Cycling New Zealand: A Lonely Planet Guidebook

cycling-new-zealand-lonely-New Zealand is quite possibly one of the most popular cycling destinations in the world. In fact, readers here at Bicycle Touring Pro have named this majestic two-island country in the South Pacific as their most desired destination for future bicycle travels. It is, therefore, no surprise that Lonely Planet (the makers of some of the best travel guides in the world) have published a comprehensive guide to cycling in New Zealand.

This 352-page, beautifully-designed, paperback book details everything you need to know in order to travel by bike in New Zealand… and a little bit more. In fact, after dissecting the book myself, I believe it contains a whole lot more than one could likely digest in a single trip to the land of the Kiwis.

Within the text there are detailed descriptions of 30 great rides across New Zealand, which are broken down into daily chunks (133 days if you were to ride every route described in the book) and dissected mile by mile… kilometer by kilometer with GPS coordinates and detailed route descriptions. Each ride highlighted inside the Lonely Planet‘s guide to Cycling New Zealand consists of a detailed description, possible side-routes one might wish to take, a breakdown of distance and topography, eating and lodging locations along the way, in addition to recommendations for local museums, historical sites, and other points of interest. Detailed maps are also included with each and every ride.

But even with a detailed breakdown of all possible routes one might take, Scott Kennedy, the author of this particular Lonely Planet guidebook, warns that cycling in New Zealand is not for the faint of heart. From the very onset, Kennedy lets us know that beginners may struggle in the mountains of New Zealand… and the wind they may encounter may dampen their spirits. Mountain bikes seem to be highly recommended. However, Kennedy does state that “if you seek challenge, adventure and the spoils of achievement then New Zealand could very well beĀ  your dream-biking destination.”

The routes described throughout the book are broken down into 8 main areas: Auckland & the North, Waikato & King Country, Eastern North Island, Southern North Island, Marlborough & Nelson, Canterbury, Otago & Southland, and Westland. In addition, there is a small section dedicated to cyclists wishing to ride the length of the country.

Other areas of the book that readers might find useful are sections dealing with New Zealand’s unique environment, history and rules of the road (you’ll be riding on the left side of the road… and yes, a helmet is required – even for adults). There are even an additional 20-pages at the end of the book that deals with bicycle repair, pannier packing, and overall bike maintenance.

For anyone wishing to jump on a plane and visit this biking paradise in the South Pacific, the Lonely Planet guide to Cycling New Zealand is one book I highly recommend.

My Rating: 10 out of 10

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For more information on Cycling New Zealand… or to order yourself a copy of this fantastic cycling guidebook, just click here.


Review Status: This product was sent to Bicycle Touring Pro for the purpose of this review.


0 thoughts on “Cycling New Zealand: A Lonely Planet Guidebook

  1. sailinghome says:

    Sounds like a good book to get… have you ever been to NZ, to be able to review the accuracy, thoroughness and how up-to-date the information is…???… also, can you explain why it only gets 9 out of 10, as I couldn’t find any criticism in your review…??.. what was it lacking…?

    Thanks for your review.


  2. Darren Alff says:

    The only reason I gave it a 9 out of 10 is because, like I say in the review, I think there is, at times, too much information. With a guidebook of this sorts, where you are likely to carry it along with you as you ride, having too much information (and too much bulk to the book) can be a downside.

  3. Colleen Welch says:

    Thanks Darren! I’ve been wanting a book on cycling New Zealand as I am planning a trip for 2012 (celebrate my 50th birthday). I think there is never too much info. You can choose not to use it, but you can’t use it if you don’t have it.

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