European Motorcycle Tours

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Tours
in Europe and Beyond

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South Island, New Zealand, 2025

Saturday 18 January to Thursday 30 January 2025 13 Days 1 country Fully guided, round-trip tour

Summary: This is 13 day tour of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. This is one of the most spectacular places in the world to ride a motorcycle.

The South Island is home to most of New Zealand’s iconic scenery. We will visit Queenstown, Wanaka, stunning Milford Sound, Mount Cook, the glorious west coast, plus Invercargill, where Burt Munro of ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ lived.

This price of this tour includes rental of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

This tour is classified as ‘moderate riding’ and so this tour is not recommended for new riders.

Should you wish to combine this tour with driving or riding to see the North Island, Tour1 can provide you (free of charge) with all the information and routes you need to do that, including places to visit and places to stay.

Price for

2025 Prices

Two riders sharing a room, price each


Single rider in his/her own room


Rider and pillion sharing a room


Prices include all accommodation (3 star), breakfasts, two evening meals, motorcycle rental and fuel.

You might choose to extend your stay in New Zealand either before or after the tour and we can help you with ideas of places to visit, especially on the North Island.

Whenever you arrive in New Zealand, you should be in Christchurch, on the east coast of the South Island, on Saturday 18 January 2025.  This is in the summer in New Zealand, so we should get good weather.

Our 13 day tour of the South Island runs broadly anti-clockwise, visiting many of the islands iconic locations. From Mount Cook to the glaciers of the west coast, from the adventure city of Queenstown to the majestic beauty of Milford Sound, you will certainly see a lot of wonderful places!

We will also visit Invercargill, once home to the legendary Burt Munro, who the film ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ was made about. Burt broke the land speed record on his Indian motorcycle and we will take the opportunity to go look at Burt’s bikes, which are are show in Invercargill.

There is one rest day on the tour, spent in Queenstown, where there are plenty of adventure activities to take part in.

We will be riding rented Harley-Davidson motorcycles and we have reserved most that are available for rental in NZ. The bikes are normally one to two years old. After booking, we will ask you what model you want and we will allocated those choices in the order we recieved the tour booking in. So, the earlier riders book, the wider the choice of bikes will be for you. The list of bikes set aside for this tour is 6 Ultras, 4 Street Glides, 2 Road Glides, 2 Road King, 1 Heritage.

Day One – Saturday 18 January 2025

This is the day we assemble in Christchurch, New Zealand.  You may have decided to arrive early to see some of the city of Christchurch or indeed you may have chosen to visit more of New Zealand before the tour starts. Whatever your pre-tour plans are, please make sure you are in Christchurch NZ by 5pm today at the tour hotel.  There will be a tour welcome dinner at a Christchurch restaurant tonight.

Day Two – Sunday 19 January 2025

The first thing we do on the morning of day 2 is to collect the motorcycles. The cost of these is included in the tour price.  We then return to the hotel to pack the bikes.

We first ride over New Zealand’s Southern Alps. This is the mountain range that runs almost the length of the South Island.  We cross from the east coast to the west via Arthurs Pass. This is the highest and most spectacular road across the Southern Alps. The pass summit is at an elevation of 739m (2,425ft) above the sea level.

After descending the far side of the pass, we ride towards the west coast and go see Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.  The rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the ‘pancake’-layering of the limestone, the rocks are an unusual sight.

We then head south to our hotel for the night, right on the beach at Punakaki. We will have ridden 181 miles to get there.

Day Three – Monday 20 January 2025

On day 3 we ride 189miles along the west coast road. We will stop in a couple of locations to take photos and we will head inland to see Hokitika Gorge with its stunning turquoise blue water..

The aim today is to get to the small town of Fox Glacier where for those who want to, you can take an optional spectacular helicopter ride into the mountains to stand on a glacier.  There are several different flights of varying durations and costs. Full details will be provided nearer the tour.

We will eat out tonight, in a nearby saloon.

Day Four – Tuesday 21 January 2025

The ride today is 216 miles. This is the longest riding day on the tour.

On day 4 we continue our ride down the west coast before turning inland to once more cross the Southern Alps, this time via Haast Pass. The pass is at 564 m (1,850 ft), so not especially high, but it is a great road for motorcycling.

We ride onto the town of Wanaka, on the shores of Lake Wanaka. At 42 kms long, it is New Zealands fourth largest lake.

After Wanaka we head to Queenstown, where we spend two nights. Renowned for adventure sports, there is much to do here tomorrow on our rest day.

Day Five – Wednesday 22 January 2025

Today is a rest day, spent in or around Queenstown.

Optional activities that you could take part in include:

  • Jet boats
  • Ride the Skyline Gondola (lots choose to do this as the views are wonderful)
  • Soak in a hot pool
  • Do a Segway tour
  • Walk or cycle the Queenstown trail
  • Visit historic Arrowtown, established in 1860
  • Take a scenic flight
  • Bungy jump
  • Whitewater rafting

Details of these activities will be made available nearer the tour start date.

Day Six – Thursday 23 January 2025

The ride today is 177 miles.

First we ride west and then north from Queenstown to see the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. Once we have looked at the splendid views of the lake and had breakfast in Glenorchy, we back-track to Queenstown to head south and then west towards Te Anau. On route we ride alongside the southern section of Lake Wakatipu and parts of this road are stunning on a motorcycle.

The town of Te Anau sits on the side of Lake Te Anau and is known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. We stay in the centre of this small town.

Day Seven – Friday 24 January 2025

Today we do something rather special and go to see stunning Milford Sound.

We set out early to ride the 75 miles to the sound. It is a stunning ride!

Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down the sheer sides of the the steep rocks. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.

Milford Sound is best explored by boat and that boat trip is included in the cost of the tour. The boat trip takes about two hours and visits all of the best locations in the Sound. We will drift alongside rushing waterfalls as we look for wildlife including fur seals, dolphins, and Fiordland-crested penguins. An on-board nature specialist provides expert commentary.

The boat is a round trip which departs from and returns to Milford sound. After getting back to Milford Sound we ride the 75 miles back to Te Anau where we spend a second night.

Day Eight – Saturday 25 January 2025

We have 127 miles to ride today.

From Te Anau we ride due south to New Zealand’s south coast.

Once we reach the coast, we then head east to Invercargill, made famous for motorcycle riders by the movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’. The town was where a rider called Burt Munro initially built an Indian motorcycle which he took to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA to try to set a land speed record. The movie tells the tale of his later life and that record attempt.  If you saw the movie, you will be keen to see the actual bike that Burt built, and we will do that while in the town.

We will stay in Invercargill tonight.

Day Nine – Sunday 26 January 2025

We start heading north today and ride 179 miles.

Most of this mornings route is on quiet back roads set amongst mainly flat farm lands. In the afternoon we approach and ride in the foothills of the Southern Alps once more.

We stay the night in Wanaka, not far from the lake front. We will visit the well-know and often-photographed ‘That Wanaka Tree’.

Day Ten – Monday 27 January 2025

We have 169 miles t ride today.

Our route takes us on one of New Zealand’s best roads, Lindis Pass, which is terrific to ride on a motorcycle!  We will also visit a quirky roadside store / cafe which has lots of interesting things to look at and photograph.

In the afternoon, we ride alongside Lake Pukaki, with its wonderful blue water and Mount Cook as a backdrop. We ride as far north as possible on this road to tale in the stunning scenery. Mount Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain.

Day Eleven – Tuesday 28 January 2025

We continue our ride north and also start to head east today, on our 140 mile ride.

We start by riding alongside Lake Pukaki once more, but this time at the southern end of the lake.

We also ride alongside the southern of of stunning Lake Tekapo and visit the beach there, which is normally home to dozens of stone cairns.

We then meander along Burkes Pass through the low mountains of the Southern Alps.

Day Twelve – Wednesday 29 January 2025

This is our last day of riding which is 109 miles as we return to Christchurch.

The roads are pretty straight and flat this morning, so to make up for that, as we approach Christchurch we divert to ride the hills just outside the city, which allow some pretty good views of the ocean.

We return the motorcycles this afternoon.

Tonight we return to and stay in, the same hotel we used for the first night of the tour.

Day Thirteen – Thursday 30 January 2025

The tour is then officially over after breakfast today.  Whether you fly back home today, or stay in explore the rest of New Zealand is entirely up to you.  Should you wish to do some more exploring, Tour1 can help you with a (free) route plan for driving / riding the north Island.  Please ask us for this.

  • Three star accommodation
  • Breakfast every day (except in Queenstown for 2 days)
  • 2 evening meals (but not your drinks)
  • Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental
  • Petrol and oil
  • Milford Sound boat trip
  • Well researched routes to provide you with fantastic roads to ride
  • Experienced tour guide to lead the tour
  • A back marker / sweep
  • Tour1 T-Shirt
  • Comprehensive tour road book
  • GPS routes for your sat nav
  • Luggage van and driver

What’s not included….

  • Getting to / from New Zealand
  • Accommodation before the tour starts, or after it ends
  • Optional activities (helicopter ride to glacier, Queenstown activities)
  • Breakfast while in Queenstown
  • All other meals and drinks
  • Any hotel extra charges (mini bar, drinks etc charged to your room)

Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.

Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 140 to 190 miles, although one day is longer at 216 miles.  On this tour of New Zealand we do not use any motorways. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evenings hotel by about 6pm.

The hotels we stay at vary in size and quality, and where possible, we only use hotels with good off-road parking. The hotels are not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3-star. We don’t use large chain hotels in larger towns, but prefer smaller remote locations. On some nights on the tour, your evening meal is included within the tour price and on the rest of the evenings, you are free to eat where you like. Often, we will eat as a group, but it is really up to you.

We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders.  We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds.  We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.

As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers.  During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods.  We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.

We like these tours to be about having a real adventure, riding on great roads with like-minded people. We do use a luggage van on this tour.

Payments – we require a £400 deposit to be paid when you book a tour, with the balance to be paid in four equal payments, nine, seven, five and three months before the tour starts. If you prefer, you can pay the balance of the cost of the tour earlier than this.

*Ride Rating

Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘moderate’.  That means this tour is not recommended for new riders.  You should have at least four years of riding experience on large motorcycles.  You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group.  We do not ride fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly.  You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads. Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, with breaks.  You should be able to ride all day.  If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.

AVAILABLE Just 8 rooms left Distance: 1,790 miles / 2,881 kilometres Tour Leader: Gary France Ride difficulty rating: Moderate (not for new riders)*. Please make sure you read the section called ‘Ride rating’ under the Information tab below.
Highlights: Glorious scenery - Milford Sound - Mount Cook - glaciers - Invercargill - The Worlds Fastest Indian - Queenstown - Wanaka - optional helicopter flight onto a glacier Countries: New Zealand Tour Start Point: Christchurch, New Zealand Tour End Point: Christchurch, New Zealand

We have reserved most of the Harley-Davidson rental bikes in New Zealand for this tour. There are a good mixture of mainly tourers, with some other models as well. As we receive the bookings for this tour, we will be offering the available models to you strictly in the order we receive the bookings, so the earlier you book, the more choice of bike model you will have.

We recognise that many people may want to add some time onto their holiday to include, for example, exploring the North Island of NZ either before or after the motorcycle tour of the South Island. With this in mind, we will be preparing a simple guide to the North Island, setting out driving times and suggestions for places to visit and stay. This will be made available free of charge to anyone on the tour on request.

Fabulous just fabulous! Thanks Gary for the most spectacular tour of NZ South Island! We’ll most certainly be booking another tour with you soon. 

Melanie Church, Wiltshire, UK.