Firstly, we love hiking, or ‘tramping’ as it is more commonly known in New Zealand as – however the truth is most of our outdoor adventures are now experienced on two wheels meaning campervan never goes anywhere without our beloved bicycles the back.
There’s never been a better time to cycle off-road in New Zealand. Cycling advocates and improved safety awareness campaigns have led to a myriad of new cycle trails around the country. The most well-known being the New Zealand Cycle Trail (http://www.nzcycletrail.com/) launched in 2011 boasting a series of 22 trails through incredibly beautiful landscapes.
Each of the cycle trails are uniquely designed passing through high-country farmland and coastal landscapes, shouldering river valleys, lakesides and estuaries, across golden meadows and lush green forest.
A lot of these cycle trails also include information panels to learn about the local history or enjoy an extraordinary view.
This is all great news for Britz campervan travellers with a love for cycling given most of these new cycle trails are considered low to medium in terms of difficulty level. Comfortable cycling paths and mild hill climbs take the ‘mountain’ out of mountain biking, providing fun for the whole family.
The majority of cycle trails are easily accessible, with handy maps, bike hire and shuttle transport conveniently located where you need them. Many also have cafes, pubs and other pit stops along the way.
You’ll also find designated areas alongside cycle trails to park your campervan. These are provided by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the District Council nature camping sites. There are also a number of holiday parks that include hot showers and, if you’re lucky, a spa pool.
If you run into any Holiday Parks Association members you’ll quickly discover they are so bike-mad they have been designated as Cycle Hubs, providing on-site information on trails and secure storage services as well as contact details for bike hire, transport and even mechanical support.
Here are a few unforgettable cycle trails any enthusiast will love;
Great Taste Trail
Explore Nelson’s wineries on by bike. Find out more here http://www.nzcycletrail.com/great-taste-trail/
West Coast Wildness Trail
Ride from Cowboy Paradise to Kumara and dine in the superb Theatre Royal pub. Find out more here http://www.westcoastwildernesstrail.co.nz/
Old Coach Road
Park up in Ohakune and immerse yourself in pioneer history amidst the foothills of a live volcano. Find out more here http://www.theatreroyalhotel.co.nz/
Britz offers a range of cycle packages. If you’re hiring a campervan from Auckland or Christchurch, you can rent bikes for as little as $13 per day.
You can also pick up bike racks that can be fitted to both your campervan and/or car, including all the necessary equipment i.e. helmet, pump, repair kit, lock, etc.