Rangi – Bicycle Tour New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland

Duration: 19 Days
PAX: 6-9

Tour

Overview

For fans of Hobbits

The bike stages go through alpine mountain landscapes, rainforests, picturesque coastlines, and hills – one could almost believe the Shire straight out of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Epic starts right here and the next Hobbit village is just a walk away…

Orakei Korako Geyserland

walk among native bush and be amazed by a volcanic world with geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most impressive silica terraces in the world. Cross the lake to walk among the natural landscapes and discover glow worms in the caves.

Huka Falls

where the Waikato River, the longest of New Zealand’s Rivers, narrows from 100m to 15m.- with impressive results! Over 220,000 litres of water squeeze through the gap and fall 11m to produce the foaming waters that gave the waterfall its Maori name – huka = foam.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

in the mild climate of the northern South Island you will walk along golden beaches, across estuaries and a 47m suspension bridge. Follow the track through the native bush and admire the views down to the turquoise waters of the bays.

Franz Josef Glacier

Walk in the rainforest while discovering some of New Zealand’s unique native birds or get a good workout on a tramping track with hot pools at the end. The molten rivers of silver and white on the horizon change into blue ice that looks like polished marble.

Otago Rail Trail

As you travel above streams that flow through the dry, rocky gorges you can imagine you are on the set of a Wild West movie. We travel through landscapes which are transformed by the changing seasons – dry hills, covered for much of the year in drab, brownish scrub, are suddenly painted mauve as wild thyme blooms in early summer. Discover old historic gold-mining villages, country pubs and the rugged scenery.

Vanished World Heritage Trail

The Trail traverses some key geological localities in North Otago. The Trail will take you back to an ancient time. Two Trail sites show skeletons of fossil vertebrates that have been excavated and exposed (behind protective covers) for viewing. You will see many spectacular limestone outcrops that started out as limey sand, interspersed with fossil fragments, which settled on the sea floor, 75-100 m below the sea surface some 24-26 million years ago.

Elephant Rocks

marvel at a collection of weathered limestone just sitting there on a paddock and imagine Aslan out of the Narnia movies appearing around one of them!

Tour

Highlights

  • Bike stages go through alpine mountain landscapes, rainforests, picturesque coasts, hills
  • Orakei Korako Geyserland
  • Huka Falls
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Otago Rail Trail
  • Vanished World Heritage Trail
  • Queenstown

Tour

Essentials

Day 1 - Arrival in Christchurch

Airport transfer to your accommodation just minutes from the Botanical Garden and the city centre. In the evening you will meet your guide in the hotel lounge at 6pm. Meet and Greet including discussion about the tour.

Location: Christchurch
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 2 - Christchurch - Twizel

After our breakfast together you will receive your bicycle. The day continues with your first bike stage where you will get used to your bike, the streets and roads. We will take the bus to the start of your first bike stage near the Tekapo Canal, with a stop at Lake Tekapo. From this canal the tour follows the Ohau-Pukaki-Tekapo-Hydro-Canal down to the artificial Lake Pukaki and on to your accommodation in Twizel. When the weather is fine, you can see New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt. Cook/Aoraki.

Route: From Tekapo Canal to Lake Pukaki (flat along the lakefront), then descent to Ohau-Pukaki-Tekapo-Hydro Canal (flat stretch) all the way to accommodation in Twizel.

The stage alongside Lake Pukaki and 10km along the Pukaki Canal consists of light gravel.

Length: aprox. 50 km

Location: Twizel
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Twizel - Oamaru

This stage on the “Vanished World Heritage Trail” leads you through picturesque hills and directly past a Hobbit village – where scenes for Peter Jackson‘s new Hobbit films were shot in Spring 2012 (Scene Pelennor). We will take a short walk amongst the rock formations known as ‘Elephant Rocks’. We should arrive in the idyllic, off-the-beaten-track township of Oamaru late in the afternoon. Walk to the Yellow-eyed penguin and sea lion colonies.

Route: Directly from Elephant Rocks to a side road, almost no other traffic. Further through mainly hilly landscapes, slowly descending down to Oamaru.

Length: approx. 60 km

Location: Oamaru
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 4 - Oamaru - Otago Rail Trail

For the next two days, we will be travelling through Central Otago on a former train route, built during the old gold mining days (1879). The Otago Rail Trail consists of an old railway embankment which was developed as a bicycle trail several years ago and is a very popular attraction in New Zealand. One of the most beautiful stretches of the Otago Rail Trail leads from Hyde via Kokonga to Ranfurly through tunnels and over viaducts.

On the way is Macraes Flat, New Zealand’s largest gold mine, and Moeraki Boulders, the round rocks by the sea. We take a short walk of about 30 min to the rocks. We will be spending this night in an Art Deco Style Hotel, far removed from the usual tourist routes.

Route: Hyde – Kokonga – Ranfurly Stage: steady ascent 1-2% through tunnels and over viaducts.

Length: approx. 40 km. Light gravel.

Location: Ranfurly
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Otago Rail Trail

The second day on the Otago Rail Trail leads from Ranfurly via Wedderburn to Lauder, again through tunnels and over viaducts. Here you will be picked up by bus after a picnic lunch and driven to Queenstown (via Arrowtown, a former gold mining town) where we will have a break. If you wish, you can get on your bike again and ride the 20km to your accommodation in Queenstown. Otherwise, the bus will take you there.

Route: Ranfurly – Wedderburn – Lauder: Stage from Ranfurly to Wedderburn slightly ascending approx. 1%. After Wedderburn an ascent to the highest point of the trail, followed by a fantastic descent into the Ida Valley. Proceed on to the end of stage in Lauder.

Length: approx. 45 km. Light gravel. / Extension Arrowtown – Queenstown approx. 20km.

Location: Queenstown
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 6 - Queenstown

This free day in Queenstown gives you the opportunity to do all kinds of (optional) activities: Jet boat, Bungee Jump, take a trip on a steamboat across Lake Wakatipu including a visit to a High Country Farm, a bike ride to Arrowtown, or a day trip to the famous Milford Sound with a Scenic Cruise.

Note: The tour to Milford Sound can be booked by us either locally or in advance. The day trip takes about 8 hours including the cruise. This tour can be booked in combination with flights and/or bus.

Location: Queenstown
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 7 - Queenstown - Wanaka

Our journey with the bus drops you directly at the starting point of today’s bike stage. This stage leads to the Cardrona Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in New Zealand built in 1863, and afterwards down to Lake Wanaka. Amongst the mountains, you will ride into the Mt. Aspiring National Park, where the bus will pick you up and transfer you to your accommodation.

Route: Wanaka – Cardrona Hotel: the first 30 km are going generally downhill, the rest of the stage goes along Lake Wanaka with some ascents and some very beautiful descents.

Length (total): approx. 55 km

Location: Wanaka
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 8 - Wanaka – Haast Pass - Lake Matheson – Franz Josef Glacier – Hokitika

After breakfast, we will take the bus – through evergreen rain forest and the longest one-lane bridge in New Zealand via the Haast Pass in Mt. Aspiring National Park – pure nature – to the wild Westcoast. Walk to the Blue Pools (approx. 1.5h) Close to Fox Glacier we drive to a mountain lake. On a fine and calm day and after a walk of approx. 1.5h around the lake, you will experience a unique spectacle of nature: the highest mountains of the Southern Alps mirror themselves in the still waters of the lake.

The next highlight is the Franz Joseph Glacier and a 30 min walk to a lookout point. We then carry on to Hokitika, the gold and jade centre of New Zealand.

This township is also known for its beach on the wild Tasman Sea, littered with picturesque driftwood. Walk on the beach to admire the impressive sunset and enjoy the inner peace of the natural landscapes.

Route: No bike stage

Location: Hokitika
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 9 - Bike Stage to Lake Kaniere

Your guide accompanies you again to one of the most beautiful lakes in the Southern Alps, Lake Kaniere. (possibilities for hiking and swimming).

Route: Hokitika – Lake Kaniere – Hokitika: In the first third some easy ascents and descents, then further on, flat road back to Hokitika.

Length: approx. 65 km. / Extension to Hokitika Gorge approx. 110 km

Location: Hokitika
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 10 - Hokitika - Motueka

Continuation with walks to Abel Tasman National Park. This day will offer you two highlights:

The distinctive rock formations of the Pancake Rocks. (Punakaiki). At high tide, and with strong westerly winds, the ocean water is forced explosively through ‘Blowholes’ producing impressive spray.

Nature’s theatre will become quieter after this – a short walk leads into the canyon of the Pororari River. This Track offered the backdrop for the award-winning movie ‘The Piano’ which was filmed here and won three Oscars (for the movie, Holly Hunter and Sam Neill).

Continuing to Motueka, the gateway to the smallest but most beautiful of New Zealand’s National Parks, the Abel Tasman National Park.

Route: No bike stage

Location: Motueka
Accomodation: Hotel or Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 11 - Free Day – Abel Tasman National Park

You can experience this day individually. The Abel Tasman National Park, with its golden beaches, is seen by many visitors as the epitome of paradise.

There are numerous possibilities when spending the day here: a day walk on the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of the most beautiful walking tracks in New Zealand (approx. 3-4h) or simply go for a swim, a cruise or kayak in the bay.

Route: No bike stage

Location: Motueka
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 12 - Motueka / Abel Tasman National Park - Picton

Todays bike stage begins directly from your accommodation and leads us to the township of Woodstock via a side road off the Motueka Valley. The bus will then take you through the Marlborough Region. Some of the best wines in New Zealand grow here, nurtured by plentiful sunshine. The local vineyards produce a large variety of excellent wines, such as Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Arrival in Picton, which once was a favourite harbour of Captain James Cook.

Route: On side roads along a river and an easy ascent to Woodstock.

Length: approx. 45 km

Location: Picton
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 13 - Ferry Picton – Wellington

Early this morning we will cross the Cook Straight by the Interisland ferry to the North Island. Arrival in New Zealand’s capital Wellington at aprox. 1pm. Check into your accommodation on Cuba Street, the trendy district of Wellington. The rest of the day is at your own disposal. You can take a walk in the pedestrian zone of Wellington Harbour, or explore some of the numerous Cafés, Bars and Restaurants. En route you will find the New Zealand National Museum ‘Te Papa’ A modern and interactive museum, showcasing the history of New Zealand, the Maori and their culture.

Route: No bike stage

Location: Wellington
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 14 - Wellington - Taupo

After breakfast, the bus will drive you to Tongariro National Park, the oldest of New Zealand’s National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There you will discover one of the most beautiful bike stages in New Zealand. The stage is dominated by the volcanos Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro. After this stage we will continue on by bus to the town of Taupo on the shores of Lake Taupo.

Route: From National Park Village you will ride the first 35km on the alpine road alongside the volcanos. Then we take  some ascents and descents to the lookout point Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake with a circumference of 150km. Descent into the township of Turangi.

Length (total): approx. 65km

Location: Taupo
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 15 - Taupo Bike Tour

Together with your guide you will ride through farm land alongside Lake Taupo to the Waikato River.

Route: From Taupo, along the lake, through hills and lonely farm byroads to the Waikato River. You will be accompanied by your guide on his own bike today.

Length: approx. 60 km

Location: Taupo
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 16 - Lake Taupo - Rotorua

Maori Culture, volcanos and the smell of sulphur characterise this impressive thermal area.

Several kilometres from Taupo this bike stage takes us to a wonderful thermal park hidden in a secret valley. Before admiring the geysers and hot springs (allowing a glimpse into 5 million years of earth history) we will see the magnificent Huka Falls (a short detour on foot). Here the Waikato River (New Zealand’s Rhine River), normally up to 100 metres wide, abruptly narrows to just 15 metres as it crosses a hard, volcanic ledge. Overnight we will stay at Rotorua, the centre of Maori Culture. You can visit a Maori village this evening (with Hangi, Haka and cultural demonstrations optional). Here the visitor can gain some insight into the cultural and spiritual life of the indigenous people of New Zealand.

Route: Orakei Korako Geyserland: mountainous stage on farm byroads.

Length: approx. 35 km

Location: Rotorua
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 17 - Rotorua – Te Aroha – Thames/Coromandel Peninsula

Short drive (approx. 50 km) to the township of Tapapa. This is where today’s bike stage alongside the Kamai–Mamaku Mountains to Te Aroha begins. Transfer from Te Aroha to Thames.

Route: Tapapa – Te Aroha: partly flat stage with minimal ascents and descents.

Length: approx. 45 km. / Extension from Te Aroha to Thames: approx. 53 km.

Location: Thames
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 18 - Thames/Coromandel Peninsula - Auckland

Transfer to the last bike stage. We will ride along the Hauraki Gulf coast to Kawakawa Bay. From here the bus will bring you to Auckland. You drop off your bikes on the way to your accommodation. Arrival at the hotel at approx. 3 pm. There will still be time to explore the city individually; your guide will be happy to provide you with information on local attractions and activities.

Route: This stage begins with approx. 35 km flat riding along a coastal road. The last 20 km to Kawakawa Bay has ascents and descents.

Length: approx. 55 km

Location: Auckland
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 19 - Last day in New Zealand. Transfer to airport and flight home

Tip: Individual extension of your vacation, e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Kingdom Tonga or the winterless north of New Zealand (Paihia or Whangaroa Harbour) Please ask for information.

What is included in this tour:

  • Overnight stays in good, mid- range Hotels/Motels private bathrooms
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach with a trailer for the bikes
  • Luggage transfers between tour coaches and accommodation
  • 12 bike stages
  • One saddle bag per traveller
  • German-speaking Driver/Guide
  • Guide (driver/guide) to accompany the group on 2 stages by bike
  • Entry to Orakei Korako Geyserland
  • 2 x breakfast – on 2nd day of tour and in Ranfurly
  • 17 nights in Hotels/Motels in double or single room, including en suite bathrooms
  • 1 night in the Ranfurly Hotel,( shared bathroom between 2 guests may be necessary)
  • Airport transfers
  • Interisland Ferry (Wellington to Picton)

What is not included in this tour:

  • International flights
  • Optional excursions
  • On tour payment of 10x Picnic Lunches during bike stages National Park fees, use of public toilets (NZD 250.00)
  • Rental of bicycles (NZD 370.00 per bicycle)
  • Bicycle insurance (NZD 50.00 per bicycle)

Start date

End date

Tour starts

04/11/2020

22/11/2020

Auckland

24/11/2020

12/12/2020

Christchurch

16/12/2020

03/01/2021

Auckland

05/01/2021

23/01/2021

Christchurch

25/01/2021

12/02/2021

Auckland

Most of the bike stages are away from the busy main roads.

Requirements: for this tour you will need to have an average to good fitness level.

Tours comprise of flat and hilly terrain with longer ascents and descents of and on, as well as moderately difficult stages in mainly hilly to steep terrain.

The stages amount to approx. 35-75km per day. Please note that due to weather conditions these distances may vary.

The stages are variable and can be amended on request.

You are required by law to wear a bicycle helmet in New Zealand; you can rent a helmet from us or bring your own.

The tour guide will stay close to the group where possible.

As the group may consist of international participants on some days, the guide will be speaking German and English on different occasions as required.

Picnic on the bike stages

When the biking tours pass through remote farmland or on the Otago Rail Trail, the guide will organise your picnic lunches (10x) as there will be no opportunities to buy food or eat at a café.

This picnic consists of coffee, several varieties of tea, bread, jams/marmalade, cheese, assorted cold cuts, vegetarian spread, fruit and vegetables. A full water container will be provided.

Meals/breakfast

The first breakfast of the tour is included in the cost and offers the chance to get to know your guide and your fellow travellers.

There will be another breakfast in Ranfurly which is also included in the tour cost.

On the other days you can either have breakfast at your accommodation (prices range from NZD 16.00 – NZD 25.00 for a Continental or Cooked breakfast) or you can go shopping and buy your own breakfast. The guide usually knows his/her way around and will be able to provide you with tips for shopping or a good restaurant.

Most of the accommodation places have a kitchenette, microwave and sink, some even have an electric hob or hotplate in the room.

List of equipment

Good shoes, gloves and a hat/cap for the Tongariro Crossing, multifunctional underwear, rain gear, protection against the sun, daypack for the day hikes.

Suitcase or travel bag (to save room in the boot, please avoid hard case suitcases), travel medical kit (do not forget your personal medication), flashlight (the tunnels on the Otago Rail Trail are not illuminated but can be traversed with a torch) as well as an adaptor for the local power outlets.

 On tour payments

  • Picnic Lunch 10x Picnic Lunches during bike stages, National Park fees, use of public toilets: NZD 250.00
  • Rental bicycle NZD 370.00 per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance NZD 50.00 per bicycle

Accommodation

The right choice for your overnight stays is important to us because at the end of an active day our guests love to feel comfortable and cosy. In cities like Auckland, Christchurch or Queenstown we choose hotels/motels of good mid-range quality, centrally positioned. Outside of the cities we usually choose accommodations which are NZ owned and operated, combining local authenticity with the comfort of good to above-standard hotel facilities.

In addition to cooking facilities, most accommodation will also have a small laundry with washing-machine and dryer.

Note Hotel Ranfurly: due to special conditions two guests may have to share a bathroom.

Rental Bicycles

On site you will receive a high-quality rental bike. The rental for this bike (incl. one way costs) is NZD 370.00 and is to be paid to the guide on site.

We are able to offer you an E-Bike for the price of NZD 600.00.

E Bike: The German E Bike would be a Kalkhoff brand or a similar model.

You can bring your own bicycle and/or your own saddle or SPD clipless pedals.

Bicycle description

27 Gear Cross Trail Bike or similar model.

Each bike has mud guards as well as a pannier rack with a saddle bag and lock. Wear and tear and spare parts (tires, breaks etc.) during the tour are included in the rental price.

However, the daily care and cleaning of your bike will be up to you!

Please treat your bike with care – you are responsible for it.

To ensure a worry-free vacation, we strongly recommend taking out  bicycle insurance when you arrive. Otherwise, the rental company will retain a bond for your bicycle (e.g. credit card imprint) which will be returned to you after the return of the bicycles resp. applied against any possible repair cost.

Bicycle insurance

When taking out this insurance, the rental company will pay for any damage that occurred during the tour. Damage due to negligence and/or theft of an unlocked bicycle in care of the traveller are exempt from this obligation.

The bicycle insurance amounts to NZD 55.00 and is payable to the guide on site.

Extras

Helmet rental NZD 65.00 (it is compulsory in New Zealand to wear a helmet)

Extras are payable to the guide on site.

Trails

  • Orakei Korako Geyserland
  • Huka Falls
  • Beach hike Region Whanganui
  • Abel Tasman Coast Track
  • Pororari River
  • Blue Pools
  • Hike to a Yellow-eyed penguin colony
  • Moeraki Boulders
  • Elephant Rocks

Important Information: Due to possible changes outside our control (such as weather and/or change of accommodation) we reserve the right to confirm the final itinerary about 2 weeks before the beginning of the journey.