Whether you’re new in town, or a resident, this is not only a great way to see another side of the city, but terrific fun as well.
Power to the Pedal founder Eddie Jack’s tour, lasting just under two hours, starts up the hill in the Pullman Hotel’s carpark and, after an explanation of the mercifully simple operation of the electric bike and a bit of a practice, you’re off, much of the time on dedicated cycleways.
Once you’re accustomed to the delight of having all the effort of cycling taken from you, you start to notice the detail of your surroundings, pointed out by Eddie through your earpiece.
Britomart begins the after-work buzz, which continues along the Viaduct and into Wynyard Quarter, sparkling in the dark. You’ll get a great view of the lit-up bridge, before the gloom of Victoria Park gives way to the interactive glory of the pink lightpath. Then you swoop down Grafton Gully under the historic bridge and past the white lights of the port, back to your start.
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Because the route is full of delightful surprises you never notice in daylight. There are illuminated murals and sculptures everywhere.
Beside the lightpath, there’s a colourful hotel getting in on the act and, central to the cityscape, the Sky Tower glows dramatically. Right now, there’s so much going on around Wynyard Quarter that the fun is palpable, even now that the America’s Cup has packed up, there are light shows, people everywhere, multicoloured reflections in the waters of Viaduct Harbour and always something new to discover.
Night is the most spectacular time to inspect The Lighthouse on Queen’s Wharf, where you’ll find Captain Cook looking particularly reflective.
If your bike experience is limited, be assured these e-bikes are a doddle to operate, and hugely satisfying, as well as great fun to ride. Eddie will take photos and send you a neat GPS link afterwards for you to track your route and see the statistics of distance travelled and height climbed – not that you will have noticed, since the bike did all the work for you.
ON THE WAY/NEARBY
Near where the tours begin, Emily Place Reserve is a little gem: a small park totally dominated by several huge, sprawling pōhutukawa (be prepared for some stooping under and stepping over). After the tour, you will be drawn back to the lights and nightlife at Wynyard Quarter, where you’ll find all the entertainment you could want.
The City Lights tour is $85 per person, minimum age 14, maximum size of four people. Power to the Pedal offers a range of daytime tours too for bigger groups: from an easy waterfront cruise from Mission Bay to the Auckland Harbour Bridge, right up to a thorough 3.5-hour exploration of the inner-city; plus custom tours too.
BEST TIME TO GO
For the City Lights tour, autumn is a terrific time, but you can do it, and the other tours, year-round.
More details at powertothepedal.com