Passing by craggy mountain peaks, delightful lakes, the stunning coastline and through unique towns and villages, you’ll be sure to see a lot on a Bike.
From smooth road riding to exhilarating mountain trails, there’s something for everyone on both the North and South Islands.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get onto the saddle and get biking.
Best Time (Season) to Cycle in New Zealand
Opportunities abound for cycling in New Zealand at any time of year, though each season has its pros and cons. The seasons in New Zealand are opposite from those in the UK and the US.
The summer season is between December and February. You have a decent chance of sunny and warm weather in the summer, but more people are traveling so the roads can be busier. On the North Island, it is possible to get the odd cyclone in January or February, which can bring total downpours and wild winds.
Autumn cycling in New Zealand offers a kaleidoscope of colors, as the leaves change from green to red and orange. Autumn runs from March to May. In the autumn there can be stronger winds and rain, particularly on the South Island, where these are more pronounced. The cyclone season continues through to May on the North Island.
Winter is between June and August. At this time of year biking is still possible, but some off-road trails may not be accessible, or may be less accessible.
Spring in New Zealand is from September to November. Spring weather can be pleasant, or there can be rain and wind, as with autumn.
How to Bring Your Bike to New Zealand
Many people prefer to ride their own bike rather than renting one, and in most cases, that will involve you transporting your bicycle on a plane. The good news is that most airlines are set up for this, though rules will differ between airlines.
In most cases you will be expected to bag or box up your bike to transport it in the hold. You can use a cardboard cycle box for this, but the risk of boxing your bike is it could be more likely to be stacked, increasing the risk of damage. CTC plastic bags could be used as an alternative, and they are very cheap, but not all airlines accept them, and the risk of damage is high. You can also purchase soft or hard bike bags. A hard bike bag reduces the risks the most, but they are not cheap, and will take up a large proportion of your baggage allowance. If you want to keep weight down another alternative will be better.
Your bicycle should be packed with the peddles removed. You will need to fix your handles sideways, parallel to the frame, and ensure that both handlebars and peddles are encased in a protective material such as plastic. Some airlines require tyres to be deflated as well, so be sure to check out the specific requirements of your airline. If your bike does not fit into the size requirements of your airline you could remove the front wheel and fix it by the rear wheel.
Airline tips vary for checking in bikes. For example, British Airways requires that you pack your bike in a “recognized bicycle bag” and suggests allowing an extra 15 minutes for check in. Delta does not require a recognized bicycle bag, but does require that your bag is packaged in a container. They also state that bicycles that weigh more than 100 lbs will not be accepted. Qantas requires that bikes are packed in a box not in excess of 140cm in length, 30cm in width and 80cm in height. They will allow you to use your own box, or they will also sell boxes to you, and your tyres have to be deflated inside the box.
How to Rent a Bike in New Zealand
While you might want to bring your own bike for your New Zealand cycling trip, the logistics to transport it can be a real pain. The good news is that you can rent a bike in New Zealand, and this can save you a lot of effort.
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