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  1. #1
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    Considering a move to New Zealand.

    My wife and I are tentatively considering a move to New Zealand from the US. Obviously, the most important question is --- where is the best riding?

  2. #2
    Just Ride.
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    I have never been to NZ but what I have heard there is good riding everywhere. The local club goes over to Rotorua every year and love it.

  3. #3
    26 for life.
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    What do you do for a living? Do you want to live in a city or a small town?
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiJohn
    What do you do for a living? Do you want to live in a city or a small town?
    I am a dentist. There are some licensing hurdles to get over, but nothing too tough. I would definitely prefer a small town to the city. My current town is about 8,000 and that is just about right.

  5. #5
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    There is decent riding pretty much everywhere. Some smaller centres with good riding are Nelson, Napier and Taupo.

  6. #6
    26 for life.
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    I can vouch for Nelson being a great place to live & ride.
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  7. #7
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    Plenty of places in Central otago if you don't mind if it gets a bit of cold

    Like Wanaka http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanaka

  8. #8
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    Check out the activities page on our website for some inspiration. www.breakers.co.nz
    All photos taken by me while out doing it.

  9. #9
    Village Idiot
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    I'm in Dunedin, from the UK originally, but my lovely wife is from Atlanta...drop me a message with any questions
    **** Looking for a Sram 9.0SL rear hub *****

  10. #10
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    Rotorua for sure. Yeah there is the smell issue but you will quickly adjust. Some of the best trails in NZ and up there in the Oceania region.

  11. #11
    Snapper
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    Oh NZ

    I love NZ and would move there in a flash. Only been to the south island and great riding everywhere. If you were based in Christchurch for work purposes then there would be a more for your wife to do if she is not working - new country, new city, make new friends and more options. Lucky thing you being a dentist and despite the rumour - Kiwis have teeth - just not the props (rugby joke). Anyway Christchurch is a beautiful city and there are some beautiful areas just outside the city like Sumner and the Port Hills. Riding wise there are the Port Hills and a pine tree plantation next to the beach (cant remember name) which are great to ride. Then 2 hours north is Hamner Springs which has terrific trails and hot springs. Queenstown would be my personal pick but seasonal (riding) and not as many job opportunities. Riding down there - Wanaka, Nasby, Alexandra, Queenstown and surrounds.
    New Zealand is a stunning country and l would suggest that were ever you go for work, you can find a beautiful home in a quite area if required and have great riding near by.
    My uncle just move to Dunedin and loves it - there are teeth in Dunedin too. The Kiwi MTB riders l have met have all been so friendly and inviting (come on a ride) just dont mention rugby world cup or Robbie Deans - they are alittle tender about that stuff.
    Good luck and let me know if you need a dental assistant with little to no experience.
    JD

  12. #12
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    No matter how good the riding is in Rotorua, don't move there. Visit, yes, live, no. Possibly somewhere like Taupo, it is very central, beautiful and there are huge mountains there with wicked skiing. To your East two hours there is Eskdale and a little further heaps more parks and off road rides, North 1 hour there is Rotorua where they have some of the very best riding, 2 hours north there is even more, to the south there is rides around Turangi, and it is on the main drag to Wellington where there are tonnes of awesome tracks (Wellington is also a good place to move to, there are 9 peaks in and around the city good for riding) and to your West there is Taranaki, where it is said are the worst tracks in the country but I don't agree. It's a matter of taste. Other than that, Taupo has a great park, Craters of the Moon with a really nice free draining surface which is good for year-round riding. You can also ride out there easily from town by following the river track, which is very scenic.

    Oh, and it's a nice town which is bike-mad. They hold round the lake races (160km) and the mtb equivalent each year, and many more during the year. Good place to be.

  13. #13
    Bike's hmmm nice
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    Why not live in Vegas? I was there for 6 month in 2003, loved it! Sadly my girlfriend and now wife, had to finish her study so she wanted to return to Euroland....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by merijn101
    Why not live in Vegas? I was there for 6 month in 2003, loved it! Sadly my girlfriend and now wife, had to finish her study so she wanted to return to Euroland....
    Too many tourists. The locals, apart from the mountain biking crowd, are pretty rough and there are many more scenic places to live. The lake is pretty dank, unlike Taupo where it's crystal clear. You can live in a lot of places near Rotorua where you can still take advantage of the flippin' sweet tracks tho. Even some of the places around the lakes a bit further, but theres most likely not much work within a reasonable travelling distance.

    Tho if you do want to live in Rotorua, Lynmore would be the place. Near the tracks, near bike shops and what else could you ever need.

  15. #15
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    Climate and geography very different North and South Island.
    Nelson has best climate in South island is quaint and cosmopolitan with good access to mountains lakes and sea.Riding within 5 km of the city.
    http://www.nelsonmountainbikeclub.org.nz/

    Christchurch and Dunedin have strong seasonal weather change so get your woollies on for winter riding but trails are expanding all the time and dedicated riders and track builders.
    http://www.canterburymtbclub.org/Website/index.php
    http://www.singletrack.org.nz/
    http://www.havenmtb.org.nz/
    http://www.mountainbikingotago.co.nz/html/

    Wellington has a good MTB culture and just voted best Capital city in the world with a good atmosphere. Stunning on a sunny day but has a reputation for getting it's fair share of wind. no shortage of hills to test your climbing legs. Host of the NZ's longest running endurance mtb race.
    http://www.karapoti.co.nz/
    http://www.makarapeak.org/tracks

    Taupo is at altitude so has a distinct change of season for a North island city.Has good access to riding[ taupo and rotorua] the lake and mountains. Has a busier, more touristy[ lots of local tourists] feel about it than Rotorua an hour up the road.Seems to have a good MTb club with mid week races etc.
    http://www.biketaupo.org.nz/content/view/142/105/

    Rotorua has reputation of best riding any where. If you climb 10 or so Km you can string together 20 to 30 km of good flowing downhill trails on the way down. Gets a lot of riding tourism. Probably the most bike shops[ and motels] per head of population anywhere in NZ.How long the trails will last though. It's a poor economic cousin to Taupo. Has more fly/ bus in tourist than Taupo so you don't see them much. Taupo is where the local money is.
    http://www.riderotorua.com/trails.php

    Napier/ Havelock North area has the best weather in NZ . It's a premier wine growing area. Good access to surfing , riding[ not as good or as year round as Rotorua] and the mountains 2 hrs in land[ taupo]. Seems to have a good MTb club with mid week races for $2 and a free beer!.
    http://www.hawkesbaymtb.co.nz/

    Tauranga has access to some of the best beaches and coastline in NZ. has limited local riding but Rotorua is 1hr 20min away.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cycle-...37547929622853
    http://www.mtbtauranga.co.nz/

    If you do get stuck in Auckland like many new immigrants you can string together some pretty decent fast flowing trails at the commercial bike park[ need to live central or out west]
    http://www.bikeparks.co.nz/

    The trails are pretty low level[ unlike Rotorua where you need to upgrade your pacemaker or take the shuttle service] and all year round riding[ sand based]. Typical Auckland though with not much of a club scene or active track building.

    All riding will be limited size compared to what you get in Colorado and road training is outright dangerous on our roads with our drivers.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 12-13-2010 at 12:29 PM.

  16. #16
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    how about somwhere like timaru/oamaru on the east coast of the south island ... i know they are looking for dentists so getting a job wont be a hassle, they are smaller towns and best of all only a couple of hours away in any direction from some awesome riding ...

    however, there is some pretty sound advice given in the previous few posts!
    "old enough to know better. too old to care."

  17. #17
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Rotorua is great riding.
    I live in Tauranga 65 km away & take every chance I can to go there

  18. #18
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    Former kiwi living in California... all awesome suggestions that everyone has made. I've ridden Rotorua a few times and it's really good riding, but the town is lacking. Also, dont get stuck in Auckland.

    Only thing i can add is that you should do a 2 month road trip when you get there to check out all the places before you decide, never leave anything visible in your car (people love stealing stereos etc.), and keep your bikes locked!

  19. #19
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    I totally agree with Karimod's comments. A road trip from Auckland south would be well worthwhile to scope the potential towns/cities - but no doubt employment opportunities will play a part in town selection.

    For my 2 cents, I prefer Taupo over Rotorua. Taupo has a great clean lake, good MTB trails, and is closer to the Mt Ruapehu skifields.

    NZ is spoilt for choice for recreation activities close to most major cities.

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