12 day North and South Island

, New Zealand, Australasia

On this 12 Day New Zealand Highlights guided motorcycle tour you get to see the best of both islands! Start your adventure in Auckland; the City of Sails, take in some Maori culture, sail the Cook Straits, ride through the Southern Alps, view Mt Cook Aoraki, explore Glacier Country and cruise on Milford Sound.

Experience Southern hospitality and meet some of the local wildlife too! Spend time in Christchurch and Auckland exploring New Zealand’s colonial past, get pumped up in Queenstown - the world’s adrenaline capital, and ride some of the most scenic roads that Aotearoa –The Land of the Long White Cloud, has to offer.

Organised by Paradise Motorcycle Tours NZ

12 day North and South Island


Itinerary

Day 1 Auckland to Rotorua 240Km /150 miles 4 hrs We'll pick you up from you hotel and bring you to our base, introduce you to your bike, complete the paperwork and then you're off! From Auckland ride south across rolling countryside to Rotorua. There is an option to visit the film set of 'Hobbiton' where Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' were filmed. Rotorua is famous for it's geothermal activity - see boiling mud and hot pools all around the area. A Maori cultural show and hangi feast is arranged for this evening

Day 2 Rotorua to Napier 230km/144miles: 3.5 hrs Lake Taupo, in the centre of the North Island is your first destination, it's a favourite holiday playground for North Islanders. Stop for lunch and visit the pounding Huka Falls. Cross the Ahimanawa and Maungaharuru ranges and ride through the vineyards of Eskdale, before arriving in Napier, New Zealand's home of Art Deco.

Day 3 Napier to Wellington 320km/163 miles 4.5hrs Continue south, through vineyard country and see the Hawkes Bay's orchards. Ride over the winding Rimutakas - a favoutite route for local motorcyclist just north of Wellington. Follow the coastline where pretty houses cling to the hillsides overlooking the lovely Wellington Harbour. Explore the capital city and see the 'Beehive' - New Zealand's government building and visit the fabulous Te Papa Museum.

Day 4 Wellington to Nelson 110km/68 miles: 1.45 hrs plus 3 hr ferry crossing Cross Cook Strait by ferry, and ride the Marlborough Sounds iconic road - Queen Charlotte Drive. Follow the road through dense pine forests to Nelson, Australasia's largest fishing port with its unique microclimate. Nelson has the highest number of sunshine hours in the country and is known for its art and culture.

Day 5 Nelson to Punakaiki 312km/193miles 5hrs Your ride takes you through the pretty Moetere Valley to the coast and past Ruby Bay and Rabbit Island Ride south over Mt Hope Saddle and through the upper Buller Gorge. Arrive at the pretty old gold mining town of Murchison for lunch 14 km from Murchison is New Zealands longest swing bridge, suspended high above the Buller river. Try a ride high above the river on the high speed Comet Line. This 160m flying fox or zip line ride is suitable for all 'young at heart' ages Ride the lower Buller Gorge then head to Punakaiki on the wild West Coast. This coastal ride is virtually traffic free with stunning views. See the Pancake Rocks, these incredible rock formations and blowholes were 30 million years in the making.

Day 6 Punakaiki to Franz Josef 216km/134 miles. 4 hours Reputably 'The best motorcycling in the world' is your next experience on the West Coast Road, designed by the grandfather of famous motorcycle designer John Britten. A curvy route through the wild and rocky west coast leading to beautiful native forests and lakes. The West Coast road looks towards the Tasman Sea on the right and Southern Alps on the left. Nowhere else in the world at this latitude have glaciers advanced so close to the coast. These majestic, awe inspiring spectacles are amazing seen from the ground, and even more stunning seen from above. A helicopter trip can take you around Mount Cook and land on the glazier - a trip you'll never forget

Day 7 Franz Joseph to Queenstown 355km/219 miles 5.5 hours Heading north on the Tasman coast road - wild and beautiful, stop to sign a pebble on Bruce Bay - a Kiwi tradition! The scenery changes dramatically to native forest as you turn inland to cross the famous Haast Pass. Tumbling rivers, waterfalls and winding undulating riding. Again, the scenery changes as you enter central Otago and the Mount Aspiring National Park. Ride beside huge lakes with a background of snow-capped mountains and cross the highest sealed road in New Zealand, the Crown Ranges and descend into the Adventure Capital of the World - Queenstown!

Day 8 Explore Queenstown We'll give you plenty of time to explore and experience the delights of this fantastic spot. There is so much to do here - paraglide, jet boat ride, bungee jump, white water rafting, to name but a few. Ride to the old Gold mining town of Arrowtown or the fabulous road to Glenorchy alongside Lake Wakatipu. Have lunch at the Gibson Valley winery, just down the road from the A J Hacket Bridge Bungee. Try The Skyline restaurant at the top of Bob's Peak - you can look over Queenstown and watch the sun set over the mountains.

Day 9 Queenstown to Te Anau 173 km/105 miles 3 hours Head toward Te Anau in Fiordland today. Fiordland is 1.2 million hectares of remote, primeval beauty. This is one of the few places on the planet of untouched wilderness. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into pristine forested valleys. The mirror surfaces of the fiords reflect the majestic towering mountains enclosing them, dolphins, seals and Fiordland crested penguins make their home here. This is where the word 'silence' takes on a different meaning. Another great trip is the Te Anau glow worm caves, accessible by boat, if you wish.

Day 10 Milford Sound 110km/68 miles each way 2.5 hours each way A fantastic ride along the shores of Lake Te Anau, then through the famous Homer tunnel - carved out of the rock by hand in the 1930's. Emerge the other side of the tunnel to stunning mountain scenery and twisting roads. Keep an eye out for the cheeky, very intelligent Kea Alpine parrots. Milford Sound cruise. (included on your tour) cruise is 2 hours.

Day 11 Te Anau to Tekapo 428km/265 miles 6 hours Ride the Kawarau Gorge with its towering cliffs and rugged hillsides which provides some of the most spectacular scenery in Central Otago. Lake Dunstan is hemmed in by steep hillsides until it opens out at the fruit-growing capital of the region at Cromwell. Your next adventure is riding the famous Lindis Pass, The dramatic Lindis Pass links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago.

Day 12 Tekapo to Christchurch 320Km/163 miles 4.5 hours Your last day of the tour! Head East towards the Mackenzie ranges and Burkes Pass, separating the Two Thumbs and Rollesby Ranges, Burkes Pass permits easy entry to the high tussock lands of the Mackenzie District. Ride through small towns and farming communities, stop for the exquisite view at Rakaia Gorge Bridge before arriving into Christchurch. Enjoy your farewell dinner!

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