September 24, 2017 at 10:45 am #225570
I am looking for info about New Zealand. (yes I already searched for it) Four of us are going to do a three-week vacation in early 2019 (March)….. Just starting to look for info.
1) Has anyone traveled to NZ with their bikes? I have been looking at fees for excess baggage on airlines, does $200 per bike per flight make sense? Any recommendations on bike-friendly airlines, or how to spoof airlines that my bike box is NOT a bike? I looked at BikeFlight (I think that is the name) and it was $2k YIKES!!!!
2) It appears that both islands have good riding, we are looking for intermediate to advanced, blue and red trails (I think their red is our black trails), are there areas that don’t have good riding, it may be easier to ask for areas to avoid biking than ask where the good riding is. We may be renting camper vans or VRBO rentals, not sure which but we will be traveling most of the time.
3) I was thinking there must be some type of “exchange vacation” type setups. I have heard of house “swaps” with other countries, has anyone heard of that for outdoor/bike/climb folks. Meaning, since we typically want to go to NZ in our winter and they want to come here in their winter, is there any sites that will connect the two? Instead of a VRBO, it would be an exchange – you stay with them, then they stay with you, type of thing…..lots of unknowns I know (is it safe, what about damage etc) but it seems like that has to be set up already, I am not that smart to be the first one to think of that idea.
September 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm #225585
The best information on New Zealand trails is right here on singletracks. (I know because I wrote 90% of the trail descriptions!)
Air New Zealand and Quantas will take your bike for free as long as you don’t exceed the weight allowance which I think is 30kg.
New Zealand has a six grade system for trails: 1 beginner, 2 easy, 3 intermediate, 4 advanced, 5 expert, 6 extreme.
Best NZ destinations (from north to south!):
Best multi-day back-country adventure trails:
Old Ghost Road (can be supported but only by helicopter – there are huts along the trail)
The Timber Trail (usually supported – camping ground mid-way)
Queen Charlotte Sound (usually supported by water taxi)
Heaphy Track (you must bike-pack but there are huts along the trail)
Best family-scenic supported multi-day mellow adventure rides (on grade 2 purpose built trails):
Otago Central Rail Trail
Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails (they join end to end and also join the Otago Central Rail)
Twin Coast Trail
West Coast Wilderness Trail
Waikato River Trails (four of them are grade 2, one is grade 3. They are end to end.)
Rimutaka Rail Trail
Best Mountain Bike Parks:
Whaka Forest – The Redwoods
Makara Peak, Wellington
Coronet Peak, Queenstown (a collection of trails – not a typical mountain bike park)…
Queenstown Bike Park (lift assisted, mainly downhill)
Best one day back-country scenic adventure trails:
Pakihi Track (usually shuttled)
Rameka Track (shuttle)
Moerangi Track (shuttle)
Four Lakes Loop (loop)
Bridge to Nowhere (bus and jet boat shuttle)
Best scenic one day trails grade 3 or less
Great Lake Trails (all three of them – stunning views with mellow technicality)
Karangahake Gorge (out and back – with heritage interest)
Old Coach Road (out and back – heritage interest too)
See also https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/five2ride-the-5-best-mountain-bike-trails-in-new-zealand/
September 24, 2017 at 5:16 pm #225587
WOW, that is more than I was expecting. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
September 26, 2017 at 4:17 pm #225821
Air New Zealand’s bike baggage policy as cut and pasted from their web site…
Transporting sports equipment
Sporting items less than 2m long and weighing up to 23kg count as a standard bag. Otherwise, excess baggage charges apply. The maximum allowed weight is 32kg and the maximum oversize length on jet aircraft is 2.5m.
If you’re travelling on our Regional Domestic services and your item dimensions exceed length 1.8m x width 0.8m x height 1.20m, please contact us for assistance. Due to their small volume, some items up to 2.2m long – such as fishing rods, skis and poles – may be accepted.
Sports bags can contain more than one piece of related equipment. They’re assessed on their overall weight and length.
Here are some examples of sporting equipment that can be packed or bagged as single items:
Bike (see packing instructions below)
Snow skis + boots + poles
Snowboard + boots + bindings
Golf bag containing golf clubs and one pair of shoes
If you wish to travel with an item that exceeds the maximum weight or dimensions, contact Air New Zealand National or International Cargo or a local freight company to discuss your options at least five days before your flight.
Apart from children’s bikes with no chain, all bicycles must be correctly packed in a bike box or bike bag. Bike boxes are sold at New Zealand airports for NZD $25.00, subject to availability.
You don’t have to deflate the tyres, but packed bicycles can only be accepted as checked-in luggage if:
Handle bars are removed or turned sideways
Pedals are removed or turned in
The pressure of any nitrogen gas in mountain bike struts is no more than 200kPa (kilopascal) or 29PSI (pounds per square inch)
Any cartridges for inflating tyres are small (less than 50 ml) and contain a non-flammable gas
Place any loose accessories into a bag then place in the box
Seal the box and label with your name and phone number
Ensure no part of the bike is protruding from the box
September 26, 2017 at 5:09 pm #225822
Thanks Jim, I went out to Air NZ after your first post. Not use to a bike as “normal” baggage, I was expecting to pay $75-$200 per leg (2 bikes x 2 flights adds up quickly), this is a nice surprise! I have a nice Thule bike bag/carrier, but it may bust the 23Kg mark, so I am sure I will have to pay something, but I already like Air NZ. I assume you have flown them do you prefer them over Quantas? And I have been looking at rough prices (using 2018 prices as a gauge for my 2019 travel). Looks like $1,000-$1,300 for late Fed to mid-March time frame.
I have been checking out the areas you suggested too, Rotorua looks rad, we will hit that area for sure.
Thanks again Jim, I am stoked already and it is a year and a half away…ug.
September 29, 2017 at 5:37 am #226015
You are coming to New Zealand? Australia welcomes you! Australia is a beautiful place.
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