TAKE A BIKE: The 5 best cycle trails in NZ

One of the most thrilling ways to experience the jaw-dropping scenery of New Zealand has to be making the journey along the spectacular New Zealand Cycle Trail.

One of the most thrilling ways to experience the jaw-dropping scenery of New Zealand has to be making the journey along the spectacular New Zealand Cycle Trail.

For the adrenaline-junkies and adventurists of the world, New Zealand has long-reigned as one of the top travel destinations due to its jaw-dropping scenery and thrilling outdoor attractions.

From beginner cyclists looking to enjoy a scenic trail ride, to advanced adrenaline junkies there is cycle trails suitable for visitors of every ability on the 2,500km of trails through the New Zealand bush and beyond. ‘Nga Haerenga’ means ‘the journeys’, in both a physical and spiritual sense, and this is exactly what you can expect when embarking on the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

So, with ‘Nga Haerenga’ in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most famous cycle trails in the North and South Islands of New Zealand:

 

1. OLD GHOST ROAD

karryon-old-ghost-road_612x350

Credit: Sven Martin

This epic track isn’t quite as spooky as it sounds. This is NZ’s longest single-track, and is a wild multi-day journey along the South Islands rugged West Coast. You can cycle past old gold mining relics and along spectacular mountainous ridges.

Level: Advanced

 

2. WELCOME ROCK TRAILS

karryon-welcome-rock-trail_612x350

Credit: Jay French

Snake along the curvy hilltops of the Southland highlands, at the base of the South Island. This single-track circuit has incredible views and easy gradients, making this a perfect route for less-experienced cyclists.

Level: Intermediate

 

3. THE TIMBER TRAIL

KARRYON_Cycle_New_Zealand

As the name might suggest, this trail leads cyclists deep into the heart of the forest along an amazing mixed-terrain track. The Pureora Forest Park nestled in the centre of the North Island promises fun for the family with this easy route across suspension bridges, through ancient high trees and alongside timber-milling relics.

Level: Easy/Intermediate

 

4. GREAT LAKE TRAIL

karryon-huka-falls-trail_612x350

Fraser Clements

This all-season trail is set against the backdrop of New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo. An endless expanse of watery reflection is what awaits for you along this stunning cycle path, and it’s only 20 minutes away from Taupo, making transporting bikes that little bit easier.

Level: Intermediate

 

5. QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

karryon-queen-charlotte-track_612x350

Credit: Chris McLennan

This is one of New Zealand’s original great rides. It glides the edges of the South Islands beautiful sea-drowned Marlborough Sounds, and offers a breathtaking display of ever-changing vistas. It’s steeped in natural and human history, making it a wonderful day for historians and adventure-seekers alike.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

To learn more about the cycle trails in New Zealand, visit Tourism New Zealand’s Travel Trade Page.

Written by Emily Hollings, a KARRYON contributor