New Zealand By Bicycle

Mar 28, 2023 | Adventure place, New Zealand, South Pacific

There is no one BEST way to see New Zealand, but if there were one, atop a bicycle is undoubtedly it!

Is flat coastal cycling with stops for wine, fresh fruits, and seafood your idea of fun? OR, a scenic vista ride with adrenaline sports options in the gorgeous Queenstown area? Or multi-day rides through the Southern Alps with cozy indoor accommodations for enthusiasts? Options abound! There are numerous guided and self-guided options. Here are three of the 23 “New Zealand’s Great Rides.”

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail 

This easy cycling trail takes a leisurely tour of Tasman’s and Golden Bay’s most beautiful coastal and inland areas. Riders will pass vineyards, breweries, and orchards, with no end of places to stop and enjoy some quality cuisine. The trail segments range from 8km (5 mi) to 34km (21 mi).  When complete, the whole trail – including a section in the Motueka River Valley – will cover a distance of 175km (109 mi.).

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail starts at the Nelson Airport or the Nelson i-SITE. It offers panoramic coastal and mountain views over Tasman Bay, Waimea Estuary, and the Western Ranges, with many stops for fine food and relaxation. ​​

Nelson is famous for its sunshine, long golden beaches, and national parks in the geographical center of New Zealand. The Nelson region is renowned for its year-round sunshine, long golden beaches, national parks, locally grown produce, freshly caught green lip mussels, and a large creative community of working artists.

Queenstown Trails

Surrounded by sheer mountain ranges, this trail threads through lakeside paths, country lanes, quiet roads, and cross-country cycleways. It links Queenstown, Arrowtown, and the Gibbston Valley – with countless sights and activities to enjoy in between.

Discover early settler history in buildings, bridges, and gold mining sites. 

Get an adrenaline buzz with a bungee jump or jet boat trip. 

Enjoy memorable family time sweetened with ice cream and other special treats. 

Enjoy Central Otago’s favorite flavors at countless cafes and cellar-door restaurants.

The Queenstown Trail can be ridden as a multi-day adventure, stopping overnight along the way, or tailored as day rides to suit a range of ages and abilities. Either way, it’s a fabulous way to see the sights while soaking up the scenery – and made even easier thanks to convenient bike hire, shuttle transport, and cycle tour operators.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail 

The longest of the 23 Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand serves up epic vistas from Aoraki Mount Cook to arty Ōamaru beside the Pacific Ocean. It is one of New Zealand’s truly Great Rides, the crème de la crème of multi-day cycling experiences in NZ for the iconic southern landscapes traversed and easily navigated by a wide demographic.

The Cycle Trail starts at the base of the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook in the National Park or at Takapō, with both routes meeting on the shores of the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki. From there, the trail takes in Twizel and the shoreline of Lake Ōhau before climbing to the highest point, where you view the magnificence of the Mackenzie basin before dropping down to Ōmarama. 

The Waitaki Valley delivers a geo-park of wonders; you meander past more lakes and rivers. Ride through vineyards and experience ever-changing vistas toward the Pacific coast. Your final destination is Ōamaru, a town famous for its neoclassical ‘Ōamaru Stone’ Victorian buildings, art galleries, and the little blue penguins.

The trail consists of nine sections. Ride the entire length over five to seven days for the depth of experience and an enormous sense of accomplishment. Or, break it up into one or two sections and ride them as day trips from local towns. The variety of terrain means there is a mix of easy to intermediate trail riding.


Let us help build your memory of a lifetime in New Zealand, Bora Bora, or Tuscany. Biking can be part of a multi-faceted sports holiday or just a few hours of easy fun enjoying the gorgeous scenery in the sun. Can you still feel the joy and exhilaration of your first two-wheeler? The breeze in your hair, the exhilaration, and the fun!​​