Can anything really beat the achievement of conquering a high, alpine pass or the thrill of soaring along a scenic downhill? We think notâ€¦although the first sip of celebratory sauvignon in the pub later might come a close second!
Natural High was established in 1996 in Nelson, before relocating to Christchurch in 2005. The following year, dairy farmer Andrew Hunt rode into the picture. Deciding that early morning riding sounded a lot more fun than early morning milking, and looking to share his love and passion for the New Zealand outdoors, Andrew bought Natural High in 2006. Already something of a bike junkie, he has since spent many hours riding the roads and trails of New Zealand â€“ all in the name of research!
In 2011, Andy and his team took Natural High to the North Island, opening the Auckland branch of the business. With additional depots in Taupo, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill, Natural High now offers the largest and best selection of bike rental in New Zealand, a growing range of self-guided and guided cycle tours, as well as campervan and kayak rental.
Add in a friendly, knowledgeable team of cycling-mad staff and a commitment to outstanding customer care, and Natural High really does have all your outdoor adventure needs covered.
Meet the team
Name: Andy Hunt.
Job title: Colonel & head spokesperson.
Home town: Lincoln, New Zealand.
Favourite New Zealand ride:The St James. Itâ€™s one of the harder epic backcountry South Island rides, with no cell phone coverage, majestic southern Alps, tussock glacial valleys and clear mountain streams.
Best spot for after-biking drinks: Zeroes CafĂ© (Cashmere, Christchurch) for either MTB or roadie – excellent coffee.
What do you do when not riding: Skiing at small New Zealand club fields, playing crazy games.
Name: Logan McRae.
Job title: Auckland branch manager.
Home town: Auckland, New Zealand.
Favourite New Zealand ride: Heaphy Track. First multi-day MTB ride I ever did; stunning and diverse scenery in a unique part of the country and itâ€™s an awesome track for riding.
Best spot for after-biking drinks: Beers in the car park straight after the ride. Or if riding Hunua, south of Auckland, drive around to the Hunua Falls after the ride.
What do you do when not riding: Hang out with my son, read.
Name:Â DanÂ Eggleton
Job title: Christchurch branch manager.
Home town: Southampton, UK. (In his previous life, Dan worked at Halfords as a bike departmentÂ manager and did the odd installing of car stereos, baby car seats and roof racks, plus bike mechanic staff training at other stores.)
Favourite New Zealand ride:Â The Port Hills around Christchurch offer a huge variety of great road and off-road riding, so it’s pretty perfect considering it’s on our doorstep! My favourite NZ ride so far though has to be Haast to Wanaka…that will be hard to beat! Or the Cardrona Valley/Crown Range climb and decent into Arrowtown…Picking one ride is impossible!
Best spot for after-biking drinks: Bowman Brewery in Droxford, UK (nearest big town is Southampton). It’s a small pub with a big beer garden and in the middle of nowhere. Loads of cyclists stopping off. My favourite of the 5-6 beers on offer is Wallops Wood – silly name but really good beer.
What do you do when not riding: Take too many photos. Photography is my number one passion. Oh, and religiously support Southampton Football Club!
Name:Â Leona Kadir
Job title:Â Sales and Head Guide.
Home town:Â Surrey, UK.
Favourite New Zealand ride:Â Where do I start?! Coronet Peak, Craigieburn, Rotorua, and the Alps2Ocean route. I can’t just pick one…
Best spot for after-biking drinks:Â I don’t drink so it’d have to be C4 Coffee on Tuam St.
What do you do when not riding:Â I’d probably be eating, sleeping or in the gym if I’m not riding..
Name: Mike Buttar.
Job title: Auckland bike mechanic.
Home town: Queenstown.
Favourite New Zealand ride: Queenstown to Glenorchy â€“ nice scenery, plenty of hills
Best spot for after-biking drinks: Glenorchy Tavern.
What do you do when not riding: Darts, cricket, working.
Name:Â Jonny Eden
Job title:Â Christchurch bike mechanic.
Home town:Â Perth, Australia. Although Jonny is officially an Aussie, he has been in Kiwiland for over 12 years.
Favourite New Zealand ride:Â Bowenvale Jumps via the bottle store!
Best spot for after-biking drinks:Â I don’t go out drinking so I’ll tell you something else: My favourite trick to impress the chicks is a 360 invert.
What do you do when not riding:Â Help to make parks bigger and better by designing and building new dirt jumps.
Name:Â Stephen Gawn (aka Calves)
Job title: Christchurch bike mechanic. (Steve’s also a graphic designer and many of you will be wearing one of his creations – he designed the NH chain logo.)
Favourite New Zealand ride: Mechanical bull (joking!) Macetown Ride, Arrowtown. We did it in winter and just about died. Sprocket had an off and dislocated his shoulder. I had a collision with one of the other blokes and fell down a small cliff. Broken chains, blood, hail and freezing rain… it was carnage. People were taking photos of us when we got off the bikes because we looked like hell! When we finally finished we went straight to the pub.
Best spot for after-biking drinks: New Orleans, Arrowtown. Good fire to defrost your feet in front of after surviving the Macetown ride. Good atmosphere and good history.
What do you do when not riding: Plan the next ride with either the boys or the family. Watch art films. Coach rugby.
Why choose us?
We understand that organising a cycle holiday or adventure tour is a big job, which is why we work hard to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
Whether youâ€™re looking for bike rental for a weekend or a grand cycle tour of the whole country, weâ€™ll talk you through all your options, drawing on our extensive cycle and touring knowledge to give you the best possible advice. On the phone, by email or in person at our Auckland or Christchurch branches, weâ€™re always happy to listen to your questions and share our recommendations.
We help you create your own, unique natural high
Getting you out into the Kiwi outdoors and having fun is what weâ€™re all about. Weâ€™ll listen to your wish list and help you tailor a trip that meets your individual requirements â€“ whether thatâ€™s a guided cycle tour, a self-guided trip or a combined campervan and bike rental â€“ ensuring youâ€™ll return home with beaming smiles and memories that last a lifetime.
We sweat the small stuffâ€¦
â€¦So all you have to do is enjoy the ride. From sound advice on the right bike rental to accommodation bookings and transport logistics, weâ€™ll happily take care of all your trip requirements. And with branches in two major cities â€“ Auckland and Christchurch – along with depots across both islands, weâ€™re handily located for most riding destinations.
Only the best will do
As dedicated cyclists we know that the equipment you use can make or break a trip. With the largest selection of fully-serviced bike hire gear than any other cycle operator in New Zealand â€“ and leading brand names including Specialized, Trek, Sirrus and Cannondale – weâ€™re sure to have the best bike for your journey.
Friendly, local expertise
At Natural High weâ€™ve clocked up thousands of kilometres pedalling around New Zealand (and further afield too). So when it comes to helping you find the right gear, the best trips or the most extreme off-road terrain, weâ€™ve got our finger firmly on the pulse. Ask us a question and weâ€™ll happily share what we know.
Respect of our natural environment
We think weâ€™re incredibly lucky to have some of the worldâ€™s most beautiful scenery right on our doorstep and weâ€™re working hard to keep it that way through our daily actions. Limiting our paper use, composting our food waste and riding to work everyday are just some of the ways weâ€™re helping conserve our natural playground. You can read more about our sustainability policies here.