- +450km (bike)
- +800km (car)
- +290km (bus)
- +0km (train)
- +200km (boat)
- +0km (plane)
- 2 cassettes
- 5 chains
- 3 chainrings
- 2 disc pads
- 3 flags
- 7 punctures
- 2 road tires
- 1 spoke
- 1 trailer tire
I arrived in New Zealand on the 21st of June 2012, in the middle of winter. That was the first day of my journey around the world (I did not know that yet). At night, it could be quite cold. My first goal has been to cycle towards Cap Reinga, trying to find the warmest place for winter. In one year, I’ve been working about 3 months in total at 3 different places. I’ve stayed about another month or two with different people I met on the way or visiting very nice places. I’ve spent the other 7 months cycling around the country, of course! That was the initial goal ;-)
I’ve chose the Working Holiday Visa to come in New Zealand. That way I would have the time to cycling around, to improve my english and to work occasionally. I don’t exactly remember how much I’ve paid for the visa in 2012 but today the price seems to be similar. The cost is 175€ for one year. I’ve done everything online from the NZ government website. The steps are easy and in few minutes it’s done!
The food is not excessively expensive. Kiwi are cheap as they grow them in the country (the north). Carrots and apples are very cheap too. Mainly I could spend $10 per day for food easily and be able to eat various things (not only noodles like many travellers do). It’s cheap but awful and so low in energy).
There is several national parks everywhere in NZ and the price vary from free to $9 maximum. You got ecological toilets and sometimes cold shower. Water is also available on every site. These is also lots a walks around the country and sometimes you must book a hut or campsite if it last more than one day. In that case the price could rise up to $35 per night for the most famous huts. Lots of huts are around $10 to $15 per night.
For the normal campsites that you can find anywhere the cost can vary between $10 and $25 per night. I used to use them during the first three months and realised it cost me more than $400 per month! This is how I decided to start sleeping in the bush for free!
Transport is really good in NZ. The few times I had to use it (bus from Wellington to Hawera) the price was correct and I was able to fit my bike in the bus. The driver can refuse at the last minute of the bus is too full. It was not my case fortunately.
Internet / phone provider
From what I remember internet was a bit expensive. It’s changing quickly so I cannot say something precise enough. At the beginning, I did work on my blog only thought Internet cafe. That was an expensive choice as I would spend 4 hours in some day. One month I spent over 100$ and thought I should change the way to access to internet. Then I bought a tablet (I did not have a smartphone at the beginning) and used it at McDonald’s and the libraries. It was free and worked pretty well. In some McDonald’s, they did provide electric plug (which is not that common in Australia for instance).
The first one would be, get internet for free from libraries and McDonald’s but this is not really a secret :-) The best way to travel cheap was to avoid sleeping in campsites. I’ve done that for the first 4 months and then changed. I slept in parks, in fields, under bridges, next to railways… All that for free :-) and it was much more peaceful and safe. when you found the right spot (and it’s quite easy) there is no one to bother you. Most of the places I’ve stopped had a stunning view too. It was great! Get a water filter so you can get water from every sources. There is lots of public toilets in New Zealand and the water is mostly drinkable. But if you are in the nature you never know if that river is not infected by a dead bird or something else.
Step by step
Auckland airport > Kerikeri (469km, 8 days)
My first goal in New Zealand was to reach Cap Reinga. Quickly after I’ve started cycling I looked for a job in case it would be hard to find one. Finally, few weeks later, I was working in Kerikeri.
Kerikeri > Cape Reinga (265km, 5 days)
That month has passed so quickly and I still have in mind Cap Reinga. Between that period of work, I met Peter from Czech Republic with who I will cycle to the top for two weeks.
Cape Reinga > Auckland (531km, 8 days)
There is no much other way to visit the rest of NZ. You need to pass through the city again.
Auckland > Port Jackson, Coromandel (332km, 7 days)
This was a very nice road! I’ve been on the Pinnacles which was marvellous.
Port Jackson > Taupo (486km, 9 days)
One of my favourite.
Taupo > East Cape (477km, 6 days)
A peaceful ride with only nature sometimes, especially when you are close to the Cape.
East Cape > Napier (427km, 7 days)
I’ve met Maila on the way to Ruatoria where we had great time! The in Napier, I’ve spent 6 weeks with other backpackers. We were all working in Apple thinning. I really had a great time!
Napier > Wellington (328km, 4 days)
Certainly not the best part of New Zealand. But I knew I was going to join my friends from Napier to Wellington for New Year’s eve so I was motivated and did not stopped much. Wellington is a really nice capital. It can be very windy somedays but it’s small and the area is nice.
Wellington > Christchurch (447km, 9 days)
When I arrived in the South Island, I’ve met Josianne from Quebec. She was cycling as well. We decided to start the trip together and spent finally two weeks travelling in the top center of the South Island which was amazing! When we arrived in Hanmer Springs, we met Sebastien from France. He was on a 3 months trip in NZ and we spent only one night and one day together as he was going to another direction.
Christchurch > Mt Cook village (589km, 10 days)
What a trip! I’ve met 4 French cyclists on the way and we travelled together for a month. Mount Cook and the lake Pukaki are spectacular. You really feel the nature there.
Mt Cook village > Clyde (295km, 5 days)
Very nice trip as well and we ended up in Alexandra where we found a job during the peach and nectarine season.
Clyde > Te Anau (371km, 6 days)
After 2 months spent with 4 cyclists I’m on my own again. I’m going to meet Wenshan who I met when I was in Napier. We will spend some time together.
Te Anau > Riverton (363km, 6 days)
I’ve been to Mildford Sound then came back south and did the Hump Ridge track in 4 days. That was a lot of walking but the view from the top of the range is worth it! I’ve met Sally on the track who invited in there place for few days. Sally and Dene are really nice people and I was pleased to help them as much as I could :-)
Riverton > Lake Paringa (471km, 8 days)
Being at the bottom of the South Island, I’ve got now few more month to cycle all the way up, on the west coast, to Auckland again! On the way, I met J-me in a middle of nowhere! We did not contact each other for the last few weeks and she was there, collecting rocks on the side of the road. I’ve met her when I was in Napier as well :-)
Lake Paringa > Westport (540km, 9 days)
I’ve heard a lot about that famous West Coast since I’ve started travelling in NZ and it’s also a great part of the country. Very peaceful, far from crowded cities. The weather is also a bit colder, with more rain but I think I was lucky.
Westport > Wellington (582km, 12 days)
One more amazing trip! I’ve decided to to the Heaphy track which was a 3 years test period when cyclists could travel through during a certain period of the year. I’ve done a small bit of the Bay of Tasman track as well and mainly enjoyed my trip back to Melbourne. I’ve met two Swiss cyclists (Cyril and his sister) on the boat.
Wellington > New Plymouth (114km + 282km by bus, 3 days)
To be sure I would have enough time and arrive on time in Auckland, I’ve catch a bus between Wellington and Hawera. That way I would avoid the kind of boring part I did on the way down. And apparently this part of the country is not the safest one. Well I don’t really know about it but I had to be a bit faster anyway so catching a bus seemed to be a good opportunity. Taranaki is very impressive by is symmetrical shape and size!
New Plymouth > Auckland (481km, 9 days)
This is it! This is the last step I’ve done in NZ!