Fly from Auckland to ride Motu Trails

Air Chathams and Motu Trails have teamed up to offer an amazing fly & ride group package from Auckland, featuring a majestic DC-3 plane.

Here’s a unique way to get from Auckland to the Motu Trails — part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Through the New Zealand-summer, Air Chathams offers a fly-&-ride weekend package for groups, featuring a remarkable 1950s DC-3 aircraft.

You fly from Auckland to Whakatane on a Saturday morning. The journey is themed as a 'flight back in time', complete with warm hand-towels to freshen up, and a tasty light meal.

Your group is picked up from Whakatane airport by the Motu Trails Hire & Shuttle van. You’re taken on the scenic drive up the Waioeka Gorge to the top of the hill above Motu. From there, you’re on the bikes to ride down the famous Pakihi Track, part of the Motu Trails.

You ride back to Bushaven, a total distance of about 42km. That includes 21km of singletrack and the rest historic gravel road. Along the way, you drop from almost 800m altitude down to about 100m.

Relax at Bushaven, talk about the ride, and enjoy the sound of forest where wild kiwi and weka roam. If you wish, go on a short night-time walk to see glowworms.

Sunday, you have all morning to walk or ride. Choose from Te Waiti track, or bike 20km into Opotiki and do the Dunes Trail, another section of the Motu Trails.

In the afternoon, Motu Trails Hire & Shuttle will take you back to Whakatane for the return trip to Auckland.

Book at or phone Air Chathams on 0800 580 127 (in NZ). Questions? Ask a passionate cyclist and trail runner who knows the trails by emailing

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