What gear do you really need? Everyone you meet will be on an outdoor holiday – in the south that means casual! But bring some “après biking” clothes if you really want to. There are, however, some really, really important things to take…
Take plenty of water, especially in hot weather, there is not a lot of shade in some places.
Take your own trail-food/energy snacks – there are not a lot of shops along the Trail – (and between Waipiata and Middlemarch (51 km) there is only one cafe at Hyde).
Clothing – really needs to be comfortable and loose – layers of light clothing that you can add or take off are versatile. Check the long-term weather forecast, as it can change quickly. Tuck in a warm top and hat, (you may be thankful) and gloves in cooler seasons, and a light wind-proof jacket could be useful at any time. Some people find “padded bike shorts” are a godsend – or wear comfortable leggings or shorts, but check there are no rough inside-seams that may rub. Gel seats are popular. Use comfortable sneakers/walking shoes.
Definitely wear a bike helmet (included in bike hire) – also useful in spring nesting time, when you pass magpies guarding their trees. (Just move along quickly.)
The sun can be strong – so you need sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sunhat for when you stop.
Take a torch for the darker tunnels, a small first-aid kit, and toilet paper (not provided at the Trail toilets).
You will hope you won’t need your puncture repair/tool kit (check that you or someone in your group knows how to use it) - or fit your bike with self-sealing tyres.
Camera, cell phone (may be poor/no reception in some areas)
And last, but not least – take your “laughing gear” (smile) – because you plan to have fun!