I highly recommend Ian and GoTourNZ!
I highly recommend Ian and GoTourNZ! I took a tour last year in the first two weeks in February and had a blast. Ian and his son (Ian Jr) led the group I was on. Our group was a few couples, most riding tandem, one couple riding a bike each, an other single rider, and myself.
I was on a Triumph Trophy 1200, which was almost brand new (less that 400 miles), all the other bikes where also in excellent condition. I actually live in Auckland during Jan-March of most years, and rented a variety of bikes from a different company on the weekends in Auckland, and the comparison was night and day. The other company’s bikes definitely looked and felt used, with
little dings. Ian’s bikes looked like the rolled out of the showroom.
Hotels – The hotels and B&B that Ian use where very good. There is one thing I think I should point out. NZ has a lot of out of the way towns, with great rides between them, but some of the towns don’t get a huge tourist crowd (which is an advantage), but the negative side effect is some of the hotels aren’t all Hiltons. As a frequent business traveler, I get used to US/European business hotels, and the hotels in NZ are not that. BUT (big but) – They are all really good great places! A good example
is a hotel we stayed at in a town called Clyde – its a big old hotel that most likely could described as something out of a western movie. While the rooms didn’t have TVs and phones, it was a great old building, and felt like we had stepped back in time. In no way should this be considered a negative criticism of Ian or his company – its just that many American travelers (including myself) get used to a pre-canned idea of a hotel, and NZ doesn’t always fit this image. On the other hand many of the B&B’s we stayed at were amazing.
Food – (and food and food and food!) Ian’s hotels provide breakfast, lunch is on your own, and dinner is on Ian. Picture walking into the best restaurant in town, getting a menu, and ordering exactly what you want without paying any attention to the prices. I’ll be honest in the beginning I was worried about ordering a starter, main, and desert at first because I thought it would look like I was going overboard ordering food – but that’s what every one did. Ian picks the restaurants, and he definitely picks good
places. Oh – drinks are your responsibility, BUT – Ian as he goes around the country picks up wine at his favorite wineries as he circles the country each time. During dinner he provides the wine to the group and charges you for it at the end of the trip. We had a wide variety of wine, and probably drank too much of it!
NZ – I can’t tell you what a great place NZ is to ride – Picture a country that within a couple of days goes from a lush sub-tropical feel, down to a place that has glaciers and fiords that look like Alaska. The great thing about the south island is the that its an island about half the area of Colorado, but has less than a million people on it – meaning most of the roads
are lightly traveled – there where portions that I went though where I wouldn’t see another car for 15-20 minutes at time. I really love NZ – I’ve lived there for 1 and a quarter year, and then go down each winter to live there Jan-March, so I’m already sold.
I guess the best recommendation is that I’m planning another trip this year and I’d easily do it with Ian again.