The Best New Zealand Great Rides For The Family

new zealand great rides for the family Fancy a family holiday or day out with a difference? Several of the New Zealand Great Rides are absolutely perfect for family outings, offering relaxed, easy riding through stunning natural environments.

Most of the trails are multi-day experiences, but if you don’t think the kid’s legs are up to the full distance, or you just want to ease them into the joys of cycling, you can pick and mix shorter sections to ride as day trips.

Here’s a list of the easiest and best trails to take the kids.

Hauraki Rail Trail
Where: Coromandel
Duration: 1-3 days
Total length: 82km

A leisurely jaunt through beautiful countryside and old gold towns. Highlights include the scenic Karangahake Gorge, home to intriguing gold mining relics and eerie tunnels (bring a torch!), and the therapeutic hot pools of Te Aroha. Click here to read a full review of this trail.

Twin Coast Cycle Trail
Where: Northland
Duration: 1-2 days
Total length: 84km

Explore Hokianga Harbour and the beautiful Bay of Islands. This trail follows smooth rail trails, dedicated cycle paths and quiet back roads as it winds through wetlands, native forest and rolling countryside. Recommended stops along the way include the Waitangi Treaty Grounds near Paihia, as well as the small towns of Kawakawa and Kaikohe.

Rimutaka Cycle Trail
Where: Wellington
Duration: 1-3 days
Total length: 115km

Right on the doorstep of Wellington, this trail takes you along the Hutt River and over the bush-clad Rimutaka Ranges to rural Wairarapa, where you’ll find rugged coastline, interesting townships and vineyards for mum and dad! If you fancy making the riding experience as easy as possible, check out our 5-day Wellington Harbour to Greytown guided tour.

Hawke’s Bay Trails
Where: Hawke’s Bay
Duration: 1-4 days.
Total length: 200km

Three themed trails to choose from, all offering stunning coastal and rural views and relaxed, easy riding. The Landscapes Ride takes in laid-back seaside settlements, big views of Cape Kidnappers and the verdant Tukituki Valley. The Wineries Ride meanders past numerous award-winning wineries, or discover art deco Napier plus coastal, wetland and riverside scenery on the Water Ride.

Otago Central Rail Trail
Where: Central Otago
Duration: 1-5 days
Total length: 150km

The original New Zealand rail trail provides a fascinating snapshop of the famed Central Otago region. Experience breathtaking mountain backdrops, high country sheep stations, golden tussock lands, river gorges, spooky tunnels and viaducts. We can help you ride this trail as a self-guided option, or join us for an all-inclusive, guided tour.

Clutha Gold Trail
Where: Central Otago
Duration: 1-2 days
Total length: 73km

Uncover the stories of early Māori moa hunters, Chinese gold miners, European farmers, miners and railworkers as you follow gentle riverside paths and old railway lines through mesmerising Otago scenery.

All these 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. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk logistics!

Have a great week,
Andrew Hunt