British Lions Motorcycle Tour of Queensland Australia

June 2013

For those motorcyclists who love their rugby, could it get any better than to watch a two games of the British Lions tour of Australia and then motorcycle tour northern and central Queensland over a couple of weeks, this June? The British Lions are back touring in Australia for the first time since 2001 this June for a six week tour involving a three test series. The Lions rugby team only tour every four years and this year are to be coached by current Wales coach kiwi Warren Gatland – their last tour was in 2009 where they lost the test series to South Africa. The Lions fans - the ‘Balmy-Army’ - are well known for being eager supporters and following their team in a campervan convoy for the duration of the tour, and now, here is your chance to follow the tour by motorcycle.

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Great Southern Land of New Zealand

The South Island.

For many of us ticking off an overseas motorcycle tour is usually on our motorcycling wishlist. For some that includes riding New Zealand’s South Island. New Zealand consists of two main islands and many smaller offshore islands. The South Island is the larger island and is about 20% larger than the North Island at 151,000sq km as opposed to the North Island’s 114,000sq km. Despite having a larger land mass that the North Island, the South Island’s population is only about one-third (1.1mil) that of if northern counterpart meaning from a motorcycling point of view southern roads are relatively uncluttered.

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State Highway 6 (SH6)

Motorcycle the length of New Zealand’s Southern Alps

New Zealand’s roading network State Highway Six (SH 6) runs the length of the South Island’s Southern Alps mountain range for around 1200kms and is arguably one of the great motorcycle rides of the world. Covering a variety of terrain this majestic highway encompasses everything that is synomis with motorcycle touring in New Zealand. With a population of 4.4million in NZ, only 1 million of that is located in the South Island, so the southern roading network is relatively uncluttered. For the vast majority of motorcyclists who fly into NZ to tour for a few weeks, invariably nearly all will ride a part, if not most of SH 6 at some point of their journey. To savour all of SH 6 allow for a four or five day journey, where it can be comfortably completed in a series of well appointed stages.

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New Zealand on Two Wheels

Two Wheels Touring NZ's perspective on motorcycle touring in New Zealand

“This is one of the motorcycle touring articles that Scotty has written for approximately 230 publications around the world.”

Most of us have undertaken a tour of some sort on a motorbike whether it’s a couple of days with your mates somewhere for the weekend, or a couple of weeks around the country. For motorcyclists more often than not its the journey which is more interesting than the destination. How many of you though, have shipped your bikes to a pre-determined destination, ridden for a few weeks and then shipped them back home again? One or two I’m sure, but an increasing number of motorcyclists are doing just that to experience motorcycling in New Zealand, or taking the easier option and renting a motorcycle on arrival in ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’ to commence their touring experience.

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