New Zealand Cycle Trail

Exploring the New Zealand Cycle Trail: Hauraki Rail Trail Photo taken by: Cuemotion (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Flying Kiwi are proud to be an official partner of the New Zealand Cycle trail project.

official partner new zealand cycle trailWith the continued development of New Zealand Cycle Trails, we can now start including rides that suit any level of ability and go further off the beaten track and with different distances to suit all. We have only included sections that have lots of unique sights and scenery - with the combination of the road rides and these trails, there has never been so much opportunity to ride and see more of New Zealand nature. We know you will be doing other activities so we have tried to include on most days, two different rides so you won’t feel like you’re missing out! We didn’t want to give it all away so these are just SOME of the exciting trail rides on offer! With excellent signage throughout these trails, you’ll be able to spend more time absorbing the breathtaking scenery rather than worrying about directions.

Hauraki Rail Trail

Optional drop off by the bus, you can cycle from Waihi completely off road on the Hauraki Rail Trail right through to Karangahake Gorge (a conserved park full of historical remains of gold mining as well as lush sub tropical coromandel forest). If you’re not sold yet, search images on google for Karangahake Gorge, it is literally paradise! This ride in particular will be a highlight for all. Take your head lamp because you’ll be riding through old tunnels, across bridges, this ride will take you completely away from the highway and in surroundings of nature and New Zealand birdlife! Lock your bike and try one of the recommended walks where you’ll likely see the rest of the Flying Kiwi team. We’ll then meet you at a pretty sweet place, perfect for a picnic and a swim!

Distance: 12km or 21km Terrian: Trail/easy

Te Ara Ahi Trail

You want to see geothermal natural sites, a bit of Rotorua’s city heritage, plenty of maori history and then hit the trails for the afternoon at one of the world’s best rated mountain bike forests? Put your helmet on because this ride option will cater for all of this!

This ride is perfect for sightseeing, biking through forests and around lakes and then getting some fun in at the Redwoods/ Whakarewarewa forest, recognised on the global stage as awesome and it’s free!! Enjoy the steaming vents, Government gardens and heritage setting. Stop off at Blue Baths (made in the 1930’s) if you opt for a swim before continuing on Te Ara Ahi Trail to Redwoods. We’ll also recommend a great place for healthy and yum lunch to keep the energy levels up. This ride connects with part of the Te Ara Ahi Thermal by bike however, expect some riding on and off the road so ensure you keep to the left when sharing with vehicles!

Distance: 11km plus additional riding at Redwoods Mountain Bike Park. Terrain: on and off road with over half on the Te Ara Ahi Thermal Trail.

If you end up doing activities this day, we’ve got a another ride along Te Ara Ahi Thermal Trail the next day, while it doesn’t go through the city, it’ll take you past many thermal features that you wouldn’t see as close up if you were on the bus.

Alps to Ocean

After hiking in the incredible Hooker Valley in the backdrop of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook, a small bike option presents itself on the Alps to Ocean Trail. An enjoyable trail ride that will take you to another lake in the Mackenzie country, this ride will farewell the snow capped alps and take you into the start of the Waitaki Valley. Enjoy the unspoilt open country vistas before finishing your ride at a lake where the rest of the crew will greet you as well as a refreshing and rewarding swim!

At only 13km long, this trail ride on the a section of the Alps to Ocean Trail is achievable and enjoyable for all!

Distance 13km Terrain: Trail off road

Around The Mountains Trail

The morning before arriving into thriving and bustling Queenstown, peddle the last section of the rural and friendly Southland where sheep are abundant as well as high country hills and endless dry farmland. It’s not touristy but it’s definitely relaxing and will leave you feeling invigorated just in time for Queenstown adventure capital of New Zealand! You’ll bike through a quaint farming settlement before finishing at the edge of Lake Wakatipu surrounded by regal mountains!

Distance: 31km Terrain: off road/trail

Queenstown Trails

We provide you with multiple bike options on the Queenstown Trail because you have two days here and so much to explore! These bike rides are designed to give you plenty of freedom where you do not feel pushed for time and can go as little or as far as you desire! We’ve selected the sections with most scenery on offer as well as full opportunity to ride past a Central Otago vineyard to indulge in some of our world renowned red wines! Beautiful alpine vistas, wrapping around the iconic Lake Hayes or shotover river, biking to the world’s first commercial bungy or to the historical and charming Arrowtown, there is certainly enough to enjoy if it’s simply riding your bike while in queenstown. Make a day of it, pick a map with your new friends, stop for photos, stop at cafes along the route (Us Flying Kiwis believe savouring the experience with a cheeky cake or scone as a reward for all that biking, we have included some of the yummiest cafes on the maps). Below is a description of just one of our Queenstown rides, remembering you can do shorter trips as well!

Queenstown - Arrowtown return

Just under 50km by bike, this is such a peaceful and scenic way to get from picturesque Queenstown to historic Arrowtown. If you don’t mind a full day packed with some of New Zealand’s best landscapes, escape the lively Queenstown and hit the trails!

You’ll experience four different cycle trails in this ride - highlights include Arrowtown, Lake Hayes and Lake Wakatipu. Lots of places to Picnic, rest and not to mention the recommended cafes/ stops we have included. Go with fellow Flying Kiwi Friends and make a day of it.

Hug the shores of Lake Wakatipu then take your time to enjoy the countryside ride through Millbrook to Arrowtown. Stop at vineyards or Millbrook for pure indulgence before arriving at New Zealand’s most picturesque and photographed lakes, Lake Hayes. Heading back to Queenstown enjoy the sites of two of Queenstown’s famous rivers, the Kawarau and Shotover!

You will not be disappointed with this day out on the bike, nor will your body!

Distances: Range from 10km - 50km Terrain: Mostly on trail with the occasional on road cross over to get to the next trail section.

West Coast Wilderness

The West Coast drive itself is incredible! Driving past braided rivers, earthy and damp forests, wild beaches with endless storm shaped driftwood and side way trees, rustic buildings and local charm but imagine if you could dive a little deeper into this West Coast charm… This ride allows you to do so with a mix of on road and trail riding you’ll bike through wetlands and lake surrounds, follow historical railways as well as seeing Gold Rush historical towns such as Ross. You’ll finish up in Hokitika to explore this greenstone capital or maybe see a kiwi before meeting up again with the crew, ready for a rest back on the bus in time for the next great destination!

Distance: 31km Terrain: on and off road with West Coast Wilderness Trail.

Great Taste Ride

This ride is an absolute must on a sunny day! On route to one of the greatest National Parks, Abel Tasman National Park, you’ll have the afternoon before you arrive to get some cycling in! This trail is mostly off the road on the Great Taste Ride (named appropriately “great taste”) giving you plenty of opportunity to take your time to make your way to camp by bike. This area has long history of hop farming (for beer) so we have included a place of the map if you’re keen to taste local boutique beers. Keep riding past other quirky and local produce cafes before giving your legs a serious work out peddling over the hill into golden and glistening Kaiteriteri beach! Now you have options here to try out the new and awesome Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park (free and for all level of riders) or simply lock the bike and have a swim on the golden beach at Kaiteriteri. There’s a few more cafes here if you’re in need of more energy before tackling the final stretch into camp which is conveniently located on the doorstep of Abel Tasman National Park! Locals love this ride so we feel pretty confident that you will too!

Distance: 24km or 19km Terrain: Great Taste Trail and some road riding