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Buying a bike in New Zealand!

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Buying a bike in New Zealand!


I am looking into the possibility of buying a bike in NZ on arrival - so potentially in Auckland or Queenstown.

Ideally looking for a pretty decent touring bike - something along the lines of a surly long haul or a kona sutra.

Any thoughts about the practicality of a bike like that on cycle trails in NZ?

My current wheels are a Specialized Cross Trail which has actually served me really well - and if there are a lot of dirt trails may infact be more appropriate? It is just quite a heavy slow old beast and the logistics of getting her there from the UK via Indonesia and India is a little overwhelming..!

If anyone can recommend a bike shop / forum / bike type much obliged! Would probably be interested in a second hand bike and then to sell at the end of the tour.



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There are some companies who

There are some companies who will buy your bike back for half the price. Since I forgot the names, google them:-).
We bought ours in the Giantshop in Auckland, good service, experience and good choice available. Visited two other shops in New Market as well, but less choice or less experience.

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Bikes in NZ

You can hire faily decent bikes from a couple of places in Christchurch, "Natural High" is one of them, but I think it gets too expensive for a longer tour. Buying a bike and reselling it is probably your best option if you can't bring one with you, and a good place to buy and sell second hand bikes is the online auction website "Trademe". Touring bikes pop up reasonably often on it, or MTB's or cross bikes that could be set up for touring, you'd just need a bit of luck with location of sellers. Surly's and Kona Sutra's don't come up often 2nd hand, the Surly importer is based in Christchurch though. Most bike shops should be able to set you up if you go that way, probably easier to find and get to in Queenstown and Christchurch than in Auckland though.

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Thanks everyone for your

Thanks everyone for your feedback will look into those contacts and let you know how I get on :)

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New Zealand trip

Hi Katie

I came across your post whilst searching for a way to get my bike over to New Zealand from the UK.
All the Airlines seem to accept bikes as checked luggage but the dimensions seem so small I would have to spend a long time figuring out how to pack everything up. I was going to stop off in Australia (Sydney) for a week so that would add on another unpacking/packing scenario.
I thought your suggestion of buying a 2nd hand bike in NZ then selling at the end of the trip was very good and wondered how you got on.
If you found a good scheme there for selling on used touring bikes please let me know.
Also if you can recommend some great places to visit or avoid and some good warm shower hosts that would be fantastic;)

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Tourer trading shceme

Hi Polly, I realise this is a very old post, so no worries if you don't spot this/have time to reply. But I came across this while looking for bike buying in New Zealand as well. I am currently in Australia as well, so had a similar issue, though for me it wasn't worth paying my cheap bike onto three flights to get it there with me. I wondered if you used the bike selling scheme for touring bikes, and if you recall the name of it? As that sounds ideal :) Cheers, Em.

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Hi Emma. Unfortunately I

Hi Emma. Unfortunately I never made it to New Zealand so never got to use the bike selling scheme. 

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Ah, that's a shame Polly.

Ah, that's a shame Polly. Hopefully for good reasons. Thanks for taking the time to reply though. Em

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Scheme with legs

Wow, this post has legs - many comments six years old.  "Scheme" makes it sound so devious.  It is interesting how we all find our own way, sometimes with regret and learning in the process.  Hopefully with good memories and new experience.  Such is the adventure of bicycle touring.  Safe travels everyone.

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A bike for NZ

Hi Emma, I have just read through all the posts here, including the really old ones. 1. Don't consider sending the bike ahead of you. IF you do that, there are complications regarding customs and ag dep't signoffs, plus there is a hefty import duty to pay if the bike is not actually with you. That can be refunded after you leave the country, with the bike  but is an awkward process. 2. Trademe - as suggested by someone else, has bikes frequently listed for sale.  I think the problem with that is that you have to have a NZ address to belong to Trademe. (wait till  you get here, then discus it with your initial friendly WS host??)  3. Natural High  has a larg hire fleet of touring and off road bikes. They are based at AUckland airport, and also a couple of km from Christchurch airport. Fro time to time, they also sell off some of their fleet. 4. Many Facebook pages that have things for sale, feature bikes. Try checking through ones in Chch, Auckland and Q'town, being the places that most tourers depart from.  5. There is defiinitely at least one AUckland company that will buy back ( generally at half the price you paid for the bike)  - a google search may find that. In Christcurch there is a bike shop "second Time Around" that sells all sorts of bikes and has good touring ones at times - they will also do a buy back later for you - again, I think at half the price you paid.) For me, I have found that Emirate and Qantas work best for taking a bike with me - they  seems to have a 30kg basic allowance instead of the 23kg that some others seem to have. However, you may have to check as to whether that includes any internal flight to Queenstown if you have firstly landed in Auckland.  My latest solution has been to buy a Brompton bike , which folds and fits into a bag on wheels so I can pull it through train stations airports etc, but do not have to pay for it on flights. Most airlines attach a "fragile" sticker to the bag, then it goes through the special luggage loading lane.  It has been through six lots of airport handling so far, with no damage. Feel free to contact  me if you are wanting a place to stay at in Chch at any stage of your tour.  Best of luck, Biff. 

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Hi Biffy,

Hi Biffy,

Thanks ever so much for all this. Fantastic stuff. I hadn't realised that about trade me, but I am lucky enough to be moving in with a friend when I initially arrive in New Zealand, so will have an address. Natural high is definitely some good insider knowledge though. I'm not sure I'd have come across them as I wasn't thinking of hiring, so will make sure I keep an eye on them. And the second time around also sounds like a good spot for me to check out. I suspect I will be headnig to Auckland to try and buy, so it'll be good to look. I did vaguely consider a folding bike, but in the end opted for buying over there, so hopefully it'll come together. Sounds like there's loads of options, and I'm not under any real time pressure, so hopefully somethign will come along with patience :) Thanks very much for taking the time to give such thorough info Biffy. Much appreciated.

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Different Suggestion

Hi Katie:

First off, I think you will love NZ - great choice. I think a better option is to ship a road-ready bicycle there (fly with it or contact other Warm Shower members or local bicycle shops for a place to send it) and possibly sell it at the end of your tour. If not, you will spend a good day finding the right bicycle and another day setting it up for touring. The logistics of this are not easy while being a tourist in a new land.

This next month, I will do a mini-tour of Florida. I had planned to do the same thing - buy a used bicycle there, set it up, ride, then sell it at the end. In the end, I decided it would be quicker, cheaper, and easier to ship a bicycle there for my trip. I set up the bicycle at my leisure in my basement and will be set to ride within hours of arrival at my destination.

Good luck!


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Re different suggestion

Harold, I know that it is severall years since you wrote your suggestioin re shipping a bike to NZ, but as this thread has now revived, I thought I woud write a response in case it is seen by others in 2019-20. :-)  If a bike comes as accompanied luggage on the flight, the only expenses are whatever the airine charges in advance. However, if a bike is shipped seperately, thenit is inspected by both customs and the ag services. A charge is made by the ag services, and an import fee is charged for the bike. I can't remember the figure now, but it ws definitely over $150 per bike when I dealt with the arrival for two cyclists.  That fee can be refunded ( ie can be seen as a bond) if one does the right departure paperwork before leaving NZ. The bond will be refunded to a bank account AFTER one has left the country.  With regards to buyng a bike: I have  flown into three other countries from NZ (USA, France, Germany. ans bought a new bike  and been on my way touring within 34 hours - 4 countries if I couldnt having bought my Brompton on line, then picked it up the day I arrived in England. Auck, Chch, Wellington - all easy enough to find a a suitable bike shop on arrival. A top of the line, expensive touring bike is not essential for doing just one summer tour in NZ ( which is longer than many actually do.)   :-)

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Fly with it

We looked at all the options a few years ago and the cost is the main obstacle, we ended up flying our bikes out as checked luggage in boxes we got from our local shop with Emirates or Singapore airlines, both at no extra cost. Our second trip was via a month in Taiwan. It is not as difficult as you think. I have a large framed bike and just took the front wheel, peddles and bars off, the carrier stays in place. The one thing that can cause problems is the weight limit, but we travel very light. On our last trip we had 2 bikes, a trailer and our clothes etc. all within the 60 kg limit, just!

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Surviving thread . . .

It seems a trade-off between cost and comfort. Some international flights allow a bicycle free as a part of checked luggage; others charge US $150 each way. For a shorter trip (e.g., a week) obtaining a bicycle in the destination country might make the most sense. So perhaps renting or buying from a shop who agree to buy the bicycle back from you at a discount might be the way to go. But for an extended tour, most of us want to be on our own steed.

So, did "Bliss on Wheels" ever take that trip?

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For anyone interested in the topic in 2016...

I have a great touring bike for sale in New Zealand in March/April 2016.

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Secondhand Shop

Hey there

I just bought a bike at  a second hand shop in New Plymouth ten years ago for around 25 NZD. It wasn't the best bike I was riding on but it did it's job.
I'm sure for a bit more than 25 bugs you can get quite a decent one that will bring you all around New Zealand.
At the end of my journey I sold it again to a second hand shop at another city. 
Buying cheap bikes wherever I went and sold or gave it away for free at the end of a journey always worked out for me. I've always payed less then 50 bugs.

The journey starts with finding a bike and get it ready for the ride!

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