18 days
Difficulty level
New Zealand
3800 km/2360 mi

New Zealand – The grand loop Tour

New Zealand is one of the world’s top vacation destinations, offering a variety of tourist attractions for both adventure junkies and first-time travelers looking to experience the natural wonder of New Zealand’s beauty. From the famous Wildlife Cruises in Christchurch to the Dart River Jet safaris in Queenstown, there is a wide range of attractions for all types of visitors.

The best way to experience all of the fantastic attractions New Zealand has to offer is on your favorite car or motorcycle. Prepare yourself for an amazing ride on great roads through an amazingly beautiful country. The tour is specially developed for those who want to explore fully all New Zealand has to offer. We ride on the best roads on both islands and visit all the best attractions, cities and local treasures.

DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
Motorcycle/Car rental Accommodations 3/4 stars
Gas & oil for motorcycle Multi-lingual Tour leader
Support van w/ luggage Entrance fees National parks
Breakfast on riding days Transport to rental company
1st.  choice of vehicle Helmet rental
Tour book w/route descr. T-shirt & neck scarf/buff
Tour certificate Pictures from the tour
Loss Damage Waiver MC State minimum SLI insurance
Welcome Reception Farewell barbeque
Optional attractions
Food and beverages
Insurance/LDW upgrades
Anything not listed in “Included” above

“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the tour. Our goal is to fill your tour bag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started your adventure tour.”


Day 1: Departure - Arrival Aukland, New Zealand

When all tour participants have arrived, we meet for a welcome greeting and refreshment, with introductions. The evening’s program is getting to know each other and we eat dinner together in true Kiwi style

Day 2: Auckland

(Fun and explorer day)

We start the day with an information meeting, where we cover information about your tour on the New Zealand Aotearoa Tour and your stay in Auckland. We also cover practical information & preparations regarding mc and car rental checkout.

The rest of the day will be spent in the fun Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city with 1.4 million inhabitants. Actually, the city is the largest in Polynesia and the population represents 30 percent of the total population. Imagine a city where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting islands. Add a sunny climate, a background of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine, and shopping, you can now begin to get a picture of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city. We will spend the day exploring this exciting city.

Auckland is also a paradise for shopping, everything from top-end designers to street markets. While you are here, enjoy the city’s various cafes, restaurants, and nightlife, as well as pleasant areas in the city’s Viaduct Harbor, Wynyard Quarter and Parnell.

A truly captivating experience awaits visitors to Auckland’s Sky Tower. With 328 meters, it is the tallest artificial building in New Zealand and offers stunning views for up to 80 kilometers in each direction. Get up in a glass elevator to one of the three spectacular viewing platforms, or for more excitement, Sky Walk around the 192-meter high pergola or Sky Jump from the tower! Experience Peter Gordon’s elegant restaurant – The Sugar Club, and relax with a cup of coffee or light refreshments at Sky Café or you can eat on the “Orbit” – the end of Auckland 360-degree rotating restaurant. Sky Tower is one of New Zealand’s most exciting attractions!

In the afternoon, we drive to pick up our bikes. The bike you have booked for the tour is prepared, all necessary insurance is included.


Day 3: Auckland - Whakatane

(Driving day 1: 290km/181 miles)

We begin our New Zealand – Aotearoa tour! Today we start our New Zealand riding adventure! We gather in front of the hotel for group departure to pick up our bikes. The bike you have booked for the tour is prepared, and all necessary insurance is included.

When everyone is ready on their bikes, we start our ride on the 3.500 km long New Zealand adventure. Auckland disappears behind us as we head east for a unique adventure full of tradition and fun. We drive to Papamoa Beach, where we eat lunch. Papamoa is the largest suburb of Tauranga, and is one of New Zealand’s best fishing and surfing spots. It is best known for its long stretch of white sand that curves from the Kaituna River to Mount Maunganui.

We continue our journey along the east coast, stopping several times along the way where we can experience spectacular nature, before we arrive at our destination for the evening in Whakatane.

Whakatane comes alive with local musicians and touring bands through the summer months. The city has many charter boats, which gives visitors the opportunity to dive the crystal clear waters of the bay, fishing for the “big ones”, or swim with dolphins. Also, the city is the artistic and cultural hub of the district, with regular art exhibitions and many places of historical significance to Māori.


Day 4: Whakatane - Gisborne

(Driving day 2: 371km/232  miles)

We continue east towards the north-eastern tip of the North Island, where we make a stop to absorb the beautiful view. Enjoy the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s East Cape, known for unmatched sunsets (during the summer months) with the red colors of the sky in contrast with the azure waters of the pristine ocean.

We drive to our lunch stop in Hicks Bay, which is directly on the coast. We continue to Gisborne, where we will spend the night. Gisborne is the capital of the northeast region, at the Bay Poverty Bay. We eat dinner at the Marina Restaurant & Bar Marina Park.


Day 5: Gisborne - Napier

(Driving day 3: 214 km/134 miles)

It will be a day of spectacular roads and nature experiences. The ride from Gisborne runs south-east through magnificent mountain scenery and stunning coastlines. We drive some of the best roads on the northern island and make several stops to view the many sights along the way to our final destination for the day: Napier.

We eat lunch in Wairoa. Once in Napier, we prepare for an evening in the “town”. Napier is a metropolitan area, with the two twin cities of Napier and Hastings, which is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in New Zealand. Both Napier and Hastings have a variety of activities and attractions to offer which can usually be traced back to the city’s strong art deco architecture.


Day 6: Napier - Wellington

(Driving day 4: 315 km/196 miles)

Welcome to another day of exciting driving; through the inland, mountains, valleys, the west coast. We cross the southern tip of the northern island. We stop for lunch in Palmerston North (on the Manawatu River), known locally as “Palmy”, which is New Zealand’s seventh-largest city. It was named in honor of Viscount Palmerston, a former prime minister of Britain.

Our final destination is Wellington, located in the southern part of the North Island, sandwiched between a beautiful harbor and the lush green hills. With a population of over 380.000 inhabitants, the city is Oceania’s largest capital and was founded in 1840th.


Day 7: Wellington - Murchison

(Driving day 5: 334km/209 miles)

Prepare yourself for maybe the most beautiful ferry tour of your life. We start early to take the first ferry to the South Island, where it is said that the best and most beautiful motorcycle roads and nature experiences are found.

Make sure to have peace of mind, so you fully will enjoy the crossing to the South Island, the roads along the fjords, the coast and mountain passes. It will be a “NATURE” day. We stop for lunch in St. Motueka and spend the evening in a small village…..  Now we really will be out of big cities for a while.


Day 8: Murchison - Fox Glacier

(Driving day 6: 381 km/204 miles)

Have your ice prods ready, as we set course to cozy Fox Glacier, hidden in the wooded foothills of the Southern Alps. Cozy Fox Glacier city offers glacier walks, hikes, and aerial tours. Today’s ride along the west coast of the south island is by many ranked as the most beautiful on the islands.

We make many short stops to be able to absorb everything. We dine in Greymouth and make a glacier tour when we arrive at Fox Glacier. Located near Fox Glacier is beautiful Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. On a clear day, the lake reflects Mount Cook.


Day 9: Fox Glacier - Queenstown

(Driving day 7: 327 km/204 miles)

Once again we set course down to the coastline, before taking us up to the mountains. We dine in Haast, before driving through Mount Aspring National Park; through mountain lakes and breathtaking nature, with nice curvy roads all the way to Queenstown.


Day 10: Queenstown

(Fun and explorer day)

An action-packed holiday in New Zealand is spelled “Queenstown”. Whatever interests you, Queenstown offers adventures which will meet all your desires (sports, nature experiences or gastronomic discoveries) – Queenstown has it all!

Queenstown is a resort that attracts numerous visitors by its very tourist-friendly and adventurous approach. The city, located in Otago, south-west of New Zealand’s south island is not only the center of various snow sports but also offers tourists all imaginable adventures such as bungee jumping, water skiing or biking in the mountains. You will spend the day exploring & having fun I Queenstown. Enjoy!


Day 11: Queenstown - Oamaru

(Driving day 8: 343 km/214 miles)

An action-packed holiday in New Zealand is spelled “Queenstown”. Whatever interests you, Queenstown offers adventures that will meet all your desires (sports, nature experiences or gastronomic discoveries) – Queenstown has it all!

Queenstown is a resort that attracts numerous visitors by its very tourist-friendly and adventurous approach. The city, located in Otago, south-west of New Zealand’s south island is not only the center of various snow sports but also offers tourists all imaginable adventures such as bungee jumping, water skiing or biking in the mountains. You will spend the day exploring and having fun I Queenstown. Enjoy!


Day 12: Oamaru - Christchurch

(Driving day 9: 429 km/268 miles)

Welcome to another day of spectacular coast and mountain driving with amazing natural experiences. We make several stops along the road, as we head for higher grounds on our way to today’s destination; Christchurch.

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island, with approximately 360.000 inhabitants, and is located on the east coast of the island. Nowhere else in the world will you be within two hours of an international airport, while also having the opportunity to ski at alpine resorts, world-class golf, or bungee jump, white water rafting, Christchurch is New Zealand’s 2nd largest city and the key of the southern island.


Day 13: Christchurch - Picton

(Driving day 10: 338 km/211 miles)

This is our last day on the southern island, once more we set course towards Wellington. We ride the whole day along the coastal Route 1 with amazing views and scenery. This day we have the best chances of seeing whales and dolphins … so keep your thumbs up and eyes open.

We dine on Kaikoura, in the northernmost district of the Canterbury region, and one of few places in the world which can boast such natural wonders as it is offered by land and sea. We continue to Picton, a wonderful little town on top of the south island. We spend the night, waiting for the ferry to take us over to the north island again. We, of course, do the city and make sure we have something good to eat and drink before bedtime.


Day 14: Picton - Ohakune

(Driving day 11: 290 km/181 miles)

We embark on another spectacular crossing with the ferry to the northern island. Once again on land, we head for the countryside. We drive along the coast to Whanganui, where we eat lunch before we speed up the mountains on Route 4, which is ranked as one of New Zealand’s best motorcycle roads. Our destination for the day; Ohakune. For those who wish to explore the New Zealand countryside, there are several hiking trails.


Day 15: Ohakune - Cambridge

(Driving day 12: 302 km/189 miles)

Today we pack our swimwear, as we will take a dip in Taupo’s hot springs next to the lake. We drive up the mountains on our amazing ride on Route 4, before turning into Route 47 towards Tutangi at the foot of Lake Taupo. We stop to enjoy the beautiful nature, to take a bath and get a bite to eat.

We continue north, passing the Waikato River, which we follow to Lake Maraetai. We drive along the river all the way up to Cambridge. Cambridge is “the city of trees and champions”. It’s known for its leafy streets, historic buildings, antique shops, and thoroughbred horses. This beautiful rural town is located in the heart of the Waikato horse breeding district. Cambridge is legendary for its horse breeding and its success in the Melbourne Cup, with 13 winners.


Day 16: Cambridge - Tauranga

(Driving day 13: 100 km/63 miles)

Today will be one of the tour’s highlights; we will both visit the Hobbiton Movie Set (where we will see if we can finally find any “hobbits) and eat lunch at “The Green Dragon Inn” (from “Lord of the rings”).

Having absorbed “Lord of the rings”, we continue to drive through the Kaimi-Mamaku Forest Park, before embarking on our last stretch to Tauranga, our end destination.


Day 17: Tauranga - Auckland

(Driving day 14: 433 km/271 miles)

This is our last touring day. Even though it is a bit sad, it will be a spectacular day full of fantastic roads & coastal stretches which will take your breath away. Our first attraction is Paku Summit, where we stop to the beautiful surroundings. We continue to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig up the hot water with only your hands. Thereafter, we make a special lunch stop in Corromandel, a rugged and mysterious place, but with stunning golden beaches, natural hiding places and misty forests. Our final stretch is to Auckland, where we return the bikes/cars and check into the hotel for our last night together.


Day 18: Departure Auckland - Home travel

We check out of the hotel & say our goodbyes. Thanks for a great ride, good times and sincerely thank you for choosing to tour with JoyRides.

We wish you a safe trip home! We wish you a safe trip home and hope to see you again on one of our other tours in the US, South America, Asia, Oceania or Europe.

Note: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.

Prices per person

2 pers / 1 vehicle / 1 shared room :
From $4 745
2 pers / 2 vehicles / 1 shared room :
From $5 995
1 pers / 1 vehicle / 1 single room :
From $6 895
1 pers / 1 vehicle / 1 shared room :
From $5 995

Book tour

Tour category
Date from
Date to
Booking deadline

Tour category:
New Zealand Aotearoa Tour
Date from:
27 Feb 2022
Date to:
16 Mar 2022
Booking deadline:
05 Dec 2021