Dunedin Cruiser Bike Tour

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Dunedin Cruiser Bike Tour

Baldwin Street by bike, challenge accepted?! 

Baldwin Street by bike, challenge accepted?! 

'If you're not going forwards, you're going backwards' is a business saying that pops up often in my head- and it was on a quiet day flicking through the bike listings on Trade Me (NZ version of eBay) that I came across a listing for 10 cruiser bikes. This was a find! it gave me the missing link to an idea that I had had since the setting up 5 years ago. It was another way forwards! 

Jetty Street overbridge spiral

Jetty Street overbridge spiral

I have been experimenting with city bike tours for a little over 2 years now, creating routes and providing a tour that combines Dunedin's many aspects, historical and environmental. 

Up until now I have done a handful of these tours, mainly for the International University Students that are in the city for 6 month periods, it's a good way to introduce them to Dunedin and it's various quirky places, outside of North Dunedin. I had always used the mountain bikes that I have for my other tours, but the problem is, these bikes are overkill for the city tour and many people are not confident with gears and hydraulic disc brakes. They were unwelcome distractions.

these bikes give you instant street cred

these bikes give you instant street cred

Cruiser bikes are beautifully simple- pedal brake, chain guards, stand and no gears. You can ride them in everyday clothes, it's as easy as cycling gets. The riding position is laid back- it makes you feel laid back. 

They give you instant street cred.  

The best thing about biking  around Dunedin - it's compact.

The city is bikeable... the route is also flat, drivers are considerate and there are cycle lanes! It may look like a hilly city, but if you want to, it is possible to do a flat ride around all the main points of interest in the city within 2 hours- the harbour, the Botanic Gardens, the steepest street in the world (not up it, obviously), the street art, the main shopping street, the University, beach, breweries, historic buildings and street art. 

At the end of this tour, you will have a good idea of how and where Dunedin started and the various events that shaped what it is today. You get to see the hidden places that only the locals know about, easily missed in a car, plus you get a free beer tasting at the best brewery in NZ (not Speights!?!).

This tour is by request only,  email me for more info.

Emersons Brewery de-brief

Emersons Brewery de-brief

DUNEDIN CRUISER BIKE TOUR=

simple bike+easy flat route+NZ's best city+great stories+free beer tasting

 

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Rescuing lambs

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Rescuing lambs

Landscape, wildlife and history come together to make the Otago Peninsula tour one of the the world's top 10 bike rides and our most popular tour.

On this 4 hour tour, you will experience the remote beauty of the Otago Peninsula. Bike the quiet gravel roads, view wildlife and walk along deserted white sandy beaches, the home of penguins, seals and sea lions. 

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Spring has sprung

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Spring has sprung

Lupins 

Lupins 

Spring is here, the time to think about getting into the great outdoors again, on the bike of course. Temperatures above 20C (68F) with clear blue skies.

Today biking out on the beaches of the Otago Peninsula it was actually hot and  made me think about going for a swim. However, the temp is still only 11, pretty cold, so it was only a thought. 

 

Here's a few pics on recent tours.

Lambs in the Catlins

Lambs in the Catlins

Sunset at Tunnel Beach

Sunset at Tunnel Beach

One of my favourite tracks near Portobello

One of my favourite tracks near Portobello

Victory Beach

Victory Beach



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The off season

Otago Peninsula in winter- photo Lisa Welch

Otago Peninsula in winter- photo Lisa Welch

The most common question I'm asked by clients is if I'm born in Dunedin. Answer- Yes

The second most common question I'm asked by my clients is what I do in the off season, so I thought I'd answer this one here. 

Over successive years, my off season has become shorter, which is a good thing! It currently starts after Easter (late April) and lasts through to October which means 6 months of off season work. 

One of the biggest challenges for me and other tourism operators in Dunedin is the dreaded off-season. I like to think of it as your ability to hibernate, call it commercial hibernation. The challenge is to find other work, preferably biking related to do in this 'down' time.

I don't shut down completely, so you can still book a tour at any time of the year. On average, I will have around one tour every 2 weeks in the off season.

Besides tours, I do some corporate mountain biking for conference delegates or local businesses. I take high school classes for their outdoor education mountain biking module, helping them with their mountain biking technique and developing their riding skills. I also provide bikes and transport for the schools.

Just because there are fewer tours over the winter, doesn't mean there is nothing to do on the business. There's always something to do- not least of all maintaining the ever increasing fleet of our hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes. Plus there's the administration side, bookkeeping, marketing and advertising plans, website and online booking updates as well as developing new products and tours, checking out new local trails (which I don't get time for in season). 

Winter - Time for exploring new trails

Winter - Time for exploring new trails


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Monster tides

Sometimes Mother Nature interferes with tours.... We usually ride on this beach, but yesterday, as a result of huge waves, we couldn't even get onto the beach! The waves were some of the biggest I've seen on the Otago Peninsula, some up to 10m high!, they were the product of huge storms in the southern ocean and also high winds. They are extremely powerful and come in very fast.

This video shows Victory Beach from the sand dunes and the end of the beach access track. It was a 2m drop down to the beach from my feet. The dunes tower up to 5m above the beach and is habitat for Yellow Eyed Penguins and NZ Hooker Sealions. Unfortunately the sea has eroded away a huge chunk of these dunes over the last 48 hours, advancing around 15m inland. 

The forecast is for the seas to reduce over the next few days. I hope the penguins and sealions have found refuge somewhere and they return to the beach. We should be able to enjoy the ride along this beach again soon.

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Trip Advisor endorsement

trip advisor excellence.jpg

This morning Offtrack was thrilled to receive Trip Advisor's Certificate of Excellence for 2015!  These certificates are awarded to businesses which consistently have high reviews on Trip Advisor.  So, thank you to all of our customers for reviewing us!

Check out what people are saying about us on Trip Advisor here:

 

http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Attraction_Review-g255119-d2526296-Reviews-Offtrack_MTB_Day_Tours-Dunedin_Otago_Region_South_Island.html  

 

 

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the new website

Welcome to the new, improved Offtrack website. It's been a long time coming, but it's finally finished! 

A website is so often taken for granted, but it  involves a lot of work getting things looking simple and effectively communicating the products I offer. I'm aiming for a visual site, incorporating a lot of the fantastic images that I and others have taken on our trips over the past few years to tempt you to come this way and do some of the best bike tours in New Zealand.

I hope you find the site easy to look around so that you find the best tour for you. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to get the idea of each tour across quickly and effectively, so that you can book your next mountain bike trip with us.

 

 

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