The lower North Island is relatively unknown as a cycling destination in New Zealand and yet has some of the best cycling routes in the country, with quintessential backcountry farming scenery, gently undulating hills, native forest, and interesting country settlements. We have picked a selection of cycling highlights from this part of New Zealand, on mainly sealed quiet country roads. Short van transfers on most days allow us to keep to more scenic areas, gentle hills and quiet roads.
It does mean that on some days on the road, using this kind of bike, the distances shown may be too much for everyone, but don’t worry as the minibus will be there for you if you need it.
NB: B= Breakfast, L = lunch, D= Dinner
Wellington 16th January 2022 (L,D) 34 km
Pick up in the morning from Wellington Airport. Have your cycling gear ready (carry in hand luggage) to change into at Wellington Airport. Welcome, safety briefings and lunch before beginning our coastal ride from Island Bay along the wild southern coast, around through Seatoun and Mapuia peninsula to the cycle path from Evans Bay to our accommodation in Oriental Bay. Accommodation at Oriental Bay with views over the harbour.
Dinner in a Wellington waterfront restaurant.
Wellington to Martinborough 17th January 2022 (B,L,D) 34 km
We head off in the minivan through the Hutt Valley and on to the start Rimutaka Rail Trail. Here we follow the Old Rimutaka Railway Line track through regenerating native bush, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Descend on the historic Fell Locomotive Incline to emerge in the wide-open Wairarapa at Cross Creek. Cycle to the small township of Featherston from where we travel by van to our accommodation at Martinborough, the centre of Wairarapa viticulture and well known as a centre of epicurean delight.
Accommodation Claremont Motels.
Dining Circus Restaurant.
Martinborough to Masterton 18th January 2022 (B,D) 50km
Any easy morning cycle from Martinborough and the wine-growing region of Wairarapa, past sheep farms to Long Bush and Gladstone and on to the sizable country town of Masterton and our accommodation. Visit Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre near Eketahuna with lunch.
Dinner at The Screening Room, Masterton.
Masterton to Palmerston North 19th January 2022 (B,L,D) 79 km
Today we cycle part of the Wairarapa/Manawatu bike route through rolling countryside on quiet roads to the country town of Pahiatua. Picnic lunch along the way.
Cycling Masterton to Pahiatua on route 52
Van transfer from Pahiatua to Palmerston North for the night.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Palmerston North to Ohakune 20th January 2022 (B, L) 60 km
Transfer by van to Ashhurst, toi start cycling for the day. Cycle through sheep farming country with the Ruahine Ranges to our east, through the Pohongina Valley and on to Mangaweka. Picnic lunch along the way. At Mangaweka we transfer by van to our accommodation at Ohakune.
Accommodation Peaks motel, and dining at
Ohakune to Whangamomona 21st January 2022 (B,L,D) 60 km
Van transfer through Taumaranui before we start today’s cycling. We cycle part of the Forgotten World cycle route and wind through the Tangarakau Gorge to Whangamamomona (Republic of). Picnic lunch along the way. http://visit.taranaki.info/visit/news/riding-the-forgotten-world.aspx
Accommodation and dinner at the Lodge, Whangamomona Hotel.
Whangamomona to New Plymouth 22nd January 2022 (B,L,D) 70 km
Short van transfer to leave the Forgotten World Highway and head west on the cycle route towards the coast. Picnic lunch on the way. Finish the day’s cycling on the coastal cycle route leading to our accommodation in New Plymouth
Dinner at Aborio
Day 8 New Plymouth 23rd January 2022 (B)
The tour finishes after breakfast, with a transfer to NP airport or Wellington
Breakfast, morning tea and lunch are provided on most days. On days when the van cannot follow cyclists on a trail, lunches are self-catered from our larder. Snacks and fruit are always available from the van and are included. Drinking water is carried at all times.
The accommodation for this trip has been selected to provide a comfortable nights sleep at the end of a long day. The accommodation is on a twin share or double room basis, with private facilities. If you wish to reserve a room to yourself a single supplement is available at extra cost.
Payment and Booking Conditions
The price of the ten day/nine night tour, is NZ$2950 per person, twin share, or NZ$3700 for your own room. E-bike rental for the tour is $400.
Tours operate subject to a minimum number of 4 participants.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your place on this tour. Payments can be made by online banking.
Throughout the trip, safety is always the most important consideration. Our experienced and safety-conscious guides are there when you need them.
Health and fitness
This is an active holiday so you need to be fit and in good health. If you are taking medication not listed on the registration form please let your guide know. Fitness is difficult to define. However as a general rule you should be able to comfortably cycle for up to 3 - 4 hours a day. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable your trip will be.
The weather can be changeable, so cyclists need to have suitable clothing for a wide range of conditions. We recommend you pack your luggage in a soft sports bag for easy stowing in the trailer.