This article is based on my personal experience and not on scientific researches. Some points might be incomplete to you as we all have different experiences. I did my best to put on paper what is for me the most important points for touring in this country. If you have points to add to this article, you can comment it below and I’m sure it will help everyone 🙂
New Zealand is composed of two main islands. North island is warmer than the south and way more populated as well. There is around 4 million New Zealanders and they are mainly living on the north island. The south island is wild and you can spend a few days on a hike without meeting anyone. I like both islands as they offer very different climates and sceneries. On the north it will be tropical forests and blue water beach, volcanos, while in the south it’s the alps, with plenty of canyons, peaks, boulders, caves… You will be sure to find what you are looking for in New Zealand. Whatever it is.
In New Zealand the official language is English even though the Maori is coming back, the original language of the people from this country that has been forbidden until not long time ago.
New Zealand Dollar exchange rate daily updated:
Best time to go
Bike touring in New Zealand is better in summer because the winter is very cold but the peak of the summer is very crowded so the best time would be February to April and October to end of November. The weather will be great and there will not be too much tourists on the roads.
Kiwis and Maoris are the people living in New Zealand. They are very friendly! If you have a problem, they will be here to help you and they might even invite you to stay at their home for the night.
Visa for french citizen
- 1 year Working Holliday visa until you reach 30 years old. You can get your visa before 30 years old and come in the country up to one year after it’s been granted.
- 3 months free tourist visa on arrival.
If you are not french, then visit this page: New Zealand Immigration
Pollution air / water
No pollution here in the air. For the water, there is some areas where you should not be drinking out of the tap but it’s a very very limited area. When in the mountains I even drink water from streams or lakes and I never experienced any issue.
How to say hello without a word
Just rise your eyebrows.
20NZD for food without accommodation.
You can sleep pretty much everywhere but still be aware that there is areas where free camping is not permitted and you can get a fine up to $200. I never stayed in a hotel or backpackers while bike touring there and as long as you leave your camping spot as clean as you found it there should not be any issue. You can even find showers for free or go to the swimming pool or in the rivers.
I just stayed in a backpackers at the end while working on a boat before we could leave.
Internet / phone
Internet could be better in some rural areas but works pretty well in big cities. You should find wifi access in many bars and restaurants.
Phone coverage is great in main cities but sometimes non existant when you go too far into the wild which can happen very quickly.
If you decide to take a plan with a carrier, I would recommend Spark. They offer a great deal and you can have spotify premium for free in addition! Perfect to listen some music offline when cycling.
Great condition roads! You can access every road with your bicycle except maybe in Auckland where there is some forbidden ones including the harbour bridge which will force you to cycle a reasonable detour around the harbour if you want to go further north than Auckland. There is as well the option of taking the ferry from the CBD to Birkenhead or Devonport.
There is many trails made for bikes were you are totally out of the traffic. There is as well more and more cycle paths in the city.
Planes or boats if you feel to try hitch-hiking in the marinas. For Leaving New Zealand on a Boat the best time of the year starts in May until end of June. 95% of chance to find a spot on a boat even with a bike.
Mainly western food. You should be able to find everything you need.
Pros / Cons
Breathtaking wide range of sceneries
Everything is easy as, bro!
… so many pros… that’s indeed my favourite country in the world so far!
Really too far away from France