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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

New Zealand South Island Road Highlights

  • Arrival
  • 3/31/2019
  • Departure
  • 4/15/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Aaron Rosenthal
  • Tour Company
  • NZBicycletours Ltd
  • Starting Location
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Finishing Location
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4800
  • Deposit
  • $1600
  • Number of Riders
  • 18 (min. 16 /max. 18)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3C  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

Ride Overview

Zealand’s South Island and its West Coast have been popular with overseas and local cyclists for the last 30 years. The range of natural scenery, the undulating terrain, and the wonderful lodgings make for a memorable tour. Yes, there are a few big hills, but the steepest grades are short in duration. Yes, it can rain, part of the tour traverses through a rainforest, but April is generally a drier time of the year on the West Coast. 

Following the first day's loop ride in the Christchurch region, we ride up and along the Port Hills overlooking the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps. From there our tour route travels north and west to capture a number of scenic highlights, namely Hanmer Springs, Buller Gorge, and Pancake Rocks, before heading south to the Glaciers, and the big lakes of Otago. We cycle through the yellow and brown tussock hill country of Central Otago to the green fertile rolling hills of South Canterbury on the East Coast. Where possible we have selected quiet roads to maximize your enjoyment. Likewise, we have chosen April as a quiet month for traffic, but with good weather to ride SH 6 down the West Coast.

NZ Bicycle Tours will support our ride. This company is based in Christchurch and the owners are experienced cyclists and guides.

Ride Rating

The quick-look rating for this trip is 3C. We'll cycle a distance of about 660-895 miles (including optional cycling) over the 12-14 cycling days of this 16-day trip. The longest cycling day is approximately 85 miles; the shortest is 16 miles. There are 3 days that exceed the level 3 elevation rating, 4 days that exceed the level C distance rating, and 2 days incorporating over 5000 feet of ascent.

Shuttles are being utilized on days that would otherwise exceed the 3C ride rating in distance and/or elevation, and to avoid riding through a major city. For a more detailed daily itinerary, please contact the ride coordinator.


Accommodation is on a twin share or double room basis, with private facilities and are typically 3-4-star quality. 


The tour begins at Happy Hour at 5:00 pm on Sunday, 31 March at the Orari Bed and Breakfast in central Christchurch and ends after breakfast on Monday, 15 April. For those who arrive early or stay later in Christchurch, a number of self-guided rides around the city are available. Christchurch International Airport is about six miles away from our starting location. Group transfer from the airport to and from the hotel will be provided on the day the tour starts and the day it ends.

NZ Bicycle Tours will arrange for storage of your bike boxes in Christchurch, and can also arrange bike hire. Rental costs: Road or Hybrid Single and Tandem NZ$300 (Approximately $210 at the time of ride proposal); Road Tandem NZ$600 (Approximately $420 at the time of ride proposal). The rental road bikes are Scott’ S20’s, running Shimano 5700 series 105 gears and 11-32T rear cassettes. Tour participants who are interested in renting a bike need to make arrangements for rental bikes directly with NZ Bicycle Tours. Bicycle rentals are not included in the quoted tour cost.

This tour is on paved surfaces; however New Zealand chip seal roads can be a harsh ride on tires narrower than 25 mm. We do not recommend 700 x 23c tires; 700 x 28c tires are preferable. There are several 10% climbs - near Punakaiki and Lake Moeraki, with a 15% section on Haast Pass. For those wishing to ride point to point, and using a 700c wheel, we recommend an 11-32T rear cassette coupled with a triple front crank set. 


The temperature in April fluctuates between hot days and cold nights, but April weather is generally known for its lack of wind and rain, and its long fine spells. Temperatures in April in the South Island are typically 16 – 18C (60-64F) during the day and 6 – 8C (42-47F) at night. Remember, the weather can be variable in New Zealand, so you will need to have suitable clothing for a wide range of conditions. As always in New Zealand, you will need warm and water proof clothing for cycling and walking.

April is a favorite hiking and cycling month for locals in New Zealand for many reasons, including less tourists.

Cost & Administration

The tour cost of $4800 per person with twin occupancy is based on an exchange rate of 1 NZ$ = $.70 US and includes a 5% contingency fee. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be a modest adjustment either up or down to the amount of the final payment. The price includes 15 nights lodging with breakfast, 9 lunches and 12 dinners, group arrival transfers on Day One and departure transfers to Christchurch airport or hotels on day 16, luggage transport, cycling snacks, drinks and water, maps and cue sheets, GPX tracks, admission to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pool, daily happy hours featuring NZ wines, craft beers and snacks, and storage of your bike box during the tour. The price does not include airfare to Christchurch, and return, entry fees to optional activities, alcoholic drinks at included dinners, everyday gratuities or the non-refundable BAC fee of $100. The initial deposit is $1600 upon acceptance into the ride. The final two payments of $1600 each are due by July 1, 2018 and November 1, 2018.

A limited number of single supplements are available.  There are two single supplement options.  The first option is to pay a single supplement fee of U.S. $1275. The single supplement must be paid directly to Bicycle Adventure Club by July 1, 2018. Due to the exchange rate at the time of payment, the exact single supplement cost may go up or down slightly.  Paying the single supplement fee entitles the payee to stay in all the same accommodations as tour participants that have twin occupancy.  The second option is to not pay the single supplement fee and the accommodations for some of the nights will be at a slightly lower grade room.  These rooms will have private facilities for most nights.  However, on some nights singles may have to share a bathroom with one other person where a two-bedroom motel of the same standard as the couples is available instead of going to a lower grade of accommodation.  There is no charge when an odd number of participants results in a single room. In this case, we reserve the right to allocate a slightly lower grade room, with private facilities, for that single. Single supplement participants must inform the tour leader of their option not later than June 30, 2018 or when they sign up for the ride if it is after June 30, 2018.


It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until (July 1, 2018) to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the single supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.


The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance. 

PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health, and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from the Ride Coordinator. While on the ride, support your Ride Coordinator with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Coordinator informed of any special requests you might have and respect the Ride Coordinator’s decisions.

SIGN-UP: To register for this ride, use the sign-up link just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the non-refundable BAC fee ($100) and tour deposit of $1600 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participation List. As stated previously, the final two payments of $1600 each are due by July 1, 2018 and November 1, 2018. BAC members with questions may contact the ride coordinator by "clicking" the name at the top of this ride description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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