The Central North Island cycle trails are a great destination for recreational cyclists looking for a weekend of laidback adventure. The scenery is spectacular and travelling through the farmland, mountains, valleys and past lakes from the seat of your bike is a very different experience to whizzing by in a vehicle. You will see others out on their bikes enjoying the sunshine, you will smell the fresh air, swim in the lakes and rivers and take photos from the vantage points of some magnificent bridges.
You don't have to be super-fit or skilled on a mountain bike to ride these trails. They are designed to be user friendly so everyone can experience the trail, its views and the rest points along the way. Most cycle trails are peppered with plenty of cafés and restaurants that serve food and drink. It's quite common for a couple or group to spend all day riding between cafés and restaurants. Or from winery to winery if you're on the Hawke's Bay Trails. These trails are designed to be ridden on your time – relax in the sun before meandering down the trail to the next attraction or photo opportunity.
Like the sound of that? You're one step closer to your cycling adventure.
Here's what you need to know:
There are many different types of cycling and there are several different types of bikes. For the cycle trails in New Zealand it would be best to use a geared mountain bike with front suspension to make your ride more comfortable. Mountain bikes are also available for rental on all of our cycle trails. You might also like to purchase some cycle-specific clothing. This will mean buying shorts with padding sewn in, which makes for a far more comfortable ride and we'd recommend a ride jersey with good ventilation. Once you have selected a suitable mountain bike and comfortable clothing, you will need to choose the appropriate trail to ride. Navigate to our What Type of Rider Are You? tool on our Trails page and select "Cruiser" – or click here. These trails can all be comfortably ridden by most people – even first-timers.
The benefits of these trails are numerous. As you soak in the views and atmosphere along the trail, your fitness will increase and you will feel a surprising sense of satisfaction by the end of the day. Warm temperatures, very little road traffic, combined with the food and drinks available during your journey combine to make the Central North Island one of the most attractive ride destinations in New Zealand.
Within just a few hours' drive of Auckland you will be spinning your day away on the seat of a bike and breathing in the fresh country air in no time. Why not make a weekend of it and visit the Central North Island this summer?