On Arrival

Auckland Airport

Auckland is the main airport for incoming flights to New Zealand. Like most, it is quite a distance from the city centre. It is best not to cycle into the city unless you have a particular reason. There are few accessible cycle paths and fewer signposts. Auckland city traffic is not always kind to cyclists, there are several shuttle buses, with cycle racks, available to take you to city accommodation.

Buy a mini map at the airport. They are cheap and helpful guides for Auckland city. You should also pick up a free Backpacker/Hostel guide. If you wish to avoid the city and cycle south, then there is a good camping park at Ramarama.

Backpackers can obtain a brochure listing hostels, etc throughout New Zealand at the tourist centre at the airport. Some of the hostels provide camping facilities. The government runs a number of basic, cheap campgrounds, usually in picturesque rural surroundings. The best guide for cycling in New Zealand are two small books (one for the north island and one for the south) called Pedallers' Paradise by Nigel Rushton which lists routes and hill profiles and local information in an easy to read, cheap guide (approx. 12.00 N.Z.). See his site www.paradise-press.co.nz - this lists stockists in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Holland, Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Belgium and New Zealand. Buy the books before leaving because they have limited availability in New Zealand.

Wellington Airport

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Wellington airport is about 10km from the city; an easy bike ride along a signposted route (see map). The museum is worth a look just to gauge a feel for New Zealand culture. The waterfront is interesting. There are several inner city hostels of reasonable quality and reasonable prices including an excellent Youth Hostel. From Wellington there is a ferry to the South Island.

Christchurch Airport

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It is an easy 10km flat cycle into the city centre along a reasonably well defined cycle lane. Christchurch is New Zealand's most cycle-friendly city. Again, a mini-map is a good means to find your way around. The city hostels are generally good, although you may find your best deals both in cash and comfort just outside the main centre. These are usually less than two kilometres from the city. Again, if you want to check hostels or Backpackers go to the website or purchase the booklet listed above.

There is an excellent tourist bureau close to Cathedral Square, the very heart of Christchurch.