Central North Island Trails

Photo Credit: Timber Trail / StudioZag.com
Timber Trail Mangatukutuku Bridge credit StudioZag.com
Photo Credit: Mountains to Sea / bennettandslater.co.nz
Mountains to Sea Old Coach Road Hapuawhenua Viaduct credit bennettandslater.co.nz
Photo Credit: Great Lake Trails / Chris Kirkham, Love Taupo
Great Lake Trails Kawakawa Bay credit Chris KirkhamLove Taupo 2017
Photo Credit: Hawke's Bay Cycle Trails
HBT 1 Hawkes Bay Trails v2
Photo Credit: Motu Trails / Neil Robert Hutton Photography
motu trail credit Neil Robert Hutton Photography
Photo Credit: Hauraki Rail Trail
Hauraki Rail Trail Sect E Cherry Blossoms credit Hauraki Rail Trail
Photo Credit: Waikato River Trails | Dave Mitchell
Waikato River Trails Cyclist with Lake Whakamaru in background credit Dave Mitchell
Photo Credit: Whakarewarewa Forest Loop | Graeme Murray
Whakarewarewa Forest Loop  3615 credit Graeme Murray
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.

Timber Trail

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.

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Timber Trail forest hero shot credit StudioZag v2.com
Photo Credit: The Old Ghost Road / Richard Rossiter
Mountains to Sea cyclists on Bridge to Nowhere Martyn Davies
Photo Credit: Mountains to Sea | Martyn Davies

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.

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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.

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Great Lake Trails Otaketake Loop credit Sarah Bennett
Photo Credit: Great Lake Trails / Sarah Bennett
HBT amongst the vines credit Hawkes Bay Trails
Photo Credit: Hawke's Bay Trails

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.

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Motu Trails

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.

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Motu Trails Dunes Trail credit Mandy Hague
Photo Credit: Motu Trails / Mandy Hague
Whakarewarewa Forest Loop Mar2022 credit Graeme Murray 3
Photo Credit: Mountains to Sea

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.

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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.

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Hauraki Rail Trail Biking Owharoa Falls credit www.thecoromandel.com
Photo Credit: Hauraki Rail Trail / thecoromandel.com
Waikato River Trails Arapuni Suspension Bridge credit Waikato River Trails
Photo Credit: Waikato River Trails

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.

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To discover all 23 Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand

Click here