Central North Island Trails
Welcome. The central North Island is home to an incredible diversity of Great Rides. Discover everything from easy cycling trails that traverse wineries and relaxed rural landscapes, to adventurous trails through towering forests and beside lakes and rivers, with rich layers of Māori and early-settler history.
These Great Rides each offer you a fantastic single-day experience. Some also make for a stunning multi-day ride and can be linked together to form an incredible journey through some of the best of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
All our Great Rides are within easy driving distance from the main North Island centres. Some can be reached via the Northern Explorer train, or have convenient air access. Or, you could simply ride your bike, and connect them via the Heartland Rides.
Plan a weekend away somewhere new, or get away for a longer break. Central North Island Great Rides offer multiple accommodation options, bike hire and ride support, logistics, great information — and expect a warm welcome and real hospitality.
Please check out each Great Ride for details. Ngā mihi nui.
Located in the heart of the North Island, Pureora Forest Park is a magical mix of exotic, regenerating and precious virgin forest saved by environmentalists in the 1970s.
Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono
Starting on the slopes of a live volcano, this is an epic journey through two national parks, rolling hill country and remote river gorges. It reaches a fitting finale at the deep, blue Tasman Sea.
Great Lake Trails
Explore the remote forested shores, valleys and headlands along the edge of Lake Taupō, with massive views across to the peaks of Tongariro National Park.
Hawke's Bay Trails
Following dedicated cycle paths and the occasional country road, this delightful trail network traces the coast from Bay View in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south, and ventures inland through idyllic rural and riverside scenery.
Motu Trails are a wonderful to way to get to know this special corner of the North Island, centered on the town of Ōpōtiki and the villages of Motu and Matawai.
Whakarewarewa Forest Loop
Whakarewarewa Forest Loop – the newest Ngā Haerenga Great Ride of New Zealand – was purpose-built to take in a range of sights and scenery in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest, also known as the Redwoods. It also realises the community’s long-held vision to create a classic, deep-forest adventure.
Hauraki Rail Trail
This wonderfully laidback trail traces the Shorebird Coast and follows old railway lines between the historic gold towns of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi and Matamata.
Waikato River Trails
This Great Ride through the North Island’s rural heartland follows a stretch of the mighty Waikato River as it flows through striking hydro dams, and pools into tranquil lakes.