The New Zealand Cycle Trail South Island
“ Cyclists can experience stunning vistas, wide open spaces and expansive landscapes: a World Heritage Alpine National Park, glacial fed turquoise natural and hydro lakes, golden tussock and green or dry grazing land, and picturesque limestone cliffs.
” In spring the alpine flowers are in bloom, summer brings the beautiful tussocks to life, with lovely warm summer days making it ideal to stop for a dip in one of the numerous lakes, autumn brings changes on colour and sometimes snow on the ranges“.
Another trail I think is must do is the nearly completed “Around the mountains trail”. This trail can be completed in 1 -5 days, but for most 4-5 days. Accomodation and transport facilities are fully operational for 2014 so you can start at either Walter Peak, the west arm of Lake Wakatipu or Kingston the south arm of Lake Wakatipu.
The really popular and probably original cycle trail in New Zealand is the Otago Rail Trail. The trail begins just out of Clyde and travels through the Central Otago to Middlemarch. This trail is always busy so booking is essential.
In the North Island the newly opened Hauraki Rail Trail is really popular for a day ride being so close to Tauranga Hamilton and Auckland. From Thames to Waihi it is recommended as a 1-2 day trail. The Karangahake Gorge is beautiful with searing cliff faces, and beautiful bush. There are lots of remnants from the Gold Mining days. The trail is flat so its a great trail to begin on.
There are shorter trails throughout the country, so while you are travelling through New Zealand taking a trail will allow you to take a break from your travels and get outside into the open. Hawkes Bay Trails have rides from 1-2 hours to a full 187km ride. You can eat, drink, and cycle your way around the vineyards on The Wineries Ride or head out to Cape Kidnappers on the coast where you can view the gannets, who can only be reached at low tide, so check the tides and time your ride.
Resources for cyclists
NZ Rent a Car have branches located throughout New Zealand and can help get you in a vehicle to access the most amazing cycle trails in New Zealand.
Friday, March 28th, 2014
I have just read a book A Coast to Coast of the South Island – The Long Way, by Ginney Deavoll. Ginney travelled the length of the South Island coast to coast from Te Waewae Bay at the bottom, to Cape Farewell at the top, by ‘paddle, peddle and foot’. This is a beautiful inspiring book, describing an amazing journey of beauty and discovery of oneself and the bigger picture. Shouldn’t all journeys have an element of this? Exploring some of New Zealand’s more remote areas can be an extremely rewarding experience, allowing you to get off the tourist trails and discover our raw natural beauty in pristine, serene settings. But this kind of travel isn’t for the inexperienced or the faint hearted! (more…)
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Auckland is a fun-packed, bustling city with so much to do and see, but it can get a bit much if you like peace and quiet or want to relax on your trip. So we reckon you should hit the road and head out west to explore the Waitakere region for a scenic walking adventure among pristine native forests. If you need transport grab an affordable Auckland rental car from NZ Rent A Car – we offer a great range of affordable vehicles to help you get around at your leisure.
Your first stop should be the Arataki Visitors Centre which is the proverbial crossroads of the Waitakere region. Once there you will not only find a stunning view of the Waitakere Ranges from the Lower Nihotapu Reservoir to the Manukau Harbour, but also an extensive collection of maps detailing the trails and tracks that cover the Waitakere Ranges. (more…)
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
It’s never too early to start planning your next New Zealand holiday, and if you get a jump on it you can select travel dates that will allow you to experience one of the many top class events that take place here every year. If you’re thinking about taking a holiday in NZ, here’s a selection New Zealand events taking place in early 2014 that could be worth making the effort to see. (more…)
Monday, January 20th, 2014
Damage to a propeller on one of the large ships of the Interislander ferry company mean that your travel plans could be disrupted. Many visitors to New Zealand make use of the inter-island ferry services that connect Wellington and Picton to transport their rental cars and drive around the country, however the damage sustained to the Aratere in November 2013 looks set to continue to affect services over the summer. (more…)
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
New Zealand and the USA have strong diplomatic ties that provide some leniency for visitors from the United States, however there are still areas where documentation and applications are required. To ensure your vacation isn’t prematurely cut short or spoiled by unexpected surprises, we’ve put together a New Zealand travel guide for visitors from the USA. (more…)
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
As a former colony of England, New Zealand has a unique relationship with the UK that can make it easier for travellers coming here with correct documentation. There are still some requirements to ensure your stay goes smoothly however, so we’ve compiled a New Zealand travel guide for the UK to help you out. (more…)
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
New Zealand and Australia have always had a close diplomatic relationship, as well as being close neighbours and friendly sporting competitors. For citizens of each country this makes travel between them exceedingly easy, and the level of documentation needed is fairly low. Still, it’s worthwhile making sure you understand any requirements and limitations before you go to ensure you make the most of this travel opportunity, which is why we’ve created a New Zealand travel guide for Australians. (more…)
Thursday, October 17th, 2013
I know runners like to do this all year, running I mean, but sponsored runs open to all ages and abilities are prolific heading into the Kiwi summer. Right now the weather isn’t too hot, it’s a great incentive to get fit and set some personal goals and a good way to get in shape for your summer holiday. The Marlborough Marathon is classed as a scenic rustic course, and just the location really takes the stress off the word ‘marathon’ – you’ll enjoy the spectacular scenery far too much! The run is scheduled for the 27th October – the Sunday of Labour Weekend, which is usually the first official weekend of summer. I can’t think of a better place to visit for a long weekend, where you are surrounded with luscious, gorgeous scenery, and fantastic food and wine. (more…)
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Being a visitor in New Zealand isn’t always easy. Everyone has an opinion on what makes the best Kiwi holiday, and it’s hard to know if you’re getting genuine tips or being shepherded towards a tourist trap. That’s why we’ve compiled a range of useful info and guides, covering everything from planning and arriving to driving safely. These resources will give you the inside scoop on putting together a fantastic holiday. (more…)