New Zealand is a beautiful place to ride
The New Zealand cycling network is made up of three different parts:
- Urban rides in towns and cities
- The New Zealand Cycle Trail’s 22 Great Rides, which are predominantly off-road
- Heartland Rides, which allow you to explore New Zealand on scenic back roads while enjoying stunning scenery and local hospitality. They follow the safest on-road route available and provide a link between the Great Rides, urban rides, and towns and cities.
Waka Kotahi has an interactive map to show how the entire network connects.
RIDING IN TOWN
Cycling facilities come in a wide range of shapes and styles, from shared-use paths and trails to on-road infrastructure like cycle lanes. In New Zealand, cyclists can access a large number of multi-use paths as well as an ever-expanding network of on-road cycle facilities for getting to and from your destination. This mix of facility types in the country affords excellent cycling opportunities for all experience levels and trip types, whether you are commuting to work, running to the store, hitting the town on the weekend, or getting some exercise and fresh air.
NEW TO CYCLING
Although you can cycle on most roads and trails, selecting a pleasant route on a bicycle isn’t as simple as riding the same roads you'd drive in a car. Sometimes the shortest route may also be the hilliest, or the busiest, or have really fast car traffic.
For a better experience, look for roads that are less direct options and may have a lot of cross streets, run through slower neighbourhoods, or will otherwise have slower cars. If you have the opportunity to use dedicated facilities (like multi-use paths, bike lanes, or cycletracks) then definitely do so - these sections will be smoother, safer, and faster. You can identify many of these facilities via Google Maps’ cycle route feature.
BIKE RENTAL & PURCHASE:
Want to ride but don’t have a bike? Visit a local bike shop and go on a pedal adventure.
I ALREADY RIDE:
New Zealand is home to countless groups for road cycling, as well as extensive trails for those looking to mountain bike. Too many options to list them all here, but here are a few resources to take you further:
- NZ road cycling (great resources to help find a group ride or club!)
- Mountain biking (Singletracks manages a well-informed list of the top trails across the country)
- NZbybike (a broad resource with a little bit of something for everyone)