Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours

Te Waipounamu is the Maori (native) word for the South Island and literally means greenstone water. Greenstone was a highly valued possession of early Maori because of it’s beauty and hardness.

We began business in 1987 and steady expansion has led to us now having a fleet of 100 motorcycles, (over half are the latest model BMW’s). We have a solid core of experienced staff with a wide spread of interests with a common thread of motorcycling, knowledge of New Zealand, relaxed Kiwi attitude to life and a real wish to help visitors enjoy this country.

john and alison

John and Alison

John Rains

Founded the company in 1987 and has since found out the only prerequisites needed for the job were mechanical skills, marketing skills, people skills, employer skills, a sense of humour, the occasional ‘ blind eye ‘ and the ability to fix punctures in the rain. Widely travelled in Europe, Asia and North America on motorcycles, John enjoys meeting people and riding motorcycles. Favourite country is Japan because they have beer vending machines on the street. Personal motorcycles are a 2014 Triumph Speed Triple for touring & commuting, and a Triumph Street Triple as a racebike. A Laverda SFC1000 is currently in the process of restoration. Happily married to Alison. 


Gordon Lidgard

Gordon has been in the motorcycle industry most of his working life, as a Dealer Principle, Motorcycle tour guide and Winner of the New Zealand Tourism Awards in 2001 - Gordon owned and managed the most outstanding tourism company specialising in transportation (Motorcycles). Gordon has now teamed up with John, both were founders of the motorcycle rental and tour industry of New Zealand and contribute a wealth of experience to make Te Waipounamu a world class rental company.

Gordon’s favourite bikes are the new liquid cooled BMW R1200RT and R1200GS, he is always happy to answer any questions or help plan your holiday in New Zealand.

peter colwell

Peter Colwell

Peter is our longest running tour guide, he has been guiding motorcycle tours in New Zealand with us for 30 years. He now guides the larger Mountain Kings tours as a second guide along with Fred Rau. His sensible approach and sense of humour and experience has made him a favourite with our long-term customers. Peter's journalistic skill have seen his articles published in Australian and USA motorcycle magazines. Widely travelled on motorcycles in Europe and North and South America. Currently Peter and his wife Kate ride a BMW R1200GS.     

perry rees

Perry Rees

Perry is another of the all rounders which are essential in this type of business. An organised mind and a tenacious grip on details are vital with so many different things on the go. Some people call it multi-tasking, we just call it another day at work.

A long history of motorcycles means he can turn a hand to helping out in the workshop and his former position of CEO at Britten Motorcycle Company means he is well travelled and comfortable with the needs of overseas clients. Perry spends his spare time fishing and out and about on his Triumph Speed Triple.   

paul duncraft

Paul Duncraft

Paul is the man at the heart of the workshop with years of experience servicing and repairing motorcycles.  Paul has a calm unflustered demeanor, managing to keep the fleet in tip top condition and copes well when the pressure is on which is a valuable skill in this business... Paul rides a 2008 Buel 1125R and his wife Rhonda rides a 2016 Triumph Street Triple. Paul’s interests outside of work are family, motorcycle rally’s, motorsport, movies, music, and travel.      

Rates include Free side luggage cases, unlimited Kms˚, tax and insurance

Peak Season 1 December  to 15 March        
Shoulder Season 16 March to 30 November


  • FREE Side Luggage for Standard Cases.
  • FREE Unlimited Kilometres on rentals 4 Days & over˚
  • FREE Insurance - full motorcycle cover included in all prices with standard Bond.
  • Navigation TomTom Rider 400 GPS available  NZ$10 per day (maximum NZ$120 per rental, Bond NZ$400).
  • Bring your own GPS complete with wiring & mounts - fitting charge NZ$25 plus any hardware we need to provide.
  • Topboxes available @ $4 per day ($40 Maximum); Note: DR650 & SV/SFV650 do not have topbox mounts.
  • Tankbags available @ $4 per day (NZ$30 Maximum).
  • Lowering links can be fitted to the rear suspension of Tiger 800, DL650, G650GS NZ$50 fitting fee.
  • Low Seats available for BMW models NZ$50 per hire.



All our rental motorcycles meet all legal requirements for riding on New Zealand public roads. They have a certificate of fitness as required by NZ Transport Agency for rental vehicles. We use very good quality tyres on our fleet of bikes, these are replaced regularly to ensure hirers have the best riding experience.

All our rental motorcycles are maintained by fully qualified motorcycle technicians and are New Zealand Government Transport certified for rental vehicles. Most models have hard case panniers and soft luggage bags are available for smaller models. In the unlikely event of a motorcycle breaking down, we will repair the machine or replace it as soon as possible. Our Guided Tour support vans are equipped to carry motorcycles and also have tools, spares and first aid kits.


Licence requirements

Most overseas drivers licences are valid for use in New Zealand; the same restrictions apply as the country of origin. Riders must be 25 years of age or over for all our motorcycles. Licences must have a motorcycle endorsement for 650cc or above. If your licence is not in English, an international driving permit will be required.



Motorcycle insurance is included in the rental rates. It covers damage to the motorcycle, fire and theft only. The hirer is separately liable for any accessories hired with the motorcycle. The insurance excess (deductible) varies per model and is listed in the schedule Insurance Deposits.


  • Puncture repair and tyre inflation kits supplied for NZ$18 per hire.
  • Rider minimum age is 21 years old and must hold valid drivers license suitable for machine being hired.
  • Hire Motorcycles 700cc and over have a minimum rider age of 25.
  • Long Term Hires - Hires over 22 days rates are by negotiation, please contact us for a quotation.
  • Long Term Buy back options are available.
  • We have Pick up/Drop off branches in Auckland and Christchurch, one way hires are Okay.
  • One way hires less than 14 days may incur a $399 surcharge.
  • Short Term Rentals  2 & 3 days have 350 kilometres per day included - Free.
  • Short Term Hires over 350km per day free - only additional kilometres charged @ 29c /km Category C, 39c/km Catergory B, 49c/km Category A.


Deposits and Refunds:

  • 20% deposit required to confirm a RENTAL booking. Deposit 50% refundable if cancelled prior to 30 days of hire commencing.
  • 10% deposit required to confirm a TOUR booking. Deposit is 50% refundable if cancelled prior to 60 days of tour commencing.
  • Tours need to be fully paid 60 days prior to departure, full tour payment is 50% refundable up to 30 days from departure.
  • Payments and Deposits if cancelled within 30 days of departure are non-refundable.
  • Note: Credit Card is needed on hire pickup, Bonds are not charged but a pre-aurthorisation of the amount is confirmed.

Security Bond

A bond equal to the excess amount is required from the hirer at the time the motorcycle is picked up. This bond is to be secured with a credit card slip and is fully refundable when the motorcycle is returned undamaged to Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours. Any damage to the motorcycle, up to the insurance excess will be deducted from the security bond (or CDW amount if applicable).


Deposits and final payments

Once a booking is confirmed we require a  deposit of 20% for hires and 10% for tours. Once Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours has received the deposit a receipt and booking confirmation will be emailed to you. The remaining balance is then due on pick up for hire only or 60 days prior for tours.

Three steps to a motorcycle vacation of a lifetime!

When you have decided you should be riding in New Zealand for your next holiday, (an easy choice), all you have to do is our three-step plan:






Please book early to avoid disappointment; in peak season some airline flights to New Zealand become sold out well in advance.

We run freedom tours where the day to day travel options are left to the discretion of the rider.  You can ride with the guide or take your own route to the destination each day.  The choice is yours!

The pace of the day, your riding companions, and the route you take are entirely up to you, we don't make you ride in a line formation like ducks !

Full support is provided by the guides and a luggage van carries your luggage to each hotel so it is there in your room when you arrive at each location daily.

The tour guide holds a relaxed group meeting each evening where highlights for the following day are previewed. Information about routes, scenic points of interest, cultural site and even things to avoid are presented, discussed and any questions answered. This briefing combined with our tour pack and maps will provide enough detail for you to make constructive plans for the following day. These meetings also give the opportunity for group feedback and to go over the days events.... Usually this involves a fair amount of bluster, denial, and hilarious tales !

Tours that Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours run are arranged to meet all motorcyclists needs including the pillion rider. The length of a day's ride has an average km distance of around 350kms, however, there are plenty of options each day, so those riders who want to ride long and hard can do so, and those who wish to amble along taking in the sights can also feel their needs are being met.



20% deposit required with booking a tour to secure your position. Balance is required no later than 30 days out from the tour start date, in New Zealand dollars, preferably via eletronic bank transfer. Alternatively, all major international credit cards are accepted. Deposit non refundable if cancellation is within 30 days of tour commencing.


Not included in tours

Airfares to and from New Zealand, airport taxes, personal expenses, sightseeing activities, snacks and most lunches, excess baggage charges, personal insurance, any items not mentioned as being included in the tour.


Free airport transfers

When you arrive at your destination airport in Auckland or Christchurch, take a shuttle bus from outside the international arrivals terminal, paid for by us. Or if you would like your New Zealand holiday to start in style, we can organise a Limousines to pick you up. Book a Limousine here.


Extra Motorcycle Rental

We are happy to provide motorcycles before the start of a tour or at the end of a tour, please let us know how many days are required when booking.


Special arrangements

We can arrange vegetarian meals, a smoking room (if there are two smokers), intercoms, backrests, wet weather clothing, gloves, helmets, boots, fax and E-mail service, mobile telephones, plus many other things, please let us know in advance so we can make the necessary bookings. There may be a charge for some of the above.



We have selected only the very best accommodation for our tours. All tours are based on sharing a twin or double room, customers travelling by themselves will be paired up with the most suitable person. If numbers do not match, we reserve the right to place the tour guide in the room with the last person who booked the tour.


Single Rooms

Single room is an additional charge for tour members who prefer their own space.


Tour Guides and Support Van (on Fully Guided Tours only)

Our tour guides have been very carefully chosen and trained to meet our high standard and professional service, and are always available to help with anything you may need during the tour, tour members are free to travel with the guide or travel at their own pace. Depending on the number of people on the tour there will be either one or two tour guides, if there are two tour guides one will travel in the support van and the other on a motorcycle. Tour member luggage will be carried in the support van. Luggage should be limited to two suitcases per person.