Top Down Adventure

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Our 13-day Top Down Tour offers the opportunity to experience some of the most popular New Zealand attractions available on both islands. The Adventure begins on the North Island in Auckland and ends in Christchurch on the South Island, with a wealth of unforgettable experiences in between. You’ll ride the stunning roads of the Coromandel Peninsula, visit the North Island’s wine country, cross the Cook Strait to the South Island and visit the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, and stop for a night at Mt. Cook before heading for Christchurch.

In addition to great riding and stunning landscapes, the quality of the meals and lodging are in keeping with the high standards that have become an integral part of all Ayres Adventures. Accommodations range from comfortable, middle class hotels to luxury accommodations and “boutique” establishments that are off the usual tourist path.

At a Glance Your Top Down Adventure

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 1 Airport transfer, motorcycle handover, kickoff meeting and our first dinner together! Riders arriving early can visit SKYCITY – home to the iconic 328 metre Sky Tower (the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere), perhaps coupled with a SkyWalk – a walk around the outside ring of the SkyTower. Auckland also has a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants and cafes, and the world-class SKYCITY Casino.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 2 From Auckland we’ll ride south to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula and stay in the quaint seaside town of Coromandel. It’s only an hour and a half out of the hustle and bustle of Auckland but you’re sure to be entranced by the tranquility. You’ll be introduced to New Zealand’s twisty roads – one of the many reasons New Zealand is considered a motorcycling paradise. We stay at lovely lodgings close to native bush and only a stone’s throw from the water.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 3 You’ll continue riding twisty roads until you leave the Coromandel Peninsula. After leaving the peninsula, the roads will include stunning sweepers, but you’re done with the tight switchbacks for a day or two.
In Waihi you may enjoy stopping at the Waihi Gold Mine Lookout. It’s clearly marked from the highway and is only a short distance off the main road.
Rotorua is built on a geothermal area and is New Zealand’s cultural home. When you arrive in Rotorua you should take the opportunity to visit the famous geysers and bubbling mud pools. This evening you’ll attend a Maori cultural evening including a meal cooked in a ‘HANGI’ which is a traditional earth pit oven.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 4 We’ll pass through the Tongariro National Park – New Zealand’s oldest National Park and also a dual World Heritage Area. Tongariro is home to New Zealand’s most active volcano, Ngauruhohe and also Mount Tongariro herself. Tongariro was used to portray Mordor in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Today’s ride will also include the opportunity to visit a large windmill farm. Greytown is located in one of New Zealand’s exceptional wine producing areas. There are over 30 wineries in the region and the town itself is a fabulous combination of quaint charm and fabulous shopping and cafes.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 5 If you think the riding has been good so far, it gets even better today. We ride over the twisty Rimutaka Hill to meet our inter-island ferry at Wellington before taking the three-hour ferry ride to Picton – ‘Gateway to the South Island’. You’ll experience some lovely twisties as you negotiate Rimutaka Hill after leaving Featherston.
On the ferry, you’ll be able to stay inside or you can stand outside on the deck and enjoy the weather. You’ll enjoy views of the famous Marlborough Sounds from the deck.
Leaving Picton, you’ll experience the Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock, an incredibly stunning ride. There are many opportunities to stop and take photos on the way.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 6

You may wish to take a vineyard tour or perhaps visit the region’s famous arts and crafts designers, including world famous Hoglund Glass. Or, just relax at one of the many delightful cafes, restaurants or bars along the waterfront.
You might even ride to Takaka over the famous Takaka Hill with its fabulous twists and turns and breathtaking views! Along the way, consider passing through the famed Able Tasman National Park. If you’re interested in trying some sea kayaking you can rent a kayak on the beach.
Perhaps you’ll want to ride the famous Takaka Hill. There are some interesting photo opportunities as you cross the hill, and you might like to visit the Ngarua Caves beautiful limestone caves located on the summit of the hill.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 7

Be prepared for more awesome scenery and roads as we cross the Southern Alps, and enter the hallowed ‘West Coast’. It’s some of the best (some locals may say the best) motorcycling to be had in the world, with light traffic, stunning scenery and superb roads.
On the way we will stop off at the world famous pancake rocks at Punakaiki, where the Tasman Sea has carved massive caves and blowholes in the sedimentary limestone rock, which was once the sea bed. The beauty of the West Coast landscape is only matched by the quality of the ride…… enjoy!!!!

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 8

You’ll ride through lush semi-tropical rainforests and through dairy farming areas as we ride south to Franz Josef Glacier. The ride will be very pretty, with many opportunities to stop and enjoy the surroundings.
At Ross (15 miles south of Hokitika) you’ll have another opportunity to visit a restored gold town and museum commemorating the areas’ gold rush days.
Today’s destination, either Fox Glacier or nearby Franz Josef Glacier, is the location of two of New Zealand’s famous glaciers. Once you arrive in Franz Josef you might like to take a scenic helicopter flight up to view the Glacier – flights even land on the Glacier for a close up view. Numerous flight options include both Franz Josef and nearby Fox Glacier.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 9

Today’s ride will take you through Mt. Aspiring National Park – an area designated by UNESCO to stand alongside other places of natural significance such as The Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest and the Great Barrier Reef.
When you leave Haast Village you’ll ride through the incredible Haast Pass. Be sure to stop and take photos at Devils Gate where the road crosses the raging Haast River.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 10

If you’re interested in adventure activities, you’ll probably find a wider selection of them in Queenstown than in any other place in the world. Activities range from bungee jumping to para-sailing to thrilling jet boat rides.
There are also some beautiful rides available from Queenstown, from the all-day ride to Milford Sound to the ride to nearby Arrowtown, which is less than a half an hour from Queenstown and which offers a nice selection of restaurants, cafes and small shops.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 11 Leaving Queenstown you’ll enjoy the golden Lindis Pass before arriving in Omarama and continuing on to the beautiful glacial blue waters of Lake Tekapo. From Lake Tekapo the ride offers stunning landscapes and innumerable photo opportunities.
As you arrive at the village of Mount Cook, you’ll be mesmerized by the alpine surroundings of this truly unique region. Have your photo taken with a life-sized statue of Sir Edmund Hillary or on your motorcycle with magnificent Mount Cook in the background.
We’ll stay at the Motel units of the Hermitage. There are some great photo opportunities in the area and the opportunity to get up close to New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 12

Our final destination is Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’, also known as New Zealand’s most ‘English’ city. To get there we travel through the open landscape of McKenzie Country and across the alluvial Canterbury Plains.
In Christchurch, you’ll be within easy walking distance of great shopping and cafes plus the fabulous new Christchurch Art Gallery and the famous Arts Centre, originally home to the University of Canterbury. Tonight we will enjoy a wonderful final dinner together to celebrate our New Zealand Adventure!

Top Down Adventure, Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Day 13 After a leisurely breakfast, we will arrange transport to the airport for your flight home.

Total – 1,610 miles

The route is entirely paved, with a variety of road features.
100% Pavement



Please contact us about low frame and/or low seat options for our bikes.

  • Deduct $300 for a Honda CMX500 Rebel
  • Deduct $300 for a Suzuki DL650 Vstrom
  • Deduct $100 for a BMW F700GS
  • Includes BMW F750GS
  • Deduct $150 for a Honda Shadow Aero 750
  • Deduct $100 for a Triumph Tiger 800
  • Additional charge of $250 for a BMW F850GS
  • Additional charge of $650 for a BMW R1200GS LC
  • Additional charge of $650 for a BMW R1200RT LC
  • Additional charge of $1,250 for a BMW R1250GS LC
  • Personal motorcycle: deduct $1,450 from the rider price.
Standard Inclusions
  • Late model, low mileage motorcycle
  • Upscale accommodations
  • A’ la carte dining
  • Two Ayres Adventures professional tour leaders
  • Airport arrival/departure transfers
  • Luggage handling
  • Comfortable support vehicle for non-riding companions
  • Comprehensive pre-trip planning and assistance
  • Customized trip booklet with day-by-day itinerary and attractions
  • Two commemorative shirts
  • Adventurer Club travel award credit
  • All breakfasts
  • 13 dinners
Special Inclusions
  • Maori cultural experience
  • Ferry across Cook Strait

Deposit per person: $800

Single room supplement – $1,150

2023 Schedule
Date2023 AdventuresLengthPrice (USD)Co-riderNotes
January 14 - 26Top Down Adventure13 days$7,900$5,900
October 28 - November 9Top Down Adventure13 days$7,900$5,900
2024 Schedule
Date2024 AdventuresLengthPrice (USD)Co-riderNotes
January 30 - February 11Top Down Adventure13 days$7,900$5,900
Cancellation fee and refunds
More than 60 days50% of deposit
60 days or fewer but more than 45 days100% of deposit
45 days or fewer but more than 30 days50% of full tour payment
30 days or fewer100% of full tour payment

They always go above and beyond to take care of the client

Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Ayres Adventures, Testimonial

I have participated in numerous tours with Ayres Adventures as well as other tour companies and can comfortably report that Ayres is the Premier touring company. They always go above and beyond to take care of the client.

Rob and Christine's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
Australia and Tasmania – Adventure Down Under
Dutch Treat Adventure
Spain and Morocco
Viking Run
Escape to Machu Picchu
Southern Cross
Best of Alaska/Canada

Rob and Christine Hiday
Jacksonville, FL

This is the way I want to experience this type of trips going forward!

Raul, New Zealand Top Down Adventure Testimonial, Ayres Adventures

Now that I am finally back home I wanted to send some words with my impressions after this adventure in your wonderful country.

This was my ninth motorcycle tour of this type and I can say without hesitation that what I have experienced this time has nothing to do with my previous tours. I had very high expectations of the tour based on the multiple things I read and videos I watched in preparation of this adventure. All of them have been highly exceeded.

Of course the many wonders of New Zealand, as well as the quality of the accommodations and restaurants chosen, had a lot to do with that, but what really made the difference was the level of enthusiasm and professionalism that you and Jason showed every single day of the tour, taking care of every detail, anticipating any potential issue, ensuring that everyone was safely enjoying those superb riding opportunities that this country offers, and making sure that each of the participants was getting the most out of each day.

If this is the way in which Ayres delivers the adventures offered in its catalogue then I am afraid that you will be hearing a lot more about me, because this is the way I want to experience this type of trips going forward.

All my gratitude for this unforgettable adventure and all the strength for the times to come.

Fuerte abrazo (Big Hug)


Raul's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

Madrid, Spain

Thank you for a trip of a lifetime that exceeded my highest expectations!

Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand, Ayres Adventures, Review

The tour leaders were way more than I ever anticipated. They are thorough, knowledgeable about motorcycling and the area and they both have really good people skills. I saw them accommodate every person on the tour in a unique way for each person and they made it look easy ...which I know is not the case.

Bravo to these two guys and to you for hiring and training them. They are what made this tour so exceptional.

The ride scenery in New Zealand was unbelievable and fantastic and the dinners were first class.
Thank you, thank you for a trip of a lifetime that exceeded my highest expectations.

Mark's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

Mark Castillero
Vista, CA

Can't wait to return!

Tongariro Volcano, New Zealand Motorcycle Tour Testimonial

Just returned from New Zealand and the Top Down Tour and can't wait to return. Chris and Janis could not have made a better set of guides.

David's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

David Stepanchak
Los Angeles, CA

We cannot think of a better way to see the world!

Rommens, Ayres Adventures Motorcycle Tour in New Zealand

Travelling with Ayres Adventures was stellar. It was a great opportunity to tour another country with absolutely no worries. Each day we were briefed as to what the day ahead would look like and off we went. The guides, Chris and Axel, were knowledgeable, organized and a pleasure to be with. We made many stops to look at beautiful sites or to take a break. It gave us an opportunity to meet new friends and share the love of motorcycle touring. We cannot think of a better way to see the world and would definitely travel with Ayres again.

Wendel and Janet's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

Wendel and Janet Rommens
Brooks, Canada

After this fantastic tour, I am afraid I can never do a "normal" vacation again!

Even though I had high expectations, I was not prepared for how heart achingly beautiful New Zealand is. Every day on the tour another stunning ride unfolded, each completely unique and full of surprises. The accommodations were equally unique and in prime spots, with nice meals in a variety of restaurants. Both tour leaders had a deep knowledge about the places we visited and taught us a lot. After this fantastic tour, I am afraid I can never do a "normal" vacation again!

Cordelia's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
Mongolia and Eastern Siberian Adventure

Cordelia Sever
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Once you travel with Ayres Adventures there is no going back!

First class all the way! Awesome roads and amazing lodging. Staff brings the group together and makes everyone feel welcome and at ease. Gives us plenty of time on the bikes and off the bikes to enjoy our new friends. Does a great job dealing with the unexpected and last minute changes which are bound to happen with any event. Why go with any other group - once you travel with Ayres Adventures there is no going back - they are top notch. This is my 4th trip and saving my money for the next one.

John and Heidi's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
Ushuaia and Antarctica
Africa Call of the Wild
Iron Butt Viking Run

Heidi Still and John Bateman
Yuma, Arizona

More awesome than we could ever have imagined!

Hi Ron,
I just wanted to touch base with you about our recent trip to New Zealand with Ayres Adventures. It was a trip of a lifetime that was more awesome than we could ever have imagined.

Chris and Bryn did an outstanding job in leading us and showing us their country the New Zealand way. The bikes ran great, the weather was excellent, the scenery outstanding, the roads were awesome with lots of curves, the food was amazing and our tour group of people all got along as good friends.

I could go on and on, but words cannot express the fun we had on this tour. Everything was top notch! A truly amazing journey!

Bob and Robin's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
(Auckland to Christchurch)

Bob and Robin Hyde
Plymouth, Minnesota

The most wonderful vacation we've ever had!

Before we left for New Zealand, we told ourselves it would be the trip of a was all that and ten times more. Every aspect of the entire experience far exceeded our wildest expectations.

The accommodations and the meals were fabulous, the rides amazing, and the people were the absolute best. It was without a doubt the most wonderful vacation we've ever had.
We will return to New Zealand some day, and we will ride with Ayres again--somewhere in the world.

John and Jane's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

John and Jane Jonesco
Oberlin, Ohio

You won't be disappointed!

"I've taken two Ayres Adventures motorcycle tours, two years apart, on two continents - they were both topnotch! I don't normally treat myself to the finest things, but Ayres Adventures did treat us to the finest things, and they did it humbly, with knowing smiles on their faces. They knew the next site, the next route, or the next hotel, was going to knock our socks off. And, sure enough, it did!

I encourage anyone considering an overseas motorcycle trip to choose Ayres Adventures as your host. You won't be disappointed"

Steve's Adventures include:
Rendezvous in Rio
New Zealand Grand Tour

Steve Morgan
Chicago, Illinois

My husband loves motorcycle touring and now I must admit I have grown to love it too!

The camaraderie of our tour group, good natured people, well cared for roads, twistie turns and gorgeous scenery enhanced by beautiful silver ferns, crystal blue lakes, and of course lots of sheep!

These all describe the memories I will cherish when I think about New Zealand. My husband loves motorcycle touring and now I must admit I have grown to love it too! ...Susan"

Bob and Sue's Adventures include:
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
Call of the Wild
Escape to Antarctica (and Ushuaia)
Machu Picchu Excursion
Norwegian Midnight Sun

Bob and Sue Johnston
Lake Villa, Illinois

We’re already signed up for the Alps and Morocco

I’ve ridden eight Ayres Adventures tours, three of them IBA (Iron Butt Association) specific rides and haven’t been disappointed. All have been first class, unique, and full of very pleasant surprises. Ron and his staff have always been courteous, helpful, and patient. In fact, he has found some special tour leaders and guides. By the end of the tour, they become friends that we look forward to seeing again.

Each tour had it’s own highlights. The IBA tours fit our style of riding since we are interested in seeing as much as we can and not spending a lot of time at the destination hotels. If you ride one, be prepared to cover some distance in all kinds of road and weather conditions.

Ushuaia had been one of those must see places for us and the South America IBA ride was the perfect way to do it, we ended up with more than we expected. The scenery was spectacular, the food was excellent, and this group of riders made it a ride to remember.

We enjoyed this one so much, we’re already signed up for the Alps IBA ride this September and the Portugal, Spain, and Morocco tour next year.

Tom and Mona's Adventures include:
IBA Ushuaia Tour
IBA Africa Tour
IBA Extreme Alps Tour
Machu Picchu Excursion (Empire of the Incas)
Spain and Morocco
New Zealand Top Down Adventure
Namibian Splendors (Africa)
Russia - Beyond the Golden Ring
Munich to Istanbul
Japan Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji
The Epic Journey - Moscow to Hong Kong

Tom and Mona Loftus
Vista, California

You win the oscar!

You win the Oscar for the category of "The Company that Works the Hardest to Please a Client!"

George and Sherri's Adventures include:
Southern Cross
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

George and Sherri DeMier
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Once again, we came away thrilled...

"The Antarctica trip was our fifth tour (or 6th if you count Hyder) with Ayres Adventures and once again we came away thrilled with the experience.

The Antarctica portion was a life changing event, much the same as our three trips in Africa with Ayres forever changed our view of the world. Having now toured on all 7 continents, we can say that while the trip to Antarctica is costly and can be difficult at times, it is worth every cent if you enjoy adventure travel to new places. It will change your perspective of our planet and all it entails in a way that is impossible to explain unless you have made the voyage!

Mike and Cara's Adventures include:
Escape to Antarctica (and Ushuaia)
Call of the Wild (Africa)
Southern Cross (Africa)
Namibian Splendors (Africa)
Into Africa
New Zealand Top Down Tour
Greece and Italy - Golden Odyssey
Machu Picchu Excursion
Portugal and Spain Adventure
Portugal, Spain and Morocco Adventure

Mike and Cara Hardinger
Southern Pines, North Carolina

Consider your company whole-heartedly endorsed!

"When the memories of a trip stay with me every night while trying to sleep, I know that I have experienced something very memorable. I had such a good time that I signed up for your next 'Rendezvous in Rio' Adventure".

Consider your company whole-heartedly endorsed!

John's Adventures include:
Taste of Chile (and Dash of Argentina)
South American Splendors
Rendezvous in Rio
New Zealand Grand Tour
Escape to Antarctica (and Ushuaia)
Africa Off-Road
Southern Cross (Africa)
Portugal, Spain and Morocco

John Dinges
Lebanon, Oregon

Bikers Delight

Biker's delight. These are the words that come to my mind when I think of my Ayres Adventures tours. Great rides, sensational places, good food and great fun. A big "Thank you!" to the whole Ayres team for creating such an experience, you're doing an awesome job. I am looking forward to riding with you again.

Michael's Adventures include:
Machu Picchu Excursion
Southern Cross
Namibian Splendors
Spain and Morocco
Norwegian Midnight Sun
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

Michael B
Cologne, Germany
Private Tour Inquiry

We are happy to book any of our motorcycle tour as a private tour. For most tours, we require a minimum of 8 bikes, or 12 participants (riders plus co-riders). We can provide a private motorcycle tour for smaller groups, but a surcharge may apply. We can also customize any of our regular tours for a private group.

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