Work approved my 6 weeks leave - 43 day holiday!!

So here is what we are looking at.

Open to suggestions still. We haven't booked any accom yet.

33 days planned riding. Not including incidental riding we are averaging 39km a day riding. Pretty nifty.

Planning to mix up accom between private room backpackers (e.g. Base), camp grounds, freedom camping and hopefully a farm house or two.

Now that I have my bike and getting the feel of her, I am even more excited.


New and improved plan (for the South Island only so far - will look up North tomorrow but have a fair idea already - just need to connect the dots).

So since we would be getting back the week before Christmas, I think we should stay on till work returns after New Year so flying home on the 2nd or 3rd of Jan. This gives us some extra time to enjoy the North and not rush the South.

Number of Days





Links to trails

Extra cost


Arrive in Queenstown

We’ll prolly arrive late afternoon


Pick up bikes, do a short day trip / explore

Lake Hays Circut

Round Trip Queenstown

Getting our legs



Lake Wakatipu Ride and Jacks Point

Round Trip Queenstown



Camping practise

Milbrook Countryside Ride

To Arrowtown



Camping practise

Arrowtown to Gibson Ride

To Gibson



Return to Queenstown shopping for stuff we forgot and food etc

Overnight in Queenstown



Alexandra (bus)- Lake Roxborough Dam (connects to next trail)

Roxborough Gorge Trail

Overnight in Roxborough Dam area


plus $95 boat ride down the river


Roxborough Dam - Lawrence (connects to next trail)

Clutha Gold Trail

Overnight in Lawrence



Middlemarch - Clyde

Otago Central Rail Trail

Overnight in Clyde after trail



Queenstown Trail our own steam to join 

Clyde - Cromwell - Gibston Queenstown Trail



Return to Queenstown shopping for stuff we forgot and food  and rest days etc

Overnight in Queenstown


Millfordsound Day trip or maybe ON - as yet undecided


Mt Cook - Oamaru

Bus to Mt Cook and start Alps to Ocean Trail

In by 3pm for bus to Christchurch or ON in Oamaru (arrives in Christchurch at 6pm)


 Includes helicopter flight $125 (or we start lower down)


Rest day, restock and explore Christchurch


Hamner Springs - Hire Car?

St James Cycle Trail w a picnic (15km homestead trail) Bus then 13km ride to trail then back again - or maybe we hire a car?

Return to Christchurch

There is a two day version, but I don’t think we will be experienced enough to ride it - we’d also have to hire an extra bike each for the trip - includes carrying your bike through a river!



Train to Nelson

Overnight in Nelson


Nelson -Wakefield - Woodstock - Motueka - Kaiteriteri return - Mapua - Nelson

Great Taste Trail (Nelson/Tasman)

Overnight in Nelson or if early enough coach to Picton and ON there before ferry to Wellington


Train to Nelson $81

32 days South Island


Hi Everyone

After some research I have decided to put a tentative plan together. This follows on from my original post here.

Rather than doing some longer trips and lots of road riding, I've put together riding the South Island Cycle Trails.

I'm thinking about starting in Christchurch.

So plan is as follows:

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch - set up bikes - pick up hire gear etc.

Day 2 Take train to Nelson and go for a test ride

Day 3-7 Ride the Great Taste Trail with the day trip to Kaiteriteri.

Day 8 Take train back to Christchurch - sight see

Day 9 Take the Bus to Mt Cook Village

Day 10-16 Ride the Alps to Ocean Trail (including catching the helicopter across the river with our bikes)

Day 17 Oamaru to Alexandra

Day 18 Ride the Roxborough Gorge Trail

Dary 19-20 Ride the Clutha Gold Trail

Day 21-25 Ride the Otago Rail Trail

Day 26-27 Ride down to join the Queenstown Trail from Clyde to start of the trail at Gibston

Day 28 Ride the Arrowbrook Bridges Trail Gibston to Arrowtown

Day 29 Ride Country Side Path Arrowtown to Queenstown

Day 30 Ride Jacks Point Path Return to Queenstown

Day 31 Explore Queenstown

Day 32-33 Trip to Milford Sound

And here we have the problem. We only have a month and we haven't even hit the north island yet. I think we'll have to bypass the first ride our of Nelson, even though it's a good starter ride for us to get our bikes, riding and camping down. The alternative is to start in Queenstown with some easy overnight trips close to amenities, then head north vs the current south swing in which case we'd finish with the Alps to Ocean ride then head to Christchurch.

Open to suggestions.


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Replies to This Discussion

Do you need to allow for rest days/sightseeing?  I have no idea...

Hey Gavin. One of the great things about these trails is that sight seeing time is easily catered for. Eg ride 12km allow 1-2 hours. I think the most we're riding is 5 hours in one day and that is at a very relaxed pace. The trails also include points of interest, where to eat, shop, pee etc. it's amazing how well these are set up.
I'm pretty convinced w going North now. Also we were coming back a week before Christmas new year break. We may as well just stay. Waiting back to hear from dani. But we could go north, do Nelson trail then catch the ferry across to the North Island and head North up to where we are going diving vs some north Island trails

New and improved plan!

Well - the trip is pretty much planned now.

We had to skip Nelson and the Great Taste Trail - and we have to hire a car in Auckland to get North to fit in the diving we want to do. Only one Great Trail in Northlands and it's currently in pieces. It may be all up and running by then, but worst case we ride a teeny bit then just drive North and just see where we end up.

All up (not including getting lost and incidental) riding is 1300km over the 6 weeks. We are doing 33 days of riding over 43 days, putting us at an average of just under 40km per day.

Pretty excited.

Just tidying up my spreadsheet this week and making it more user friendly then I'll post so you can see our plans!

Looks fantastic! You just need a bike now... :-P

awesome awesome awesome.

UPDATE at the beginning of the thread - link to our itinerary including dates and approx costs and km ridden

Aw crap!!! Totally mucked up the order of connected trails. Nice one Taez.

Now I have to rebook stuff, change dates, arrange different travel to the start of the right trail etc.... GAH - Well better now than in 6 months time.

So things are really coming together.

I've booked most accomodation/camping grounds etc.

The transfers are great - in most cases they are companies specifically designed around moving people to and from the bike trails. 

The things I'm most excited about include:

  • Helicopter commute at Mt Cook with our bikes!!!
  • Scuba diving IN Milford Sound!!!
  • New Years Eve camping by thermal pools a day's ride from Rotorua!!!
  • Catching up with local friends by the Clutha river drinking wine and eating great food at the end of one of the trails!!!
  • Going to the bicycle powered theatre in Christchurch!!!
  • Staying in the JAIL!!!!
  • Diving the Poor Knights!!!

Now I just have to get over this cough so I can do some serious kms on my tourer and break my brooks saddle in.

Well shit just got real.

5 weeks and I'm outta here.

Today I bought my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mattress.

Crazy how light things are now. 

Last time I went full on camping I was in Mongolia and I bought an uber sleeping bag that was (for then) really warm and light and small when packed. It looks like an elephant next to my new one.

Still a couple of connections I have to work on plus clothing. For the most part I'm just going to ride in normal clothes with my bit protector pants.

Countdown well and truly started

3 weeks out.

The South Island is all done.

While not perfect (no icons for bicycles) you can see where we are going.

North Island is almost locked in - still a couple of spare days. We decided to hire a 4WD in Rotorua to make our way North vs multiple bus legs (none of which guarantee space for our bikes).

I am so excited I find it difficult to think about anything else!


It's at the pointy end

Here is my packing list.

What else should I include or remove?


  • spare tent pegs
  • towel
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • foofy thing
  • body bath
  • skin conditioner
  • sun screen
  • deodorant
  • brush
  • hair ties
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • Hat
  • 3 tees
  • 2 shorts
  • 1 pants (TO BUY)
  • 1 long top thermal
  • 1 long leggings thermal
  • PJ bottoms
  • 3 undies
  • 3 bike shorts
  • 2 bras (1 sports) - not sure how many you guys pack!
  • bathers
  • 3 pairs socks
  • rain jacket
  • helmet
  • bike gloves (long and short)
  • Multi tool
  • Extra tyre levers
  • patch kit
  • 2 X spare tube
  • 2 X spare brake pads
  • pedal wrench
  • mini screw driver set
  • spare cables bag including cables
  • bag of zip ties
  • roll of duct tape (TO BUY)
  • passport
  • dive card
  • spare batteries
  • tech charge stick X 2
  • Power board
  • NZ out door power plug for camping (TO BUY)
  • spare keys to bike + locks
  • bike locks (X3)
  • ground sheet
  • tent
  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping sheet
  • sleeping mat iflatable
  • sleeping mat (TO BUY)
  • panniers (front, back and handlebars)
  • Hong Kong Shopper bag
  • knife, fork spoon
  • cup
  • plate/bowl (TO BUY)
  • panadol oesteo
  • quells
  • first aid kit (check what's inside)
  • camera
  • camera charger
  • camera batteries
  • gopro
  • gopro charger + batteries
  • gopro cases/stands
  • ipad
  • ipad adapter and charger
  • shoes X 2 (sneak + water)
  • camp stove
  • pot and pan for camp stove
  • water purification tablets
  • Drink bottle X 2
  • Saddle cover
  • voltaran
  • inflatible camp pillow
  • octo strap X2
  • dental floss
  • waterproof/windproof jacket


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