Cycling on tour with Flying Kiwi A guide to cycling with Flying Kiwi

Cycle tours in New Zealand


New Zealand is an ideal biking holiday destination with spectacular scenery, a low crime rate, friendly locals and minimal traffic (though roads are busier in the peak summer months of December and January). With Flying Kiwi you can enjoy optional cycle rides with our bikes or even bring your own.

Bike hire is completely optional, with plenty of walks and other activities for those not choosing to cycle. Usually around half the passengers hire cycles, as it is a great way to see more and get closer to the scenery.  

This trip is designed as a multi-activity tour holiday.  Cycle options vary each day with rides into camp, along the route and some off road trails but please be aware that some activity/hike options will restrict your ability to do all rides.  In the North Island, in particular, the daily activities do restrict the volume of longer bike rides available.

If you are wanting to explore New Zealand and include some cycling along the way then Flying Kiwi has plenty to offer. We carry a number of bicycles on board, many of which are less than two years old. The great advantage of travelling with us is that we carry everything but you get to enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of New Zealand.

Cycling available on most tour options

Using custom coaches fitted with purpose built bicycle racks, Flying Kiwi tours explore the parts of New Zealand that most tours miss. We operate simple drop-off and pick-up routines that enable cyclists of all levels to enjoy the serene countryside. Rides of varying lengths are catered for to ensure that the tour matches all levels of fitness.

Check out some of the highlights you can enjoy with our Pick Up/Drop Off bicycle tours of New Zealand .

Our bikes are Avanti entry level front single fork suspension bikes, they are not high performance mountain bikes as most riding is by road. The best part is that on tour at the end of a great days riding you get to hang up your bike, hang up your gear, sit back and enjoy a great meal with friends, a camp fire and the stunning New Zealand landscape - you can't beat that!

The key differences to a Flying Kiwi tour compared to other operators are:

  • The only tour that offers cycling options with adventure activities included - as we travel New Zealand there's the chance to experience some of the best adventure activities in the world. Each tour is carefully planned so you can take a break from the bike and enjoy dolphin swimming, glacier hiking and much more
  • A unique pick up and drop off system - on most tours you get to bike the distances you want. Enjoy great rides around the campsite and on the longer stretches the tour bus will take a similar route so it can pick you and your bike up when you are finished - no doubling back and no carrying around heavy gear
  • Fancy a break - let the bus take the strain - the structure of the tour is as close as you can get to having your own support crew. The great advantage is if you feel tired or the weather isn't great you just pop your bike on the trailor and jump on the tour bus. You still get to take in all the best scenery and activities and can jump back on the bike as soon as your ready. :)

Flying Kiwi specialise in adventure tours of the New Zealand backcountry, beyond the tourist traps that attract the masses. With its natural beauty and undulating landscape, New Zealand is the dream destination to enjoy some great cycling.

There are cycling options most days (weather dependent, of course). Choose from a lazy few kilometres ahead of the bus in the morning, to an all-day marathon over alpine passes for those with the legs and desire.

How it works

EQUIPMENT - We provide you with a cycle, helmet, repair kit, map and 0800 number in case you need assistance. Your Tour Leader will be able to describe the terrain so you can make an informed decision. The majority of our bikes are designed by leading NZ bike company Avanti. Their local expertise ensures the bikes are ideally suited to the hills and the odd off road track that we may find. You also can bring your own pedals if you have clip-on bike shoes.

CYCLE DISTANCES - Cycling is a brilliant way to catch the sights and get a feel for this stunning land while enjoying a fun activity in good company. Our pick-up and drop-off system enables you to cycle sections of New Zealand while the bus is moving and we have rides to suit all levels. It is important to book your bike before starting your trip. The ride options are evenly spread with coastal road riding to more trail options that included snaking around bends and riding over hills. Now don’t expect a ‘tour de France’ type experience, these friendly bikes are purely there to help you get closer to scenery and feel the fresh air instead of being on the bus for all of the trip section. What you should expect is the views!  The distances literally range from 5km to over 60km - look through the bike maps on the bus and choose rides that interest you, we have loads of different options to suit all abilities! In general most passengers will ride anything between 12 or 20km of riding – although if you are game, our guides always have crazy long rides for those up for the challenge.

On days we have timings to be somewhere, instead of the drop off/pick up system, we also provide bike options when we arrive at destinations, we’ll provide you with maps so you can head off and explore without being pushed for time, return back to camp when your guides have given you a time for dinner! When we are in areas for two days if you’re not doing activities, we’ve provided maps and cycle experiences that include points of interest, cafes, mind blowing scenery so you can really make the most of your day on the bike, seeing as much as possible!

TERRAIN - While the majority of our rides have been on road which provide great scenery and easy access, we are also now linking with New Zealand Cycle Trail for even more options. With huge varieties of terrain and some of the most spectacular backdrops you could imagine this is an excellent option to fully experience the natural beauty of New Zealand. For the trail rides you can expect a leisurely pace and these rides are all about discovery, we have included only the trail sections that provide the most points of interest. The trails are usually smooth surfaces but might be shingle, dirt, boardwalks as opposed to road surfaces but we have only selected sections that suits any level of ability. These trail rides usually include sections that are on open road shared with vehicles before getting to another trail section.

All of our rides are considered grade 1 and 2 (Either road or trail riding achievable for a beginner), you do have opportunity in some places to go to mountain bike parks where you can challenge yourself in more technical rides if this is what you prefer. On rides that are advanced, we will always let you know and provide you with an alternative bike ride that’s more relaxed.

Both the North and South Islands offer some of the best cycle routes in the world, including some excellent paved back roads, while Rotorua on the North Island and Queenstown on the South Island offer some of New Zealand’s best options for the those wanting to get up the mountain in the dirt. As one would expect, the main highways are the busiest roads to cycle on and traffic does get busier through the summer months, however with the population of the North Island at around 3 million and the population of the South around 1 million, you can expect much less traffic in the South. With the continued development of the New Zealand Cycle Trails, we can now offer more rides off road and on a trail that is not shared with motor vehicles.

COST - Bike hire includes transportation, helmet and high visibility vests depending on the length of the tour. We don’t hire cycles by the day, but you can hire a bike for a shorter section of your trip

This trip offers enjoyable options for cyclists with road rides of varying distances and some exciting off sections for those that are keen.  Most days you have the chance to cycle sections of our tour and you will also get to take the bikes out and about from camp - as we stay in stunning spots this usually gives access to some cracking rides.  We also offer rides in destinations which means if you want to save money and not do any optional activities, you can always grab a map off our guides and they’ll point you in the right direction!

On days when we arrive in cities or you have a free day and meals aren’t provided, we have selected the best areas to go explore by bike! With these ride options, we also include on our maps great places to eat, lock the bike and walk or good photo opportunities.

Tours without the hassle

Cruising by coach into the wicked New Zealand wilderness, our cycle options combine the social buzz of a group tour with the chance to be one-on-one with the awesome natural world down under. Because the bus carries the gear you don't need to worry about how you're going to fit a canoe on your carrier or a boogie board in your backpack. It's a great feeling at the end of the day, hanging up your bike then sitting around a campfire with the group sharing a yarn, a few drinks and a meal you didn't even have to prepare!

There's a whole range of places you can visit on your tour so check out some of the choices with our bike tours of New Zealand .


A Selection of Rides

A Selection of Rides
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New Zealand Cycle Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail
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