Sure, NZ is a little ‘out of the way’, but we’re impressively well connected. You’ll likely fly into Auckland or Christchurch, then it’s an easy connection into Nelson. Post-COVID, airlines are laying on new direct routes that make travel a breeze. A few routes currently available are:
Non-Stop to Auckland (prices in NZD)*
Vancouver – 13 hours (overnight): $1105 (AirNZ)
Los Angeles – 13 hours (overnight): $1040 (AirNZ)
New York – 17 hours (overnight): $1560 (AirNZ)
Singapore – 10 hours: $1350 (Singapore Air)
Sydney – 3.5 hours: $300 (Air Asia)
London / Paris – 22 hours: from $1000. Sadly there are no direct flightsto NZ from Europe…yet. If you’re coming from Europe, we’d recommend to check for routes ‘flying both ways around’ (ie via N America, often LAX), as well as via The Middle East (DUB, DOH) & Asia (ICN, KUL, SIN). For those short on time It’s possible to fly semi-direct with a quick refuel stop in Australia (the plane touches down briefly, but you don’t get off the plane). Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Air China and Finnair all operate direct international flights to NZ.
If you want to arrive a day early for your MTB enduro race, to have more time to relax, build up your bike, and prepare for the week; no worries, we can arrange that for you too – just ask us. In fact, we strongly recommend it and we even include this for free, as part of a standard registration. Click Here for more details on arrival logistics, and flying with bikes. (Then click the banner to open the drop down).
*One-way, regular economy fares for 9 March 2024, as advertised 1 June 2023
Frequent flight connections from Nelson (NSN) with Air New Zealand. Multiple flights per day that connect conveniently with international routes:
- Auckland (90 min)
- Christchurch (60 min)
- Wellington (30 min)
Typical airfares: (NZD) $75 to $120 each way, if booked early
Bikes transported as a standard luggage item for a reasonable fee (NZD $40) and all bags can be checked right through directly to your final destination.
For those of you traveling a long way to get here, why not go all-in, hire a car & make a road-trip of it?
We’ve timed The NZ MTB Rally to work out quite nicely on that. It’s almost like it was meant to happen…and it would almost be rude not to, right?
TRANS-NZ (QUEENSTOWN): 24 FEB – 2 MARCH 2024
NZ NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPS (NELSON): 2-3 MARCH 2024
NZ MTB RALLY: 9-16 MARCH 2024
CRANKWORX (ROTORUA): 16-24 MARCH 2024
MAMMOTH ENDURO (NELSON) 23 & 24 MARCH 2024
Arriving into Nelson (NSN) Airport is quite the tourist scenic flight, in itself. It’s a modern, efficient airport (the largest regional airport in NZ), but compact enough to whiz through Arrivals in next-to-no time. It’s typically 25 minutes or less from touch down, to bags-in-hand & walking-out-the-door. There’s only one terminal, one baggage carousel, no passport checks, and the public car park is only about 200m from the main runway. Compared to most major airports, it’s a real pleasure to fly in to.
We’ll pick you up from directly outside, then it’s a short 30-minute transfer to our Day 1 Basecamp.
The NZ MTB Rally operates a circular itinerary, so by Day 6, you’ll arrive back at Nelson City. For the return transfer, it’s only a 15-minute drive to the airport.
If you are really pushed for time, you could fly out on the Friday evening without any logistical problems – but we wouldn’t recommend it, since you’ll miss the epic after-party!
People from visa waiver countries can travel to New Zealand without a visa but you must hold an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority).
This is a simple online form, it costs $17 (NZD) and takes 72 hours to process. [Apply Here]
If you are not on the Visa Waiver List, getting a regular tourist visa is not complicated [Apply Here]
*Not Intended to be formal Immigration Advice – check your personal situation before travel with the relevant authorities to avoid any hiccups at the border. Note that NZ has tight biosecurity requirements, so your bike needs to be clean, to get in!
Covering as much ground as this in one week is alway a bit of a risky business, and whilst we hope you’ll ‘keep it rubber side down’, its important to know where you stand financially, in the event that you need hospital treatment here in NZ.
This is where you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Unlike most other countries you might visit as a tourist, here in NZ, if you have an accident and need medical treatment, you’ll be fully covered. We’re not kidding! Yes, even as a tourist, of any nationality, and yes, it’s free for everyone, under the government-backed Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). You can sleep easy knowing that (almost) no matter what, you won’t need to foot a huge medical bill in NZ (or purchase costly travel accident insurance that is valid for mountain bike race events) if you have an accident at the NZ MTB Rally
Of course, there’s some fine print, but it’s not about trying to catch you out. You can find out more about the scheme, and what exactly is and isn’t covered, at ACC’s Website.