New Zealand South Island: Ride vs Drive

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by DoraTheExplorer, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. DoraTheExplorer

    DoraTheExplorer Exploring the world

    Jul 21, 2012
    Dominican Republic
    Hi! I'm new to the board, though I've been lurking and reading posts for a while.

    My husband and I are planning a trip to New Zealand in Jan/Feb of next year. He loves to be on his bike, I prefer cars. So, we were going to compromise with a few days touring on a motorcycle and 12 days or so in a convertible.

    My question is which parts of the South Island have "the best/must ride" routes, and what will be able to be done in a convertible? I don't particularly like to ride in the rain, and it seems to me the west coast is the rainiest. My tentative plan is 4 days on the moto starting in Christchurch-Greymouth-Nelson-Kaikura-Christchurch, and then renting the car to get to Lake Tekapo-Dunedin-Te Anau-Queenstown-Franz Joseph-Punakaki-Christchurch, with some days staying to see penguins, do Milford Sound, bungee jump, etc.

    I want to start booking the car/motorcycle in advance. I don't know if I can do more than 4 days sitting on the back of a motorcycle, but I might could do it if we would be missing some amazing riding somewhere. Am I missing anything vital?

    Thanks in advance for any insight!
  2. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Dec 31, 2008
    Wellington,New Zealand
    all of it.The west coat is def the wettest but a convertoble wont be the best then either :) Jan is busy ,a lot of NZers will still be on holiday ,in the first week of feb the schools go back.Shotover Jet(boat) is worth it
    I would do ch ch kaikoura in in a car the rst on a bike.One thing you must realise is the distances you are talking about are short,NZ is a small country, alot of the roads in the south island are narrow windy(often in both senses) and hilly and the vast majority are only one lane each way
  3. Sascha

    Sascha Adventurer

    Jun 2, 2009
    We have been soooo happy not to sit in one of these CamperVans and that we had our bike! Only 6 days out of 3 Month we had some (havy) rain. Go to our blog, NZ capter and have a look if you like. The best roads are closed for Camper Vans and even marked in the contract which you sign. They are made for Motorbikes (Rainbow Road, Morlsworth, Skippers School) or 4x4.

    One solution could be to rent a 4x4 converted to a camper, some $ more but totally worth it. We met a family which travelled with that. January and February are crowded on the routes you mentioned above. Sometimes you have 30-40 Camper Vans one after the other...

    Have fun.

    cheers Sascha
  4. Bumpaman

    Bumpaman Been here awhile

    Oct 21, 2009
    Foot of the Sangre de Cristos and Music City, TX.
    Hi Sascha, you mentioned your blog is NZ capter. Is this correct? I googled but count find it. Would love to read it. Thanks
  5. azkiwi

    azkiwi message in a bottle

    Aug 11, 2004
    Upstate AZ
    I second the trip through Molesworth Station to Hanmer Spgs on the Rainbow road. Fairly relaxed but all gravel. If necessary for time, skip Greymouth.