The trail’s four sections can be ridden in full, in either direction, or enjoyed as various day rides. The town of Kaikohe is the central point, from where the trail descends west to Hōreke on tranquil Hokianga Harbour, and east to Opua in the glittering Bay of Islands.Dotted along the way are other neat towns and settlements where refreshments and other services are available.
Conveniently located bike hire, shuttles and tour companies make it easy to sort out the logistics of your cycle journey.
Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Official Website
A detailed description of this Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here:
Smooth tracks most of the way; this trail is particularly well suited to younger, older, and less experienced riders, with the security of small towns close by.
Although you can ride in either direction, the most popular route for full-trail riders is east to base yourself at Kaikohe and ride downhill both days, firstly to Kawakawa and then to Māngungu.
There are many day rides, ranging from an easy one hour to all day. Rides can be factored into your holiday, adding in other memorable activities such as cruising, kayaking, other water activities and walking.
The trail is well signposted, with some sections following historic Māori pathways marked with carved pou (pillars).
Northland’s sub-tropical climate makes for great cycling at any time of year although some places can be humid after heavy rain. Ensure you drink lots of water along the way.
Transport & tours
Based in Kaikohe, Top Trail Hire & Tours offers bike hire, shuttles and package tours taking in other local highlights, with guided rides available by arrangement.
There’s plenty of accommodation on or around the trail, particularly in towns such as Paihia, Russell and Kaikohe.