Twin Coast Tour in the winterless north

Published 2020-06-30

They don’t call it the ‘winterless north’ for nothing! It’s probably safe to leave the swimsuit at home, but be sure to bring comfy cycling clothes and a healthy appetite for history, art and Māori culture.

This 87km trail from the beautiful Bay of Islands to the Hokianga Harbour is the perfect hook for a winter break in our own sub-tropical backyard, complete with coastal and country scenery, and all sorts of small town sights – from the Hundertwasser toilets to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. If you like a spot of hill cycling be sure to check out Waitangi Mountain Bike Park too!

Northland Experiences is a great local tour company serving the trail. They offer a range of cycling (and hiking) tours with plenty of scope to tailor them to your group’s skills, interests and itineraries.

Their most popular trip is the five-day Cook to Kupe cycle tour, which traces the footsteps of our ancestors and explorers. While this trip reaches capacity in high season, it’s definitely a year-round ride, with the milder winter temperatures offering perfect pedalling conditions.

Hundertwasser Toilets Kawakawa credit Northland Inc

Northland's creative convenience the Hundertwasser toilets (Northland Inc)

It follows the Pou Herenga Tai/Twin Coast Cycle Trail but also detours to take in other highlights off this Great Ride. The tour is designed for all abilities and features a mix of custom-built cycle trail, gravel roads and quiet, sealed backroads.

Making the most of quiet weekdays on the trail, this tour starts in Paihia on Monday morning, and finishes back in Kerikeri on Friday night. All logistics are taken care of and one of their experienced tour leaders will accompany you all week. The maximum group size is ten. Top quality e-bikes guarantee comfortable and enjoyable biking experiences, and there are options for keen riders who like extra challenges.

Cook to Kupe cycle tour highlights

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • cruising Hokianga Harbour on the historic Ranui launch
  • Māngungu Mission Station
  • Wairere Boulders geological park
  • Waipoua Forest kauri walk
  • Russell’s historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel
  • optional paddleboarding, jet skiing, Waitangi MTB Park, sailing and more

Read more about Northland Experiences' tours.

Twin Coast Cycle Trail Ranui at Horeke credit bennettandslater.co.nz

The historic Ranui launch – a wonderful way of exploring Hokianga Harbour (bennettandslater.co.nz)