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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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  • 1 Post By Nigel Marx
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Old 10 Dec 2015
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Smile South Island Feb 2016 - Bike Hire/Camping

Hi there.

Elin (SWE) and I (AUS) are landing in NZ for the month Feb in 2016. Plan is two weeks in South Island via bike hire. I have family in the North however non bike types (lol).

Two basic questions.

Bike Hire - Christchurch based.... any to avoid or are top of the pops?

Camping - is it possible to camp in small tent around South Island along the tourist trail i.e. West Coast, Glaciers, Queenstown, Milford etc. Heard conflicting reports.

We own DR650, BMW GSA, Honda Blackbird. We are looking at hiring a GS, Tiger 800 or similar suitable for two up with camp gear.

Cheers Azza (& Elin)

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Old 10 Dec 2015
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There are areas where camping is prohibited, but they will be sign-posted. There are some local govt by-laws, just to make things tricky; for example on the West Coast where you can't free camp within 5km of a registered camping ground. As a rule, the more popular the area is with tourists, the more likely it is for camping to be banned. You can blame that on lots of people shitting in the bushes. We free-camp all the time, just a bit away from civilization.

If you are starting and ending in Chch, I may be able to lend you some basic camping gear.

Kiwi Motorcycle Rentals (Kiwi Motorcycle Rentals New Zealand) and Te Waiponamu (New Zealand Motorcycle Tours, Rentals and Hire NZ - Rental Motorbikes ) are both very good. Kiwi are quite close to me in North Canterbury. I have no affiliation with either.

Drop in for a or a coffee if you are coming past.


Nigel in NZ
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Old 10 Dec 2015
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+1 for Kiwi Motorcycle Rentals.
Our FB page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Africa2Up/
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Old 12 Dec 2015
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Thanks all. In contact with Kiwi and Te Wai. If we are driving past Nigel I'll drop in for sure. Always good to meet new folks.
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Old 13 Dec 2015
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For basic camping check out the Dept of Conservation sites. Some areas have lots of these, some not so much.

As Nigel says, free camping is hard to find around the tourist hotspots but there will be plenty of commercial campsites. For 2 people getting a cabin at a campsite is often bugger all more than camping so check on that too.

if you are off the beaten trail on some of the adv routes there are lots of places to camp, both DOC sites as above & informal spots. Be sure to leave no trace if wild camping.

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bike hire, camping, new zealand

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