trip
4
moderate to challenging
Activities
  • 8 days cycling
Accommodation
  • 8 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days$3390USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: NIR

Trip highlights


  • Ride NZ’s spectacular coastal and rural roads from Wellington to Auckland
  • Enjoy local kiwi hospitality at the comfortable Wallingford Homestead
  • Wander through Napier's historic art deco quarter
  • Explore the wine regions of the Hawke's Bay
  • Cycle up the historic Gentle Annie climb onto the Central Plateau
  • Visit Wai-O-Tapu ad Te Puia thermal parks
  • Taste a traditional Maori Hangi with storytelling and cultural performances

Cycle a selection of New Zealand’s quiet back roads from the capital all the way to the City of Sails on this 9 day fully supported road biking tour. From Wellington, we follow winding roads through the Hutt Valley towards the Rimutaka Ranges. Our ride then descends through vineyards to the east where we follow rolling coastal and rural roads to the town of Napier.

Two nights in Napier allows us plenty of time to explore the world renowned art deco architecture, enjoy more scenic riding and the equally impressive wines of nearby Hawke’s Bay. Our journey then takes us to volcanic landscapes of the Central Plateau via the infamous ‘Gentle Annie’ climb.

There’s time to explore Rotorua’s thermal paradise before heading further North to the Coromandel Peninsula. Here, we ride along another stunning coastline to our final destination, Auckland.

Our guides will be there to show you the best of NZ, share their stories and will always be nearby with the support vehicle if anyone gets tired legs, or needs a snack! You’ll also enjoy a variety of carefully picked local accommodation and hospitality.


Your North Island Back Roads trip meets in Wellington at 8:00am. After we’ve said hello to our fellow bikers, had our bike fitting and tour briefing, we drive to the suburb of Karori, where we set off on our bikes along quiet and hilly rural roads. There will be time to visit the wild Makara Beach before riding through farmland scattered with huge windmills and exploring gorges and rivers. This afternoon we are free to explore the vibrant and creative city of Wellington, visiting some of the many galleries or museums, walk along the waterfront, or through the botanical gardens. We will meet later in the evening for our first group meal together with a chance to discuss the exciting itinerary ahead. Cycling Distance: Makara Circuit - up to 35km / 22 miles Total Ascent: 400m

Meals:  L,D

Our second day starts with a drive over the winding Rimutaka Range to Martinborough, a charming colonial town in the heart of the Wairarapa wine region. Here, we get on our bikes and ride the quiet roads and vineyards to Gladstone, following the Whangaehu Valley. On arrival, we’ll be welcomed with a local beverage at the Gladstone Inn. After lunch we take a short drive and begin our ride to Castlepoint, known for its rugged coast line and century-old lighthouse. We enjoy a short walk to the view point, before driving to Masterton and our nights’ accommodation. Cycling Distance: Martinborough to Gladstone - 33km / 21 miles Awatoitoi to Castlepoint - 42km / 26 miles Total Ascent: 700

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive an hour north to near Pahiatua, where we begin our ride. We follow the Makuri River before gradually ascending 460m to cross the Puketoi Range. The road climbs high above the valley, offering incredible views in all directions. From there, a fast decent takes us to Pongaroa, where we continue through the small farming communities of Waione, Ti Tree and Wimbledon to Porangahau Beach. Next up, we pass by the 1000ft hill that holds the Guinness World Record for the longest place name with 85 characters. Locals call it Taumata Hill after a native warrior. After we pack up the bikes, we drive to our accommodation at Wallingford Homestead and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by our kiwi hosts. Cycling Distance: Ngaturi to Porangahua Beach - 113km / 70miles Total Ascent - 900m

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we jump on our bikes and head out on the road straight from our front door. This morning’s ride takes us along quiet rural roads to the small town of Waipukurau. After a coffee stop we transfer a short distance north to Waipawa where we start riding again. Our route follows the wide Tukutuki River valley, lined by grassy hills and vineyards. On arriving at the pretty town of Havelock North, we can challenge ourselves to a steep hill climb to the top of Te Mata Peak. Climbing 385m over 7km we reach an incredible lookout with 360 degree views over the whole of the Hawke’s Bay. From Napier and Mahia Peninsula to the north and east, hill country to the south and the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru mountain ranges to the west. Mount Ruapehu is also often visible in the distance. It's well worth the effort! We then transfer to the seaside art deco town of Napier where we will spend the next two nights. Cycling Distance: Wallingford to Waipukurau - 29km / 18miles Waipawa to Havelock North - 50km / 31miles Te Mata Peak Climb - 7km / 4miles Total Ascent: 300m + 385m optional

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a free day to relax or enjoy a short ride from Napier. The Hawke’s Bay is blessed with fertile soils and a warm, temperate climate, and is among New Zealand’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – and stunning chardonnays. You can follow one of the many self guided bicycle wine trails visiting some of the region’s 30+ cellar doors, and numerous artisan producers, connected by flat, easy riding cycle paths. Napier is also called the art deco capital as the city was rebuilt in the architectural styles of the time following the devastating 1931 earthquake. You can wander through the art deco buildings and enjoy the many restaurants and cafes in the town. Another option is to take a 4WD tour to visit to the Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers to see the largest, most accessible mainland nesting area of gannets in the world. You are free to make your own lunch and dinner arrangements.

Meals:  B

We begin our day with a wonderful ride on the recently paved road from Omahu to Taihape through the Kaweka Forest Park. We’ll scale the local hill named “Gentle Annie”, reaching an altitude of 950m which is the highest point on the whole tour. We retrace an ancient Maori route between Hawke’s Bay and the Inland Patea district, around the headwaters of the Rangitikei River. Once we’ve reached Taihape, the ‘Gumboot Capital of NZ’ we drive to the Tongariro National Park on the Central Plateau. In the late afternoon, those keen to explore can walk to the Silica Rapids on the flanks of Mt Ruapehu, to see a series of shallow terraces coated in white deposits. Our comfortable accommodation awaits us with views of the volcanic cones of Tongariro, Ngarahoe and Ruapehu. Cycling Distance: Waiwhare to Taihape - up to 100km / 70 miles Total Ascent: 1800m

Meals:  B,L

This morning we head out on a walk down the Whakapapanui Track which descends through native bush following the Wahakapapanui Stream, there could be the chance to see or hear the native blue duck, known in Maori as whio. After our walk, we leave the Central Plateau and drive to visit the colourful pools and geysers of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland on the outskirts of Lake Taupo. Then we hop back on the bikes and cycle through the quiet rural Waikete Valley towards Rotorua. Rotorua is a small town on the side of Lake Rotorua famous for its hot pools, geysers and thermal reserves. This evening we will experience a Maori feast prepared in the traditional Hangi style, visit Te Puia’s geothermal valley and the impressive Pohutu Geyser, as well as being entertained by traditional Maori cultural performances. Cycling Distance: Wai-O-Tapu to Rotorua - up to 40km / 25 miles Total Ascent: 430

Meals:  B

After breakfast we drive towards Matamata and start riding near Te Poi, following a quiet road winding northwards alongside the Kaimai Range. We will ride as far as Te Aroha and then visit the town of Paeroa, ‘World Famous in NZ’ for L&P; the “Lemon and Paeroa” drink. Next, we drive to Miranda and cycle the coastal road to Kawakawa Bay affording wonderful views across the Firth of Thames. We then load up and drive to Auckland, and our final destination. Tonight we have our final meal together to celebrate our week’s cycling achievements. Cycle Distance: Te Poi to Te Aroha - 45km / 28miles Miranda to Kawakawa Bay - 40km / 25miles Total Ascent: 270m

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, it’s time for our farewell as the trip comes to an end. Shuttles, buses and taxis are readily available to get to the airport. Additional nights accommodation can be arranged in Auckland if required.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 nights hotel/motel accommodation, based on twin or double share with ensuite facilities
  • 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Professional qualified guide/driver
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Entrance into Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Park
  • Te Puia Maori culture dinner and performance
  • Snacks and water while cycling
  • Department of Conservation and National Park Fees
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International and domestic airfares and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
P
Easter Holiday Supplement

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$3390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Easter Holiday SupplementUSD$80
  • Road Bike RentalUSD$300
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)USD$510
  • Single SupplementUSD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed North Island Back Roads trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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