Does H-C Travel guided tours in New Zealand require group riding?
Unusually for our guided tours, the answer is no, and for three main reasons. Firstly, road conditions, road signage and rules are similar to the UK so you will feel quite at home. Secondly, the climate is less harsh and distances between towns not as great as on many of our other tours. Thirdly, less traffic congestion means quiet, easy roads to navigate. So, you can stay with our guide if you don’t want to worry about maps and navigation, and would like the benefit of their local experience. Alternatively you can choose your own riding companions, routes and time schedule each day.
So how do we know where we are going?
After dinner we have a briefing to discuss the following day’s suggested routes and other options available. This time is set aside to help you plan routes that will satisfy you each day. Each rider receives a tourbook, with daily itineraries (often with a choice), distances, suggestions for special activities and hotel location map. The combination of the briefing and the information you have should allow you to make the right decision every day.
What are the tour rules and regulations?
Apart from not doing anything illegal, we only ask that you arrive at the hotel each day by 7 pm for dinner.
What daily distances are involved?
Each suggested daily ride has been carefully planned to take maximum advantage of road conditions, leaving time for sightseeing and relaxing. With the various riding options each day, distances can be anything from nothing to about 500 km. If you like riding long and hard, then that’s fine. If you like a slower pace, or more time for sightseeing, then that’s fine too. The maximum riding time is probably about 7 hours, but 4 hours a day is more normal.
Do we ride every day?
We always include free days, where we stay two nights in the same hotel. This provides an opportunity for rest, relaxation, and sightseeing, doing something different, or going for another ride.
Can passengers ride in the support van?
Yes, not a problem. Providing you tell us in advance you can even spend the whole tour in the support van.
How many people are there on your tours?
Typically 6-12 riders
What weather conditions can we expect?
Temperatures in New Zealand are similar to those found in Europe. So, expect anything from 10-30 degrees C. The South Island climate is much like the UK, with the SW tip rather like NW Scotland. The North Island climate is more like France, with the northern tip quite Mediterranean. Seasons are the exact opposite of European seasons. And you may well experience some rain …. so please pack accordingly.
What hotel accommodations can we expect?
We like our creature comforts as much as you, typically 3 or 4*. And we like to mix the style of our overnight stops. So we include the very popular Farmstays on some tours, small country hotels, city centre hotels. Ensuite everywhere of course. The Explorer and Adventure tours uses less expensive accommodation throughout, typically 2-3* but still maintain an excellent standard.
What happens to my luggage?
All our guided tours include a guide on a motorcycle provided we have 5 or more riders. A luggage/support van is included if we have 10 riders. You just keep your daily needs in your panniers and put the rest in the van. It is delivered to your hotel room each day. If there is no van, we provide 3-piece luggage on nearly all of our motorcycles. (See our rental information for further details). And of course your luggage will be restricted by airline requirements.
Are the motorcycles insured?
Absolutely and should there be any crash damage you will be charged up to the damage excess. (Again, see the rental information for details). Optional CDR insurance cover is available which reduces your damage excess, giving you the fullest possible insurance cover. Remember, you still need travel insurance, which we can arrange.
Where do we stop for lunch?
Our guides have their favourite places of course, and will recommend places if you are riding on your own that day.
I have special dietary needs, is this a problem?
No, but remember to tell us when you book. Some of our overnight stops are quite remote and they will need to make arrangements in advance for you.
What are the age limitations?
Like all our tours, we don’t really have any. For riders you must be at least 21 years old, with no maximum age. However, if you are over 65, then we do require that you ride regularly at home. For passengers, providing they can sit comfortably on the back, and ride pillion at home, then that is fine.
What motorcycles are available?
Please see the extensive list in the tour pricing panels.
Can H-C Travel arrange our flights and stopovers?
Absolutely, flights are an essential part of your holiday. We believe that it is important we offer them as part of our service. Our ATOL bond and TTA membership provide you with total financial and legal cover and guaranteed professional standards.
How much spending money will I need?
New Zealand is about the same price as the UK. We recommend allowing about £40/person/day to cover food and fuel. Allow for additional activities such as bungy jumping, entrance fees and souvenirs.
What clothing should I bring?
We will send you a suggested clothing list with your tourbook, some 2-4 weeks before departure. Please bring all of your own riding gear. Helmets can be taken as hand luggage on the planes – including waterproofs. We do have a limited selection of riding gear available in New Zealand. You must tell us at the time of booking if you need anything (please see our rental terms and conditions).
How long have you been running these tours?
These are probably the longest established motorcycle tours in the World and have now been running for over 25 years. All that experience shows ‘on the road’.