NZ CycleTrail

New Zealand's leading adventure biking company since 1996

Explore Nga Haerenga, New Zealand’s Network of Cycle Trails

New Zealand cycle trails2500km of cycle trails waiting to be ridden.

The 23 Great Rides that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail open up some of New Zealand’s very best scenery, from crystal-clear lakes and majestic native forest to open tussock tops, cool dense bush and long-forgotten railway lines.

Some of the trails offer relaxed, easy-going riding, while others are more challenging, rugged affairs. Take a look below at your options and if you have any questions, get in touch

We can help you explore the NZ Cycle Trail

All the trails are perfect for self-guided touring and we can help you organise bike hire, accessories such as panniers and pick-up and drop-off logistics. If time is short, many visitors choose to ride shorter sections of a trail (this is a great option if you’re travelling with a campervan and bikes.) We also offer all-inclusive guided holidays on selected trails.

All 23 of the Great Rides below are open for riding. However, trail opening is always subject to change. For up-to-date trail information, check out the official Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail website.

South Island Great Rides

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Where: North Otago
Duration: 6 days
Total length: 310 km
Type: Self-guided and guided options.
Grade: Moderate

The longest continuous ride in New Zealand, this tour descends over 2000 ft from the lofty heights of Mount Cook to the coastal town of Oamaru. Along the way experience stunning alpine scenery, golden tussock land, and Maori rock art. View details of our Alps 2 Ocean guided tour >>

West Coast Wilderness Trail

Where: West Coast
Duration: 4 days
Total length: 120 km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy to Moderate

The Wilderness Trail follows the tracks of the region’s pioneering gold rush miners, taking riders on a scenic journey from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps to the ocean.

Natural High helped a group of Year 13 Kaiapoi High School students test out the Wilderness Trail at the end of last year. Read Rebecca Bailey’s account of their trip here >>

Around the Mountains

Where: Otago/Southland
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 175km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easiest to intermediate

Explore some of New Zealand’s most secluded and rustic rural settings.

Clutha Gold Trail

Where: Central Otago
Duration: 2 days
Total length: 73km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy

Journey back in time to discover the stories of early Māori moa hunters, Chinese gold miners, European farmers, miners and railworkers of this region.

Otago Rail Trail

Where: Central Otago
Duration: 1 -5 days
Total length: 150 km
Type: Self-guided and guided options
Grade: Easy

This sensational trail offers 150 kilometres of scenic and historic riding through the heart of Central Otago. Traverse mountainous, rocky and river landscapes and discover the tales and histories of the people of this region. Read an account of a Rail Trail tour here >>

Dun Mountain Trail

Where: Nelson
Duration: 4-6 hours
Total length: 38km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Intermediate to advanced

Discover New Zealand’s first railway line on this exciting one-day ride.

Great Taste Trail

Where: Nelson
Duration: 1-4 days
Total length: 38-175km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy to intermediate

Panoramic coastal views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary and the Western Ranges, including Mt Arthur, Mt Owen and Mt Crusader, plus a seemingly limitless supply of cafes, breweries and vineyards. Learn more >>

Queen Charlotte Track

Where: Marlborough
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 70km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Intermediate to advanced

Lush coastal forest, historic bays and stunning views of Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds.

The Queenstown Trail

Where: Otago
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 99 km
Type: Self-guided.
Grade: Easy-Moderate

The trail makes its way through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, taking in the Gibbston wine area, the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown and the diverse landscapes of Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown

Roxburgh Gorge Trail

Where: Central Otago
Duration: 1 day
Total length: 34km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy

A spectacular one-day ride between Alexandra and the Roxburgh Dam. Read an account of this trail on our blog >>

The Old Ghost Road

Where: West Cost
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 80km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Advanced

Ride past mining relics, through picturesque native forest and along breath-taking skyline ridges. Learn more about the Old Ghost Road on our blog >>

St James Cycle Trail

Where: Canterbury
Duration: 1-2 days
Total length: 64 km
Type: Self-guided.
Grade: Easy-Challenging

A 64 km trail offering mixed grade riding through beautiful and diverse scenery including craggy mountain peaks, crystal clear rivers, high-country lakes and expansive grassy river flats. Read Andy’s account of the St James >>

North Island Great Rides

Great Lake Trail

Where: Taupo
Duration: 2 to 3 days
Total length: 93km
Type: Self-guided with luggage transfer options
Grade: Moderate

Scenic riding along the western shore of Lake Taupo. Beautiful native forest and views across the lake to the Tongariro National Park.

Hauraki Rail Trail

Where: Coromandel
Duration: 2 days
Total length: 69km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easiest

Highlights of this ride include the scenic Karangahake Gorge, a historic gold mining town and luxurious mineral spas. Learn more, here >>

Motu Trails

Where: East Coast
Duration: 1-3 days
Total length: 11-91km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy to Advanced

A range of cycling experiences to suit differing ages, fitness levels and riding abilities. Read about the Moto Trails on our blog >>

Mountains to Sea

Where: Central North Island
Duration: 4-6 days
Total length: 317km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Intermediate to advanced

Traverse two national parks rich in natural and cultural heritage.

Rimutaka Cycle Trail

Where: Wellington
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 115km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easiest to intermediate

This trail runs from Wellington Harbour through the bush-clad Rimutaka Mountain Range to the wild southern coast. We have a new, guided tour that runs from Wellington to Greytown and takes in the Rimutaka Trail. Click for details >>

Te Ara Ahi

Where: Rotorua
Duration: 2 days
Total length: 66km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Intermediate

A biking adventure alongside steaming vents, bubbling mud pools and impressive geysers.

The Timber Trail

Where: Central North Island
Duration: 2 days
Total length: 77km
Type: Self-guided.
Grade: Easy to Moderate

A perfect weekend ride within easy reach of Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington, this trail winds its way through ancient forests, crossing eight scenic suspension bridges along the way. Read Andy’s account of the Timber Trail >>

Waikato River Trails

Where: Waikato
Duration: 1-4 days
Total length: 100km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy to advanced

Ride alongside the mighty Waikato River, traversing towering dams, suspension bridges and long meandering boardwalks. Read an account of the Waikato River Trails here >>

Hawke’s Bay Trails

Where: Hawke’s Bay
Duration: 1 to 4 days
Total length: 187km
Type: Self-guided and guided options available.
Grade: Easy to Moderate

Meander along the river and coastal trails of Hawke’s Bay. This mostly flat network stretches over the Heretaunga Plains and offers three different cycling experiences: the Landscape Ride, the Water Ride and the Wineries Ride. Read more about the Hawke’s Bay Trails on our blog >>

Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Where: Northland
Duration: 2 days
Total length: 84km
Type: Self-guided
Grade: Easy to intermediate

Follow ancient Māori trails from the east to west coast. Stunning vistas over the Hokianga Harbour and Bay of Islands.

Need some help deciding which trail to hit up first?

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