Top 8 cycle trails in New Zealand

Oct 19, 2021
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You've probably heard of New Zealand's Great Walks, but have you heard of our Great Rides? Ranging from gentle coastal tracks to more challenging mountain biking adventures, there's something for everyone along these cycle trails.


So hop on your bike and get ready to explore Aotearoa on two wheels! Here are our top suggestions:


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Hawke's Bay is the perfect destination for a wine tasting and cycling trip.


8. Hawke's Bay Trails


The beautiful Hawke's Bay is a slice of Europe in our backyard. With abundant sunshine and bountiful vineyards producing some of the country's top wines, it's the perfect destination for a wine tasting and cycling trip.


The mostly flat terrain makes riding fun for beginner cyclists and families. Expect to encounter gorgeous coastal scenery, Art Deco architecture, sweeping views from Te Mata Peak and the world's largest gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Discover all this and more on a 5 day cycle tour with Takaro Trails.



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Cycling the Ohakune Old Coach Road is a fantastic family-friendly ride that offers a variety of terrain.


7. Old Coach Road, Ohakune


This cycling and walking trail was constructed in the early 20th century to transport passengers by horse drawn coach. Today, it's a fantastic family-friendly ride that offers a variety of terrain. Starting in Horopito, the trail winds along the lower slopes of Mount Ruapehu, over some of the original cobblestoned roadway, past limestone cliffs, volcanic plateaus and through native forest.

This 3-day mountain bike experience involves one day of riding along the Old Coach Road, as well as plenty of time to enjoy other outdoor activities in and around National Park.


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Try a 5-day bike tour around Arrowtown and Queenstown with some of the most picturesque trails in the South Island.


6. Queenstown Bike Trails


While usually known as the adventure capital for bungee jumping and skiing, the biking tracks in Queenstown also do not disappoint. A five-day bike tour starting with the former mining settlement of Arrowtown is one of the most picturesque trails in the South Island, rich in both colour and history.


Ride along Arrowtown River Bridges Trail, tackle the technically challenging edges of Lake Wakatipu, and a leisurely scenic ride past the Kawarau Suspension Bridge down the Gibbston River Trail to visit as many of the wineries linked as you like. It's five days of adventure, fun, and excellent wine tasting.


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The Remutaka Cycle Trail offers a cycle trail featuring beautiful forest landscapes, tunnels and bridges.


5. Remutaka Cycle Trail, Wellington


This cycling trail begins at Wellington Harbour, meandering through Hutt Valley and the Remutaka Ranges before skirting the edge of the Cook Strait, offering diverse terrain from lush forest and wetland to rugged coastline.


On this eight hour trail highlights tour you can experience the full diversity of this trail. Ride through beautiful forest landscapes, tunnels and bridges before being shuttled across picturesque pastoral landscapes to the coast, where you may be lucky enough to spot orca, seals and dolphins.


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The new Lake Dunstan cycle trail in Central Otago is a 55km trail connects the towns of Clyde and Cromwell.


4. Lake Dunstan, Central Otago


This new 55km trail connects the towns of Clyde and Cromwell. It's a relatively gentle ride that takes you on a scenic journey along the shores of Lake Dunstan and the Kawarau and Clutha Rivers.

In addition to taking in some of Central Otago's iconic landscapes, you'll encounter Coffee Afloat, New Zealand's first floating burger bar serving cyclists on a lake among the mountains. Embark on a 3 or 5 day Lake Dunstan cycle trail adventure starting and finishing in Queenstown.


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A railbike tour is a unique way to explore the history, culture and scenery of the Gisborne region.


3. Ultimate Gisborne and Eastland Adventure


Glistening waters and legendary sunrises await you in Tairawhiti Gisborne. A railbike tour through this region is a unique way to explore the history, culture and scenery of a part of the North Island that's still relatively unexplored.


On a 5 day Gisborne railbike adventure, learn about the M?ori history of the region, taste biodynamic wines, stay a while and listen to nature in the Zen Cabin, and soak up the sunshine along 90km of spectacular coastline.


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The iconic Alps to Ocean trail is NZ's longest continuous cycle trail, making it a must-do.


2. Alps to Ocean, Christchurch - Canterbury


This iconic ride is New Zealand's longest continuous cycle trail, making it one of our must-do biking tracks. This is a cycling trail for adventurous travellers eager for a challenge.


This 6 day Alps to Ocean Biking adventure begins in Christchurch and takes you past glacier-etched valleys, turquoise lakes, small towns and settlements and high country working sheep farms. Enjoy craft breweries, incredible stargazing, hydro-dams and power stations, and classic country hospitality along the way.


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The Otago Central Rail Trail is the oldest cycle trail in the country and takes 3-5 days, but can be done in smaller sections.


1. Otago Central Rail Trail


The Otago Central Rail Trail is the oldest cycle trail in the country, and a fantastic way to experience the diversity of this region.


The entire trail runs for 152km and takes 3-5 days, but you can do smaller sections. This one-day wonder cycle tour is enough to get a taste of the trail, focussing on the leg from Auripo to Clyde through Lauder, Chatto Creek and Alexandra. Expect spectacular scenery and stops at local taverns and cafes that break up the day and give you a chance to have a yarn with the locals.


It's time to hit those trails! Check out all of Stuff's must-do biking trips in New Zealand.


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