New Zealand North Island 2020

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New Zealand North Island 2020

Wellington-Rotorua-Auckland

Monday 10 February, 2020 to Saturday 07 March, 2020

The tour at a glance
Dates:
10 Feb – 7 Mar 2020
Duration:
Full tour: 27 days
Short tour options: 15 or 13 days
Distance: 2000 km approx
Ave. Daily: 90 km approx (short ride options avail)
Bike Type:
Road Bike is best (BYO or hire)
Terrain:
Good bitumen roads
Group Size:
15-25
Difficulty Rating:
7/10 (a few hills and a few 100km+)
Accom.:
3 to 4 star hotels/motels
Meals: Vast majority included
Price:
See ‘Pricing’ tab
Deposit:
$800 pp
Why Choose AllTrails for Your NZ Cycling Trip?
Experts: No short-cuts! Famous for extensive experience, preparation and organisation
Service: Our owners are on tour with you to make sure you have a great time
Quality: From great accom & meals to our choices of inclusions, stops and rest day locations
Support: Our Australian-based office is your easy-to-contact place to call for any questions
Camaraderie: AllTrails cyclists are fun, positive and supportive – and waiting for you to join the community

Highlights

Join AllTrails in 2020 on a new and exciting adventure to New Zealand! 

Starting in Wellington and finishing in Auckland, this tour will have the perfect mix of cycling and sightseeing with a route through the Martinborough wine region, beautiful Hawkes Bay, the surf mecca of Gisborne, the thermal and cultural icons of Rotorua and Taupo, plus the beaches of Whangamata and the Coromandel (including Hot Water Beach).

The full tour is 27 days in duration with options to ride the first or second stages only (13 or 15 days). Whether you’re on the bike coasting past the wild ocean and beautiful beaches, taking in the thriving Maori culture, soaking in thermal baths or breathing the fresh air of the remote reaches of New Zealand’s North island, this tour will leave you in wonder.

Everything that they say about the natural beauty and friendly sense of community here is true and the opportunity to experience it all on a fully supported cycling tour with AllTrails – the experts in multi-day cycle tours – makes this tour a ‘must-do’ on any long-distance cyclist’s wish list.

Numbers are limited so get your jandals on and get moving to take advantage of the early bird pricing. If you have any questions, just let us know: alltrails@alltrails.com.au or call 03 9802 4465

Day to Day

Daily distances are set out below. Shorter distances and support vehicle also available.

Meal and accom inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accom)

Wellington Arrival Day -- NA -- Mon 10 Feb 2020 -- - - D A

Day 1 (arrival day). Arrive by 3pm today (or earlier) into the harbour city of Wellington – New Zealand’s capital. Surrounded by nature and fuelled by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Fuel your visit with strong coffee and world-class craft beer – Wellingtonians are masters of casual dining, with plenty of great restaurants, night markets and food trucks that surround our centrally located hotel. This afternoon at 3pm we will hold our orientation talk, briefing and registration and go over the route planned for the days and weeks ahead, having a close look at tomorrow’s route discussing the snack stops, meeting points, potential hazards and attractions. From 4pm our bike mechanic will be available to assist in re-assembling bikes after air travel or a few last-minute tune-ups if required. Finally we will all enjoy a welcome group dinner together at our accommodation restaurant as we get to know each other better, catching up with old and new friends. Get an early night and save your energy as we prepare for the exciting first day of cycling tomorrow, heading north out of Wellington.

Wellington to Martinborough -- 85km -- Tue 11 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 2. We are on the way! Leaving the compact CBD behind quickly we follow the Hutt Rd as it hugs Wellington Harbour to the right with the lush green hills to the left. There is a saying here that “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day”, and if the sun is shining you can look back over the water to the city and you’ll see what they mean. At Petone we leave the harbour and won’t see the sea again until Hawkes Bay. Fear not though, the beautiful ride continues, shadowing the Hutt River through Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt before taking on the Rimutaka Hill. This is a big challenge for your first day on the bike as you climb 336m over 6.6km, averaging 5% gradient with a few pinches pushing 20%. It is one of the toughest climbs on the whole tour though so once you are over it, it’s all downhill until the town of Featherston which welcomes you to the flatlands and wine country of the Wairarapa. We pull up in Martinborough for the night, packed with colonial charm and featuring over 20 wineries, most within cycling and walking distance of the quaint village square, where some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the town’s predominately family-owned vineyards.

Martinborough to Masterton -- 76km -- Wed 12 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 3. Leaving Martinborough township the terrain changes again from the flat wine-growing country to rolling hills and farmland as the road winds its way through the valleys with plenty of ups and downs along the way but no major climbs until a short stint half way through the day up Kaurarau Hill. Our overnight stop is the largest town in the Wairarapa region, Masterton, and it’s focus on art, farming, family, great food and history creates a special sense of community around the town. That’s if you make it into town of course – it may be hard to pull yourself away from our refreshing retreat accommodation on the outskirts of the main centre. It’s set in 24 acres of landscaped parklands, native bush and fragrant gardens and includes a relaxing heated indoor pool, tennis courts, squash courts and sophisticated design integrated throughout the property.

Masterton to Dannevirke -- 122km -- Thu 13 Feb 2020 -- B L - A

Day 4. More beautiful rolling hills today as you make your way north up the middle of the island with the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean out to the west and east respectively approximately the same distance away as the crow flies. It’s a long day in the saddle today – the equal longest on tour – so get into your rhythm and soak up the rural atmosphere of today’s ride. We skirt past the turn-offs for the small towns of Pahiatua and Mangatainoka and by then you’ll know that you are on the home straight as you near Dannevirke which will be the first town that we will have seen since leaving this morning. Dannevirke has a strong Scandinavian history and a Viking theme throughout the town. The district was settled by 20 Danish and Norwegian families in 1872 and 1873. Dannevirke means, literally, ‘Danes’ Work’.

Dannevirke to Waipukurau -- 70km -- Fri 14 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 5. It’s a lovely ride today over the last pastoral lands of the Manawatu before crossing over into the Hawkes Bay region and veering towards the coast. The dips and rises offer spectacular vantage points at various stages to look out over the green hills and native bush that stretch on for miles out to the horizon. Our destination of Waipukurau (“Waipuk”) is a charming little town with a passion for aviation – the local airport often buzzing with gliders and hot air balloons when the conditions are right.

Waipukurau to Napier -- 77km -- Sat 15 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 6. Today has a generally downhill motion about it as you make your final gradual descent from the hills down to sea level. The landscape changes as you get nearer the larger settlements of the Hawkes Bay, passing through the lovely hamlet of Havelock North, skirting past Hastings, and cycling up the beautiful coastal road to the Art Deco capital of Napier, where we park up for two nights at our luxury hotel perfectly situated on the beautifully transformed Marine Parade.

Napier REST DAY -- NA -- Sun 16 Feb 2020 -- B - - A

Day 7. Relax in the covered & heated pool at the hotel or wander over the road for a stroll along the beautiful Pacific Ocean Beach or to the CBD just a few blocks away, which offers a wide range of fantastic cafes and restaurants. Street after street of stunning and beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. In 1931 an earthquake rocked Hawke’s Bay for more than three minutes, killing nearly 260 and destroying the commercial centre of Napier. Rebuilding began almost immediately, and new buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times – Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco. Napier is often referred to as a 1930s film set, and one of the best ways to enjoy the streetscape is on a self-guided walk – ask for a map at the information centre or at the Art Deco Trust. Guided walks around the city are also available every day. It would also be a pity to come to the Hawkes Bay and not sample some of the famous wine. Either cycle to one of the near-by cellar doors, catch a taxi out to one of the most famous wineries, Craggy Range (Te Mata Peak), or Moana Park, or do it the easy way and take a full-day or half-day premium gourmet tour with a local such as odysseynz.com where you will visit 4-6 different wineries with expert commentary and insight into the wines, the region and the local culture.

Napier to Wairoa -- 118km -- Mon 17 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 8. Today begins with a smooth ride arching out of Napier and alongside the sparkling waters of Hawkes Bay. It’s a great way to start the day before heading inland into more hilly terrain as the road leaves the beachfront and winds in and out of the valleys before touching the coast again briefly at Te Kiwi Stream, then again at Wairoa, a small town situated at the mouth of the Wairoa River as it enters the north end of Hawkes Bay. It’s a friendly little town on the edge of the famous Te Urewera region known for spectacular walks, fishing, kayaking and scenery. If you have some time, the lighthouse and local museum are worth a visit.

Wairoa to Gisborne -- 99km -- Tue 18 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 9. The last leg of the loop around Hawkes Bay is the opening scene for today’s ride and you’ll get one last look at the bay before turning left and north into the Gisborne Region and towards the town of Gisborne itself which is situated at the mouth of two rivers entering Poverty Bay. Jumping from one bay to another also means jumping over a range of hills that separate the two districts making a nice climb for the cyclist between two flat sections at the start and end of the day. As you near Gisborne you may notice the fruit orchards that lounge around the landscapes of the outskirts of the city – including grapes which have made this area the unofficial ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’. Kaiti Beach is the site of Captain Cook’s first landing in New Zealand (9 October 1769) and oral history records Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill as the point of arrival for the migratory waka (canoe), Horouta, which brought the first Maori to the area. Maori traditions are still evident in many parts of the city as is a vibrant surf culture.

Gisborne to Tokomaru Bay -- 89km -- Wed 19 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 10. Today’s ride is a gem and a great introduction to the scenic Pacific Coast Highway drive – one of the most spectacular drives in NZ (some say the world), which we will be doing on two wheels (even better). You will leave Gisborne city and the shelter of Poverty Bay and hit the open ocean coast just 5km from the CBD. The suburbs of Wainui and Okitu sit windswept and sandblasted on the shores of arguably the best surfing beaches in New Zealand and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the home of NZ surfing and on our ride this morning you’ll likely see why. The coastal scenery is beautiful before we head inland for a while, then back to the beach at the small town of Tolaga Bay – home to New Zealand’s longest pier, stop here for some great photo opportunities. Then it’s back inland as the road winds its way between high hills keeping a surprisingly low profile for most of the journey until one last 5km climb about 8km out from our overnight stop. The climb is worth it though as you are rewarded with a downhill of long, slow, sweeping turns and glimpse of the ocean as you descend into Tokomaru Bay, a small hamlet popular with artists, musicians and craftspeople: “interesting people doing interesting things”. Also nearby is the Te Puia Springs which will be a nice option for well-used cyclist legs.

Tokomaru Bay to Hicks Bay -- 88km -- Thu 20 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 11. This morning could be a very special day for you – you could be the first person in the world to see the sun. Get up early and head to the beach for sunrise and besides perhaps a few fishermen out on the ocean, nobody will have yet seen the sun on 20 Feb 2020 as The East Cape has the honour of witnessing the world’s first sunrise each and every day. Back in 2011, Samoa took the decision to move position on the international dateline to bring them more in line with the working week in New Zealand and Australia, so they technically became the first country in the world to welcome in the new day, however thanks to the curvature of the earth the East Cape of NZ is still the first to see the sun (so the locals say anyway!). Fun Fact: Unlike the Prime Meridian, which is a straight, vertical line at 0 degrees down one side of the earth (Greenwich Time), The International Date Line is jagged so that countries and territories would all be on the same day to avoid confusion. Due to this jagged boundary, there are actually two hours each day where three different days are observed at one time! After spending time with the rising sun, head back to our accommodation to fuel up for the day ahead at breakfast. You’ll begin the ride climbing up into the hills and dropping back down to the Waiapu River near Ruatoria and following the river to the sea again at Tikitiki. From here we cut across the East Cape, the most easterly point in New Zealand, and climb a few hills to once again reach the ocean at Hicks Bay.

Hicks Bay to Te Kaha -- 83km -- Fri 21 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 12. Hicks Bay is close to the same longitude as Tokomaru Bay so again worth getting up for an early sunrise if you want to welcome the sun to the world for the day. After sunrise and breakfast, the first half of today’s ride cuts through the hills and the second half hugs the coastline. The second half is a sign of things to come as tomorrow will also be spent winding in and out of sun-drenched surf beaches without the crowds of the beaches around Gisborne. It’s a rugged coastline full of secluded hidden bays and a place with a rich cultural heritage not yet commercialised. Our overnight stop is in a 19th Century whaling town, Te Kaha, which is steeped in NZ history and still has an original whaling boat on display.

Te Kaha to Whakatane -- 110km -- Sat 22 Feb 2020 -- B L - A

Day 13. Known for its striking beauty, Maori culture and lack of modern amenities, on this road you’ll step back in time to New Zealand as it was 30 years ago, travelling through remote farming communities and windswept bays. Resplendent in craggy cliffs, pohutukawa trees, white sandy beaches, native forests and endless ocean, the area is steeped in Maori history. Sometimes described as being stuck in a time warp, the East Cape hasn’t changed much for decades and is the best place to get a taste of New Zealand’s ‘chilled out coastal way of life’. Today’s ride has all of that and will leave you wanting more as you finish the famous Pacific Coast Highway drive around the East Cape at Whakatane – a sunny main centre for the Bay of Plenty region at the mouth of the river and our overnight stop for the night. Today you will also hit the 1000km mark from Wellington – congratulations! After the rural and simple amenities of the East Cape you’ll appreciate the boutique service and high quality of our beautiful accommodation here in a larger town.

Whakatane to Rotorua -- 87km -- Sun 23 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 14. Our last day on Stage One! We leave the coast behind for the next 7 days but we are not without water – after a relatively flat 65km you start climbing up into the higher elevation of the central North Island where you begin to hit the beautiful lakes of Rotoma, Rotoehu, Rotoiti and finally Rotorua. Our route takes us past all of these beautiful bodies of water and you will have plenty of time to stop and soak it all in and take a few photos. The township of Rotorua itself is on the southern end of Lake Rotorua and a great place to ride into for a rest day at our great hotel right on the lake-front and across the road from the Polynesian Spa and the Rotorua Museum – two places definitely worth considering spending some time in on your break here. Tonight as a celebration we attend the Maori Cultural Show and hangi dinner at our hotel where you will get a good insight into the culture and learn a bit more about NZ’s people and traditions (and food). This is included in the Stage One and Full Tour price. If you are on Stage Two only you are welcome to join us – just select the optional extra on the booking form.

Rotorua REST DAY -- NA -- Mon 24 Feb 2020 -- B - - A

Day 15. Today is the changeover day from Stage One to Stage Two so we may have a few people coming and going to finish or begin their tour. Rotorua has it all and we are lucky enough to be able to offer our guests a genuine ‘locals’ experience on the rest day. We have arranged a morning guided walking tour led by Ken Buchanan, a long time resident of Rotorua and retired Operations Manager of the award winning Rotorua Museum of Art and History. The walking tour is highly recommeded and a great value optional extra at just $50pp (minimum numbers apply). Ken has spent his career involved in the tourism, hospitality and museum world and has extensive knowledge of the Rotorua region (not to mention lots of cycling experience around here). The tour will take approx 2.5-3 hrs (approx 7km) and explore the areas around the shores of Lake Rotorua in Rotorua City including the Historic Bath House building, the geothermal shoreline of the lake, the historic Government Gardens, the Sulphur Point area, views of Mokoia Island and a stroll on the boardwalk over the boiling lake in Kuirau Park with the opportunity to stop for a soothing warm foot pool bath. A number of local Maori legends are woven through the tour as well as associated stories on visited locations and the violent eruption of nearby Mt Tarawera in 1886. Back at the hotel you can do some washing, catch up on emails, enjoy a swim in the heated swimming pool, relax in one of three private spas, or book in for some relaxing massage therapy.

Rotorua to Taupo -- 94km -- Tue 25 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 16. After your rest day you’ll be rearing to go and today won’t disappoint as the road from Rotorua to Taupo is lined with large tracts of pine forest and interesting volcanic landscapes and is a beautiful ride with long sweeping bends and many interesting sites based on the volcanic activity. As you approach Taupo you will pass through the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station and Wairakei Golf Course – one of the country’s best. A must-stop before Taupo is the Huka Falls – this incredible rocky gap pushes water through from Lake Taupo at the rate of 200,000 litres per second, enough to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools in less than a minute. It marks the very start of the Waikato River’s 425-kilometer journey to the sea. After checking out the falls, it’s a downhill run into the township of Taupo – a holiday haven for many Kiwis and as the largest lake in Australasia, Lake Taupo is a trout fisherman’s dream. There is also a wide range of other water and land-based activities in what is one of New Zealand’s liveliest resort towns. From our accommodation a stone’s throw from the waterfront you can head down to the hit a few golf balls out into the lake at the ‘Hole in One Challenge’, walk into the town, or walk a bit further up the beach to one of the natural hot water springs where you can dip your toes into where the steaming hot water meets the cool lake water. You may even be able to head down to the boat ramp or a booking office in town to get on a late fishing charter to catch a trout or two.

Taupo to Taumarunui -- 114km -- Wed 26 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 17. Today begins with a lovely ride down the eastern side of the lake to Turangi, based at the southern end of the lake, where we turn west and head into the hills. It’s a great climb up and over the boundary between the Waikato Region where we have spent the last couple of days, and into the Wanganui region. Just before the top of the hill, which will mark the highest elevation of the entire tour, take a break at Waituhi Lookout on the right hand side with almost 360 degree views over the North Island. From there it’s a quick climb to reach the very top, then a long downhill until you hit the Whanganui River where the road flattens out to Taumarunui, often used as a base for exploring Whanganui and Tongariro National Parks, Pureora Forest and beyond. Nestled in green hills at the junction of the Whanganui and Ongarue Rivers, Taumarunui’s rich history starts with early Maori (who named it ‘the place of big shelter’) and rolls through the railways and associated pioneering industries of coal-mining, forestry and farming.

Taumarunui to Waitomo -- 102km -- Thu 27 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 18. Today we begin by following the lead of the Ongarue River which finds its way cleverly through the ranges before splitting off from the river and following State Highway #4 which also cleverly avoids steep climbs and hills in its journey through this land of jagged textures and landscapes. We arrive in Waitomo in time for an optional tour of the famous Caves and one of the most world-renowned tourist attractions in the country. The glowworm, Arachnocampa Luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. During the boat ride included in the entry price, thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as the guides provide informative commentary on the Caves’ historical and geological significance. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Our hotel here is an early 19th Century grand tour hotel giving a taste of the old world, majestically positioned on a promontory above the Waitomo village and the caves, offering sweeping views across the lush farmland, the hills and bush of the King Country.

Waitomo to Hamilton -- 77km -- Fri 28 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 19. Today is a nice easy one. The distance is reasonably short, the terrain is reasonably flat, and the scenery is great as always with the hills and ranges to the left and the farming flatlands to the right. It’s one of those mid-tour days where you are into your cycling rhythm and just soaking it all in. Overnight in Hamilton will be a different experience as we hit the largest city that we have seen since Wellington, located on the banks of the mighty Waikato River, which is best appreciated from one of the scenic riverside walks or boat cruise. The visually stunning Hamilton Gardens are webbed by paths that journey through a gallery of themed gardens from grand Italy to tranquil Asia.

Hamilton to Tauranga -- 122km -- Sat 29 Feb 2020 -- B L D A

Day 20. Today is leap day, 29 Feb. And because it is sort of a ‘bonus’ day we figure that we may as well make the most of it as today’s ride is one of the longest at over 120km. It’s a mostly flat cycling day punctuated a third of the way through by a big climb into the beautiful Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park as once again we change regions, this time from the Waikato back to the Bay of Plenty, which we left a week ago at Whakatane. This time our downhill after the peak takes us into Tauranga – the largest city in the Bay of Plenty and one of the fastest growing population centres in the country. It is also just 6km from one of New Zealand’s most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui. It’s worth the short bike ride to check it out. Downtown Tauranga has several historically significant areas to view during a scenic walk around the area. The Strand waterfront area is modern and always buzzing, and is home to a number of cafes, restaurants and pubs. Across the road on the water’s edge, tidal stairs bring the harbour literally to your feet. Our accommodation here tonight and for our rest day tomorrow is a real treat.

Tauranga REST DAY -- NA -- Sun 1 Mar 2020 -- B - - A

Day 21. Rest day today to catch up on your washing, emails and rest. Our 4.5 star urban retreat is a great place to do it as the building reaches out to the ever-changing waters of the Tauranga Harbour and captures the very essence of New Zealand hospitality. This is a truly unique hotel located on and over the water’s edge, that radiates a relaxed and welcoming ambience and includes a gym and outdoor pool. Enjoy it all here or check out the town or head down to the Mt Maunganui Hot Salt Water Pools – an appealing seaside spa located near the waterfront. Sit back and soak while enjoying a fizzing salt water spa pool as it massages your aching muscles.

Tauranga to Whangamata -- 97km -- Mon 2 Mar 2020 -- B L D A

Day 22. The first half of today’s ride will see you loop around the sheltered inlet of Tauranga Harbour created between Mt Maunganui and Shelly Bay by Matakana Island. It’s a beautiful body of calm water that is utilised and loved by the locals for fishing, boating and other water sports. After Shelly Bay you leave the seaside for a while to embark on the second half of today’s journey through the ranges that sit close to the coast before descending into Whangamata. Famous for its unique combination of beach and rainforest and voted best beach in New Zealand 2018, Whangamata’s amazing ocean beach provides some of the best surfing breaks, yet safest swimming in the country. The Coromandel Forest Park bordering the town provides many outdoor experiences, including short walks, mountain bike trails and old gold mining sites, and the town is also home of the ‘Beach Hop’, a five day celebration of ’50s and ’60s culture (which we will miss by a few weeks!).

Whangamata to Hot Water Beach -- 59km -- Tue 3 Mar 2020 -- B L D A

Day 23. Today is the shortest day on tour at just under 60km so you can take your time up the hills that will present themselves as you delve deep into the Coromandel Forest Park up and down through the hills, following the rivers, alongside the harbours and bays, then finally past the farmlands that lead into the small hamlet of Hot Water Beach where every low tide, a wave of beach-goers arrive and dig their own personal spa pools in the sand. There are two fissures at Hot Water Beach issuing water as hot as 64 deg C. This water contains large amounts of salt, calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluorine, bromine and silica. There are other hot water springs nearby but the location of these two springs on the beach make them very unique. Tonight’s low tide is at 8pm and the best time is 1-2 hours either side of that time so we will have time to take a drive out to Hahei village where you can walk out to the much-photographed Cathedral Cove, one of the top attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula (approx 1.5 hour walk, plus travel time). Upon returning from Hahei head down and check it all out down at Hot Water Beach just a short stroll from our accommodation.

Hot Water Beach to Coromandel -- 62km -- Wed 4 Mar 2020 -- B L - A

Day 24. If you missed last night’s low tide or want to have another crack at it, this morning’s low tide is at 8:30am so with another relatively short day of cycling ahead you will have time to check out the beach in the 1-2 hours either side of low tide before heading off for the day. It’s hard to imagine that the cycling and scenery can keep up the consistent quality but it really does. There are quaint little seaside villages to pass through, a lovely ferry crossing at Whitianga, roads that coast along smoothly beside the coast itself, white sand beaches and a couple of hilly peaks to conquer along the way before a snaking long descent into Coromandel town – a haven for talented artists and craftspeople who have moved here from around New Zealand. The town has a unique character, soul and ambience reflecting art and heritage. Homegrown cuisine is in abundance from its raw form, to elegantly cooked at the many local restaurants. The discovery of gold in 1852 brought a boom to Coromandel Town, and the area has continued to flourish while retaining a rich stock of surviving heritage buildings.

Coromandel to Miranda -- 85km -- Thu 5 Mar 2020 -- B L D A

Day 25. The winding Pohutukawa Coast road from Coromandel to Thames begins with spectacular hill country with far reaching views back down to dotted islands at the mouth of the Hauraki Gulf. From here we are pretty much due east from Auckland which sits across at the other side of the Gulf. Once over the hills and reaching the water again at Wilsons Bay the road winds along pebbled bays not spoilt by development of any kind, with rocky headlands wrapped in the gnarled, grey trunks of old Pohutukawa trees. This is the sheltered side of the peninsula with the Firth of Thames a long and constant companion on what is yet another magical coastal ride which I know has been said before, but there is no other way to describe it. Drop in to the Thames ‘Seagull Centre’ if you have time – a fantastically popular charitable trust recycling and recovery centre offering affordable second-hand goods, funding local employment and inspiring people to reduce, reuse and recycle. After Thames you’ll cross over the famous, one lane Kopu Bridge, which was built in 1928 and has a Historic Places Trust listing and take the last short leg to Miranda Hot Springs where we stay at an award winning holiday park / motel complex with its own Hot Thermal Mineral Pool, shaded and beautifully landscaped with a waterfall and temperatures maintained between 36°C and 39°C, or head down to the public pools at Miranda Hot Springs. Bird Watcher or Bird Lover? Don’t miss the Miranda Shorebird Centre.

Miranda to Auckland -- 102km -- Fri 6 Mar 2020 -- B L D A

Day 26. Our last day on the bike! And wouldn’t you know it, it begins with (another) beautiful, smooth, coastal cruise up the other side of the Firth of Thames. It’s not until we cross from the Waikato region to the Auckland region and the Firth opens out into the Hauraki Gulf that we get some hills to negotiate as the bitumen pulls away from the coast to carve a short-cut through to Auckland. We only meet the water again a couple of times during the day’s journey at the bays of the gulf before the suburbs become more built-up and we have our final ride alongside the water at Mission Bay with its famous view out to Rangitoto Island. then it’s one last crossing into the CBD via Quay Street to our hotel right near the harbour and Viaduct Basin, Wynyard Quarter and Queen St right downtown. Tonight we celebrate with our final dinner together and reminisce on what has been an outstandingly beautiful ride with unsurpassed scenery, culture, community, activities and fun.

Auckland -- NA -- Sat 7 Mar 2020 -- B - - -

Day 27. Our tour officially disbands after breakfast. Take some time to explore Auckland or continue touring around NZ for a while. Thanks for joining us on this wonderful ride.

Pricing

Included:

  • All accommodation
  • Vast majority of meals
  • Snacks, water and fruit on the road
  • Traditional Hangi Dinner (Rotorua)
  • Maori Cultural Show (Rotorua)
  • Tour Guides, maps & directions
  • Support & safety vehicle
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Bike mechanical assistance
  • Rider Pack: jersey, cap, bottle, bag

Opportunities & Attractions (some at extra cost):

  • Te Papa – museum of New Zealand
  • Martinborough Wine Region Tours
  • Hawkes Bay Wine Tours
  • Art Deco Tours of Napier
  • Genuine Local’s guided walking tour of Rotorua
  • Whakarewarewa Maori Village & Geothermal Wonderland
  • Lake Taupo activities:
  • Scenic cruise, kayaking, trout fishing
  • AC Baths Thermal Pools
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Hot Water Beach
  • Miranda Hot Springs
  • Auckland Viaduct
  • NZ Maritime Museum & Team NZ America’s Cup Yacht

Payment Schedule:

  • Deposit on booking ($800)
  • Progress Payment 30 days after deposit (40% of package cost less deposit paid)
  • Balance 10 Nov 2019 (3 months before the tours begin)
Wellington to Auckland (27 days full tour)
Before 
12 Jun
Before
12 Sep
Before
11 Nov
From
11 Nov
Twin share pp AUD $11,490 pp $11,590 pp $11,660 pp $11,710 pp
Single room AUD $14,065 $14,165 $14,235 $14,285
Wellington to Rotorua (15 day option)
Twin share pp AUD $6335 pp $6435 pp  $6505 pp $6555 pp
Single room AUD $7660 $7760  $7830  $7880
Rotorua to Auckland (13 day option)
Twin share pp AUD $5590 pp $5690 pp  $5760 pp  $5810 pp
Single room AUD $6840 $6940  $6710  $6760
Travelling on your own? Early bookers can book a twin share package and we will partner you up with somebody else of the same gender travelling on their own. This offer closes on 10 Nov – after this date contact us to see if we can match you, if not the single room price will apply.

Travelling with friends? $250 pp discount for groups of 3 or more cyclists ($125 pp per stage).

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Walking Tour: We are lucky enough to be able to offer our guests a genuine ‘locals’ experience on the Rotorua rest day. Long time resident of Rotorua and retired Operations Manager of the award winning Rotorua Museum of Art and History, Ken Buchanan will lead a highly recommended historical and cultural walking tour approx 2.5-3 hrs (approx 7km). A great value optional extra at just $50pp (minimum numbers apply).

Bike hire: We have a contact in NZ who will hire bikes with pick-ups and drop-offs in Wellington, Rotorua and/or Auckland. Select the option on the booking form if you would like to hire a bike and we will put you in touch with them. Indicitive price for full tour: NZ$650 (alloy), NZ$1400 (carbon), plus NZ$100 one-way relocation cost. 15-20% cheaper for the short tours.

Bike box/case freight: We will need to freight all empty bike bags and bike cases to the end of your stage with a 3rd party freight company. Cardboard boxes will not incur a charge. Single Stage: $85, Both Stages: $105

Pre-tour accom: We have included one night pre tour in our downtown Wellington hotel as part of the tour cost (Mon 10 Feb). We also have rooms held on Sun 9 Feb which can be reserved on the booking form at $155 pp twin / $270 single (inc bfast).

Mid-tour accom: We will be staying in Rotorua Sun 23 & Mon 24 Feb. Each stage includes ONE of those nights. If you are on a short tour and want to stay BOTH nights, you can book the other night on the booking form at $150 pp twin / $265 single (inc bfast).

Post-tour accom: We have included one night post-tour in our Auckland hotel located near the Viaduct Basin (Fri 6 Mar) as part of the tour cost. We also have rooms held on Sat 7 Mar which can be reserved on the booking form at $140 pp twin / $270 single (room only).

AllTrails t-shirts – good quality tees: 

  • Older stock, limited sizes $20
  • New style tee $30
  • Raglan style (3/4 sleeve) $35

A merchandise rider pack is included in the tour price (cycling jersey, cap, bottle, bag).  Link to AllTrails Merchandise PDF

Click any image to enlarge

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have

Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.

Sharing rooms – how does it work?

On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share cyclist or crew member, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or more single twin share travellers together.

Snorers can enjoy their own room

If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.

Carrying personal items on the bike

We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as phone, money and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.

Meals and food

Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.

Speak to a past client

We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.

Weather

Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org

Changing or cancelling a tour

Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.

If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or other trip related issues.

What sorts of people join our rides?

People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.

Buying a new bike – what to consider

If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:

Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.

Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.

Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 25mm, 28mm or 32mm width. Generally the wider the tyre the more comfortable, but check how wide a tyre your rims, forks and frame can accommodate before purchasing.

Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth) and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.

Travel insurance for international rides

Yes, yes, yes. Make sure that you are covered for every country that you are travelling to and ensure that you are covered from and including the day you leave and arrive back home. Due to the nature of our rides we are sometimes in remote areas during the course of a ride – ensure that you have medical insurance that would cover the cost of a helicopter ambulance to transport you to the nearest hospital. We recommend getting your travel insurance in place immediately after you book your ride so that you are covered for unforeseen events which may lead to you having to cancel your trip.

 

Why book with us?

We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride.  The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.

Packing for NZ

Limit your luggage to two medium-sized pieces max. The best combination is a medium-sized suitcase on wheels and a small or medium carry-on bag, such as a backpack or a small duffel bag. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and kept to a reasonable minimum. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and your limit will usually include the weight of your bike if you are not renting one in NZ. You will be required to carry your own luggage at times so you should be capable of carrying your own bags up and down stairs. A good guide is to try to keep it under 15kg. If you are doing lots of shopping during your travels, it may be necessary for you to forward any excess to the city where your journey concludes, or ship purchases directly home.

Accommodation in NZ

Accommodation of the most suitable standard is chosen on a research trip of the route. All rooms have ensuite facilities, and are usually at least a 3 star level but in the bigger towns we can often source some 4 star properties. In the smaller villages or more rural areas we often get lovely and interesting accommodation full of character and personality. We aim to find accommodation that is bicycle friendly, with good restaurants and near to town centres wherever possible.

Bike Hire vs BYO Bike in NZ

If you wish to hire a bike we can help you out. We have established an agreement with a bike hire shop in NZ who have a great range of long term hire bikes who will hire bikes with pick-ups and drop-offs in Wellington, Rotorua and/or Auckland. Select the option on the booking form if you would like to hire a bike and we will put you in touch with them. Indicitive price for full tour: NZ$650 (alloy), NZ$1400 (carbon), plus NZ$100 one-way relocation cost. 15-20% cheaper for the short tours.

For those bringing their own bike, note that AllTrails will only have room to store cardboard bike boxes in our vehicles on tour as these can be flattened. Your local bike shop will usually be more than willing to give you a cardboard bike box (they throw them out every day) and there are many good internet videos showing you how to pack your bike for transport (or your bike shop may do it for a small fee). If you decide to travel with a bike bag/case (hard or soft), let us know. Your case will likely need to be freighted to the end of the ride at your own expense with Castle Parcels, FastwayMainfreight or ShipMyTrade. Price will likely be $85 for short tours or $105 for long tours. Give us a call if you have any questions at all or need some assistance.

Visa for NZ?

If you are travelling on your Australian passport, or you hold a current Australian resident return visa, you don’t need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand unless you have been convicted of any crime(s) or you have been deported from any country. Passport holders of other countries may require a visa. A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country. We do not issue visas for overseas travel and cannot provide definitive information on visas. Only the representatives of the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. For all countries, contact your nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel. For Australian passport holders, additional advice can be found on the Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.

Agreement: 

I have read and understand the terms and conditions of this event (see instructions below) and wish to enter this ALLTRAILS BICYCLE TOURS Pty Ltd event at my own risk. I understand that participation in this ride involves riding on public roads used by other traffic, and in doing this, I am aware of the potential dangers, both on and off public roads. In my judgement, I am capable and competent to participate safely in this ride. I hereby release, exempt and indemnify AllTrails and any of its contractors, local guides, officers, directors, employees, agents, staff, sponsors, volunteers and all other persons involved in the organisation of this event, from all actions, costs, demands, proceedings, and claims whatsoever made or taken by any person, arising out of my participation in the ride.

I accept that I am to wear a helmet, abide by road laws, and understand the organisers have no responsibility for my property damaged or stolen. I agree to take responsibility, and make appropriate payment if necessary, for any damage to others property that I cause including motel rooms, motel property, AllTrails property or other cyclist’s property.

I agree to carefully consider my insurance options and take note of AllTrails’ policy strongly recommending Cyclist Insurance and Travel Insurance to all cyclists on Australian tours, and the compulsory Travel Insurance policy for international tours.

AllTrails reserves the right to change the advertised ride and itinerary due to road works, bad weather, unsafe conditions, or any unforeseen circumstances. I declare I am 18 years of age or older or am the legal guardian of persons under 18 years old in my care. I consent to publication, for promotional purposes, of any photos or video footage taken of myself or others in my group, while taking part in this event without recourse or compensation to me.

I consent to AllTrails processing personal information about me and other members of my party. AllTrails may hold my name, address and other details supplied on their database. This information will be used to make my tour arrangements and to send me information about AllTrails and its tours. In order to make my tour arrangements AllTrails may need to pass on my details to companies and individuals inside and/or outside Australia, where less stringent data protection controls may be in place. I understand this and agree to the passing of necessary information to required third parties such as hotels and local tour companies.

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Full terms and conditions for each ride are available via our booking system (directions to find them are below). These terms and conditions will also be sent to you with your confirmation email after booking.

To find the terms & conditions of this ride:

  • Click any ‘Book This Ride’ button on this webpage such as the one below (right click ‘open in new tab’)
  • Enter at least 1 participant on any package, then scroll down and click ‘BOOK NOW’
  • Click the ‘SKIP’ button
  • Scroll to the bottom of the questions page and click ‘terms and conditions’ hyperlink