Cycle videos, routes & maps
Handy hints for biking in New Zealand
Many different organisations have worked hard to create resources that make going by bike easier.
If you know any other links that may be useful to others, please let us know and we will add to our list!
Click on the titles below for more information.
- Auckland cycle maps
- Cycling in Auckland videos
- Wellington cycle commuter videos
- Cycling in Christchurch
- Mountain biking in New Zealand
Check out the Auckland Transport website to download cycle maps.
The team at Auckland Transport has made a series of videos promoting ordinary Aucklanders as they share their advice for cycling in the city.
Or watch them all here.
A series of six videos following commuters as they cycle from different areas in Wellington to the city. Journey planners have also been created to help you plan your trip.
Click here for information on cycling in Christchurch.
New Zealand is one of the most awesome countries in the world for mountain biking. There are over 400 rides to try, and heaps of mountain bike parks. Below is a selection from around the nation to get you started.
Woodhill MTB Park (Auckland)
30km NW of Auckland | Easy to quite difficult | 1-8 hours depending on route | View map
Auckland Mountain Bike club have built twisty tracks with jumps and banked corners, in this narrow strip of forest inland from Muriwai and Rangitira beaches. One of the best, ‘Cookie Trail’, is a fairly easy 4km loop track (with some jumps) starting from the corner of Walker and Boundary Roads. Other tracks are quite easy riding with gravel roads, beach riding and a mountain bike park. The main access point is Woodhill.
Whitford Forest (Auckland)
10km SE of Auckland | Easy to quite hard | 1 - 3 hours | View map
Peter Cloustan’s tracks are the best in Whitford. To get to them, start at the carpark at the top of the hill on the Whitford-Maraetai Road, 6km from Whitford. Then hop over the gate and head down the track. At the bottom, choose a track from the map board - most are named after Cloustan’s relatives. Joshua’s track is a good starting point, whilst Peter’s Track is the hardest. Be careful of jumps and drop-offs - especially after rain.
Hunua Ranges (Papakura)
10km SE of Papakura | Moderately easy | 1-2 hours (13km) | View map
The Family Trail, is an easy ride down a gravel road loop with a tiny bit of single track at the end. To get there, from the carpark ride back down the road, turn left at the first intersection and hop over a large steel gate. Ride up the gravel road for a few hundred metres and turn left at the first main intersection, to start at the gravel road loop marked on the map.
Te Aroha (Hamilton)
40 km NE of Hamilton | Moderate | 1 - 2 hours (6 -10km) | View map
Fun little track starting at the entrance to the Te Aroha Domain, where the hot springs are! It’s well signposted all the way round, with some trickier loop tracks going off the main loop if you want a challenge. Watch out for other people on the track when you’re coming back down the last section. Pick up a cool map from the bike shop or information centre at Te Aroha township.
Oropi Grove (Tauranga)
5km S of Tauranga | Tricky | 1-2 hrs (up to 15km)
This mountain bike park has heaps of really good single tracks. To get there, go down Oropi Rd off Highway 29 to the carpark, then plan your ride at the map board. The area isn’t too big and is all forest and single track with only a tiny bit of gravel road, so you’re unlikely to get lost.
Cougar Mountain Bike Park (Tokoroa)
Easy to difficult, depending on the trail
Craters of the Moon (Taupo)
6km N of Taupo | Varied track difficulty | 1 - 4 hrs | View map
Great tracks going in from both sides of the forest. Why not try the 5km Beginner Loop? There are also three fun 3 - 4km loop tracks that start at the helicopter carpark off Highway 1 with jumps and banked corners.
3km s of Rotorua | quite tricky in some places, but mostly not too bad | 1 - 4 hours | View map
Some of the best purpose-built mountain bike tracks in New Zealand make this the ‘Disneyland of mountain biking’! The beginners’ trail is a half hour ride down gravel road and single track. Others include the Blue Lake trail (13km of wide track and gravel road); and the Circuit Trail, which is like a 4km BMX course.
Lismore Forest (Wanganui)
Wanganui | Easy to quite tricky | 1 - 8 hours depending on route | View map
Lismore is a maze of gravel roads and 4WD tracks, as well as some tracks specially built for mountain biking. The best place to start is the Lismore Forest Picnic Area. From there, either go up the 4WD track; or over the fence and up Mangaone Rd, which is easier. There are lots of tracks going off the main routes that you can explore. Some of the downhills are a little tricky so take care.
Rimutaka Incline (Between Upper Hutt & Featherston)
Between Upper Hutt and Featherston | Moderate | 2 - 4 hours (18km one way) | View map
Ride through four spooky old train tunnels up to 600m long! If you don’t have a torch, just head slowly towards the speck of light at the end of the tunnels. The ride is not too steep with a few old station shelters to see. When you get to a railway shelter on the edge of some farmland, either go back to the start, or down the gravel road and turn left to finish at Featherston, 9km away.
Makara Peak (Wellington)
Karori, Wellington | Some tracks quite easy, some tricky | 1-3 hrs | View map
From the carpark on South Karori Road, the loop up Koru leads to the Skills Area, where you can try jumps and test your skills. From there, take Sally Alley into the forest, and come back to the Skills Area on Magic Carpet before exiting back through Koru. All the tracks in Makara Peak are sign posted at beginning and end so it’s easy to find your way around. Pick up a free map at the carpark, or check out www.makarapeak.org
Dun Mountain (Nelson)
Southern edge of Nelson | Average | 2 - 4 hours (22 km return) | View map
The track follows an old railway line, starting just out of Nelson on Brook Street - just follow the signs. Most of it is wide 4WD track, with a little bit of single track. At the top you can rest at ‘Third House’, a hut in a small grassy clearing. Take it slowly on the downhill - the waterbars look like good jumps but aren’t the right shape.
Hanmer Tracks (Hanmer Springs)
Northern edge of Hanmer Springs | Easy | 1 - 2 hours (5 -15km) | View map
Some fun tracks start about 1km out of Hanmer that wind in and out of the forest and include single track, gravel and sealed roads. They start with Dog Stream Track, leading to Joliffe Saddle Track, then Timberlands Trail, which will bring you back to where you started. On your way back you can cross Jollies Pass Road and get into some more little tracks there which will take you into Hanmer.
Bottle Lake Forest (Christchurch)
North-east edge of Christchurch | Easy | 1 - 2 hours (5 -20km return) | View map
The three main tracks here have become the most popular riding area in Canterbury. Pick up a map from the carpark (50 cents) and plan a loop track around any two of them. One loop takes up to an hour. The far track along the coast is easy, but the rest are more twisty and fun. Watch out for runners, dog-walkers, and horse-riders.
MTB Heaven (Alexandra)
Alexandra | Tricky | 3 - 4 hours | 18km | View map
The red and yellow route markers off Tucker Hill Road just out of Alexandra, mark the start of some of the best trails in the country. One track is an old water race. Try the easier lower tracks first. Then head on up to the more difficult rides like Big Dipper and Roller Coaster.
Whare Flat Forest (Dunedin)
Dunedin | Average | 2 - 4 hours (up to 19km) | View map
A maze of tracks varying from narrow and slippery to wide and smooth, make this a great place to explore, but use a map to keep track of your location. Most tracks start from Laings Road. The first one goes off to the right just after the turn off, then loops back out after a few minutes. After that, continue along the road until you find the next bit of single track.
Sandy Point (Invercargill)
10km W of Invercargill | Easy | 1 - 2 hrs (5 -10km)
Several hand-made single track loops are marked by old arrows and race-markers from the Mountain Bike sign on Sandy Point Road. It’s mostly flat, easy riding through trees, sheltered from bad weather. Note: there is no map as this area is small and the tracks change often.
Need more information?
There are more details on these rides and hundreds of others in a book called Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides. Councils, information centres and the Department of Conservation often have pamphlets about local rides around the country.
For other MTB tracks check out www.tracks.org.nz