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New Zealand Cycle Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Exploring the new zealand cycle trail - Te Ara ahi Photo taken by: Andy Belcher (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

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

official partner new zealand cycle trailThe combination of individual bike trails into the New Zealand Cycle Trail, means we can now include rides that suit any level of ability into our tours. So, you get to go further off the beaten track and enjoy ride distances that will suit every level of fitness and cycling experience.

We only include trail sections that have lots of unique sights and scenery. But the combination of the road rides and selected cycle trails, means there has never been so much opportunity to ride and see more of New Zealand nature on Flying Kiwi tours.

We know you will be doing other activities as well as cycling. So, we include two different rides on most days. That way you won’t feel like you’re missing out!

We didn’t want to give it all away so the tracks listed here 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.

Kauri Coast Cycle Way

Kauri Coast Cycle way

After visiting the mighty Kauri trees of the Waipoua forest, explore the rest of area by riding 33km on road through the dense ferns and bush spotting more Kauri trees as you go. Shortly after the Waipoua forest comes to an end, turn off the Highway and explore Donnelleys Crossing and the remnants of an old, isolated railway line built to connect lumber mills with the port town of Dargaville. The road reconnects with the highway in a small settlement called Kaihu where you can relax and wait for the bus to pick you up. There is a small café and a Kauri store here that has some awesome Kauri sculptures and Kauri ornaments for sale.

This ride will connect you to New Zealand’s ancient natural history and its more recent industrial past. Great views, natural wonders and lots to learn about in this northland bike ride.

Karangahake Gorge

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! You’ll be following the river, crossing bridges, taking in the beautiful scenery and listening out for New Zealand bird life. A highlight of this ride is the 1.1km long tunnel that cuts through the gorge, don’t forget your headlamp as you brave the dark but come out on the other side into more incredible views. Re-join the rest of the Flying Kiwi team at a pretty sweet place, perfect for a picnic lunch.

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Te Ara Ahi, Thermal by Bike Trail

This trail is the perfect way to explore Rotorua by bike. We recommend doing a 10km section of this trail that starts in the centre of the city. You’ll ride along the edge of Lake Rotorua, through the government gardens and past some of Rotorua’s geothermal activity as you make your way towards Whakarewarewa forest park. 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!

when you get to Whakarewarewa forest you’ll discover the wonderful redwoods that is home to some of the most extensive trail riding in New Zealand. Hang out and explore the trails or ride a short distance to camp where you can relax in a geothermal hot pool. 

Alps to Ocean Trail

Alps to Ocean

The Alps to Ocean is one of New Zealand’s longest trail rides, encompassing a massive 306km of trails. Unfortunately we don’t offer the whole ride but we have given you two opportunities to get a taster of this epic trail! As we make our way towards Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, we give you an opportunity to cycle 28km along the edge of the incredible Glacier fed waters of Lake Pukaki. Follow the Tekapo canal leading to the edge of the lake taking photo stops on route and finishing up at one of our favourite camps at the southern end of Lake Pukaki. One of the most picturesque places on our tour and great for a refreshing swim.

The following day, after hiking in the Hooker Valley, you can ride another short section of trail that will be a farewell to the snow-capped peaks 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 a section of the Alps to Ocean Trail is achievable and enjoyable for all.


Queenstown Trail

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!


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!

West Coast Wilderness Trail

West Coast Wilderness Trail

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 forested pathways following historic tramlines. 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!

Tasmans Great Taste Trail

Great Taste Trail

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 ride is mostly off the road on the Great Taste Trail and we give 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) and so 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!

When leaving the National park 2 days later, you'll have another opportunity to ride on the Great Taste Trail into the city of Nelson, Home to Flying Kiwis HQ! An easy, flat stretch of 20km following tidal inlets and the Nelson waterfront before stopping in the heart of the city. Lock your bike up and grab some lunch or take the time to wander around Nelson before making the journey to Picton.

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