We’ve just come back from a trip to New Zealand where we cycle toured for five weeks. I had crawled the internet for information, reading other people’s blogs and write-ups about their cycle tours in New Zealand. My strong recommendation is that you simply have to buy ‘Pedallers’ Paradise’ by Nigel Rushton!
Honestly, when I first saw the Pedallers’ website, my first impression was that it was a bit out of date. And, when I found the book in the bookshop, it was more or less a pile of print-outs stapled together. I wondered to myself just how good this book would be, and whether it was really worth £9.99.
But, I was very quickly converted and in total agreement with many other tourers that this is THE cycle touring bible to New Zealand. We had the Lonely Planet Guide to the South Island which we consulted a lot to begin with. But, as soon as we found out how good Pedallers’ is, the Lonely Planet was quickly forgotten.
Every road you can cycle in New Zealand is described to the max, with a nice chart so you had an idea of what gradients NZ is about to throw at you. This is accompanied by a great description of the countryside, preferred route directions to allow you to avoid the north-westerly wind, and details about campsites, DoC sites, shops, warnings about sandflies, availability of water and other invaluable information. It even had a little write-up about what to expect at the next town, when to stock up on food, money, etc.
This is quite simply the best guide book I ever have had. It has no glossy pages with big pretty pictures, just the important details you really need when touring. Plus, it is a nice size that easily fits into your bar bag and weighs very little.
I wish there was others out there like Nigel who could books just like the Pedallers’ Parasise for other countries around the world.
We were told by a bus driver that the NZ government is planning to update the book, I do not know if this is a rumour or for real.
We only found one error in the book which was on our ride into Te Anau, when we were well-tired. Pedallers’ told us to expect a ‘long gradual descent to Te Anau with a final small hill into the village’. We were very pleasantly surprised that the hill never materialised, and it was downhill all the way.