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  1. #1
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    Riding in New Zealand

    I'm planning on moving to New Zealand for a year or so next year. Any travellers on this board with experience in New Zealand? I basically have two options for destinations; Auckland being on the North Island and Christchurch on the South Island. Could somebody please give me their New Zealand experiences in terms of areas to ride, and the type of terain to expect. I'll be moving from Ottawa, Canada, so this will definately be a change in scenery.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    outdoor miner
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    born there

    I'm a Kiwi, born and bred, with the accent to prove it!

    I've lived in both places. If I had that choice I would go to Christchurch for sure, but having said that, I'm moving back there, and will probably end up north of Auckland, so "go figure", as the Americans say.

    Auckland is city sprawl, local riding is all out of town, and run by a company-franchise setup, in plantation pine forests. Not a whole lot of climbing, nice enough though.

    There are plenty of good rides to be had within a three/four hour radius. That might not sound like a whole lot, but distances aren't as big in NZ, so one you are acclimatised it will seem like a fair hike just to get to an exotic trailhead.

    Christchurch in the other hand, has some nice riding on one edge of the (flat as a board) city. The port hills are steep, one side of an ancient volcano, and offer good trails for an after work spin. From there you can find some even better climbs by heading to the Southern Alps, an hour or two away. It is much more serious terrain for sure.

    Mostly I'd go for Christchurch because the hassle of getting out of Auckland's gridlock is a bummer, whereas the South Island is big on landscapes, small on people, which suits me fine.

    Check out www.mountainbike.co.nz, they are a mine of information.

    So anyway, curious here, why the move?

    Murray

  3. #3
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    South Island for sure

    I lived in NZ for a few months and enjoyed both islands, but if you are looking for mountainbiking, you should definitely go to the south island, its the bees knees. From Christchurch you could go to so many places... Wanaka, Queenstown, etc

  4. #4
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    I do live here

    I agree with all of the above,Christchurch would be the place to go to. I live in Dunedin which is about 400 km south of Christchurch and its all on your back door just waiting for you to ride them.
    Chris
    2010 Yeti ASR 7

  5. #5
    post-ride specialist
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    South Island, no question. For some CHCH local trail,
    Look here,
    and here too.

  6. #6
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    Oh, wait, no, take that back. New Zealand sucks. Especially the South Island. Don't go there. Don't even visit.

  7. #7
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    The main reason for the move is because my girl friend will be attending teacher's college. We started thinking of the places we would love to go, and New Zealand has always been a dream destination. So, after some research, there is an organization here in Ontario that places students in participating universities around the world. The two universities in New Zealand that accept students for this program are Auckland and Christchurch.

    So logically, as avid mountain bikers, we want to go where the best trails are for our type of riding. I love the terrain here in Ottawa - rough technical single track, with lots of climbing. In New Zealand, I imagine long epic rides, through wonderful landscapes, with severe elevation challenges.

    Since we will be be starving students once again (damm, just when we were getting back on our feet), the luxury of a car will not be possible. Having close trail access is very important. Auckland does not seem to fit our criteria.

    Thanks for all information given. Feel free to give any more advice or tips.

  8. #8
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    Nics pics, thanks!!! I can't wait to ride those beautiful trails - the landscapes are over overwhelming.

  9. #9
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    ChCh is the Place

    There really is no choice. It is the Best.

    I was just riding at Bottle Lake. Its a blast and very close to anywhere in ChCh.

    And then you got the rest of the Island. Akoroa. And then Queen C's Track and the stuff up by Blenheim and the Canvastown and then theres the Heaphy.

    And then Qtown and , and and....

    You lucky bastige.

  10. #10
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    Go South

    The best riding in NZ is in the South Island, so I'd go with Christchurch, it's also a more bike friendly city.Get hold of a copy of the Kennett Bros book, Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides when you get to NZ and go and explore, you can pick it up at most good bookshops and bike shops. There's some may varied trials so I won't go on, except come on over and have agreat time.

    Gavin

  11. #11
    Surfin' da mountain
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    Had friend temporarily move to Christchurch

    Haven't heard from him since. Someone else tracked down his parents to ask if he's still alive and kicking. They said the area is beautiful and he's married with two little ones and still in NZ...
    Last edited by Cucucachu; 04-05-2004 at 11:18 AM.

  12. #12
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy1
    And then you got the rest of the Island. Akoroa. And then Queen C's Track and the stuff up by Blenheim and the Canvastown and then theres the Heaphy.
    You can ride the Heaphy? That'd be cool. Hmmm, maybe next Feb.

  13. #13
    outdoor miner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill
    The main reason for the move is because my girl friend will be attending teacher's college. We started thinking of the places we would love to go, and New Zealand has always been a dream destination. So, after some research, there is an organization here in Ontario that places students in participating universities around the world. The two universities in New Zealand that accept students for this program are Auckland and Christchurch.

    So logically, as avid mountain bikers, we want to go where the best trails are for our type of riding. I love the terrain here in Ottawa - rough technical single track, with lots of climbing. In New Zealand, I imagine long epic rides, through wonderful landscapes, with severe elevation challenges.

    Since we will be be starving students once again (damm, just when we were getting back on our feet), the luxury of a car will not be possible. Having close trail access is very important. Auckland does not seem to fit our criteria.

    Thanks for all information given. Feel free to give any more advice or tips.

    Hey, snap!

    That is what I was doing down there, GF went to Christchurch College of Education (I think it is called).

    Definitely do ChCh, Auckland is bike commuting HELL, I barely escaped with my life.

    Btw, My GF had a great teacher down there, John Gourley. If "experiential learning" interests your GF she should definitely try and get in his class, he's a Guru.

    Cheers and good luck,
    Murray

  14. #14
    TR
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    I thought the Heaphy was OOB????

  15. #15
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    The ultimate New Zealand "DH"

    Hey Overkill,
    Didn't get to mountain bike over there, but you might try this little "down hill" if you get a chance........
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Manifest plainness,
    Embrace simplicity,
    Reduce selfishness,
    Have few desires.

    --Lao-tzu

  16. #16
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    Go to "the lounge" over on Ridemonkey.com, there is a huge post about someones riding trip to NZ.

  17. #17
    TR
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    Check these websites

    Vorb (local message board)

    Otago Rail Trail

    Queen Charlotte Track

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