New Zealand

At a glance

New Zealand's extreme remoteness – located 600 miles from Fiji and 900 miles from Australia – has created a unique blends of cultures and perspectives. It was one of the last-populated lands on the planet, settled around 1300 A.D. by Polynesians. The indigenous Maori culture became intertwined with Western influences as immigrants arrived hundreds of years later and it became a British colony. Today, New Zealand is a contemporary society with a strong legacy from its rugged rural settlers.

New Zealand is composed of two large islands and many much smaller islands. The South Island features dramatic mountainscapes, and the North Island contains several volcanoes. The expansive coastlines offer some of the most stunning, untouched beaches in the world.

Why cyclists love it

New Zealand is a beautiful country for an overseas bike tour. The most popular New Zealand bike tour routes include the Coromandel Penninsula, North Island, Southern Alps, and South Island. By exploring the islands on a cycling holiday, you’ll be able to see mountains and forest – including the giant kauri tree. And if you're lucky, you might catch a sighting of the flightless kiwi bird – the national symbol that native New Zealanders nicknamed themselves after. Some rural areas maintain the traditions of local Maori culture and can be exciting to explore on a New Zealand bicycle tour. Cycling holidays along New Zealand's coastal areas take advantage of the dramatic coastlines and sparkling beaches, with stops in charming fishing towns along the way.

Top tours

North Island: Farmland to Lakes, Forests to Volcanoes
Explore a great diversity of scenery from farmland to lakes, forests and the magnificent volcanoes of Tongariro Natinoal Park. Stay on a sheep farm (meet some of New Zealand's 45 million sheep) and visit the world famous Waitomo Caves for a magical glow-worm display. 
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South Island Grand Tour: Picton to Queenstown
The grand South Island experience. Wonderful biking with a superb range of magnificent scenery that includes four National Parks. Start with a magical ride around the Marlborough Sounds coastline, to Nelson Lakes National Park, and then down spectacular Buller Gorge to the wild West Coast. See Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Paparoa National Park. 
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New Zealand Alps to Ocean
Taking place entirely on New Zealand's South Island, thist our starts from the alpine Aoraki Mt. Cook village and goes to the historic harbor town of Oamaru on the shores of the South Pacific Ocean. Along the country's No. 1 bicycle trail, this path takes you through the sweeping tussocklands of the Mackenzie Basin, past hydro lakes and along side the Waitaki River. Several ice ages, and the fact that two continental plates are sliding past each other forming the Southern Alps means that the scenery is as rugged as the New Zealand fauna and flora is unique.
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Fast facts

Language: English 
Currency: New Zealand Dollar 
Population: 4,290,347 
Size: 103,483 square miles (267,710 sq km) – about the size of Colorado 
Border countries: None 
National tourist office: www.newzealand.com/us

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