Cycling Routes in New Zealand
New Zealand is blessed with many jaw-droppingly gorgeous places to ride your bike, particularly in the South Island.
Here you’ll find our route notes, with details of shops and accommodation along the way, as well as GPS graphs of the terrain and other handy tips.
The hardest part is deciding where to go, especially if your time is limited. Don’t try to pack in too much (allow a minimum of 6 weeks to experience a reasonable amount of the country) and don’t forget to allow space in your schedule for rainy days and relaxing.
› Marahau to Greymouth: From Abel Tasman National Park southwards.
› Greymouth to Haast: Rainforests, goldmining towns and a classic mountain pass.
› Haast to Wanaka, Queenstown and the Mavora Lakes: One of NZ’s most scenic rides.
› Dunedin to Geraldine: Pack in the Otago Rail Trail, Danseys Pass, Twizel and Lake Tekapo.
› Molesworth Road: Challenging, isolated and incredibly beautiful.
› Queen Charlotte Sounds: Sandy bays, rolling hills and views to die for.
› Napier to Wellington: Quiet riding through the Waiarapa hills to NZ’s capital city
All of our favourite rides were in the South Island and it’s hard to pick among them. If pressed, we’d highlight the Haast Pass and the approach to Wanaka, the Molesworth Road, Central Otago, especially Danseys Pass and around the towns of Twizel and Tekapo and the Queen Charlotte Sounds at the northernmost tip of the South Island.
The celebrated West Coast between Greymouth and Haast, while also beautiful, had a little too much traffic for us and felt a bit too touristy in spots.