March 26, 2020

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

New Zealand Cycle Touring Routes

This blog includes details of the cycle touring routes that I have ridden over the past few years.
The objective of this blog is to provide cycle tourers with information on the best cycle touring routes in New Zealand.

From my experience there are different types of cycle tourists. Some are keen on achieving goals such as riding from the North Cape to the Bluff while others may concentrate on seeing the best scenic parts of New Zealand. Which ever group you fit in this blog should provide you with valuable information to enable you to plan your route.

Part of the enjoyment of cycle touring is riding on roads that have adequate shoulders or have low traffic volumes and the blog includes strategies to avoid busy roads that have high traffic volumes and inadequate provision for cyclists,

In planning your cycling route it is important to have an idea of what to expect on the ride and based on the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words images of what you will see on the cycle routes have been included. The route descriptions are not intended to provide a turn by turn route description.

To give you a general idea of what to expect when cycling around New Zealand the links below show images and descriptions of some of the rides that I have done. I have included the Nevis and Molesworth rides in the South Island. These rides are on shingle roads and while the scenery is magnificent there are some significant climbs. You can stick to the tarmac and still see lots of great scenery.

Happy pedaling!

March 25, 2020

Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail

This is a ride which starts at Mt Cook in the South Island and ends up At Oamaru on the east coast. The ride features some of the best South Island high country. There are sections of the ride which could be done on their own if you have limited time. We started in Twizel and rode up to Mt Cook and stayed there overnight. The ride up to Mt Cook started off very well until we got to the first point on Lake Pukaki. We then headed into what could be only described as a fierce gale and its strength was such that we did not move when going downhill without pedalling.

My ride video:
Alps to Ocean New Zealand

We returned to Twizel on the same road that we went up and did not do the helicopter ride to get to the other side of Lake Pukaki which is the official route of the Alps to Ocean ride.
The next day involved going to the Lake Ohau lodge which included a track alongside Lake Ohau which was excellent.

The South Island high county is very inspiring with big hills and mountains everywhere. There was a climb out of the Lake Ohau lodge and a downhill which is very enjoyable although rocky in parts and best done on a mountain bike.

November 30, 2019

Cycling around the Manawatu

In November 2019 I did a series of rides in the Manawatu from Cheltenham which is a very small town with a population of only 66 but with a hotel. Cheltenham is only 12.9 kilometres from Feilding which is 20 kilometres from Palmerston North.

We stayed at the hotel and did local rides each day and this type of cycle touring can be described as a hub tour. The rides we did included both tarmac and also shingle surfaces on demanding backcountry roads with lots of uphills.
One of the main advantages of a hub tour ride is that you do not have to put up your tent each night and breakfasts and dinners can be catered for in the hotel. We found that the Cheltenham hotel is well set up to cater for cycling groups.
These are the three routes that we did from Cheltenham:

Cheltenham East 


 ·  Turn right onto Coulters Line -6.1 km

·  Turn right to stay on Coulters Line - 11.7 km
·  Turn right onto Ridge Rd -14.0 km
·  Turn left onto Branch Rd -14.9 km
·  Turn right onto Finnis Rd - 21.9 km

 Ridge road as the name suggests runs along the ridge is shingle and is a hard but an interesting ride.

Cheltenham North 

This route includes a visit to Kimbolton and Apiti and then a return along and old friend Ridge Road. All in all a hard day but includes great scenery.


·  Turn left onto Haynes Line - 3.4 km
·  Turn slight right onto Levett Line - 7.0 km
·  Turn left onto McBeth Road - 11.3 km
·  Turn left onto Flyger Street -20.4 km

   Cheltenham West

 This route incorporates a visit to Feilding.


·   Turn left onto Mckays Line - 3.1 km
·  Turn left onto Makino Rd - 6.2 km
·  Turn left onto Reid Line W - 13.9 km
·  Turn right onto Pharazyn St - 15.2 km
·  Turn left onto North St - 17.0 km

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