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Lonely Planet Cycling New Zealand (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides) Paperback – September, 2000

3.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

As the premiere title in Lonely Planet’s new cycling series, "Cycling New Zealand" is an informative guide that steers you along 34 of the best cycling routes in New Zealand. With this book in tow you can explore spectacular coastal roads, rugged mountain passes and rich dairy country with rides ranging from leisurely one day trips to challenging extended tours. Most rides described are accompanied by a map that shows the route as well as any attractions and possible side trips.

There is a special section called ‘Your Bike’ which provides vital information on bike selection, preparation, maintenance and transport. In addition there is pertinent information on staying healthy, medical problems and treatment, and safety on the bike. "Cycling New Zealand" is a comprehensive tool for the dedicated cyclist for whom the cycling itself is the main focus, as well as for the traveler to the area who wants to do some cycling.

• 103 days of New Zealand’s best riding
• how to pack and transport your bike
• on-the-road maintenance tips and where to find help
• where to stay - from camping to cozy B&Bs
• where to eat - from bakeries to bistros
• what to see and do out of the saddle
• selected mountain bike rides

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Product Details

  • Series: Lonely Planet Cycling Guides
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186450031X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864500318
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,901,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a big fan of cycle-touring and Lonely Planet guide books, I was quite excited to find the LP Cycling New Zealand book. I'm leaving on a 2 month cycle-tour throughout New Zealand soon, and figured this book would be all I'd need guidewise. Structured the same as regular LP guides, it gives all the basic info for New Zealand, including cycling specific info wherever it fits. The sections on taking your bike on trains and busses within New Zealand was especially helpful.
The routes however, were a bit disappointing. While each individual route is well laid out, almost none of the routes are connected. If your plan was to cycle the North Island from Auckland down to the Southern tip of the island, it would be impossible to follow the routes highlighted in the book. Also missing is an overview map showing all the routes. On the positive side, each route description is well done, including distance/navigation info, elevation profiles, accomodation, and sightseeing info.
If you are looking to do a series of shorter tours, I would recommend this book. If your goal is an extended tour covering long distances, Bruce Ringer's "New Zealand By Bike" book is a better choice.
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Format: Paperback
I've bicycle toured solo in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and New Zealand. I've yet to see a cycling-specific guide to a country that is worth taking along, and this book is worse than most, because of the "loop" configuration of the rides, and the confusing maps (look hard to see which way is north!). In my travel journal, I made a reference to the "nearly useless" LP Cycling Guide.

My recommendation for any country is to take a look at the general information overview in any cycling guide, make notes of any peculiarities of that country (ie, NZ requires all cyclists to wear a helmet. You cannot leave the airport on your bike until you've purchased a helmet at the airport shop), then buy the GENERAL (not cycling-specific) tourist guide that suits your style. I used the Rough Guide New Zealand (best maps and budget accommodation info; I don't camp), after rejecting the Lonely Planet guide. In Europe the best has consistently been Let's Go, with Rick Steves' being an excellent series for inside information (even though his hand-drawn maps are mediocre, his inside info is excellent.)

Buy maps when you get there. You'll find great maps ("Kiwi Maps" in New Zealand are excellent, in a spiral-bound booklet) in service stations in the countries you go to. When you can look them over in the country they were made for, you'll find they're cheaper, and you can then assess exactly what suits you. You can generally go to Tourist Information in the airport for good information on where to go first, then buy a map when you're situated.
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Format: Paperback
I bet if the people who rated this book highly were polled as to what year they utilized its guidance there would be a direct correlation to how close they were to the release of this only edition...hint hint Lonely Planet editors...UPDATE THIS BOOK!

I don't know where to begin but who in the world rides loops when they are bicycle touring. While I admit that the Southern Alps loop was pretty cool I couldn't overlook the out of date information and sometimes inaccurate terrain profiles in this book. I quicky learned not to rely too heavily on this book and transitioned over to the, much lighter, Pedaller's Paradise. That wafer thin book of goodness in conjunction with the NZ AA maps (which are free to anyone who has an Autoclub memmbership) were much more informative and enjoyable. I am not sure if Amazon carries that book but you can easily search for "pedaller's paradise."

Lastly, I took a Lonely Planet New Zealand guide book as well and found that not worth its brick-like weight in my pannier. I found the New Zealand Tourist Information centers and the people who staff them much more informative and much more fun to engage. The first thing I usually did when rolling into towns was to b-line directly for the Tourist Information.

One more thing...if you like to mountain bike as well pick up the Kennett Brother's book, Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides, by searching for "kennett bros classic."
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Format: Paperback
I must disagree with bikermitch's review below and must defend this fine guide with five stars.
Lonely Planet's NZ cycling guide is geared to cyclists throughout, so much so that if you had to carry only one guidebook in your panniers, this could be it. There are clear maps for every ride (with the route highlighted in blue). And the rides can easily be pieced together to just about circumnavigate the entire country, north and south islands. So Lonely Planet's guide is useful for those planning mostly paved road tours lasting from a few days to a couple of months.
I agree that New Zealand By Bike is also a must, but if you are going all the way to Kiwi Land (or on any major trip), buying, studying, comparing and cross-referencing two or three guidebooks is the way to go.
As for the Lonely Planet guide, I especially appreciate the authors' list of New Zealand's cycling superlatives, such as Most Challenging Climb, Best Downhill, Best Seacoast Ride, Best Scenery, etc. - and the list of where to ride if you have one week, two weeks, even a month or two. This guide is not an amateurish, small press attempt at being thorough yet concise. It consistently sets a professional, honest, experienced, authoritative and enjoyably wry tone. This book is worth every penny - and every ounce. I predict it'll be the one cycling guide you actually carry along.
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