Having started cycling at age 15, Nick Carter was New Zealand's top road cyclist after the war. He won national titles in 1945—1947 and 1949. His only Olympic appearance was in London in 1948 when he was a member of the last team to travel to an Olympic Games by ship. The sea trip took about 8 weeks and there was a significant loss in form due to the lack of training facilities on board ship. His road race was marred by suffering three punctures and he had to abandon the competition. Out of 101 starters, only 28 finished the event, 73 are shown as non-finishers.
He fared better at the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland, losing the title to Australia's Hector Sutherland in the sprint and took silver.