The Best Motorcycle Journeys: Route 6, New Zealand

Jul 9, 2012
Outside Magazine
Along New Zealand's Route 6

Along New Zealand's Route 6    Photo: Petr Hlavacek

The 200-mile stretch along the South Island’s west coast is a fantasia with unparalleled scenery—misty mountains, dramatic cliffs, and countless waterfalls. Launch from the capital city of Christchurch, on the east coast, with a Harley-Davidson Road King from South Pacific Motorcycle Tours (from $260 per day). The town of Greymouth, 150 miles northwest, is your starting point. Head south to Franz Josef Glacier and strap on a pair of crampons. The glacier, located at the mouth of a dry riverbed, looks like a raging flash flood paused in time. Farther south, you can’t get out of Queenstown without some nut-job excursion like heli-biking, bungee-jumping into a 440-foot canyon, or paddling the Class IV Shotover River. Or head 180 miles southwest onto Route 94 to the sheer green cliffs of Milford Sound for penguin spotting.