New Zealand Encompassed 2023 tour blog – Part 1 Back to News List

Kia Ora.   Approaching the half way point of our inaugural Compass Expeditions, New Zealand Encompassed tour, we have been blessed with some beautiful weather allowing us to fully enjoy the motorcycle roads New Zealand is famous for.  

A group of 15 we have riders and pillions joining the tour from Australia, Canada, USA, Germany and Taiwan, many are repeat riders joining us on the epic 20-day tour of the North and South Islands from Auckland to Christchurch. 

The first leg of the ride saw us riding north out of Auckland to the stunning Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga at the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula.  There is a signpost which displays distances to some iconic cities around world; an arrow marker points 1452kms to the Bluff on the Southernmost point on the South Island where we will be later in the tour.  It’s much more than the 1452 kms for us – We will be riding over 5,000kms as we twist our way back and forth across the land of the long white cloud.

A visit to Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forrest) allowed us to see  this 2,500 year old giant giant kauri tree, It is the largest living kauri tree known to stand today.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand. Filming locations spanned more than 150 locations in both the North and the South Islands.  We will ride nearby many of the mountain locations where the films were shot but the side trip to the movie set, Hobbiton was something special. The tour explains how a 1,250 acre sheep farm was transformed into “The Shire” and the hobbit homes are just like they were in the movie which commenced filming in 1999, the guided tours started in 2002, over 20 years ago!  The cash cow keeps on giving.

Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal activity and Māori culture.   A night at Te Puia cultural show gave us a good insight into Mauri culture followed by an up close and personal experience with one of the many Geysers blasting jets of steam and water into the air.  

Onto the nation’s capital Wellington – that’s our gateway to catching the Inter-Islander ferry which will transport us and the 12 motorcycles and support van to Picton on the South Island where we will enjoy incredible riding through the Southern Alps.  Fox Glacier, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Dunedin and Mt Cook are some of the many highlights that await us.  Bring it on!