An adventurer has finally completed a charity bike ride from Dorset to New Zealand – more than two-and-a-half years after setting out.

Daniel Needham, 27, travelled about 28,000 miles and visited 32 countries across three continents as he cycled to the northern tip of New Zealand from his home near Dorchester.

This mammoth challenge started as nothing more than a desire to see more of the world: 

“Prior to this trip I had never left Europe and I found myself in a London office job that didn’t really satisfy me,” Daniel said.

“I had gone straight from school, to uni, to a desk. For once I wanted to do something that I desired for myself.”

Dorset Echo:

Daniel decided to leave his job, flat and cat to cycle from his home in Stratton to the far side of the world, raising money for Unicef UK along the way.

He said: “A bicycle is a fantastic way to travel [. . .] for good or bad you are exposed to everything. It makes it more about the journey, not just the destination. People would often selflessly invite me to stay in their homes and I had a tent for when there were no offers. There were so many moments that would take me aback, but more than anything else, the real highlight was experiencing incredible generosity and kindness, shown to me daily by people in every country I cycled through.”

Despite these acts of kindness, Daniel experienced some tough times during his journey too. He was detained at gunpoint in Azerbaijan after accidentally camping too close to a military base, persistently harassed by the Chinese military and he even had a close call with some aggressive Kangal dogs in Turkey.

As well as missing his friends and family, Daniel said he misses his cat, a decent Cornish pasty and a good pint of cider.

Dorset Echo:

When he returns, Daniel said there is one place he wants to go in particular: “I often picture going up to Hardy’s Monument for the sunset. I love the view of Dorset from up there. I’ve seen some incredible panoramas in the last two years but no view is quite as special as the one of home.”

He is now facing the prospect of getting enough money together to travel back to the UK but he is not in a hurry.

“I’ve still got more than half the world to explore,” he said, “and I only really saw a snapshot of the places I did visit. 

“I’ve made it across Eurasia to New Zealand, next I would like to make my way home again, but the long way back.

“I aim to be home by Christmas, probably by more conventional means. Though sailing has always appealed to me....”

To donate to Daniel’s fundraising page, go to