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  1. #1
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    Help for a desert rider moving to NZ

    I am planning a move to NZ from Arizona and would like some advice...

    I currently ride an XC bike (Trek Top Fuel) in hot, dry, rocky, desert goodness.

    My wife and I are planning to relocate to the Wellington area. She likes Waikanae.

    As bikes are a lot cheaper here, I'm thinking of buying a new bike before the move. While in the past XC riding/racing has been my thing, I am getting more into all mountain type of riding. So I am pretty enamored by some of these light (for AM) do it all bikes. So questions:

    Is there any good riding near Waikanae?

    Is there a style of riding that dominates that area like xc, am, dh or is there everything? (Will I be happy I have my new AM bike or wish for a XC bike)

    Is there any must have items that I should bring over for NZ conditions- remember I ride in the desert?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    help with the zip please
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    Can't help on any but the last question, yep, bring a rain coat, oh and try and talk her into moving to Rotorua, you'll thank me later.

    Edit: You might get better responses by signing up and asking the same questions here
    Vorb: Cycling News

  3. #3
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    Being a Wellingtonian, I'd pitch for Wellington. We have lots of riding close to the CBD. Makara Peak (www makarapeak.org) is our best mountain bike park. Waikanae is about 30 mins north of Wellington. It's flat, near the beach and has lots of retired people. There's not a lot of riding up that way either (unless you're a roadie).

    You'll get lots of recommendations on Vorb for various regions around NZ. That's because there really are lots of great places to live and ride.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys I'll check out Vorb. I am pretty spoiled now as I have a 10 minute ride to great singletrack from my house. And yes I have tried to get her to consider Rotorua but she wants to live near a beach.

  5. #5
    help with the zip please
    Reputation: emu26's Avatar
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    There's hot springs and a lake, surely the sandy bank would count?

    Besides, you eventually get use to the smell.

  6. #6
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    If you want beaches and biking then maybe consider Nelson.

  7. #7
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    Or Dunedin. If you do not mind slightly colder temperatures. Also close to Queenstown and Wanaka!

  8. #8
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    Rotorua is a 40 minute drive to the beach (or a couple of hours ride - mostly downhill). It's also only 2 hours to the mountain for skiing

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo33 View Post
    I am planning a move to NZ from Arizona and would like some advice...

    I currently ride an XC bike (Trek Top Fuel) in hot, dry, rocky, desert goodness.

    My wife and I are planning to relocate to the Wellington area. She likes Waikanae.

    As bikes are a lot cheaper here, I'm thinking of buying a new bike before the move. While in the past XC riding/racing has been my thing, I am getting more into all mountain type of riding. So I am pretty enamored by some of these light (for AM) do it all bikes. So questions:

    Is there any good riding near Waikanae?

    Is there a style of riding that dominates that area like xc, am, dh or is there everything? (Will I be happy I have my new AM bike or wish for a XC bike)

    Is there any must have items that I should bring over for NZ conditions- remember I ride in the desert?

    Thanks for your help.
    Realistically, most riding in NZ is XC/Trail - there are more and more "all mountain" style facilities becoming available though, so there is something for everyone. The most common types of bike seem to be 5 - 6" travel fullies. We don't really have any desert here, and a lot of the better riding is rooty, slippery singletrack in amongst trees.

    With regard to MTBing near Waikanae, the Akatarawas are close, and there is some fantastic riding in there - from old school 4wd tracks, through to tight, techy, rooty singletrack - there are several less known trails that are some of Wellington's (and possibly NZ's) best kept secrets.

    I suppose one thing to consider when choosing where to live will be your proximity to the relevant industry - Rotorua has excellent MTBing (although the novelty can wear off pretty quickly, as many tracks feel very similar), but not a lot to offer as far as employment goes from what I understand.

  10. #10
    Sneaker man
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    Thinking the same thing, moving from hobart/brisbane to probably wellington, but only have hardtails (and am a bit rusty on those), was thinking if we do move some sort of FS bike may be in order... how HT friendly are the trails... (wellington most likely, but also rotorua, taupo, hamilton nelson)

  11. #11
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    I would consider waiting to buy a bike when you get here and see what the local conditions are like where and when you do finally settle. Turning those greenbacks into NZ currency should negate at least some of the extra cost of buying domestically.

    I can't add much more than what others have said except to say not alot of desert but XC and singletrack type trails are prolific. Rotorua and Taupo have amazing riding but it gets bloody cold this time of year. Mount Maunganui where I live is an hour at most to Rotorua, has pretty good surf beaches, and some good local riding as well.

  12. #12
    Sneaker man
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    pa, just spent the last month there, cold? not really, was welcome relief to get away from the "winter" of brisbane...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    pa, just spent the last month there, cold? not really, was welcome relief to get away from the "winter" of brisbane...
    Yep, those Brisbane winters are soooooooo harsh. Lived on the GC for seven years and I think one time the temp may have fallen below 15 degrees.... Celcius.

    In answer to your question about fs or ht, like anywhere it comes down to rider preferance, how you ride, and what you can afford. Hit the trails on any given weekend and you will see the full gamut of bikes and riders.

  14. #14
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    Fact is, pretty much anywhere you go in NZ is going to have some form of decent local riding, so as Mono says, it's more down to other factors like work etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    Thinking the same thing, moving from hobart/brisbane to probably wellington, but only have hardtails (and am a bit rusty on those), was thinking if we do move some sort of FS bike may be in order... how HT friendly are the trails... (wellington most likely, but also rotorua, taupo, hamilton nelson)
    I have a 140mm fully and a hardtail. Enjoy them both on Wellington trails.

    Will ride either on most trails, maybe a little slower on the hardtail.
    Some trials I prefer the hardtail others the fully.

    Would take either bike on an away trip to Rotorua or Taupo. Would take the fully to Nelson every time (because the trails are know there would be a stretch for me n my hardtail0
    Too Old to Die Young

  16. #16
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    I live in Waikanae.
    I usually head out with a group of mates (young guys mixed with older guys) to the welly area to hit those tracks up.

    But for here theres a few places I ride (most are climbs then straight down from there on logging tracks etc).

  17. #17
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    Hey Endo - have you moved yet? I've done a bit of riding in your part of the world and it is definitely different from here.
    We moved here just over 10 years ago and never regretted it - plus I still so a lot of work in Auckland (2.5 hours away).
    Good central location, close to beaches and ski-ing and lakes. But understand other's views on alternative locations, Wellington, Nelson, Queenstown come to mind. Got to depend on what you do/want to do for a living...
    Good luck!

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