South Island New Zealand Travel Guide | Paradise Motorcycle Tours

New Zealand's South Island

Surrender to the open road and the magnificent soaring mountains, rivers and lakes that conspire to make the South Island such an extraordinary scenic stage.

This is a great destination for classic motorcycle touring offering unrivaled natural beauty, diverse attractions and some of the finest riding in the world.

From mountain peak to mountain peak, you can follow the long alpine chain from north to south. Begin your Southern encounter in the gentle golden bays and labyrinthine waters between Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough. Wend your way through orchards and endless golden vines for tastings at award winning wineries, go dolphin watching or call in to browse at galleries and homes of the talented local artists and craftspeople.

Visit Christchurch, the island's urban hub, rebuilding from the earthquakes in inspiring and exciting ways. There is plenty to see and do and you'll find the people friendly and welcoming. Deep in the hills and harbours of nearby Banks Peninsula is the French settlement of Akaroa, a must do ride from the city. 

The east coast is famous for whale watching and other wildlife encounters, and for the Scottish city of Dunedin with its fascinating gold rush history. West of the mountainous backbone lies a true wilderness experience where you can ride some of the most stunning coastal highway you'll ever see. Pass through rainforests to the great toungues of ice at Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. 

Inland, ride beside tree lined rivers and across vast open tussocklands to Queenstown and Central Otago, home to famed Pinot Noirs and the adventure capital of the world. Don't miss the quiet undiscovered beauty of the Caitlins region on the way.

Some would say we save the best for last - the ride to Milford Sound is simply magical, the bends become tighter and tighter until you reach the Homer Tunnel where you'll blast through a mountain to the steep fiords on the other side. Take a cruise out on Milford Sound and you'll take away memories that will truly last a lifetime. 

  • A tour of New Zealand on a motorcycle was top place on my bucket list, and had been for some time. We decided on the 25 day March option, and it proved to be the best thing we have ever done. This was not just a holiday, it was an adventure. From the moment we landed in Auckland, the whole process worked seamlessly. We were met, taken to our hotel. We later met with Trevor who gave us rider equipment to supplement what we had taken ourselves and our R1200RT, and the following morning, having met with Mike and Jo, we were off. The first five days we were on our own with Mike riding his motorcycle, and Jo driving the support van. It soon became four friends out on a ride. We toured the North Island, North of Auckland in that first five days, and although a seasoned motorcyclist of many years standing, and having ridden thousands upon thousands of miles in my 58 years, I was having the time of my life. The roads and scenery is nothing short of spectacular, and the local folks we met on the way were great. Mike and Jo did everything to make our tour special and nothing was too much trouble. We met up with 5 more solo riders on arrival back in Auckland and shared the next section of the tour of the North Island with them.

    Chris P., London, UK

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