The Toughest New Zealand Cycle Trails

the toughest new zealand cycle trailsAre you an intrepid, experienced rider looking for your next big adventure? Cast your eye over the following New Zealand cycle trails, designed to test your skills and fitness to the max.

Motu Trails (Pakihi Track section)
Where: Opotiki
Duration: 1-3 days
Total length: 91km

The Motu Trails comprise three, distinctly different routes: The Dunes Trail is an easy blend of gentle riding and beach vistas, the Motu Road trail takes you from the ocean into more rugged, demanding terrain, while the Pakihi Track careens through native forest. (It’s rated advanced because in places there are steep drops to the sides.) Combine all three for a tough 91km loop!

Old Ghost Road
Where: West Coast of the South Island.
Duration: 2-3 days
Total length: 85km

Newly opened, this is an intrepid backcountry mountain bike adventure for experienced, fit riders only. The trail follows an old gold miner’s route between the ghost town of Lyell in the Buller Gorge and Seddonville on the West Coast. This is a rugged, remote landscape dominated by ancient rainforest, rocky mountains, rough-hewn river gorges – and spooky ghost towns!

St James Cycle Trail
Where: North Canterbury
Duration: 1-2 days
Total length: 64km

Experience the wide open wilderness of what was once one of the largest cattle and sheep farms in New Zealand. The terrain is challenging, but the stunning scenery will more than make up for it. It’s possible to complete the trail in one day, but spending a night under the stars in a hut or campsite will give you an even deeper appreciation of this sub-alpine wonderland.
Read about Andy’s account of the St James trail.

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 options. Drop us a line if you’d like to talk logistics!

Have a great week,
Andrew Hunt