Some landscapes were simply made for cycling and the ones in New Zealand are no exception.

It’s no secret that New Zealand boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking natural scenery and the only way to fully immerse yourself in it is to cycle your way through it. From open plains scattered with pure, fresh rivers to bustling towns full of fascinating history, embark on the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail and watch New Zealand’s South Island turn on the charm. Whether you want to experience the famous Kiwi hospitality for yourself, sample lovingly crafted local produce, or feel the sun’s warming rays as you pedal past spellbinding sights, our New Zealand cycling tours will take you on the ride of your life. 

Our New Zealand cycling tours

Things to do on a New Zealand cycling tour

A group of travellers on a boat looking out at the Milford Sound waterfall.

Take in the South Island’s stunning scenery

It might be hard to imagine New Zealand getting any better than the sweeping views found along the Otago Central Rail Trail, but you’ve only scratched the surface of the South Island. From hiking on grand glaciers to cruising on the mirrored surface of Milford Sound, the South Island promises an excitement-filled adventure you’ll remember for years to come. In fact, you’ll be so in love that you’ll never want to pump the brakes. 

A glittering lake in Queenstown with The Remarkables Mountain Range in the distance

Explore the beautiful Queenstown

Combining otherworldly scenery with adrenaline-inducing activities, Queenstown is the perfect place for extraordinary adventures. Providing jaw-dropping vistas wherever you look – think The Remarkables mountain range and sweeping lakes – and more activities than you’ll be able to handle (onsen pools and jet boats come to mind), this resort town is the ultimate starting point for your epic cycling journey. 

Cyclists crossing a bridge along the Otago Central Rail Trail

Cycle your way along the Otago Central Rail Trail

Picture this: the wide, open road before you, the sound of the wind as it rustles the trees around you, the natural wonders that unfurl with every kilometre. That’s what awaits you on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Considered to be New Zealand’s Original Great Ride, this trail will take you past captivating countryside and deliver you straight into historical towns such as Wedderburn and Waipiata. 

Two cyclists sitting outside a restaurant along the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Experience the famous New Zealand hospitality

New Zealand’s incredible landscapes may be sitting at the top of the ‘reasons to visit this country’ list but coming in at number two is the welcoming Kiwi hospitality. Known to be extremely laidback, easy-going, and relaxed, the people of New Zealand won’t hesitate to help you out, give you a recommendation or point out directions on your journey, and will only add to your overall experience. 

New Zealand cycling tour reviews 

New Zealand cycling FAQs

Trips on or before 31 December 2022

If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

The Otago Central Rail Trail is arguably New Zealand's most famous and beloved cycling trail but there are several other trails all over the country that'll satisfy your adventure cravings. They are: 

  • The Milford Track 
  • Queen Charlotte Track 
  • The Great Lake Trail 
  • Great Taste Trail
  • Rotorua to Ruapehu Cycling Trail

You don't need to be especially fit to participate in one of our New Zealand cycling tours as the tour isn't set at a fast pace, rather it's set at an enjoyable pace for relaxation and sightseeing. However, you will need to be confident and competent when riding a bicycle. 

Packing for a cycling trip is like packing for any other destination. You need to make sure you have the appropriate clothing and the other travelling essentials such as a camera, backpack/day bag, sunscreen etc. However, there are a few cycling-specific items you should pack to make your trip more comfortable: 

  • Your own helmet 
  • Closed, worn-in shoes
  • Cycling shorts
  • A sunhat/suncap
  • Quick dry socks
  • Lightweight/wind proof jacket 

Yes, everyone riding a bike in a public setting needs to be wearing a helmet that's fastened securely. This is purely to reduce the level of injury sustained to your head if you were to fall off your bike or crash it in any way. If you're caught riding a bike and not wearing a helmet, the infringement fee is up to NZD$55 (AUD$50). 

Read more about the bike laws in New Zealand

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Read more about New Zealand