New Zealand
New Zealand

Two Island Grand Tour

In 21 days, our Grand Tour packs in the sights and cultural highlights of New Zealand, from the colonial and Maori history found on the North Island to the mountainous regions of the South Island with their stunning alpine vistas. Soak in the country that offers everything a motorcycle holiday should from quiet roads, astounding scenery, friendly locals and will always leave you wanting more. You can do the tour in either direction to make the most of the better weather in early or late season and, of course, we can extend, shorten or customize these tours to suit your time constraints.


— Explore the beautiful Bay of Islands

— Discover the wonderful Coromandel Peninsula

— Visit some geothermal wonderlands

— Take a cruise on the breath-taking Milford Sound

— Ride mountain passes taking in the stunning scenery

  • Also available from Christchurch to Auckland

    Day 1


    You will be transferred to the hotel. Depending on how you feel after the long flight, either take a walk around and see the sights of Auckland or head to Mission Bay Beach for your first NZ beach experience. One of Auckland’s must do’s is the view from the top of the Sky Tower – the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Day 2

    Auckland – Paihia (230km/3hrs)

    After breakfast, it’s time to head off to collect your bike and set off on the first day in the saddle. A gentle day to get you started. A gentle day to get you started. Ride north along one of only three toll roads in New Zealand (approx $2.40NZD per bike one way) following the east coast . Whangarei is the main city of Northland and has an interesting clock museum with over 400 examples and is well worth a visit before arriving in the beautiful Bay of Islands for a 2-night stay.

    Day 3

    Bay of Islands

    Plenty to do, with glorious sandy beaches and clear blue seas everywhere! Go to the Waitangi National Reserve and the Treaty House where the (in)famous treaty was signed, ride to historic Kerikeri, Cape Reinga and New Zealand’s northernmost tip, take a bus trip on Ninety Mile Beach. In the bay, go sailing, swimming with bottle nose dolphins, scuba diving or deep-sea fishing and visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Russell or New Zealand’s first capital city Okiato.

    Day 4

    Paihia – Orewa (197km/2.5hrs)

    A gentle ride today with time to stop in the magnificent Waipoua Kauri Forest and visit Tane Mahuta, (Lord of the Forest) the largest kauri tree in New Zealand and thought to be some 2000 years old. It’s a nice spot for a short stroll to the ‘big tree’ and a rest in its shade. Stop at the Matakohe Kauri Museum near Dargaville with its fine example of a 17m Maori canoe. The museum is built of bricks from mud that came as ballast in ships from China. Follow the Hibiscus Coast Highway to Orewa which will avoid the toll road.

    Day 5

    Orewa – Coromandel (204km/3hrs)

    Leave Orewa and ride south through Auckland and head for the excellent winding roads, to the rolling hills around the Firth of Thames. Thames is the main town of the area but the urban landscape soon gives way to rainforests and a scenic loop, of rainforests, and the quiet white sand coves of the Coromandel Peninsula, a fabulous ride.

    Day 6

    Coromandel – Rotorua (263km/4hrs)

    Start today on the scenic loop around the Coromandel Peninsula. This twisty coastal ride takes you to Mercury Bay, so named by Captain Cook who observed the transit of the planet Mercury from his ship moored there. Ride south following the Bay of Plenty coast with sleepy towns and empty white sand beaches. Among the best are Pauanui, Hahei, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, where you dig your own hot tub! Tauranga and the neighbouring seaside resort of Mount Maunganui form the principal areas of population in the Bay of Plenty. From here the ride is a lovely winding route through rolling farmland to Rotorua. Rotorua is not only rich in Maori culture but nearby to Waitomo Caves is the main natural home of the glowworm. Their displays are quite beautiful. This evening it’s party time Maori style! You will be enthralled by the natural bush setting, with Maori warriors in traditional dress paddling a canoe down the river, dancing and a traditional Hangi feast.

    Day 7

    Rotorua – Hawkes Bay (219km/3hrs)

    Sit and marvel at the incredible, effervescent Champagne Lake in the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland or the views over Lake Taupo. Created by the world’s largest volcanic eruption in the last 5000 years, Lake Taupo sits at the foot of the volcanic Tongariro National Park, home to the best one-day hiking trail in New Zealand. The three andesitic volcanoes, Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu form the southern limits of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are two of the most active volcanoes in the world today. If you wish, take a detour on the Desert Road to see why Sir Peter Jackson chose to use Mt Ngauruhoe as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Ring trilogy then head back through the rolling green landscape of Hawkes Bay to the Art Deco city of Napier. Today’s ride will take you across the middle of the North Island.

    Day 8

    Hawkes Bay – Wellington (325/4hrs)

    There are two alternative routes and three road options today for the ride to Wellington; both skirt the Tararua Mountain range, both the around distance, but one may be busier than the other. There are some amazing places to stop on both routes. One takes you through the Wairarapa wine region, a perfect stop for lunch and over the windy Rimutaka Hill Road. There is a great photo opportunity at the summit (555 m), and the other takes you past Southward, with its museum of cars, motorcycles and other machinery.

    Day 9

    Wellington – Nelson (133km/1.45hrs)

    Most of your travelling today is aboard the interisland ferry, a relaxing and spectacular 3-hour crossing to the South Island. There are wonderful coastal views, watch out for passing whales and occasional albatross as you cross the Cook Strait. The last part of the crossing is in the sheltered waters of beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. After you dock in Picton’s pretty harbour the day finishes with a lovely ride along the coast to Nelson, South Island’s sunniest city.

    Day 10

    Nelson (free day)

    Today explore Nelson and the surrounding areas. For those who like to continue riding, hop on your bike to discover Abel Tasman National Park, or take a 4-WD drive tour to Farewell Spit, the longest sand dune in New Zealand, and view a variety of sea birds and unique vegetation. Also remember you are in one of New Zealand’s main wine and craft beer producing areas.

    Day 11

    Nelson – Punakaiki (265km/4hrs)

    A gentle hilly ride takes you southwest through the Buller Gorge to the coast, past the Coaltown Museum in Westport and the Tauranga Bay seal colonies. There are optional rides and scenic detours in different directions! You can also take time out for some white-water rafting and jet boating, and if all that’s not enough, visit the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes in Punakaiki.

    Day 12

    Punakaiki – Hanmer Springs (252km/3.5hrs)

    Today there’s some serious riding to be done. Set off along the coast to Greymouth, pay a visit to the Monteith’s Brewery where you can try their ‘Wildfood’ inspired food before turning inland to Reefton and Springs Junction, following river valleys through the Victoria Forest Park. Ride the magnificent Lewis Pass for some breath-taking scenery and plenty of photo opportunities before dropping down through the Hanmer Range to the pretty mountain spa town of Hanmer Springs. The perfect way to finish off your day is to relax in the natural thermal springs.

    Day 13

    Hanmer Springs – Fox Glacier (410km/5.5hrs)

    A long ride ahead today, via magnificent Arthur’s Pass. Start by heading through small rural towns, your ride then takes you up from the coastal lowlands to Arthur’s pass at over 900m; an area of alpine peaks, steep valleys and waterfalls. Stop for lunch in the mountains before returning to the west coast highway and a gentle ride into Hokitika, the home of greenstone, and then onto Franz Josef and Fox. There may be time to spot some of the indigenous wildlife – fur seal, kea, penguins, dolphin, white heron, weka and, if you’re lucky, you may spot the elusive kiwi.

    Day 14

    Fox Glacier – Queenstown (330km/4.5hrs)

    This morning there’s time to take a helicopter ride and walk to the glaciers, or visit the Glowworm Dell in Fox. Heading south, ride through the subtropical rainforest of Haast Pass. Turning inland, head into the mountains of the Mount Aspiring National Park and along the shores of Lakes Wanaka. You pass Arrowtown, a historic Gold mining settlement before dropping down to Queenstown amid spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.

    Day 15

    Queenstown (free day)

    An opportunity to sample some of the many activities in the ‘adventure playground of the South’, jet boating on the Shotover River, tandem skydiving, fly fishing, a vintage steam cruise and high-country farm experience and, of course, bungee jumping (plus too many more to mention!) Then it’s time to relax in the Gondola restaurant or the Motor Museum or go for a ride to Arthur’s Point lookout and Coronet Peak. Why not go for a ride along the beautiful windy road out to the top of the lake to Glenorchy. This small settlement offers a new perspective of Lake Wakatipu. And no trip to Queenstown is complete with a burger from Ferg Burger!

    Day 16

    Queenstown – Te Anau (175km/2hrs)

    Today head south along Lake Wakatipu and into Fiordland. Before you get there, enjoy the ride, stop at Kingston at the bottom of the lake and take in the Wildlife Bird Reserve, and the stunning highland scenery. Your destination is the small township of Te Anau, the main settlement of the Fiordland national park. Tonight, you’ll stay on a working farm, a real Kiwi experience that we know you’ll love.

    Day 17

    Te-Anau – Milford Sound -Te Anau (238km/3.5hrs)

    An enjoyable morning’s ride (119km/1.45hrs each way) takes you to the spectacular Milford Sound, where you take a bewitching cruise down the world-famous fiord and back. Look out for sunbathing fur seals on the rocks at the mouth of the fiord. On the return, there’s plenty of time to stop at the many photo opportunities and enjoy the stunning scenery. Watch out for the cheeky Kea, they have been known to try and take a few bites from your tyres. Riding along the twisting roads is every bit a match for the cruise!

    Day 18

    Te Anau – Dunedin (289km/3.5hrs)

    Say goodbye to the lakes and fiords and head for the surf of the deep blue Pacific Ocean. Ride through rolling green farmland covered in white woolly sheep, crossing wide river torrents and passing through small rural settlements. Or go the long way around via the motorcycle capital of New Zealand, Invercargill, taking in the south coast on the way. Once you arrive into Dunedin check out Baldwin Street – the steepest residential street in the world before you head out to the scenic Otago Peninsula.

    Day 19

    Dunedin – Aoraki/Mount Cook (318-455km/4-5.5hrs)

    Leaving Dunedin for Aoraki/Mount Cook you have several options. Head out past the famous boulders of Moeraki, steampunk capital of Oamaru with a Little Blue Penguin colony, before riding inland past the fascinating Waitaki River, Aviemore and Benmore Dams, or following the longer 455km/5.5hrs gold trail to the Victorian gold rush town of Cromwell, through the majestic Dunstan Mountains and the heart of the highland Mackenzie District. Stop at the historic gold-mining town of St Bathan’s, with time for a drink at the famous Vulcan Hotel and finish the ride on the awesome road along the shore of Lake Pukaki to Aoraki/Mount Cook.

    Day 20

    Mount Cook – Christchurch (365km/4.5hrs)

    Today ride back down from the mountains, passing the stunning glacier-fed Lake Tekapo. Take in the views from Mount John observatory, take a photo with the Mackenzie Sheep Dog, ride over the Burke Pass, around the Four Peaks Range and past Mt Hutt before heading out across the flat farmland of the Canterbury Plain to Christchurch.

    Day 21


    Depending on the time of your flights, there may be time for some last-minute souvenir shopping or sightseeing in Christchurch before a transfer to the airport where sadly, it’s time to bid farewell and head for home, with all those memories …Was it worth flying around the world for? We think so.

    Total Distance c. 4500 – 5100 km

  • For motorcycle rental information please see our New Zealand Motorcycle Rentals page.

  • Two Island Grand Tour (21 Days)
    Departures Every Day Suzuki DL650
    Suzuki SV650
    BMW F700 GS
    Triumph Tiger 800
    Suzuki GSF1250
    Honda VT750
    BMW F750GS
    BMW F850GS
    BMW 1200GS
    BMW R1200RT
    BMW R1250GS
    H-D Touring
    Passenger Single Room Supplement
    Classic Self Guided Tour
    16 Mar - 30 Nov 2020 & 16 Mar - 30 Nov 2021 £3,695 £4,175 £4,645 £5,125 £5,445 £2,645 £1,895
    01 Dec 2019 - 15 Mar 2020 & 01 Dec 2020 - 15 Mar 2021 £4,175 £4,645 £4,995 £5,525 £6,175 £2,795 £2,045
    Superior Self Guided Tour
    16 Mar - 30 Nov 2020 & 16 Mar - 30 Nov 2021 £4,645 £5,095 £5,595 £5,905 £5,895 £3,100 £2,345
    01 Dec 2019 - 15 Mar 2020 & 01 Dec 2020 - 15 Mar 2021 £4,775 £5,275 £5,625 £6,145 £6,775 £3,405 £2,575

    Reverse itinerary is the same price.

  • What's Included & What's Not
    Price Includes Price Excludes
    20-nights standard or superior accommodation
    19 days’ motorcycle hire
    Airport transfers
    Maori feast
    Optional Farmstay with dinner and breakfast (shared facilities)
    Interislander ferry
    Milford Sound cruise
    Unlimited mileage
    Panniers, topbox or passenger backrest, and tankbag
    Full motorcycle insurance
    Tourbook and maps
    TomTom Rider GPS
    Puncture repair kit
    Cable Lock
    24-hr support
    Fuel and oil
    Meals not stated above
    Personal items and expenses
    Additional activities
    Riding gear
    Luggage transfer available and bookable locally
    Optional CDR bike insurance (see rental table for details). Available and payable locally
    Frame/seat lowering on some models – see rental info page
    Accommodation supplements for nights between 22nd Dec and 4th Jan (c. £95 per night)
    Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation which can be arranged through H-C Travel

    Optional pre-bookable extras:
    • Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation
    • Insurance
    • Optional CDR bike insurance (see rental table for details) – available and payable locally
    • Frame/seat lowering on some models (see rental info page)
    • Additional activities

  • Two Island Grand Tour Accommodation
    Location Superior Tour Classic Tour
    Auckland Quality Hotel Parnell Quality Hotel Parnell
    Bay of Islands (2 nts) Copthorne Hotel Averill Court Motel
    Orewa Waves Motel Waves Motel
    Coromandel Coromandel Court Motel Coromandel Court Motel
    Rotorua Copthorne Hotel Bella Vista Motel
    Hawkes bay Napier Hotel Napier Motel
    Wellington QT Art Hotel Mercure Wellington
    Nelson (2 nts) Delorenzos Apartments Century Park Motor Lodge
    Punakaiki Punakaiki Resort Punakaiki Beachfront Motel
    Hanmer Springs Heritage Hotel Alpine Lodge Motel
    Fox Glacier Heartland Hotel Lake Matheson Motel
    Queenstown (2 nts) St Moritz Hotel Bella Vista Motel
    Te Anau (2 nts, dinner and breakfast) Farmstay Farmstay
    Dunedin Larnach Castle (dinner, breakfast) Portobello Motel
    Mount Cook The Hermitage Mount Cook Motels
    Christchurch Doubletree by Hilton Ashleigh Court Motel
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