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Two-wheeling in New Zealand
by Ruth Atherley

While there are plenty of ways to get around in New Zealand, one of the most fun is on two wheels. With so many options – motorcycle tours, biking in a wine region, or riding the New Zealand Cycle Trail – visitors can lift their feet off the ground and check out the sights, sounds and magic of the country.

With stunning views and dramatically changing landscapes, New Zealand roads offer an exceptional experience for motorcycle fans. While there are several different tour providers throughout the country, Bularangi Motorbikes both rents and offers one and multi-day guided tours on Harley Davidsons. They run the tours in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown. The tours can be self-ride or as a passenger, depending on whether the visitor has a motorcycle licence. So even those without a licence can experience the thrill of riding a Harley.

For those who want to use their own power to move the wheels, most wine regions throughout New Zealand have a range of bike tours to get you from winery to winery. The tour operators provide you with a bike, helmet (you are drinking wine, after all) and tailor your route and the wineries you will visit to match your fitness level and wine interests. Cycling lets you ride at your own pace, often along the edge of the vineyards – allowing you to take in the area’s beauty. And if you have indulged a little too much in the tastings, tour operators are happy to come and collect you and your bike! In the Marlborough region, famous for its sauvignon blanc, Wine Tours By Bike, highlighted as a “top tour” by Lonely Planet, offers a range of customized self-guided bike tours. The bikes even have special wine carriers to hold purchases from the cellar doors that you visit!

For those who want to take their cycling to that next level, the clear choice is the New Zealand Cycle Trail – Nga Haerenga – which, in Maori, means “the journeys” in both a physical and spiritual sense. When the last of the 22 “Great Rides” that make up the trail are completed by the end of 2014, cyclists will have almost 2,500 kilometres of dedicated bike routes through iconic landscapes from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island.

Seeing New Zealand on two wheels gives visitors the opportunity to see many regions of the country from a different perspective. Whether on a motorcycle or bicycle, riders are sure to find some Kiwi magic on their trail.

Air New Zealand  www.airnewzealand.ca  has direct non-stop flights from Vancouver to Auckland and offers flights from many other North American cities. For more information about New Zealand, please visit: www.NewZealand.com.

Bularangi Motorbikes – http://www.bularangi.com/motorcycle-tours/

Wine Tours By Bike – http://www.winetoursbybike.co.nz/

New Zealand Cycle Trail – http://www.nzcycletrail.com/