16 Day New Zealand Dreamer Tour
The best of the North. The best of the South. They both come together to create the ultimate adventure, the pinnacle of Mountain Biking in New Zealand. Over an epic 16 days, visit world famous mountain biking destinations and ride the rides you’ve only read about, but have been hanging out to try.
Take in the lush forests and purpose built trails of the North Island, and compliment it with the high country and scenic tracks in the South Island. It doesn’t get much better than this. Sample the cream of the crop of NZ Mountain Biking, exploring the full length of New Zealand to experience some of the best rides in the world.
As well as the varied tour, add an extra dose of awesome by including some of our fantastic add-on options such as Heli-Biking, MTB Skills Clinics, bungy and skydiving - our customizable business model is totally unique and has won us a swag of awards.
Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua
Kia ora, and welcome to New Zealand, where you’ll find some of the best mountain biking anywhere in the world.We kick things off early, meeting at 8am in the lounge of Haka Lodge Auckland where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast your guide will introduce everyone to the group and run through everything you need to know to maximize your time in New Zealand.
Around 9am we leave the hustle and bustle of Auckland behind and proceed to its pride and joy - the new 440 Mountain bike park (home to some insane gravity fuelled descents). Catering for beginners through to the more advanced, this is the place to get your heart pumping and your brakes screaming. Saying goodbye to the Auckland trails, we head on to the land of Mountain Bike Dreams: Rotorua (where we will be based for the next two nights). After an exhilarating days riding, you will be well fed and entertained with a Maori Cultural evening where you will experience our proud Maori heritage and fill your “puku” with a traditional “Hangi”.
Day 2: Rotorua
This is it, the Big Kahuna, El Grande de New Zealand; the place dreams are made of.
On a recent visit, Australia Mountain Bike magazine declared that these are the world’s best mountain bike trails. As locals, we can tell you they aren’t wrong, and today you get to see why.
With master crafted trails, unbeatable riding surfaces, well-draining volcanic soils, varying topography and fantastic panoramic scenery, it’s no wonder Rotorua is renowned among mountain bikers as one of the world’s premier riding destinations. With around 130km of continually evolving trails, there is something to cater for all level of rider, from beginners through to experts looking for extreme action.
Using South Star Shuttles to get you from bottom to top is a leg-saver and is included in the tour, but we also highly recommend the add-on of one of the famous MTB Skill Clinics, run by top NZ MTB Pros.
After a massive day of trails, we take a much-needed soak in one of New Zealand’s hidden natural geothermal gems, Kerosene Creek.
Additional Activities • MTB Skills Clinic
Day 3: Rotorua to Taupo
Leaving Rotorua bright and early, we drive for one hour down the Thermal Explorer Highway to Taupo, taking in the awesome unique sights of the geothermal wonderland and a few boiling mud-pools and geysers along the way.
Arriving in Taupo, we head straight out for a morning of riding at the crème de la crème of local tracks and award winning MTB Park- “Craters of the Moon”. Boasting the same self-draining volcanic pumice soils as Rotorua, this place showcases some awesome XC and single-track options.
Taking a cheeky peek on the ride home at the impressive Huka Falls or Awatea Dam may entice you to go on one of the many adventure options available in Taupo. Take advantage of the free afternoon to rest your legs and try one of the many awesome add-ons available, from bungy jumping and skydiving, to jet boating and kayaking; there’s something for everyone.
After grabbing dinner in town, prepare for one of the highlights of Haka Tours MTB trip - the famous night rides. Starting at Spa Park, we go on an epic ride using lights provided by your guide. This is guaranteed to put a grin on your face, so too will the hot soak in the thermal stream.
Additional Activities • Skydiving over Lake Taupo • Water Touch Bungy • Gravity Canyon
Day 4: Taupo to Ohakune
After resting your legs yesterday afternoon, you will be pumped and eager to tackle what is called ‘The Greatest One Day Mountain Bike Ride in the North Island’ – the 42 Traverse.
We have an early breakfast in Taupo and head south towards the Tongariro National Park, where we experience the privilege of riding the awesome 42 Traverse.
Renowned for the long and often rutted downhills, this track will test even the most ardent kamikaze freak. In this picturesque alpine region the views of the volcanic plateau are phenomenal, including Mountains of Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies), Ruapehu and Tongariro (which gives its name to the National Park itself).
Taking in 46km (4-7 hours) of XC and backcountry goodness will certainly work up an appetite. Luckily, we provide a hearty packed lunch for you today. Bragging over 520m of overall descent on old logging tracks through remote native bush, the track surface varies from gravel to mud, includes some stream crossings, and, of course, the few inevitable up-hills.
A welcome pickup awaits you at the end of the trail, as does a refreshing cold beer at Cafe39 South. How about a trip to Tokaanu Hot Springs, where more geothermal pools are waiting to soothe those aching muscles?
Day 5: Ohakune
The mountains greet you this morning when you wake up in Ohakune and we grab a bite to eat before retracing our steps slightly north to what seems like the middle of the wilderness. Here, another one of New Zealand’s most iconic and incredible one-day adventure rides awaits.
Taking in the Kaiwhakauka Track and part of the Mangapurua Track, the ride along the Bridge to Nowhere trail is nothing short of amazing! This mountain bike ride boasts all the characteristics of a first-class adventure: amazing native bush, rivers, suspension bridges, intriguing history and a variety of tracks once used by pioneers.
At approximately 42kms in length, this breathtaking trail showcases the Bridge To Nowhere as the iconic symbol of the failed pioneering settlement of the Mangapurua Valley in the 1930s. The remoteness is outstanding - this is classic New Zealand backcountry at its finest. The ride includes mainly downward sloping single-track and 4WD (Grade 3-4) which will have you deciding whether to put your hands on your camera or your brake levers.
After riding through the bush for 4-5 hours to the Bridge to Nowhere, you will arrive at the bubbling Whanganui River. Rather than make you ride all the way back up the hills, you can sit back and relax (or not) as a jet-boat pickup is at your service. The thrilling jet-boat trip will take you down the Whanganui river all the way to Pipiriki, where you will no doubt be nodding off in the bus on the return to Ohakune for a well-deserved rest.
Day 6: Ohakune to Wellington
After a few massive days of back-to-back riding, taking in some of the best New Zealand has to offer, we make a beeline towards the Capital- Wellington.
The adrenalin doesn’t stop just because the bikes are on the trailer today. En-route to Wellington there is a chance to stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park which offers the world’s most extreme flying fox: a 1.2km flying fox style zip line which reaches a top speed of 160kp/h! Pair up with a new buddy or two and fly down the canyon together. Go on, we dare you!
Cruising into Wellington during the late afternoon, we will make our way to the accommodation and set up here for the night. There are lots of awesome places to grab some dinner here in Windy Wellington, known for its funky bars and eateries. If you have enough energy and are looking for a great night out, head to Courtney Place and its array of bars for a guaranteed night of fun.
Day 7: Wellington to Nelson
We try and beat the sun up this morning for an early sailing of the iconic Cook Straight between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. From the decks of the ferry the city lights of Wellington fade, but before long we’ll be greeted with views of the vast blue water with the occasional dolphin leaping alongside the boat. As if the views couldn’t be more perfect.
We arrive in Picton a few hours later and, in order to get some cheeky afternoon trails in, we head it along the vineyard-scattered road to Nelson. We are welcomed into Nelson, a Bikers Paradise, where riders are truly spoilt for choice and face a feast of cycling options.
Having over 1000m of elevation to play with, this is a great starting point for our exploration of the Nelson Trails. From high alpine environments to lush native forests and rooty forestry blocks, the luxury of choice has resulted in a wide variety of trails in and around Nelson, each with a unique flavour.
Within a 10km radius of Nelson City, we'll find over 30 trails ranging from grade 2 to grade 5. You’ll find multiple DH tracks, flow tracks, root infested technical challenges, fun bermed loops and classic back country epics. After sampling the trails in the Codgers MTB Park in the afternoon, or an optional MTB skills clinic, we take a walk up to the ‘Centre of New Zealand’ for some stunning views and photo opportunities. We suggest hitting the beds early to make sure you are raring to go in the morning; many more amazing rides lie in store for us.
Day 8: Nelson
After a hearty breakfast, wide-eyed and eager to get out there, we embark on another of the Nga Haerenga Trails (New Zealand Cycle Trails): The Dun Mountain and Coppermine Loop.
Starting only 3kms from the center of town, it is not hard to see why this spectacular ride is one of the most epic in the country. The 43-kilometer alpine route winds its way through the Codgers Mountain Bike Park where we rode yesterday, along the route of New Zealand’s first railway, before emerging into the alpine mineral belt near the summit of Dun Mountain (878m). From the top, you are faced with a professionally built single-track descent that drops for over 10km, emerging at the Maitai Dam. The last 10km of the ride follows the Maitai river right back into the heart of Nelson.
We have a group dinner at the Freehouse Brewery and Eatery included this evening; the burgers and pizzas are worth a trip to Nelson alone!
Additional Activities • MTB Skills Clinic
Day 9: Nelson to Christchurch
This morning we have a group continental breakfast, pack up the bikes and leave sunny Nelson to head back over to the coast for a scenic and enjoyable trip down to Christchurch, experiencing some interesting sights on the way.
After stopping at a vineyard in the Blenheim region, we continue down to our next stop at Kaikoura, famous for the many whales, dolphins and seals that swim around its waters and beaches. We visit the seal pup’s playground and, if you are keen for a dip in the water, there is an optional add-on of whale watching or dolphin swimming.
On our way down to Christchurch, a beautiful garden-filled city with lazy rivers and heritage buildings, your guide will point out a couple of trails to get you fizzing for tomorrow. The day ends by coming home to our very own Haka Lodge for a BBQ and a few drinks.
Day 10: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
This is the start of the main South Island leg. As we will be meeting a couple more tour members this morning, we will have another brief chat over breakfast before heading out to the cream of the crop: Christchurch Trails. These are seriously fun rides!
From a superb winding single-track around Godley Heads, to tracks with names such as Flying Nun and Anaconda, you know you will be in for a treat on the perfectly built XC and DH trails that only the locals know. Today you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the looming Southern Alps, right out over Banks Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
In the afternoon, once we have ridden our fair share of Christchurch’s best, we rally the troops and make a path towards the white-capped giants, traversing through stunning postcard perfect scenery to arrive at the glacial Lake Tekapo. A soothing soak at the renowned Tekapo Hot Springs is included this evening; after a hard day’s riding there is nothing better than relaxing in a luxurious spa. Once the sun goes down, it gets even better. Thanks to the super clear skies, the area around Tekapo has been declared a “Dark Sky Reserve” and it’s the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies above. Watch the stars appear over the lake from our accommodation that’s just a few feet from the shore.
Additional Activities • MTB Skills Clinic
Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Ohau
They say New Zealand has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. After waking up in Tekapo, and having breakfast by the ice blue lake, you will be sure to agree.
Today we get right amongst it, kicking off and complimenting yesterday’s single-track with the nearby Grade 4 Backcountry Richmond Trail, a bit of an XC and single-track delight. This trail has unsurpassed, stunning views of Lake Tekapo and the nearby mountains, a definite gem on the tour for the morning ride.
We have a bite to eat in Tekapo and then meander over to the next destination of Ohau, just down the road. This afternoon you get to be one of the special few lucky enough to ride extraordinary private trails near Ohau Ski Lodge that others simply do not have access to.
A stay at Lake Ohau Lodge, near the shores of the lake, is an experience in itself. Even though it has the incredibly friendly culture of a ski lodge, it is actually run more like a hotel and we totally love the “faded glamour” feel of roaring open fires and panoramic lake views. This evening a tantalizing "High Country Fare" three course meal is included (vegetarian options available).
Day 12: Ohau to Wanaka
Even though it’s difficult to leave the views of Lake Ohau Lodge behind, depart to another vividly picturesque South Island MTB haven: Wanaka.
Arriving in Wanaka mid-morning, we ride creative single-track and purpose built trails with interestingly named trails such as Fuzzy Nuts and Hairy Bush. A few runs around Sticky Forest and Deans Bank will have you begging for more! Feel free to keep riding, but make sure you save your legs for the next few enormous days. You have a free afternoon to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wanaka, such as Puzzling World, or experience one of our thrilling add-ons such as a skydive over Lake Wanaka, an acrobatic plane ride or kayaking on the pristine lake.
Once dinner is eaten, it’s time for another of Haka’s famous night rides around some of Wanaka’s perfect trails. Whip around the expertly contoured tracks guided by the lights provided by your guide and the glistening stars above. It truly doesn’t get much better than this. You are in MTB paradise.
Additional Activities • Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride • Skydiving over Southern Alps
Day 13: Wanaka to Queenstown
An early start in Wanaka leaves us with a short scenic drive over the magnificent Crown Range, down into Arrowtown for a feast of Cross-Country awesomeness!
Shooting straight into another one of NZ’s pride and joys, the Macetown Trail, you head out on a 26km (2-4hr) backcountry ride following a journey that, in the old days, would take gold miners three days up the remote Arrow River to the historic gold mining town of Macetown. Hope you don’t mind the water as there are a fair few river crossings to keep you on your toes and, you never know, you might pick up a few gold flakes in your tires as you go. This could be a lucrative ride for you.
After a bite to eat in Arrowtown (a hearty, flavorsome pie from the Arrowtown Bakery is highly recommended), we nip on up the road to Coronet Peak area, with staggering views of Queenstown and the Remarkables. Rude Rock and the Zoot Track have been voted some of the top tracks in Queenstown by locals and visitors alike and, once you blast around and down them, we are sure you will agree! We might even save you from the uphill sections and cart you to the top so you can fly through the downhill without delay.
After giving the brakes a bit of a workout, we head into Queenstown itself to stay at another of our very own Haka Lodges. This will be our home for two nights.
Day 14: Queenstown
Waking up in the adventure capital of New Zealand is a fantastic experience in itself, with such impressive scenery and colossal peaks towering over the energetic lakeside town. The South Island’s answer to Rotorua, this MTB mecca has a lot to offer.
We look to the skies and see New Zealand’s first-ever Gondola assisted bike lift, providing direct access to Queenstown Bike Park. Get your suspension ready and heart pumping; there will be no granny gears here! With over 26 world class mountain biking trails and varying terrain for all abilities, in amongst the pine trees of the Ben Lomond Reserve, Queenstown Bike Park boasts over 30km of tracks and a longest run of 6km. A 450-meter vertical rise via the Skyline Gondola gives you easy access to one of New Zealand's best mountain bike parks.
Attach your mountain bike to your Gondola cabin at the Skyline Queenstown base and enjoy the leisurely uphill Gondola ride before detaching your bike and taking on the legendary challenges of the Queenstown Bike Park. The grin will be stuck on your face for days!
What to go higher into the surrounding mountains? We totally recommend a Heli-Bike trip. If there is one extra activity you are going to splash out on this trip, a Heli-Biking tour is one of the most jaw-dropping and exhilarating activities you can do. Take to the skies to ride otherwise inaccessible trails and get all of the incredible downhill but none of the uphill. 100% awesome!
Additional Activities • Canyon Swing • Nevis Bungy • Paragliding • Milford Sound Trip • Canyoning Queenstown • Kawarau Bridge Bungy • Horse Trekking at Glenorchy • Extreme Jet Boating • Skydiving over The Remarks • Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown • Heli-Mountain Biking (Fat Tyre Adventure)
Day 15: Queenstown to Alexandra
Once you have been able to coerce your legs into walking, and enjoyed some breakfast, we bid farewell to Queenstown for today and head out on a trip to the pinnacle of Central Otago mountain biking: Alexandra.
Alexandra is just a short drive out of Queenstown and boasts some fantastic new trails. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations to MTB in the South Island. You can say you were there before it became too popular! A day’s riding around Flat Top Hill, on the aptly named MTB Heaven tracks will leave you awe-struck wanting more. Remember your camera today; the eye-catching, unique remoteness and barrenness of Central Otago’s best-kept secret will make a stunning backdrop to your holiday snaps.
After wearing out tread on Alexandra’s dirt playground, we stay in Roxburgh for the night. Here you can, once again, experience another of Haka Tour’s Night Rides along the Clutha River to the enormous Clyde Dam...it all looks even more amazing at night.
Day 16: Alexandra to Queenstown
As you enter the last day of the trip, you still have one more HUGE present waiting for you over in the Southern Lakes area if you choose it as an add-on. A trip back up the Crown Range to the Cardrona ski field will have you wondering why we are heading up a ski field with no snow?
That is the beauty of it, Cardrona Ski field has some expertly carved downhill and freeride MTB tracks littered across its slopes just for you to enjoy. The chairlift will take you and your trusty steed near the top of the mountain to bomb down the trails till your hearts content. You can show off all the skills you have picked up over the tour and put them to the test on the jumps and freeride park onsite.
Alternatively we cruise back into Queenstown to finish off the tour. Jump into one of Queenstown’s many adventure activities such as Jetboating, Bungy Jumping, Luging, Skydiving or Rafting, or else give your tires another spin and shoot out around the extensive and impressive trail network over at 7 Mile Delta, just a short ride from Queenstown on the Awatea and Sunshine Tracks, these tracks are some of the best around.
The tour ends here, but the fun doesn’t have to stop. Extend your stay at Haka Lodge here in Queenstown to keep the adventure going as there are many more trails around the area to experience.
Additional Activities • Extra Nights’ Accommodation Queenstown • Canyon Swing • Nevis Bungy • Paragliding • Milford Sound Trip • Canyoning Queenstown • Kawarau Bridge Bungy • Horse Trekking at Glenorchy • Extreme Jet Boating • Skydiving over The Remarks • Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown • Heli-Mountain Biking (Fat Tyre Adventure) • Cardrona Bike Park
There’s no easy way to put this - there are going to be tonnes of world-class trails and memorable rides as we embark upon an unparalleled MTB adventure, from Auckland in the North Island, to Queenstown in the South Island, taking in the best riding hotspots along the way.
It's an early start on Day one as we meet at 8am for breakfast at Haka Lodge Auckland, before we make our way, bikes on the back, to some downhill action at 440 MTB Park.
In the evenings on the tour you are welcome to relax at the accommodations, rest your legs and soak in the local hot tub(s), cook in, eat out, go partying or even some more night riding - whatever takes your fancy.
As you build your tour online, you will see a few optional activities available to add - remember, none of these are compulsory. Not sure which activities to choose? No problem. Once you've paid a deposit and secured your seat you can add activities anytime until 30 days prior to departure.
Activities can also be purchased on the road - just let your tour guide know, he'll be happy to help. However we can't always guarantee availability when booking on the road, so we suggest if there are any activities you definitely want to do, that you pre-book them.
As the tour starts early in the morning you can opt to stay at Haka Lodge Auckland the night before the tour - only having to walk downstairs on the day the tour starts makes for a stress free morning.
Likewise, you can book an extra night at Haka Lodge Queenstown on the last day so you are not in a rush once we go our separate ways. Upgrading your accommodation to a 2 person private room costs $1099. The cost is per room, so if you share the room with someone else you can split the cost between you.
NB. Please contact us for future dates in 2017
• All transport to New Zealand’s best MTB locations
• All shuttles on Redwoods, 440 MTB Park, Bridge to Nowhere Trails, Queenstown Bike Park and Ohau Ski field
• Accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
• Daily breakfast
• Lunches on days 4, 5, 8, and 15
• Skyline Gondola Pass
• Cook Straight ferry crossing
• All maps, detailed trail advice and recommendations
• Exclusive Haka Tour Riding on Backcountry and private trails
• Expert and friendly Kiwi tour manager
• Small group sizes (max 16)
• Maori cultural dinner night including Hangi
• Classic NZ BBQ in Christchurch
• Amazing 3 course dinner at the luxurious Ohau Ski Lodge
• Tantalizing dinner and beer tasting at the Freehouse, Nelson
• Hot Pools entry to Tokaanu, Tekapo Hot Springs and other secret NZ thermal springs
• Quality riding lights for the special Haka Night Adventure Rides (if you do not already own some)
• Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on a bus pass
• Plus many surprise stops on the way
• Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on without a guide
• Plus many surprise stops on the way
Did the 16 day MTB tour with Jase as our guide, the whole experience has been absolutely fantastic, there's a great mixture of tracks, from scenic tracks to awesome single tracks to gravity feed shuttle/gondola tracks. Jase did a great job suggesting different tracks for us and leaving the decision to the group, even making changes to the itinerary based on what the group wanted. Highly recommended.
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