Get on your bike and holiday in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has announced it will spend $50 million over three years to build the cycle network as part of an infrastructure program to increase the number of tourists on  holiday in New Zealand.

Other planned infrastructure developments being pursued by Tourism New Zealand include a national convention centre capable of handling up to 4,000 people, and plans to improve the country’s cruise port facilities.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the cycleway initiative would create a series of 'Great Rides' of New Zealand that would have the long term aim of creating a network throughout the country.

Routes would be influenced by existing cycleways, facilities, and tourism attractions.

"Some promising routes have already been identified and I expect to have announcement on them in the next couple of months," Mr Key said.

The first route could run from Queenstown to Invercargill, and on to Bluff.  The cycleway project would appeal to international tourists wanting to get a closer look at the New Zealand landscape, and set their own pace.

In some cases, tourists need to apply for a Visitor Visa to travel to New Zealand.

You will not need a Tourist Visa if you are: a New Zealand citizen or you hold a New Zealand Residence Permit; an Australian citizen, or Australian resident who holds a current permanent Resident Return Visa (temporary or provisional Resident Return Visa holders will need a visa to enter New Zealand); or you are a British citizen or a traveller holding a British passport who has the right to live in the United Kingdom (eligible for a Visitor's Permit for up to 6 months); or if you are visiting New Zealand for no more than 3 months and you are a citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand.

If you do not qualify as one of the above, and you wish to travel to New Zealand, you will need to obtain a Visitor's Visa. This is a multiple-entry visa valid for a maximum of nine months within an 18 month period.

New Zealand is a favourite destination for young British travellers who are looking to work while supplementing their travel.  The New Zealand working holiday visa allows travellers from certain countries to work and travel New Zealand for up to twelve months if they are aged between 18 and 30 years.  British travellers have the added advantage of extending their working holiday visa for an extra 11 months.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.