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  1. #1
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    Planning Trip to Australia/New Zealand

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking of planning a bike trip to Australia and or New Zealand in 2014 (coming from the US). Can anyone please suggest some places that I have to hit?

    Are there any guided services that are worth engaging? Does anyone have any experience with Fat Tyre in Queenstown?
    Heli biking and MTB guiding specialists Queenstown New Zealand..

    Also, I've never traveled with my bike before. Is it worth toting a bike halfway around the world? Or is it better to rent a bike locally? Or buying a new bike while I'm there (I'm overdue for a new Epic)?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    More info

    Mate,

    I'm in West OZ.

    When are you coming over?

    How much time do you have?

    East or West coast of OZ?

    Fat bike or standard MTB?

    Epic or cruisey tour?

    What are you coming to see, EG remote OZ, party tour?

    Bring your own bike.

    I've been around a bit and can help with all of OZ.
    Cheers,
    Al
    It seemed like a good idea!...... at the time......

  3. #3
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    There are some good vids on flowmountainbike.com covering Rotorua trails.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigeldog View Post
    Also, I've never traveled with my bike before. Is it worth toting a bike halfway around the world? Or is it better to rent a bike locally?
    I travelled over there with a bike - once I got the right bag (Evoc) it was pretty easy. The cost of taking it on domestic US flights was a little steep, but still worth it in my mind. If you fly Virgin Australia (both to/from Australia and domestically), you can often take your bike free as sporting equipment.

    Also, compared to the US, the rental options here are almost non-existent.

    Quote Originally Posted by nigeldog View Post
    Or buying a new bike while I'm there (I'm overdue for a new Epic)?
    Err ... don't know if you've looked at bike prices here compared to there. Once you do, you'll know the answer to that one.

    For Australia, Rotorburn is a fairly active forum - this section will give you info for specific areas sorted by state. If you're in Melbourne (Victoria section in aforementioned link), the Yarra Trails are those most local to the CBD. Good luck browsing the thread specifically related to that. I personally find Plenty Gorge to have much (MUCH) better trails, and a more on-topic thread.

  5. #5
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    When are you coming over? < Most likely in March

    How much time do you have? < 2 weeks

    East or West coast of OZ? < Undecided... I don't know much about the region yet.

    Fat bike or standard MTB? Full Suspension, cross country.

    Epic or cruisey tour? > I'll go with epic.

    What are you coming to see, EG remote OZ, party tour? > Up for anything. Seeing the more remote areas would be cool. Looking for some good rides and scenery. Then hopefully top off the trip with a few days to relax on a beach.

  6. #6
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    Beauty.... Epic it is....

    Firstly, can you hold off until May?

    Epic, with great scenery and remoteness = Fly into Alice Springs, head out to Glen Helen and Mt Sonder, there are a few Gorges / waterholes to visit on the way. There are plenty of cars travelling this route, well, plenty for OZ, maybe not what you're used to! This section is tar so it's easy pedaling and will get you into the groove of being out on your own. I have a mate in Alice who'll sort things and give you the lay of the land.

    From Glen Helen you keep heading West, through Tylers Pass to Gosses Bluff then South to pick up Larripinta Drive where you turn West to get around the Gardiner Range and into Kings Canyon. (bit of a resort and campgroud there. That section is all dirt. From Kings Canyon head down to the Lasseter Highway, turn West and head off to Uluru (Aryes Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), maybe doing a little detour to climb Mount Conner.

    That ride will be approx. 650 to 700Km's. You'll need to carry at least 15 liters of water, this will give you a comfortable 3 days, and 4 days of water if you have to ration it. Free camping is the norm, paying at resorts is an option (they're good for showers!) Temps in March range from (absolute 14 to 45 C), (long term ave: 17 to 32 C) and in May (absolute 8 to 38 C) (long term ave: 8 to 23 C)

    Having scooted around and climbed the Rock and the Olgas, and if the budget can stand it, a flight over them, puts the whole place into perspective! jump on a plane and head off to Perth for the beach and maybe Rottnest Island and the Fremantle coffee strip. There's also a few trails in the hills that you could ride if you wanted. For this route, flying in via Asia through Darwin and back out via Asia may be cheaper. An alternative is to fly out of the Rock into Brisbane and then into Byron Bay for the beach, it's more beach friendly there in late May early June. There is a farm stay that has a MTB circuit, google Byron Bay Farmstay. For this route, in and out of Sydney may work out cheaper. Of course, if you had the time, there is always the option of riding back to Alice via a different route and flying out of there.

    OK, that's an epic, and one I doubt you'll ever regret. Let me know what you think. Don't get spooked by it, I've ridden lots of remote stuff and can give you heaps of advice, and as I said, my mate in Alice will bring you up to speed, but if it's too much there are other rides.

    Al.
    It seemed like a good idea!...... at the time......

  7. #7
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    Plenty of great riding throughout NZ. Rotorua/Taupo, Top of the Sth Island, Queenstown, the list goes on.
    Will depend on the amount of time you have really

  8. #8
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    Skip OZ and just come here to NZ. No offense to the aussies but we just have better trails and better scenery and a nicer temp to be out riding in. Australia is an amazing country but NZ is where you wanna head

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotaholic View Post
    Skip OZ and just come here to NZ. No offense to the aussies but we just have better trails and better scenery and a nicer temp to be out riding in. Australia is an amazing country but NZ is where you wanna head
    Yea, NZ is pretty good, I spent 7 months straight cycling the North Island and had a ball.
    It seemed like a good idea!...... at the time......

  10. #10
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    I'm flying onto Christchurch December 9th and staying for as long as I can down there. Taking an extended leave/sabbatical from my University job. Have some friends that live there so I'll be using that as a base of operations. Plan is to buy a campervan and bike when I get there and tour around both islands. No real time frame or set plans other than hit as many riding destinations as possible. I have the one year working holiday visa but current thinking is stay until April/May then head to Australia if funds allow. I thought about bringing my Pivot 5.7 but looks like too much hassle.

    If anyone has any leads on a decent cheap FS (Trance X, Reign?) or a campervan let me know! And I'd definitely love to meet up for some rides down there! Solid technical/trail/enduro rider/racer with trials background. My fitness will probably drop off by the time I get there though since I'm not riding currently though. Also like long XC rides...basically mountain biking, lol...

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all of the tips, and please feel free to keep it coming.

    Rotorua looks awesome and I'll definitely be spending a few days there.

    What months are best for riding in NZ? Also whats the best way to travel between the islands?

  12. #12
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    Between main centres, flights can be a good, quick option, although unsure what extra charges for bikes are involved now. It would also depend on where you intend to ride. If not riding Blenheim/Nelson/Marl Sounds, you would have a 3 1/2hr ferry ride from Wellington to Picton, then 4hr drive to Christchurch, or 9+ to Queenstown.
    https://www.transfercar.co.nz/ can be a really good site to keep an eye on, where you can get vehicles (even campervans) free, incl. petrol/ferry tickets.

    When to ride? Any time from now until April/May, depending on the area you are in.

  13. #13
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    I have a couple follow up questions. I'm thinking of bringing my Pivot with me now but a little worried about customs since I'll have a one way ticket and was half debating selling the bike whilst there. Will customs hit me with a fine if I leave the country without the bike? Doesn't seem likely they would track something like that but I'm sure it's possible. And it looks like the duty rate is at least 0% for bikes, but still a 15% fee for items over $700, correct?

    I suppose I could claim the bike is less than $700 and it is certainly used, but trying to avoid any issues...

  14. #14
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    I know plenty of people who brought bikes over and not returned with them, and never had an issue. What Pivot, out of interest?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kavika View Post
    I know plenty of people who brought bikes over and not returned with them, and never had an issue. What Pivot, out of interest?
    It's a large size, 2012 aluminum Mach 5.7. I have the bike set up the way I like so I want to ride it down there, rather than buying something like a Reign with less than stellar components.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotaholic View Post
    Skip OZ and just come here to NZ. No offense to the aussies but we just have better trails and better scenery and a nicer temp to be out riding in. Australia is an amazing country but NZ is where you wanna head
    +1 for sure.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigeldog View Post
    Thanks for all of the tips, and please feel free to keep it coming.

    Rotorua looks awesome and I'll definitely be spending a few days there.

    What months are best for riding in NZ? Also whats the best way to travel between the islands?
    How is all the trip planning going ?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Chainslap- View Post
    It's a large size, 2012 aluminum Mach 5.7. I have the bike set up the way I like so I want to ride it down there, rather than buying something like a Reign with less than stellar components.
    Did you end up bring your bike over? If you ever end up in the Blenheim area, let me know and I will try to tee up a ride over a local track or 2

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kavika View Post
    Did you end up bring your bike over? If you ever end up in the Blenheim area, let me know and I will try to tee up a ride over a local track or 2
    Yup, I brought the Pivot with me and had zero issues in Customs/Bio Security. I'm doing some tramping for the next few weeks out at Angelus Hut/Queenstown but after the 6th of January or so I'll be heading out on my own in my van around the South island. I'll definitely let you know when I am up in that area!

    I might do the Enduro race in Queenstown on the 11th of January. If anyone else wants to split some diesel and do some riding starting next month, hit me up!

  20. #20
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    where are those trails (in the video)?

    looks awesome!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ami23 View Post
    looks awesome!!
    In The Redwoods forest in Rotorua, North Island of New Zealand.

  22. #22
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    most bike shops should a guide to trail in NZ for around $30

    however , theres the Rainbow Rage, Welcome
    coppermine is coming up shortly - 45km (28mile) loop with 1 thousand meters of downhill !! and great scenery
    try the nelson mountain bike club website for rides around nelson area.
    some cruisy stuff through the Marlbourough sounds . makara in wellington .. its hours of endless fun here ...

  23. #23
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    Hello all, I'm planning my future trip as well, my thought and plans for my bike is to just buy a shipping box made for a bicycle and FedEx it to a bike shop where I'm going...... Yes, no?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoketweaker View Post
    Hello all, I'm planning my future trip as well, my thought and plans for my bike is to just buy a shipping box made for a bicycle and FedEx it to a bike shop where I'm going...... Yes, no?
    I would see if you can take it as luggage.

  25. #25
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    Don't ship it, will cost a fortune and you may get stung duty, buy a bike bag and take it as extra luggage, will cost you maybe $30 extra.

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