November 30, 2019

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!

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

May 03, 2019

Tour of Wairarapa

I recently completed a 9-day tour of the Wairarapa which had some very interesting rides incorporated in it. Some of the ride highlights included:
  •  Ride to Featherston and then over the Rimutuka Rail Trail and then back to Lake Ferry. We got a ride to the western side of the Rimutuka Rail trail so that we could return back over the rail trail.
  • Lake Ferry to Cape Palliser and back 
  • Lake Ferry to Martinborough
  • Martinborough to Masterton climbing Admirals Hill.
  • Masterton to Riversdale
  • Riversdale to Castlepoint.
  • Castlepoint back to Masterton. 
 The highlights for me included the ride from Lake Ferry out to Cape Palliser and the ride over the Admirals hill returning from Martinborough to Masterton. Admirals Hill is a gem. It was a reasonably hard ride but very scenic especially on such a brilliant day.

Wairarapa Tour maps and Images

As a member of the Auckland Cycle Touring Association I take advantage of the expertise of the members in designing really interesting cycling rides with like minded cyclists all at a budget cost.

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