New Zealand cycling tour, South Island
Description of New Zealand cycling tour, South Island
This epic cycling trip takes you off road on New Zealand’s rocky mountain bike trails. You’ll go all the way across South Island using its most picturesque cycle routes. South Island of New Zealand is known for its big tourist sites – people flock to look at the scenery, but you’ll be experiencing its every undulation.
Over 20 days, you’ll cycle 1,410km, down South Island from the town of Picton to the town of Bluff. You’ll be roughly following the South Island stretch of the Tour Aotearoa route, a cycling route designed in 2016 by the Kennett Brothers, two New Zealand mountain bikers and cyclists. Your tour leader will throw in a few other experiences along the way.
This tour is fully supported by tour leaders and a support vehicle. You’ll get roadside assistance for any punctures, plus the option to ride in the van if you need a rest from the saddle. A picnic lunch is set up for the group every day, so you can fuel up on the fly, as well as enjoying those all-important drinks and snacks.
Bikes are available for hire, or you can bring your own. The steed of choice is a hardtail mountain bike. All or some of the party could do the tour on e-bike, instead.
Cycling is growing in popularity in New Zealand, and cyclists are bringing new business to South Island’s remote areas. Enjoy your route, knowing that the economic success of cycle tourism is bringing money to deprived areas of the island.
You’ll start the route with views of the sounds on Queen Charlotte Drive. After exploring the historic mining towns of the island, ride from the West Coast Wilderness Trail, go into glacier country, and cross the Southern Alps. A few pretty lakes later, and you’ll be on the final stretch, in Southland’s farmland, before ending of journey at a yellow signpost at the very end of the road outside the town of Bluff.
You’ll be part of a small group with tour leaders, but you’ll be given your own trip notes and itinerary, so you can go at your own pace along the way. Accommodation is in a range of hotels, motels and lodges, and is all arranged for you – all you need to do is turn up and park up.
You could also choose to cycle down North Island (1,590 km), or the whole of New Zealand (a massive 2,950km) instead.
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PlanetThe environment is our home, the home of billions of animal and plants species and the home of future generations – it is a delicate and highly threatened foundation. Today it is essential that we change our habits at home and in the way that we live and travel and adopt a more caring attitude towards the environment.
Reducing Carbon Emissions
- We have planned our vehicles with optimal seating, trailers to minimise the number and size of support vehicles.
- In order to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the transporting of food, we supply and refill bulk fresh water drinking vessels, buy local and in-season produce grown in-country (with the exception of bananas), ideally within 100km of where it is purchased, only buy in-country grown meat and dairy products and in-country brands or dry supplies as much as possible.
Food & Water
We provide balanced, healthy meals with a plant based focus using unpackaged, in-season local vegetables (organic where possible). Meat, dairy and eggs are all FREE RANGE and grown in-country and we do not served commercially caught fish. We minimise plastic and single use packaging as much as possible by shopping at self-fill shops and bring our own containers. We supply and refill bulk fresh water drinking vessels and make sure this is always available to our bikers.
We seperate all rubbish into compostables, reusables, recyclables and landfill rubbish. Compostables are distributed to local composting/worm farm services, or feed to chickens or pigs on route. Paper/cardboard, glass, plastics recycled as much as possible. We minimise plastic and single use packaging by shopping at self-fill shops and we shop and prepare food carefully as to minimise food waste.
We all know that trees are good, they suck up carbon, produce oxygen and just make us feel good. The world is losing around a hectare of forest every minute so we plant trees and support native forest regeneration whereever we go. For the Cape to Cape we plant two trees for every biker, crew member and support vehicle on tour.
Our Office HQ
Is powered by solar power, and lit with LED lighting, is heated using passive solar design and a giant hot wood chip pile, and is double insulated. We harvest and use rainwater and our greywater is distributed to land to water native planting. Our toilet is composting.
PeopleFor us Social Responsibility is not about donating large sums of money to charity (at least not without thoroughly researching the long-term intentions or effects of the charity) or merely following the status quo. We believe our social responsibility is about supporting locally owned and small business, accommodations, restaurants and support partners and about respecting local cultures, customs and beliefs. We are constantly considering our actions and how we and the people who travel with us can improve our impact on the places we visit.
The following goals help us to support local economy at the grassroots level as well as offer our bikers full immersion, genuine experiences (that will sometime be out of your comfort zone!)
- We partner with and support small and localised businesses and individuals and employ local support crew and services.
- Our small group sizes mean that we consider and adjust our social impact in small towns (Don’t take over the place!)
- We do our best treat spiritual, sacred or historical places with the required respect. Help you learn about these places helps to understand and respect the value they hold.
- We choose accommodations, restaurants, shops that align with our values.
- We are 100% against sex tourism, human trafficking, orphanage visits, exploitation of people for tourism
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