Cycling Routes in New Zealand

Sometimes it's sunnyNew 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.

Nice rides…
South Island
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.
North Island
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.


  1. Hugh
    22nd October 2015 at 7:13 am #

    Hi guys, great post! I’m planning on cycling from Auckland to Rotorua in the summer and I was wondering if anyone new a safe and cyclist-friendly route? I have a mountain bike so off-road tracks are preferred. 🙂

    Thanks, Hugh

  2. maxwell
    28th January 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    do you think new Zealand winter is too cold for bike travel? maybe if we stick to the north island?

  3. Chelsea
    20th April 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks for all of the info!! What time of year did you bike the south island? New Zealand’s summer?

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