What sort of weather can I expect?
‘Four Seasons in One Day’ is how New Zealanders often describe their weather. While the summer months are generally in the late 20s/early 30s, conditions can change rapidly so best be ready with an extra pair of socks or another layer to put on (or take off!). The West Coast can get up to 5m of rain per year while on the other side of the Southern Alps drought conditions are not uncommon. Expect the unexpected. Visit the MetService website for accurate forecasts plus historical data. Don't forget, your skin's waterproof anyway.....
Road closures & Conditions.
While road conditions are not normally a problem, some of New Zealands roads can be subject to closures, usually as a result of slips, flooding or snow. Closures rarely last more than a day or two but can be longer, especially in the winter months or through mountain passes. New Zealand Transport Agency update their site with the latest information or you can ring them on their hotline.
We are often asked 'How far will I go each day?' This depends on you and what you want to get out of your trip. If you’re here simply for the riding then push on, enjoy the bike, enjoy the roads and stop when you’ve had enough. On the other hand, you might want to take your time, explore the backwaters (we call it taking a tiki tour), talk to the locals and see the sights. An average of 250 to 350km day is not a bad yardstick to use when planning your trip.
Although New Zealand is not a large country, the terrain can change from flat plains to mountain passes in a very short distance. These charts will give you some idea of the distances involved, or you can use the online AA Route Planner or Wego Here; to help plan your journey. Don't forget to have a look at our Best Routes
section which guides you onto some of the best roads NZ has to offer.
- AA Route Planner - good for the main highways and sealed roads.
- Wego Here; - an easy to use route planner which includes unsealed roads.