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Cycling around the world is growing rapidly in popularity. It is no longer an activity only for lycra-clad fitness fanatics with shaved legs. It appears we have a growing desire to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and if there happens to be some fitness benefits along the way - all the better.
In 2009 the New Zealand Government and the Green Party embarked on a project to build a network of cycle trails throughout the country that would not only provide a healthy and enjoyable way for Kiwis and international visitors to see the country, but also generate economic, social and environmental benefits for the communities that the trails passed through.
Flash forward to 2014 and Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail is a reality. Has it achieved all of its objectives? Personally, I think the project has gone a long way to addressing each of its objectives. The trails are more regional pockets of great track rather than a network, but this was the plan - construct the inaugural Great Rides and then move onto the second tier of trails. For those communities that got behind the project with enthusiasm; they are already reaping the benefits of attracting visitors to their region as well as having some great riding on their doorstep for themselves and their children.
We have jumped on board and have included part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail into our Ultimate New Zealand / Ultimate South tour. In true West Coast style you pedal along a relatively easy section of the trail, cycling through rainforest-cloaked valleys and alongside pristine rivers. The logistics of this cycle are made hassle-free by the superb shuttle service we get from the marvellous Chris Steel and his Wilderness Trail Shuttle business. Chris just happens to be one of our fabulous guides so we take real pleasure in supporting his business and local community.
The Ultimate New Zealand experience! This kiwi style hiking trip encompasses the very best that New Zealand has to offer. The five multi-day hikes throughout the country flaunt the diversity of the New Zealand landscape.