Tour Aotearoa, NZ North Island, Te Ika a Māui

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February 6, 2025
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Why Book With Us?

  • Small cycle groups
  • Hand-picked Cycle Tours & Activities
  • Family Run Business
  • 22 Days
  • 12 People Per Tour
  • Fitness Level: 2 - 3
  • Fully Supported Bike Tour
  • 1590 km
  • Cape Reinga to Wellington

Cycle Tour the North Island, ride Cape Reinga to Wellington on our fully supported version of this classic route.

If adventure is your thing and you like to ride off road…this cycle tour of North Island NZ has oodles.

Join us to explore the North Island, Te Ika-a-Māui, by bike! A fully supported version of the Kennet brothers 1590km classic route means you can enjoy each day’s riding knowing there is a comfortable bed waiting, snacks, lunch and water are sorted, and your gear is being hauled to the evening’s destination by our trusty sag wagon. 

Beginning our ride at the iconic Cape Reinga lighthouse and with a pedal down 90 Mile Beach, we continue south. Riding on quiet roads, through small town NZ and stands of giant kauri. You will experience the hustle and bustle of Auckland city, enjoy historic tracks, cycle trails and get well off the beaten track in the rural back blocks of the North Island. 

No tricky logistics! With two crew providing meals and riding sweep with mechanical support, your accommodation booked plus the van and bike trailer if you need it… we are here to help your bike packing dreams become a reality. If the full tour is too much at once, then why not tick off one island at a time. 

*Please note if you are coming from overseas and bringing your own bike, we are not able to carry empty bike bags or boxes. You can either courier them from Auckland to Wellington or package your bike to travel in a cardboard box that you can recycle on your arrival.   

Tour Highlights - Tour Aotearoa North Island

Departure & Return Location

Meeting Point: Pukenui (or optional transfer from Auckland)
Ride Start: Cape Reinga
Ride Finish: Petone
Tour Ends: Wellington

Price Includes

  • 21 nights Accommodation
  • Meals as per tour itinerary
  • Two Escape Adventures tour leaders
  • Support vehicle & bike trailer
  • 2x Boat Transfers

Optional Extras

  • Bike Hire: If required hire fee is NZD $600
  • E Bike Hire: If required hire fee is NZD $1600 (Advance booking essential)
  • Transfer from Auckland to Pukenui $375pp (includes bike transport, one extra nights accommodation & one extra breakfast)
  • Bike Collection Only (to transfer your bike Auckland to Pukenui) $50 per bike

Price Excludes

  • Airfares, visas, or airport taxes
  • Optional activities and excursions
  • A couple of meals as per the detailed itinerary
  • Personal equipment
  • Getting to Kaitaia and from Wellington

Solo Travellers - Single Supplement

  • NO Single Supplement! - If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. (same gender)
  • If you do not wish to share that is fine too, a single supplement of $1900 NZD will apply. NOTE Single rooms will be provided where available however in some places you will be required to share a bathroom.

Itinerary - Tour Aotearoa North Island - supported cycle tour

DAY 1: Meet at our starting motel Pukenui

Arrive in Pukenui by mid-afternoon. Exploring this tiny settlement won’t take long before you meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers at 5pm for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together.

Accommodation: Motel

DAY 2: The journey begins! Cape Reinga & 90-mile beach

Our start time is dictated by the tides. A 1 hour vehicle transfer gets us to Cape Reinga and the start of your epic journey. 90 Mile Beach leaves strong memories in the minds of all Tour Aotearoa riders – a crazy way to start… but there you have it. I hope we get a north-easterly!

Cycling Distance: 85km

Accommodation: Motel 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3: Cycling to Hokianga Harbour

It’s time to start preparing our hill legs for the journey ahead… The day promises stunning NZ bush and views of the Hokianga Harbour on a 10 min ferry to Rawene. 

Cycling Distance: 112km

Accommodation: Holiday Park Cabins 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4: Pedal between Giant Kauri

The Kauri Coast cycle way fully immerses us into the far north – riding through the Waipoua sub tropical forest dominated by giant kauri. This is the epitome of the far north with quiet roads, quiet towns, wild beaches and some great swimming opportunities.

Cycling Distance: 110km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 5: Kaipara inland harbour by bike

We head south down the remote and quiet Pouto Peninsula through farmland and the mouth of the Kaipara inland harbour. We cross the harbour by boat (3 hrs tide dependent) and pedal into Parakai.

Cycling Distance: 70km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 6: Cycle trails galore - Auckland City

We’re not in the far north anymore! But suddenly in the centre of NZ’s largest, busiest and traffic craziest city. Thanks to Auckland Transport for the convenient cycle routes for getting us there alive!

Cycling Distance:69km

Accommodation: Hotel 

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 7: Explore the Firth of Thames

Negotiating the city traffic + tricky navigation out of Auckland city is not everyone’s cup of tea… and the support vehicle is available for those who opt out. Once clear of the city we ride around the firth of Thames finishing on a short stretch of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Cycling Distance: 125km 

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8: Spin along the Hauraki rail trail

We get our “groove on” riding the smooth surface and gentle gradient of the Hauraki Rail Trail. We ride the historic railway across the Hauraki Plains then divert west all the way to Cambridge.

Cycling Distance: 139km 

Accommodation: Motel 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 9: Rest day in Cambridge

Your first rest day, get some ‘bikepacking admin’ done or visit Hobbiton movie set conveniently located just down the road!

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: Off road and on to the Waikato River Trail

TA riders tell stories about the Waikato River Trail. Running alongside New Zealand’s longest river the trail passes a series of hydro lakes, through volcanic landscapes, forest and farmland. Once you’ve ridden it, you’ll have your own story to tell!

Cycling Distance: 92km

Accommodation: Rustic Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: Magical and historic, Pureora Forest awaits!

We make a B-Line for the lovely Pureora Forest Park and the topographical centre of the North Island. And then the fun begins! The Timber Trail is famous for stunning stands of virgin forest bush saved from logging in the 1970s. Remote cycle trail and cool bridges bring us to the Timber Trail Lodge. 

Cycling Distance: 81km

Accommodation: Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: Ticking off the Timber Trail

We ride the second half of the Timber Trail on cycle trail and historical milling tracks down to Ongarue and then onto Taumaranui for the night.

Cycling Distance: 69km

Accommodation: Motel 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 13: Volcanic views Central North Island

We ride lesser-travelled farming roads for a little while before hitting the tar seal and boosting towards Ohakune. Fingers crossed for clear skies and views of Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest active volcano and home to the North Islands only glaciers.

Cycling Distance: 82km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 14: Ride the Bridge to Nowhere Cycle Trail

Optional: Ride the Bridge to Nowhere trail + jet boat then transfer to Ohakune.
OR: Spend the day exploring cycle trails in the area or relaxing in Ohakune

Cycling Distance: 79km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 15: Whanganui River Trail

The Whanganui River Valley has a climate of its own. Take your time rolling up and down (it’s got to be more down than up right?) through this lush river valley down to Whanganui. 

Cycling Distance: 115km

Accommodation: Motel 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 16: Rest day in Whanganui

Explore the galleries and art walks around Whanganui, or maybe it is time your bike got some love with a local mechanic.

Accommodation: Motel 

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 17: Up and away to Hunterville

With a bit of a quirky start to the day we warm up heading east out of town on nice flat quiet farming road. It wouldn’t be NZ without a couple of hearty hills to get your heart happy before hunkering down at the Hunterville Hotel.

Cycling Distance: 62km

Accommodation: Historic Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 18: Rural roads to the Ruahines

Some smooth seal starts the day, but don’t get too comfy! Soon we’re back onto a mix of gravel and farm roads. Taking us from Hunterville towards the Ruahine Range.

Cycling Distance: 73km

Accommodation: Cottages 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 19: Crank over the Pahiatua Track

Traverse below the Ruahines as you head South, then your legs spin like windmills as we crank over the Pahiatua track. What a wonderful thing a wind-powered bike would be!

Cycling Distance: 89km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 20: Pedal Pahiatua to Greytown

If we get a northerly, you’ll have a famous Martinborough vino in your hand soon after lunch. If we ride into a southerly breeze, you’ll just have to wait until dinner time!

Cycling Distance: 117km

Accommodation: Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 21: Remutaka Rail Trail to Wellington

After a warm up on flat farm roads we meander up the Remutaka Cycle Trail through disused rail tunnels and take in other cool history. Then it’s down, down, down and along the Hutt River cycle trail all the way into Wellington before our final dinner together which marks the end of your North Island adventure!

Cycling Distance: 83km

Accommodation: Holiday Park Motel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

*Your tour is officially finished after dinner tonight, the night’s accommodation is included

Photos from the Tour Aotearoa North Island - Te Ika-a-Māui - cycle tour

Map - Tour Aotearoa North Island Cycle Tour - Te Ika-a-Māui
Cycle North Island NZ - Tour Aotearoa North Island Cycle Tour - Frequently Asked Questions
Escape Adventures fully supported bike tours have been running for decades, if you have any questions "just ask us"

The biking lowdown

  • A total distance of 1590km spread over 18 days of biking.
  • This is a ‘Pedal bike-centric’ cycle tour. Riding distances and overnight stops have been designed around the needs of pedal biking. E-Bikers are welcome to join.
  • Daily riding distances have been planned to be achievable, (but not without challenge) and to allow plenty of time to explore the local towns along the way.
  • We encourage an early start so that you have time to recharge at the end of the day.
  • 60-139km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic riding route. Approximately 49% sealed roads / 15% quiet gravel roads / 30% cycle trails and a 90km beach section.
  • There are some big climbs, big downs, undulating coastal terrain and of course there is also some flat terrain.
  • Cycle trails have variable terrain and generally slow riding speed.
  • Dirt/gravel road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour.
  • Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle.

How does a 'Supported Cycle Tour' work?

YOU – RIDE . NAVIGATE . ENJOY . EAT . SLEEP .

WE PROVIDE:

  • Daily ride information.
  • Digital navigation and cue notes.
  • Mechanical and first aid support.
  • Carry your luggage *we are unable to carry empty bike bags or boxes
  • Ride sweep.
  • Sag Wagon.
  • Breakfasts, lunches, water and riding snacks (and some dinners).
  • All the logistics.
  • And all Accommodation

Whether you choose to ride the full length of New Zealand or just one Island at a time – we’ll sort the nitty gritty. Before your tour begins, we will organise all the logistics and book all accommodation.   

We will give you daily digital route maps, that you can follow on your phone or GPS, and route cue notes so that you can ride at your own pace, stop when you like to smell the roses and grab a coffee when the opportunity presents, while always knowing that we are there if you need us.

On tour, your awesome Escape Adventures support crew will have your breakfast ready for an early start and provide snacks for you to carry with you.  They will provide daily ride information and ride sweep with first aid and mechanical support.  Our support vehicle will carry your luggage, and on most days set up a ‘floating picnic lunch’ on route so that you can dine’n’dash and top up on water and snacks.  The support vehicle is also there if you need first aid or mechanical support, or if you need a break from the saddle.

How fit do I need to be for this cycle tour?

This cycle tour includes rides of 60-126km per day.  Please do read about the daily riding distances taking note of the riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly. 

The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure!  Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:

– riding on gravel, unpaved terrain and hills. 
– riding 3-4 times a week with rides of 40-80km in length.

Support: Our trusty support vehicle carries all your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water at hand, and is there if you need a break from the saddle.

What type of bikes do we ride?

The ideal bike for the tour is a hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres. A gravel bike is also an option – but only if you are familiar with riding one on unpaved surfaces! You will need to be able to carry up to 1.5-2L water, a jacket and snacks in a backpack, front roll or frame bag.

Escape Adventures have a small fleet of bikes and E-bikes available for hire available for hire in S M L & XL. (Bookings Essential).

Trek X-Caliber mountain bikes $950
E-Bikes  (Brand and model tbc) – $1600

When you hire one of our bikes – they are maintained by us and kept in excellent running condition.  Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.

What kind of meals do you provide?

Included in your tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, most lunches and two evening meals. (3 lunches are not included).
Three lunches and most of the evening meals (as per the tour itinerary) are in places where there are dining and wining options available – therefore at your own cost and choosing. (This gives you more control over the cost of your tour AND spreads the love supporting local businesses!).  We are most definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets. If this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.

Typical Included Meals:

  •  Breakfasts – Fresh fruit, muesli, toast and spreads, hot drinks.
  •  Lunches – Picnic style lunches, fresh salads, cold meats, cheese & bread.
  •  Snacks – Fresh fruit, salty snacks, home baking.
  •  Evening Meal – Prepared by your tour leaders or local accommodation.

What kind of accommodation can I expect?

All accommodation for the duration of your tour is included. Accommodation is included for all 21 nights of the cycle tour. Our job is to explore and find the most fitting accommodation to work in with the riding route. Sometimes there is lots of choice, sometimes very little. We will be staying in a combination of motels, hotels, lodges, holiday houses and holiday park cabins. When possible these will have ensuite bathrooms, however in some cases – in holiday houses and holiday park cabins it will be necessary to share bathrooms.

Travelling Solo? We do not charge a single supplement! 
Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement is available. *Single room options may be limited in some locations.

What is the maximum size of the cycle group

This trip has 6-12 bikers, plus two experienced Escape Adventures tour leaders.

6 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Angela Cassidy

Couple Traveller

The trip was easily one of our best travel experiences and a great physical challenge. We loved the supported nature of the tour, which made it so easy to just get up and ride every day. Theresa and Tim did a fantastic job at leading the tour – keeping everyone’s mood up, and making sure we knew where we going and were well-fuelled with food, drinks and snacks. The cycling was great and we enjoyed seeing the country at a slower pace and riding along back roads that we would not otherwise have visited. Best of all, it was a great buzz discovering we could manage any hill, any gravel road, any long-distance ride in front of us.

June 24, 2023

Christopher Ingram

Solo Traveller

I have just completed my North Island cycle tour biking with the excellent Tim and Theresa. Gee what a committed and hardworking couple, giving us a truly fully supported adventure. They were really happy days through beautiful pastoral country with heaps of edibles, expertise and encouragement.

November 25, 2022

Lynn Selby

Group Traveller

Forever proud of myself! It was a great adventure. One of the hardest tests I have ever put my body and mind through but it was worth it. The NZ scenery you steered us through was amazing – shame most New Zealanders will never see it. It did come with its challenges prior to take off but you guys handled it all so well it was quite seamless for us riders. I would definitely advise anyone interested in doing the TA or a bike trip to Africa to contact you. It was certainly one adventure I will never forget and will forever be proud of myself for completing – even if I did do it on an e-bike! Cheers to you both and to your wonderful people who guided and fed us – they are pretty amazing humans!!

April 19, 2022

Sarah Griffin

Couple Traveller

I rode from Cape Reinga to Auckland with Escape Adventures in November 2020. The highlights for me were the Legendary 90 Mike Beach, hard sand, bright sun, rolling lines of surf; the ferry crossing to Rawene & night overlooking Kaipara Harbour; Riding through the huge tree heads of the Kauri Forest – WELL comparable with Madagascar’s Baobabs ! – A great leg of TA , and highly recommended. Go for it!

January 12, 2021

Julie Bryant

Solo Traveller

I had a blast !. Despite my pre-trip panic of have I done enough training and will I make it, the trip went really well. I’d sum up the experience as Escape Adventures were adventure enablers. The team enabled me to get away and have an “active relaxing” holiday without the hassle of transport, directions, food and accommodation. Of course the really neat thing was meeting other super cool people and seeing parts of NZ that I’d not been to before. I‘d love to do another trip ; )

December 6, 2020
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