10 Days 2060 km


  • Two historic cycle trails
  • Untouched wilderness
  • Diverse scenery



Includes one domestic flight AKL to ZQN

Visit two of New Zealand's greatest cycle trails (the Hauraki Rail Trail and Otago Central Rail Trail) as you make your way from Auckland, through the Coromandel and down to Queenstown and Dunedin. Cycle for a few hours most days, taking time to explore fascinating local areas steeped in gold mining history. Bring your camera - this journey is full of breathtaking, unique scenery.

Day 1: Auckland

Auckland Harbour, Auckland


Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes


  • Markets, wineries and unique eateries
  • Sunset kayak to Rangitoto
  • Museums and art galleries


A buzzing urban hub nestled between two contrasting coastlines.

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Arrive in Auckland, enjoy a leisurely day exploring the CBD or head out on the water, and explore one of the islands on the Waitemata Harbour such as Waiheke Island or the dormant volcanic cone Rangitoto. If you want to get some cycling in, hire a bike and ride along the waterfront to Mission Bay, where you can go kayaking, swimming at the beach or simply relax in a cafe.

Day 2: Auckland to Coromandel

The Coromandel
Thames Coast, The Coromandel


Pristine beaches and dramatic coastlines


  • by car:

    1 h 50 min | 115 km via SH1, Sh2 & SH25

  • by bus:

    1 h 45 min | by Intercity 


A gold-rush town on the doorstep of The Coromandel.

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There are a few ways to get to Thames today, rent a car in Auckland and drive, take a bus directly to Thames or catch the ferry from downtown Auckland to Coromandel Town. If you choose the third option, take some time to look around Coromandel Town before catching a bus on to Thames.

Thames is a great place to relax and begin exploring the local gold mining history - you'll experience more of it when you begin cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail tomorrow.

Day 3 - 4: Ride the Hauraki Rail Trail

The Coromandel
Hauraki Rail Trail Bridge, The Coromandel


  • Historic Karangahake Gorge
  • Gold mining relics
  • Beautiful views of the Hauraki Plains


  • by bicycle:

    5 min from Thames


Explore small towns, verdant countryside, and native forests.

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The 3-day Hauraki Rail Trail is one of New Zealand's easiest cycle tracks. Following old railway lines between the gold towns of Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha and Waihi, the trail takes in panoramic views, historic mining tunnels and picturesque waterfalls all surrounded by lush native forest. Along the way, there are plenty of side trails and small towns offering overnight accommodation.

Te Aroha at the trail's end is home to mineral spas where you can relax your aching muscles with a soak in the hot pools, a massage or beauty treatment.

Visit the trail page for full details of the Hauraki Cycle Trail.

Day 5 - 6: Thames to Queenstown via Auckland

Catch the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for spectacular views of Queenstown, Queenstown


Home to the ultimate adventure bucket list


  • Stunning walking and cycling trails
  • Bungy, jet boating, and skydiving
  • Winery tours and golf courses


Travel from the Coromandel back to Auckland and take a domestic flight from there to Queenstown.

Base yourself in the spectacular alpine village of Queenstown for the next 2 or 3 days. This year-round lakeside resort is the gateway to a scenic region offering a fantastic range of recreational & lifestyle activities to suit everyone.

Day 7 - 9: Ride the Otago Central Rail Trail

Central Otago
Otago Central Rail Trail, Central Otago


  • Stunning landscapes
  • Pioneer history
  • Character accommodation & cafes


  • by car:

    1 h 10 min | 83 km to Clyde via SH6

  • by bus:

    1 h 20 min | by Intercity


Experience New Zealand’s original great ride.

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Today, you'll journey from Queenstown to the town of Clyde and the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail - the original great ride that inspired the creation of other New Zealand Great Rides.

Extending over 150 km, this easy cycle trail follows an old railway route from Clyde to Middlemarch, through beautiful Central Otago farmland, past fascinating historic towns and spectacular landscapes. The trail takes 5-days to ride and ends just before Middlemarch Train Station. From here, you can catch the historic Taieri Gorge Railway to Dunedin or organise transport through a cycle tour operator.

For more details about the trail, visit our Otago Central Rail Trail cycle page.

Day 10: Spend the day in Dunedin

Larnach Castle, Dunedin


Historic architecture and eco-adventure await


  • Larnach Castle and gardens
  • Relaxed cafes and bars
  • Penguins, albatross and seal colonies


Discover spectacular landscapes, unique wildlife and local history.

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End your cycling experience in Dunedin, with its historic buildings, museums and uniquely New Zealand wildlife experiences. 

Visit majestic Olveston Historic House or Larnach Castle, the only one in New Zealand. Or spend some time exploring nearby Otago Peninsula where you will find penguins, sea lions and the only mainland-breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world. In the afternoon, take a stroll to Tunnel Beach where over time wind and water have worked together to erode the sandstone cliffs into a dramatic landscape. 

If you have time, the scenic Dunedin Botanic Gardens, Chinese Garden and Otago Museum are also worth a visit.

View the route below

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