Motorcycling in the Land of Kiwis, Sheep and the Māori

Image & Cover Image: South Pacific Motorcycle Tours - New Zealand

South Pacific Motorcycle Tours - Kim Johnston

South Pacific Motorcycle Tours is a family run company offering tours and rentals in New Zealand. Kim Johnston is the Client Services Manager and an avid motorcyclist. Find out from Kim why you should consider a motorcycle trip to lush and beautiful New Zealand.


Images: South Pacific Motorcycle Tours - New Zealand

Image: Zoe Cano

Hellbent for Paradise - Zoe Cano’s New Zealand Adventure

Zoe Cano, a motorcycle travel author and adventurer from the UK, took a trip to New Zealand last year and rented a motorcycle to ride on both the North Island and South Island. Three cyclones, strong winds and muddy roads were just a few of the challenges that Zoe faced on her adventure. If you’d like to know more about her motorcycle trip in New Zealand, you can read her book called Hellbent for Paradise - Tales from Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud, available on her website.

Zoe Cano is the author of four adventure books. To find out more about Zoe and to purchase her books go to

Brief History of New Zealand

New Zealand is located about 1200 miles or 2000 km east of Australia, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It’s made up of 2 main islands - the North Island and the South Island and about 600 smaller islands. It’s actually pretty remote, and because of that humans, namely Polynesians, didn’t settle there until somewhere around 1250 to 1300. It was one of the last inhabited large land masses in the world.

The Polynesians, called Māori peoples, lived in isolation for several centuries. They formed their own culture, which included developing their own language. Both New Zealand and the Māori were discovered by Europeans in 1642, when a Dutch explored, Abel Tasman sighted it. And this meeting of the Māori and the Europeans was for the most part amicable, as the Māori slowly embraced many of the Western ways. A treaty was signed in 1840, tensions rose with land disputes and then the Māori population decreased as the conflicts, disease and social upheavals took a toll. In the early 1900’s, the numbers of Māori people began to rise again and their traditional culture lives on. Today there are approximately 600,000 Māori living in New Zealand. 

Fun Facts - New Zealand

  1. There are about 6 sheep for every person.

  2. Burt Munro - The World’s Fastest Indian, known for setting three world records in nine races on the Bonneville salt flats, lived in New Zealand.

  3. There are no snakes.

  4. Kiwis are - A green tasty fruit, a flightless bird and an affection nickname for New Zealanders.

  5. Known for merino wool - used in outdoor clothing.

This episode has been brought to you by listener support and the following sponsors:

Max BMW Motorcycles
BestRest Products
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