Looking for spring outdoor activities? Cycle one of New Zealand’s epic cycle routes

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You’ve probably heard of the New Zealand Great Walks, but have you heard of our Great Rides? From gentle coastal trails to more challenging mountain biking adventures, there is something for everyone along these cycle paths.

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

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

PROVIDED

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

1. Hawke’s Bay Trails

Beautiful Hawke’s Bay is a slice of Europe in our backyard. With abundant sunshine and bountiful vineyards producing some of the best wines in the country, this is the perfect destination for wine tasting and a bicycle trip.

The mostly flat terrain makes riding fun for novice riders and families. Expect to encounter stunning coastal scenery, Art Deco architecture, panoramic views from Peak Te Mata, and the world’s largest gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

Discover all of this and more on one 5 Day Bike Tour with Takaro Trails.

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

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

2. Old Coach Road, Ohakune

This cycle and pedestrian path was built at the beginning of the 20th century to transport passengers in horse-drawn carriages. Today it’s a fantastic family ride that offers a variety of terrain. Beginning at Horopito, the trail winds along the lower slopes of Mount Ruapehu, over part of the original paved causeway, along limestone cliffs, volcanic plateaus, and through native forest.

This 3-day mountain biking experience involves a day of horseback riding along the Old Coach route, as well as plenty of time to enjoy other outdoor activities in and around the national park.

Try a 5-day bike tour around Arrowtown and Queenstown which offers some of the South Island's most scenic trails.

PROVIDED

Try a 5-day bike tour around Arrowtown and Queenstown which offers some of the South Island’s most scenic trails.

3. Queenstown cycle paths

Although generally known as the adventure capital for bungee jumping and skiing, Queenstown’s cycle paths don’t disappoint either. A five day bike tour starting with the former mining colony of Arrowtown, this is one of the South Island’s most scenic trails, rich in color and history.

Stroll along the Arrowtown River Bridges Trail, brave the technically challenging edges of Lake Wakatipu, and take a scenic ride along the Kawarau Suspension Bridge on the Gibbston River Trail to visit as many related wineries as you like. It’s five days of adventure, fun and great wine tasting.

The Remutaka cycle path offers a cycle path with beautiful forest landscapes, tunnels and bridges.

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The Remutaka cycle path offers a cycle path with beautiful forest landscapes, tunnels and bridges.

4. Remutaka cycle path, Wellington

This cycle path begins at Wellington Harbor, winding through the Hutt Valley and Remutaka Ranges before skirting the edge of Cook Strait, offering varied terrain ranging from lush forest and wetlands to rugged coastline.

At this eight-hour trail highlights tour you will be able to discover all the diversity of this path. Pass through beautiful forest landscapes, tunnels and bridges before crossing picturesque pastoral landscapes to the coast, where you may be lucky enough to spot killer whales, seals and dolphins.

The new Lake Dunstan Cycle Route in central Otago is a 55km track connecting the towns of Clyde and Cromwell.

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The new Lake Dunstan Cycle Route in central Otago is a 55km track connecting the towns of Clyde and Cromwell.

5. Lake Dunstan, central Otago

This new 55 km 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.

As well as admiring some of Central Otago’s iconic landscapes, you’ll come across Coffee Afloat, New Zealand’s first floating burger bar serving cyclists on a lake among the mountains. Embark on a 3 or 5 Day Adventure on the Dunstan Lake Bike Trail departure and arrival in Queenstown.

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

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

6. Ultimate Gisborne and Eastland Adventure

Sparkling waters and legendary sunrises await you at Tairāwhiti Gisborne. A bike-rail tour through this region is a unique way to explore the history, culture and landscapes of a part of the North Island that is still relatively unexplored.

On a 5 Day Velorail Adventure in Gisborne, learn about the region’s Maori history, taste biodynamic wines, stay awhile and listen to nature in the Zen Hut and soak up the sun along 90km of spectacular coastline.

The iconic Alps to Ocean Trail is New Zealand's longest continuous cycle route, making it a must-see.

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The iconic Alps to Ocean Trail is New Zealand’s longest continuous cycle route, making it a must-see.

7. From the Alps to the Ocean, Christchurch – Canterbury

This iconic ride is New Zealand’s longest continuous cycle route, making it one of our must-see cycle routes. It is a cycle path for adventurous travelers looking for a challenge.

This 6-day adventure between the Alps and the ocean starts in Christchurch and takes you through glacier-etched valleys, turquoise lakes, small towns and high country settlements and sheep farms. Enjoy craft breweries, incredible stargazing, hydroelectric dams and power plants, and classic country hospitality along the way.

The Otago Central Rail Trail is the oldest cycle route in the country and lasts 3-5 days, but can be traveled in smaller sections.

PROVIDED

The Otago Central Rail Trail is the oldest cycle route in the country and lasts 3-5 days, but can be traveled in smaller sections.

8. Otago Central Rail Trail

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

The entire trail is 152km and takes 3-5 days, but you can do smaller sections. This bike day trip is enough to get a taste of the trail, focusing on the stage from Auripo to Clyde via Lauder, Chatto Creek and Alexandra. Expect spectacular scenery and stops at local tavernas and cafes that interrupt the day and give you the chance to chat with the locals.

It’s time to hike these trails! Check out all of Stuff’s must-see New Zealand bike trips here.


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