Showing posts with label Getting in and out of Auckland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Getting in and out of Auckland. Show all posts

March 27, 2015

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Cycle Touring Route North out of Auckland

As already outlined getting out of Auckland either south or north can be problematical. This is because the busy roads have difficulty in coping with the traffic cars and trucks let alone cyclists and the roads mostly have minimal shoulders.

There is a way around this if you head north out to Helensville rather than going on the main road north through Albany.  Use the north western cycleway to get to Helensville although at the moment the cycleway is very difficult to follow because of  the motorway reconstruction. Having reached Kumeu use the state highway to ride to Helensville. There are some back roads from Kumeu to Helensville to use to miss the traffic on this stretch if you have a map. 

From Helensville the ride up the coast to Wellsford includes some demanding hills and is a distance of 57km. From Wellsford unfortunately you need to ride on the main highway for a period and then turn left onto State Highway 12 on your way to Dargaville which is 98ks away.
The next step is to ride to Rawene which is 106ks where you catch the ferry north. 

November 23, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Auckland to Tauranga

In selecting a cycling route out of Auckland to the Coromandel or points further south the main consideration is to avoid busy main roads.

A good option is to catch the ferry from central Auckland to Pine Harbour and you also get to see one of the main attractions of Auckland the Hauraki Gulf. The ferry leaves from downtown Auckland and takes about half an hour. Once you are in Pine Harbour you are on quiet country roads which head  south alongside the coast to Maraetai and then to Clevedon and then down through Kawakawa Bay to the Thames coast and down to Kaiaua.

From Kaiaua ride onto Waitakaruru and then on the right take the Canal E Road through to the main highway and  turn left and you are on State Highway 2 and you can ride through Ngatea to Paeroa.

This can be a busy road with lots of trucks and there is an option of using the following back country roads. Heading along state highway 2 turn right into Central Road and then Torehape Road/Kaihape/Ferry/Reservoir Chanal Road/Awaiti Chanal Road/Awaiti W/Wani Rd/Pukahu. Then turn right into State Highway 2 cross the bridge and ride into Paeroa.On this route there will be very few cars or trucks to contend with.

Once you are in Paeroa you head up the Karangahake gorge but not on the main road as it is very busy and does not have an adequate shoulder. Instead use the Hauraki Rail Trail which is not steep. To get on the rail trail heading out of Paeroa turn right into State Highway 26 and then left into Rotokohu Road and this leads to the Rail Trail. Continue on the rail trail and exit the rail trail by turning right at Waitawheta Road.

This back country route joins up with State Highway 2 about 15 kilometres from Katikati. The main highway into Katikati has a shoulder but the traffic is very busy and care needs to be taken over this section.

The ride into Tauranga from Katikati is the busiest on the route and on this section there are no shoulders on the bridges. Great care is therefore required and you may have to wait to allow traffic to go by before crossing the bridges.

Past Maraetai
Hauraki Gulf

Crossing the Hauraki plains on the back roads

Hauraki Rail Trail

The Firth of Thames

September 26, 2014

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Cycle Touring Route in Auckland - Pine Harbour to Clevedon

One of the main attractions of Auckland is its harbour and as a visitor to the city one of the best things you can do is to get out into the Hauraki Gulf which is a marine park that covers more than 1.2 million hectares and is made up of more than 50 islands.

One way of getting an idea of the extent of the Hauraki Gulf is to catch the fast ferry to Pine Harbour from downtown Auckland a journey of around 30 minutes. 

Once in Pine Harbour you can get back on your bike and ride to Maraeti a small seaside town which is 5.3 kilometres away. This is an attractive coastline on a narrow country road. One word of warning is that you should avoid weekend days in the middle of summer as the road then becomes very busy and there are no shoulders. Then ride 15.9 kilometres inland to Clevedon which is a small rural town where there are good cafes.

You can then return to Pine Harbour to catch the ferry the way you came or go in a round trip to Whitford which is 10.9 kilometres from Clevedon and it is a further 10.4 kilometres back to Pine Harbour. 

This ride like the Waiheke ride allows you to get to see a bit of the gulf and its beaches and both rides are well worth doing while you are in Auckland. There is also the advantage that you escape the traffic of the city.
The ferry to Pine Harbour can also be used as a good way of getting out of Auckland when travelling south to the Corromandel and Tauranga. 

Half an hour on the ferry

Pine Harbour


June 29, 2014

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New Zealand Cycle Touring Route from Auckland Airport to Downtown

In common with many international airports assembling your bike and riding into the city is not easy as there is no dedicated bikeway into the city. It is 21.4 kilometres into the city from the International Air Terminal and you need to allow yourself plenty of time as the cycling route while interesting is fairly circuitous.
When you ride on the road out of the airport terminal there is an adequate shoulder to ride on but you must then take a secondary route because bikes are not allowed on the motorways. The route out to the airport is very popular with local cyclists as you can get out into the countryside alongside the Manukau Harbour. If this is your first experience of cycling in New Zealand traffic be aware that you need to take great care as motorists are not that aware or tolerant of cyclists on the roads.

One option if you do not want to stay in the city is to camp at Ambury park which is 8.1 kilometers from the airport. The facilities here are only for camping and the park is on the route into town.

Route to Ambury Park

As a cyclist you must abide by the rules of the road which are included in the road code:
New Zealand Road Code for Cyclists

The route into Auckland:

Cycling Route into Auckland

May 08, 2014

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Cycle Touring Routes Out of Auckland

Route South to Coromandel and Tauranga

Cycling out of Auckland it is not straightforward because of the topography and the motorway system. 

Option A - Through Clevedon and the Firth of Thames Coast

This is one option of riding out of Auckland if you intend to travel down the East coast of the North Island south towards Coromandel and Tauranga. It is recommended because it is mainly on quiet rural although hilly roads. It includes an attractive stretch down the Firth of Thames coastline.
You could also take the ferry to Pine Harbour which would avoid the city traffic and you would also get a look at the Hauraki Gulf which is well worth seeing. Refer my separate post on this option.
You start by heading west from the city centre along Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. This is a busy road so you need to take care on this section.
From St Heliers you ride to Ormiston Road taking the following route:

St Heliers to Sandstone Road

From Ormiston Road you then ride up a steep hill which goes then straight into Sandstone Road. At the foot of the hill in Sandstone turn right into Whitford Park Road and then travel along this road until you reach Brookby Road where you turn right. You then turn left at Twilight Road which is a bush clad hill on a windy road and at the end you turn right and you are in Clevedon.

The ride from Clevedon is again reasonably hilly on the way to Kawakawa Bay. From Kawakawa you go up a steep climb before making your way over to the Firth of Thames coastline. There is then an enjoyable ride down the mostly deserted coastline road. The Firth of Thames is an important feeding ground for shorebirds and waders some of whom travel from far away as Siberia and Alaska.

Clevedon to Thames

Option B - By Train to Papakura

Another option is to the train from Auckland to Papakura and to commence your ride from there. This has the advantage that get out of Auckland quickly and miss the city traffic and traffic lights.

Alternative Route out of Auckland