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The 23 NZ Great Rides

New Zealand's national cycle trail provides fun outdoor adventures through outstanding scenic landscapes. The Great Rides offer a range of trail grades, some suitable for all cyclists while others for experienced riders.

 

Looking to ride a trail section or an entire trail?  Ride a half day or day, weekend or entire week?  Then download the free Great Rides App to pick, plan and plot your ride on Ngā Haerenga (The Journeys).

1  Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Northland's coast to coast is a delightful overland traverse between the bustling Bay of Islands and the laid back Hokianga Harbour, and is packed full of artistic and cultural experiences.

 

This is a lineal ride mainly on an 'easy' trail with good width, a  well-formed gravel surface and minimal undulations.  It can be ridden any time of the year as a two day journey and is ideal for families or those that enjoy a more gentle paced trail.  More ...

2 Hauraki Rail Trail

The North Island's rail trail is a diverse experience of mangrove edges, rural heartland, bush lined river rapids, and rich gold mining heritage.

 

The ride is a network of 'easy' trails with a good width and well-formed gravel surface over gentle terrain. It can be ridden any time of the year as a single or multi day journey and is  ideal for families or those who enjoy a more gentle paced trail.  More ...

3 Waikato River Trails

This river trail is a journey of exploration following the many twist and turns of the countries longest river and its engineering  dam monuments.

Most sections are an intermediate ride on gravel or natural surface with undulating terrain.  The trail can be ridden any time of the year, is suitable for mountain bikers and can be undertaken in sections or cycled in a few days.  More ...

4 Motu Trails

Ride a trail that rolls gently on top of coastal dunes, climbs up remote country roads and descends on a historic pack track through lush rainforest and past a back-country hut to complete a glorious loop.

The trail is suitable for beginners along the coastal section, more experienced riders on the road and advanced riders through the forested singletrack. The trail surface and gradient varies from easy wide path, gravel roads to natural surface mountain bike track. The trail can be cycled in sections as day trips or the entire loop over a few days.  More ...

5 Te Ara Ahi

Ride a trail that rolls gently on top of coastal dunes, climbs up remote country roads and descends on a historic pack track through lush rainforest and past a back-country hut to complete a glorious loop.

The trail is suitable for beginners along the coastal section, more experienced riders on the road and advanced riders through the forested singletrack. The trail surface and gradient varies from easy wide path, gravel roads to natural surface mountain bike track. The trail can be cycled in sections as day trips or the entire loop over a few days. More ...

6 Hawke's Bay Trails

With a Mediterranean-like climate consider a cycle on a delightful network of interconnected loops, past shorelines, wetlands, rivers and through orchards and vineyards that bring the aromas and tastes of the fruit bowl of the east.

 

The trail is suitable for most riders, with general wide, smooth and flat. The network can be ridden all year and more popular in the warmer harvesting months. There are various loop options offering half to full day rides or linked together over several days.  More ...

7 Great Lake Trails

Ride forested single track along edge of our country's largest lake and get up close to waterfalls, rivers and stunning lake viewpoints before dropping down to secluded sandy bays.

 

The trail consists of two parts; the western is more remote and water taxi can be used to join the sections closer to Kinloch. The trail is natural surface singletrack and true cross-country exciting riding.  It can be experienced as a half or full day trip, or a 2-3 day excursion. ​ More ...

8 Timber Trail

Consider an epic ride in the rainforest that spans some of the longest suspension bridges in the country, explores rich timber milling heritage complete with a timber tramline and offers a true back-country escape away from civilisation.

 

With a natural trail surface, undulating terrain and narrow width this ride trail is suitable for mountain bikers. The ride is generally undertaken as a two day trip, with an overnight accommodation available near the half way point.  More ...

9 Mountains to Sea

Start on the flanks the country's largest volcano, penetrating through the lush rainforests of two national parks to reach the middle of nowhere before cruising downriver to a wild coastline.

 

The trail has alot of variety in both surface and terrain. Trail surface varies from tarmac and gravel roads, cobbled pack track and narrow and exposed single-track. This is a journey often experienced in trail sections as day trips or sometimes combined into a multi-day journey from high up in the mountains out to the Tasman Sea.  More ...

10 Remutaka Cycle Trail

Take a circuit around the Remutaka Ranges to leave the city though a dark foreboding tunnel, enter the green rugged ranges that seeped in railway heritage before experiencing the finale along the exposed and scenic southern coast.

 

The trail is has a mixed surface, grades and terrain. Leaving Petone is an easy flat path, the hills are a mountain bike trail, and the coastline is suitable for more advanced riders. The trail sections can be experienced as a day trip or combined into a multi-day excursion.  More ...

11 Queen Charlotte Track

Take in gorgeous coastal views of the stunning Marlborough Sounds, with native bush, idyllic coastal coves and a seamless network of cruise and pack transfers, resorts, lodges and great food and wine - cycling or walking this track is utterly unique.

The track is a true cross-country mountain bike or tramping experience with steep climbs, narrow trail and natural surface.  Most visitors use the accommodation providers along the trail to break up their multi-day journey.  More ...

12 Coppermine Trail

What a gem of a loop to climb a forest-clad historic rail line onto the mountain tops, play in the arid sub-alpine before descending to the valley floor to complete the circuit by following the river into the city's heart. This is one of the easiest bike trails to the tops.

The Brook ascent is an intermediate grade climb to the tops before trail narrows and becomes more exposed, technical and suitable for advanced riders. This is a grand day loop like no other and best peddled when there is no snow on the trail.  More ...

13 Tasman's Great Taste Trail

Enjoy a delightful ride in a landscape rich in fine food and beverages, with coastal and mountain backdrops and take in the longest cycle tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

With smooth trail surface well formed network trail with only moderate grades is suitable for most riders. It can be ridden all year, with the flat coastal section a popular ride in the warmer months. The trail can be experienced as a half, full day or a multi-day loop.  More ...

14 The Old Ghost Road

Take on the challenge of this epic mission to climb on a historic pack track through rugged west coast forest to the mountain tops, traverse the sub-alpine ridge before descending through boulder fields and  river gorge out towards the coast.

This advanced (to expert grade) trail requires riders to be fit with technical skills to keep on track through some of the narrow traverses with vertical drop-offs. This technical trail is remote and wild.  Sections are exposed with back-country huts for overnighting.  More ...

15 West Coast Wilderness Trail

Experience all your senses by taking in the views of the giant forest-cloaked mountains and reflections of several mirror lakes, the smell of foaming sea spray and the humidity of brooding clouds, the sounds of native wildlife and a final touch of West Coast hospitality.

The majority of the trail is suitable for beginner riders, with a wide gravel surface and gentle gradients. The trail can be ridden all year and consists of several sections that can be experienced as a day trips or as a multi-day adventure.  More ...

16 St James Cycle Trail

What a backcountry delight with a sub-alpine pass to cross, a descent into remote river valley, visiting several rustic huts, soaking in a natural hot spring before returning reaching the historic St James homestead.

 

The is a true back country cross-country ride where riders need to be prepared for all conditions. The majority of the trail surface is technical and suitable for very experienced riders. This is a ride best saved for the warmer months given the remote and high crossing, with the partial circuit taking two days, or one demanding long day.  More ...

17 Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Go on a journey travelling through some of our country's most majestic scenery our longest Great Ride that takes you from source to sea leaving snow capped mountains behind as you ride beside lakes, rivers and trail side treats before reaching the Pacific Ocean some days later.

This is a long trail. The trail surface is generally a smooth, however there are some unbridged stream crossings.  While most of the trail is near flat there are a few moderate hill climbs suitable for the intermediate rider. Wrap up warm if you are riding in the colder months. The trail can be experienced in sections as day trips or as a multi-day journey.  More ...

18 Otago Central Rail Trail

This is our country's original Great Ride which crosses the open expanse of Otago's interior plains on a former railway alignment with frequent stops to enjoy the former railway towns.

 

The journey is suitable for almost all riders and can be ridden all year but can be frigid in winter. The trail surface is wide, flat and has a good surface. The journey is typically undertaken in several days, although it can be enjoyed in smaller sections between the townships.  More ...

19 Lake Dunstan Trail

The Lake Dunstan Trail is currently under construction. Stage one from Pisa Moorings just north of Cromwell to Cornish Point to the south is expected to be open before summer 2019. Stage two through the Cromwell Gorge is expected to be completed the following year.

It is expected that this ride will suit most cyclists, being a wide, flat and good trail surface.  There will be a couple of short hill climbs on the second stage of the trail.  Once fully open, the trail can be ridden in a day or at a more relaxed pace over two days.  Coming Soon ...

20 Roxburgh Gorge Trail

Take on the gorge riding through this craggy river canyon before catching a ride on water taxi to connect to the next section that climbs up through the semi-arid rocky landscape to provide outstanding views over the waterway and the gold mining relics and shelters.

 

The trail is generally wide, with a good surface and undulating gradients. A ride in the gorge is suitable for many riders and is a great day out to combine both a trail and river ride.  More ...

21 Clutha Gold Trail

Follow the tree lined course of the mightiest river in the country, enjoy some time in the quaint villages conveniently spaced along the trail, and take in the area's heritage along the way.

 

The trail is suitable for most riders offering an easy journey on a well-formed trail, which is primarily flat with exception to small climb up to pass through the Big Hill tunnel. The can be enjoyed in sections as a full day trip or in its entirely combined with the Roxburgh Gorge Trail as a multi-day journey.  More ...

22 Queenstown Trail

Head to our country's most popular Great Ride that starts in the heart of Queenstown where several rides spread out into the Wakatipu basin that explore outstanding natural landscapes as well as passing by village cafe's, vineyards and beautiful resorts.

The track network is on well formed and generally wide trail on relatively flat to undulating terrain.  Most cyclists choose to combine one or two rides as a day trip that are most suited to their riding ability and what they would like to see and do along the way.  More ...

23 Around the Mountains

Consider a grand circuit of the Eyre Mountains that starts along the shore of Lake Wakatipu before entering the remote highlands of the Von Valley, past the scenic forest lined Mavora Lakes, through farmside villages to then return to the lake.

The trail is suitable for intermediate riders with generally a good trail surface with one significant hill in the Von. The trail is best ridden in the warmer months of the year.The several sections that can be experienced as day trips or combined into a multi-day circuit.  More ...

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