Last modified (date)27 Nov 2018
Trip titleCycle New Zealand South Island
ValidityValidity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
IntroductionIs there a better country to cycle through than New Zealand? This is a land known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine, and this cycling trip just happens to take in the best of it. Kick things off in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country and perhaps the world, then cycle the famous Central Otago Rail Trail through small gold-mining towns like Alexandra, Omakau, W... Read more
TransportBicycle,minivan,train (e-bike available)
Physical preparationThis is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort.
It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more
Joining pointEarnslaw Lodge
Joining point descriptionThis small and comfortable hotel is conveniently located near the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is within 10 mins walk of most of Queenstown's main sights. The hotel is smoke free, has free wifi in the lobby and has breakfast available. The front desk is open daily from 7 AM - 8 PM. If you are planning to arrive after 8 PM please contact the property in advance.
Joining point instructionsThe hotel is located approx. 7kms (10-15 mins drive) from Queenstown Airport. To get from the airport to central Queenstown costs approx. NZD $25. Shuttle services are also available - see www.supershuttle.co.nz for further details. Public transport from the airport is also available and easy to use - see https://www.queenstownairport.com/travelling/parking-transport/transport-options/public-bus/... Read more
Finish point97 Moray Motel
Finish point descriptionConveniently located in the heart of Dunedin, just 1 minute walk from St Paul's Cathedral, this small non-smoking 40 room hotel is clean and comfortable and includes WiFi in the rooms as well as the public areas. Check out time is 10am.
Finish point instructionsIf you are leaving by train Dunedin railways station is a 10 min walk (approx. 800 metres) from the hotel.
Dunedin International Airport is located approx. 28kms (30 min drive) - taxis and shuttle bus services are available.
Group leaderAll Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other g... Read more
SafetyWe take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations.
Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this.
For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you w... Read more
CommunicationsWireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in New Zealand. Some properties may charge a fee for use.
Cafe's and pubs across NZ may have wi-fi for a fee, with those in more tourist area's offering it for free. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces offer limited free wi-fi access.
If you are spending longer in New Zealand, it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card ... Read more
VisasVisas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more
Why we love itCycle the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail, the oldest rail trail in New Zealand and voted 'New Zealand's Favourite Ride' for the past two years.
Is this trip right for youThis a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary, and are working with a local supplier with over 10 years experience riding this exact route, we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually... Read more
HealthOur trips require a level of independence and physical endurance. Before embarking on one of our trips, it is important to consider your physical and mental health and your suitability for the trip. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor about your current health and the possible implications of doing the trip. We also ask that you advise us of any mental or physical conditions you h... Read more
Food and dietary requirements
New Zealand is renowned for its fresh air and clean waters. Fresh food, including dairy (amazing cheese and milk), produce, seafood and meat - especially lamb. From high end restaurants and gastro pubs and cafe's to local restaurants and suburban dairies there is plenty of choice for all budgets. Wine is also done extremely well in NZ and not just sav blanc, but excellent pinot's and cool clima... Read more
Money mattersSPENDING MONEY:
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so ... Read more
What to takePacking for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips.
• Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this).
There are some destinations where you are unable to pur... Read more
Climate and seasonalThe average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year.
Check the Met Service website for forecasts prior to travel.
From December to February, sunshine and high temperatures come to Christchurch
Average Summer High Temperature – 22c (72F)
Average Summer Low Temperature – 12c (... Read more
A couple of rulesEveryone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.
Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more
Emergency contactFor general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local re... Read more
Responsible travelWe believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more
The Intrepid FoundationHelp us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world.
The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more
Transport notesOn this trip we use ‘hybrid’-style bikes that have been manufactured specifically for the Otago Rail Trail, by local New Zealand Bike manufacturer Avanti Cycles. The bikes come in 2 versions – standard (for men and taller women) or ‘low-step’ (which feature a low top tube to make getting onto the bike easier, especially for shorter people. Both style bikes feature front suspension, flat handlebars... Read more
Travel insuranceTravel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more
Your fellow travellersAs you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more
Itinerary disclaimerOccasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes th... Read more
AccommodationHotel (7 nights)