Before signing up for your cycling adventure of a lifetime there are many things to consider.

The following are the questions our clients ask most often. If we have not covered your particular question, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Health & Fitness

How hard is the biking?

PureTrails NZ cycle tour packages are suitable for healthy people of all ages with an average level of fitness who enjoy cycling. Visit our Difficulty Gradings page to read about our cycling in nz level of difficulty gradings. The majority of the bike rides are on gravel surfaces which require more effort than road cycling. The cycling is dispersed with plenty of breaks to explore local sights encountered, take photos, talk with the locals, rest, refreshments and to simply take in the scenery. Those who are not comfortable participating in all the biking are always welcome to join our support vehicle. If you are new to cycling and wish to extend your skills, visit our Cycling Tips page.

How should I prepare for my cycle tour?

We strongly recommend you put in a good amount of training so you gain the most enjoyment out of your cycling holiday. We encourage you to get out and do some biking before your tour, on gravel roads if possible, starting out with half an hour a day and gradually building up to 2-3 longer bike rides (20km+) per week during the month prior to your tour (at the very minimum). The secret is to start slowly and increase your exercise gradually. The fitter you are the more enjoyable your bike tour will be.

Vehicle Support Available Any Time

You are welcome to ride in the van at any time – no explanation required. Some want a lift for just a few kilometres; others have ridden in the van for the entire trip. It’s your holiday – you decide. Our vehicle fleet consists of two 15 seat buses and a 12 seat minibus. All have been fitted out with comfort in mind and offer superior viewing of the scenery as we travel the South Island.

Bikes & Bike Hire

Bring your own bike or hire from our modern high quality fleet

You are welcome to bring your own bike though we stipulate that it must be recently serviced, safe, and suitable for the terrain covered on your trip. You are responsible for supplying spare inner tubes and fixing any issues that may develop. There is a weight limit of 20kgs per bike, as anything heavier than this becomes unmanageable for our team to handle and transport (with the exception of the Otago Rail Trail tour). Alternatively we can organise cycle hire for you. The Pure Trails hire bikes are modern high quality bikes that are well maintained and designed specifically for bike touring. Read more about our bikes here.

Do I need any special equipment?

You will need a water/wind proof jacket and thermal clothing. Padded bike gloves are recommended. High visibility vests are provided during any bike rides that are on public roads. Helmets are provided with our hire bikes.

Do I have to carry heavy pannier bags on my bike?

No – on Pure Trails New Zealand cycling tours you only need to carry your jacket, camera etc. All your luggage is transported on our support vehicle.

Vehicle and Trailers Carry Luggage And Supplies

The vehicle tows one of our custom-built, bike transporter trailers. The trailer design allows for bikes to be loaded quickly and without fuss, making for a seamless transition from bus to bike. The trailers insides are partitioned to efficiently hold luggage, spare bicycle parts and equipment, tools, and other supplies.

Accommodation

Unique accommodation in a memorable setting

Relax on a deck with a view of Lake Ohau, or perhaps the Hawkdun Mountains. Marvel at the glacial aqua blue of Lake Tekapo. These are a few of the wonderful settings at some of the places we stay on our cycle tour packages. We understand the value of a good night’s sleep and over the years we’ve spent a lot of time finding unique and memorable accommodation. On PureTrails cycle tours you won’t find any bunk rooms, huts or awkward substandard rooming arrangements. But you won’t end up in a luxury lodge either. We utilise accommodation that strikes the right balance between comfort and value. We stay at comfortable, clean, characterful and well-hosted accommodations including guesthouses, historic and country hotels, smart motels and lodges. You will find links to some of the accommodations we use within the tour itinerary descriptions.

Accommodation: Two People To A Room

Lodging is based upon two people to a room with either an en-suite bathroom or a bathroom shared with another room (we use en-suite rooms where ever possible). Single travellers can share with another single if available, or upgrade to a single room.

Meals

Good food: wholesome and nutritious

Good food is an important aspect of your cycling holiday experience, and it’s fair to say PureTrails cuisine is legendary. We love showing you the variety of foods our country has to offer, and during your tour you will have nutritious and wholesome meals, often provided from local eateries famous for their ‘southern hospitality’. We keep you well supplied with plenty of fresh fruit during the day, as well as frooze balls, muslie bars and biscuits to keep you energised. So you get the picture – you won’t be losing any weight on our bike trips! The tour price includes most if not all of your meals – you can check this on each tour page as indicated each day of the trip by B/L/D (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Beer wine and other drinks are not included in the tour package however there will be the opportunity for you to buy beverages along the way.

Three square meals and then some

Breakfast is typically a selection of fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurt, delicious breads and spreads. Morning tea is often provided in a scenic trail-side setting midway during the day’s ride or walk. A cup of tea, plunger coffee, biscuits, or fresh fruit can do wonders for your energy levels on your calorie burning adventure! Lunch can either be a trail-side picnic or at a local café or winery, where we pre-order to avoid any crowds. For dinner we dine in the local restaurants in the villages where we stay following a two course set menu format. Often the anticipation of what the evening menu will be grows as the tour progresses.

Special Dietary Needs Accommodated

PureTrails New Zealand will endeavour to cater to any special dietary requirements you may have (please disclose this on the Tour Info & Health & Safety Declaration form). Vegetarian and gluten free and dairy free diets are not a problem for our meal providers. Requests such as a sugar free or grain free diet and vegan meals etc are a little more problematic given the remote rural location of the tour. In these instances you may need to bring your own snacks and specialty foods.

Celebrating a Special Event?

Please let us know if you are celebrating a special event during your cycling holiday, such as a birthday or anniversary; we would like to help make it a special day.

Other Travellers

Tour Participants

We are frequently asked, “Will I be able to keep up?” “What kind of people are on the tour?” Every tour is different, yet there are some common themes. Most of our guests are working or retired professionals, from doctors to school teachers, business owners to nurses. With an average age of 58 years, guests travel on their own, with friends, and/or with spouses, and there is often a good mix of couples and solo travellers. Despite coming from various parts of the country or from across the globe, and with a variety of backgrounds, everyone has one common interest: having fun, sharing a little adventure, and experiencing a cycling holiday like no other. Like you, your travel companions will have a spirit for adventure and a willingness to meet others, and the sense of camaraderie that builds during a tour adds a special feel to the experience. Groups often bond quickly, and you will leave your tour having made new friends.

Custom Tours

Custom ‘Design-Your-Own’ Tours

If you have a group of 10 – 15 people, we are happy to customise a cycle tour package for you. It is the perfect way to hand-craft every moment of your cycle holiday to your desires and your schedule, with personalised routes and activities designed just for your group. Please call us for more information; we’ll be delighted to assist you in creating your very own dream trip.

When to go

When is the best time to go cycling in NZ?

Each season has its advantages: Springtime (October – December) features dramatic snow-clad peaks; fewer people; cooler temperatures ideal for active adventures; green pastures and playful lambs. Summer (January – February) features warmer temperatures; wildflowers; long summer days. Autumn (March – May) features stunning autumn colours; generally settled weather and mild temperatures. Winter (June – August) is cold, but the landscape is stunning and our itineraries are altered to fit in with conditions. Our rule of thumb is come prepared for anything regardless of the season, and you will have a great time cycling in NZ.

How to Book

What’s included in the price of my cycle holiday?

PureTrails is committed to providing excellent value for money bike tours. Accommodation, most meals, transport, local guide, vehicle and bike repair support, local sightseeing and information booklets are all included in the tour price. Bike hire, other optional activities are extra. Detailed information for each tour is available on the biking tour pages.