Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you take out travel, accident, medical, baggage and cancellation insurance. Medical Evacuation insurance is compulsory in Vietnam and India.
For New Zealand, you can purchase travel insurance from
Southern Cross Travel Insurance https://www.scti-online.co.nz/visitnz/public.aspx
For Australia, you can compare travel insurance policies on http://www.travelinsurance.com.au/visitors-insurance-australia.aspx
For Vietnam, check your medical policy to see if Medivac type air transport is included in your policy (or Aflac type supplemental policy) first. If not you can buy medical insurance only at www.accessamerica.com 800 729-6021 or www.csatravelprotection.com 800 873-9855.
A full cancellation policy is the only way to cover yourself for any problem that may happen before the trip.
Do I need vaccinations?
For New Zealand and Australia, no vaccinations are necessary
For travellers to Vietnam and India, we recommend you consult with your doctor for up to date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses. Our guide will have a first aid kit, but we recommend that you also carry any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses). Please inform your guide if you are on medication.
For Vietnam, there are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Vietnam unless coming from a region where Yellow Fever is endemic.
I personally do not take malaria prophylaxis/ medication for the 15 days Vietnam tour, but would take it if planning an extended time in the Mekong Delta region or the far northwest of Vietnam. Richard Oddy (director of Pedaltours) has made numerous visits to Vietnam in recent years and does not take anti-malaria medication - with no ill effect. However, it is your decision and you should be advised by your travel doctor.
I do recommend that you take and use insect repellent containing DEET - especially in the evenings.
I have had Hepatitis A vaccinations and my Typhoid vaccination was up to date for my recent trips to Vietnam in 2008 and 2010.
Japanese encephalitis. Your travel is outside the most risky months and is of shorter duration. We no longer stay at Lak Lake (near Buon Ma Thuot) which is a relatively rural area - but suggest you wear trousers and long sleeves in the evening. Again, I did not take special precautions for Japanese Encephalitis.
Rabies : Again a personal decision. There are plenty of dogs in Vietnam , which you will encounter when cycling through villages. However, I did not once come across an agressive dog, and 99% of them will quietly amble out of your way as you cycle past. I would definitely NOT pat any dogs or monkeys - in fact I did not touch any animals, however well-behaved.
I took a general antibiotic in case of run of the mill bugs or infections and this was useful when I got a tiny coral scratch when snorkelling ( avoid coral cuts if at all possible!).
I also recommend taking Immodium / Loperimide or similar for tummy upsets in conjunction with an antibiotic for upset stomachs ( e.g.Norfloxacin). Your doctor can advise you/ prescribe an antibiotic.
I also took Betadine lotion for scratches/ cuts and a few sticking plasters, as well as a good sunscreen.
Lisa Mead, Tour Co-ordinator
For India, please see the table belowMalaria:Â Prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for all areas, except for areas at altitudes >2,000m (6,561ft) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, & Sikkim.Vaccinations:Meningococcal
Recommended for all travelers to the states of Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram in the northeast Hepatitis A Recommended for all travelers Typhoid Recommended for all travelers Polio One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult Yellow fever Required for all travelers arriving from or transiting through a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas. Not recommended otherwise. Japanese encephalitis For travelers who may spend a month or more in rural areas and for short-term travelers who may spend substantial time outdoors in rural areas, especially after dusk Hepatitis B Recommended for all travelers Rabies For travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, or at high risk for animal bites, or involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given Tetanus-diphtheria Revaccination recommended every 10 years
How do I get to the hotel?
In New Zealand and Australia, there will always be taxis and shuttle buses waiting at the terminal. Shuttle buses will take you to the hotel at a reasonable cost. If you are bringing your own bike, the shuttle buses tow a trailer which is large enough to take a bike box.
In Vietnam, a transfer to the hotel at the start of the tour is included in the tour cost (transfers back to the airport after the tour can be booked at additional cost). Please let us know your arrival date and time, and flight number. Please look out for our guide carrying this sign. If you cannot find the guide, please phone Active Asia, ph.(84) 938 499 808 : 24 hour client hotline in Vietnam.
In India, a transfer to the hotel at the start of the tour is included in the tour cost (transfers back to the airport after the tour can be booked at additional cost). Please let us know your arrival date and time, and flight number.
How do I pay for my tour?
When you are ready to book, please fill out the booking form on our website. We will then take a deposit of $500pp from your card.
Final payment is due 6 weeks before the tour starts. If you would like to use a different card to make your final payment, please either phone us or use the secure credit card form on our website
We advise against putting a credit card number in an email.
Phone numbers to call Pedaltours
Tel.(64 9) 585 1338
Tollfree within New Zealand 0800 302096
Tollfree from U.S. 1 888 222 9187
Tollfree from Canada 1 877 804 9118
How early should I arrive?
The first day of each trip is designed to allow you to rest and recover from your journey. The first night of the trip is always in a hotel at the starting point. However many people like to arrive one day early to acclimatise. We would be happy to make hotel reservations for you, just let us know when you're arriving.
Is airfare included?
International airfares are not included in the tour cost. We don't book international airfares for you, but can refer you to a recommended travel agent in your area. We are happy to book domestic flights for you in any of our destinations.
In Vietnam, the domestic flight from Hanoi to Hue is included in the tour cost.
Is tipping necessary?
New Zealand & Australia
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory or even customary, except perhaps in more upmarket restaurants or hotels.
Hotels and restaurants do not generally add a service charge to their bills, although some restaurants apply a 10-15% surcharge on public holidays to cover the additional cost of staff wages.
Our guides are not dependent on tips for their income ;- however, if you wish to tip for excellent service, this will be much appreciated. The amount is at the discretion of the visitor.
In Australia tipping is not obligatory, but is more prevalent than in New Zealand. It is more common to tip taxi drivers and restaurant staff.
Tipping in taxis, restaurants and hotels is not customary in Vietnam. Many clients do like to tip their guides for exceptional service, but there is no fixed formula for the amount. Please remember that the standard of living in Vietnam is vastly different from your home country and US$ go a long way in the local economy. (Average wages are around US$100 per month).
Your tour cost includes the cost of all tipping for all services (hotels, porters, guides etc), except for where you undertake activities outside the scope of the tour. Tipping is expected for most services in India.
What is included on a Pedaltour?
Pedaltours are designed so you can bike as much or as little as you like. We have a comfortable mini bus with a seat for everyone, plus room on the bike trailer for everyone's bike. So if you want a break from cycling, you can rest in the van.
We include three good meals most days, with meals on your own when you have a rest day or where there is a good selection of restaurants. All accommodation to a very good standard is included, as well as a road jersey or tee shirt and a commemorative certificate. Detailed daily maps with profiles - unique to Pedaltours - are supplied on arrival.
What should I bring?
Casual wear for biking and hiking, wet weather gear and something to wear in the evenings is all that is needed. An extensive wardrobe is not necessary. Please limit your luggage to under 20kg/ 44lbs in weight - our guides find it easier to carry two small soft sided bags than one heavy bag.
Trip Notes will be sent on receipt of your Booking, giving comprehensive information on the country and area you have chosen to visit.
In India, and to a lesser extent Vietnam, conservative clothing is essential. Rajasthan village areas are still the most traditional and have limited contact with tourists. So
WOMEN need to be wearing loose knee/calf length trousers over their tights and their riding tops should not be sleeveless and should be looser than usual. Cotton Indian shirts are coolest to ride in. Terry Bike do good riding trousers.
MEN also need to wear loose shorts to knee length for riding and need loose trousers to pull on for tourist site visits.
When is the best time to bike in Australia?
Australia is a continent with many different climate zones.
Most of our Australian tours are in Tasmania, which is a small enough state to bike right around. The best time to visit is summer (December to February) when the weather is very similar to New Zealand's South Island (with a comfortable average of 25C (77F) for the East Coast and 22C (72F) for the West Coast).
On the Australian mainland, we have two routes which combine great scenery, quiet roads and pleasant biking conditions.
Our Victoria trip starts in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city. The best months for cycling here are November, March and April (summer - January and February - can be too hot).
Our Far North Queensland tour is best enjoyed in June, July or August. The weather then is like a warm summer's day, with lots of sunshine and not too much heat. At other times of the year you might strike the rainy season, extremely hot temperatures and stinging jellyfish in the sea.
When is the best time to bike in India?
The best time to visit is November/December
There is a very low chance of rain in November. Average rainfall is 3mm - 8mm
The average temperature from October to December ranges from 55ºF to 85ºF
These are average temperatures and rainfall for Rajasthan, and may vary for each city.
Proximity to the equator means Kerala weather is pleasantly tropical in nature. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, with average maximum highs between 84ºF to 91ºF (29ºC to 33ºC)
Without a doubt, the best weather in Kerala is from November to late February. Kerala winter temperatures are marginally lower, but the major factor is rain. These are the months of lowest rainfall.
Kerala temperatures are significantly cooler in the Kerala highlands, hill stations and the higher Western Ghats. Take light clothes, an umbrella and something for the cooler winter nights and trips into the highlands.
When is the best time to bike in New Zealand?
New Zealand's summer runs from December to February, with November and March also being very good times to travel here. January and February should have mostly fine weather and warm temperatures (with a comfortable average of 25C (77F) for the North Island and 22C (72F) for the South Island). The West Coast of the South Island is rainforest so you can expect rain there at any time. You will be most likely to find quiet roads in March. The West Coast is also often drier in March than January or February.
When is the best time to bike in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a long country with several distinct climatic zones. The best time to take our Grand Tour is December - March, which is the Vietnamese winter. November is also a good time although you might strike the end of the monsoon season and have one or two wet days.
In the Far North of Vietnam, March - May or October - December are the best times to visit (January and February, which are the height of winter, can be too cold).
The winds from January on will mostly come from the north, so it is best to bike from the north to the south. The wind is not so strong in November/December.
Where do we stay?
We offer small country inns, lodges and hotels chosen for their character, location and comfort. Many New Zealand tours include a farm stay - a highlight in itself - where you will meet the people who are the backbone of the country.
Pedaltours uses a high standard of accommodation at a very competitive price.
We use good quality 3 - 4 star accommodation where available
South Island New Zealand
- Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge, 4 star eco lodge
- Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, 4 star eco lodge
- Te Wanaka Lodge, 4 star friendly bed and breakfast
- Punakaiki Resort, 4 star West Coast hotel with the highest environmental rating
- Freycinet Lodge, 4 star resort set in a national park
- Strahan Village Cottages, 4 star cottages in old style with modern amenities
- Cradle Mountain Lodge, 4 star individual cabins with magnificent mountain scenery
Who can do a Pedaltour?
The more you can bike before the tour, the more you will enjoy it. Every itinerary gives you different cycling distance options each day, whether you are a casual cyclist or an advanced cyclist, or somewhere in between. Just discuss with your guide the night before how far you would like to bike. Remember the van is always there if you would like a rest from cycling.
Pedaltours' tours are designed by cyclists for cyclists, so are well suited to more experienced cyclists, but as everyone cycles at their own pace, casual cyclists are also well catered for.