Ever changing panoramas of active volcanoes, rolling green hills, lush island sanctuaries and white gold beaches will unfold before you. Maori culture is rich and ever-present and there are plenty of opportunities for an authentic taste of living traditions.
From the far north, the birthplace of New Zealand’s bicultural history, journey south through landscapes that blend towering trees, extraordinary coastline, sprawling farmland and freakish geothermal wonders. Your bike will purr contentedly, embracing the road’s curves.
Explore Northland with a trip to the top of the country and see the power of the Tasman Sea beat against the mighty Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga.
Our biggest city, Auckland, is truly a cosmopolitan harbourside jewel, the sheltered waters of the gulf studded with islands - some home to wineries and olive groves and others to endangered plants and wildlife.
Further south, explore the country's fertile heartland around the Waikato, Rotorua and Lake Taupo, showcasing luxuriant green forests, a vast mountainous volcanic plateau, steaming, hissing and bubbling and set with a giant blue diamond of a lake.
The west offers a breathtaking combination of wild coast, the impressively photogenic conical peak of Mt Taranaki and a cutting edge art scene. To the east lie the restful shimmering waters and spectacular beaches of Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty.
Don't miss Wellington at the bottom of the Island, often described as the world's greatest little city with its vibrant café and craft beer scene and cultural precinct on the waterfront. On the way, take a detour to Kapiti Island, one of the few accessible island nature reserves or spend some time in the quaint villages of the Wairarapa with their galleries, antique stores and boutique food and wine experiences.
I did a solo late winter/ early spring ride for 16 days through the North and South Islands. Initially I was apprehensive of how I would fare alone but the PMT crew's high standards of organization and planning made this a ride I'll remember. Their itinerary plotted long rides through magnificent scenery while still allowing time to rest and experience attractions along the way and also at day's end. Destinations alternated between rural to urban, meandering over the island and thus leaving no chance for boredom to set in and always offering new experiences. Roads from coastal to alpine were always exciting and scenic, more beautiful than online photos can do justice to.
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