New Zealand winter riding

Hey there,

I’m planning a trip to NZ for some snowboarding action and riding action over August/Sept and i’ve never been over there.

I’ll be based in the town on Wanaka in the South Island and was wondering if anyone here knows of any popular climbs or websites like this The Climbing Cyclist for the South Island?

Also any info will be gladly taken on board about things to do, speciality winter kit worth the coin or anything else you might think of. Even like is there much of a road racing culture over there?

Cheers GM

Oh man I have been the last few years I love it
I will post up some stuff when I’m off my phone

But Wanaka is real nice,
There’s a couple of small bike shops in town but most convert to snow gear over winter.

The temps can vary from plus 10 in the mornings to a high of 20
To a high of -10.
Most mornings will be longs, over boots, thermal base, wind jacket, beanie.
Depends on how tough you are.

Last augest I got snowed in and could not drive for 5 days.

Have you got accomadation.

I lived in Wanaka and worked on Cardrona. Just ask the locals when you get there, they’ll point you in the right direction. Two of the lifties were locals and used to race the staff buses down the hill on their mtb’s most nights.

Buy any (snowboard) gear over there cos the shops ditch their stock each year. Good discounts to be had.

Man I think ski gear prices in nz are the highest in the world.
Buy online.
My north face pants on sale were more than retail in aus.

Yup i’ve got some nice accom sorted for a month, and will hope to have a hook up for the rest of the time, and a full season pass to Cardrona has already been purchased.
Already have some basic pants and a jacket, a friend distributes a snow boarding brand here in Au so hopefully i’ll get some gear hook ups.

Did you ride while you were there Nexus?

There’s a few NZer’s on here… Hikenny and Nacnud to name two. They may be able to help you, or it may be like asking me what Brisbane’s weather is like in winter.

I have a fair idea on what to expect the weather to be like, have spoken to a few Kiwi friends and also friends here that have visited the last few years.
Cold but clear is the general consensus, which Is fine-I really hate the wet but can manage in the cold.

Looks like some full length winter bibs at the very least will be needed to order.

^ can anyone with experience recommend some good padded winter bib shorts? Prefer non zipped at the bottom…

i bought the castelli ones and I love them. They are zipped though.

Hey Greenmachine,

Another kiwi here (or close enough)… although I lived in Wellington and did most of my snowboarding in the North Island and near Christchurch. But my brother lived in Wanaka for a number of years working as a snowboard instructer and Snow Park bum. If you need any specific information or tips flick me a PM and I’ll put you in touch with him.

My suggestion will be merino thermal underwear and a down jacket for day to day attire. And if you plan to ride road - neoprene shoe covers, windproof winter gloves, winter cap, winter tights and a softshell. There are some amazing roads around Wanaka but it’ll be cold, You’d want to pick warm days later in the season. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ride with a thermometer to make sure the roads aren’t frozen (I’m not joking). The road to Arrowtown has a mini stelvio section. And the only indoor velodrome in NZ is in Invercargill, some 3 hours South of Wanaka.

But MTB is king in NZ. Queenstown Bike Park is where its at - you can hire yourself something with acres of travel, that probably has as much in common with road riding as it does skidooing. But you may as well give it a go. When in Rome and all that. There is also Gorge Rd Jump park, which is mental. Here’s some vids of riding in Wanaka and Queenie.


User Moglix is from Christchurch, he might be able to give you some good tips on riding in the shit cold. Otherwise riders from Canberra or Tassie would probably have a better idea than Nacnud et al that live in Auckland (which has a sub-tropical climate)

I didn’t ride over there. Too cold and windy, with the possibility of ‘black ice’/frozen roads. The clouds sit in the valley, while it’s sunny up top on the mountain. I’d stick to mtb’ing rather than road.

This is why I was recommending a thermometer. When we would drive to the snow we had one on the car. You knew to drive slowly as the mercury hit 0º but anything above about 2º and you were good to go.

The mini stelvio near arrow town is amazeballs,
The whole road from Wanaka to arrow town is nice,
But like mentioned the roads are usually frozen or have frozen sections above 600m or even lower some days down to sea level.

DHB (wiggle) padded bib tights are excellent, both quality and price. I have the roubaix bib and they are too warm all but the very coldest Sydney morning. The wind proof super roubaix must be serious… they’re on sale too

great price!!! can’t decide on which one of these for a cold melbourne morning