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Late November/early December in New Zealand

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Late November/early December in New Zealand

Hello All,

My wife and I have 3 weeks to spend touring the north island of New Zealand. We spent 3 months on the south island during our year-long tour in 2014/2015. Unfortunately we're a bit more limited on time this year.

We're just starting to put ideas together about where to ride and what to do. NZ is an outdoor lovers paradise that we hope to move to someday. If you've ridden on the north island and have any suggestions, please contact us at We're looking for any tracks that are scenic, challenging, on or off-road (not quite single track though), or any locations that really shouldn't be missed during our first ride in the north.

We'll be flying in and out of Auckland and bringing our Long Haul Truckers. We are both experienced touring cyclists as well as general road and off-road riders. We love the sights but it's the people that really make NZ our favorite destination.

Thanks again for any suggestions,


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Some nice country and quiet

Some nice country and quiet roads just south of Auckland. Head west out of south Auckland to Clarkes Beach, then south to Port Waikato, take the gravel coast road south down to Raglan. Take the coastal road (turns to gravel but very scenic) down to Kawhia. Continue along the coast (backtrack a few kms first) to Marakopa. Take the road south (little bit of gravel) to Awakino. Either take the Awakino Gorge road to Mahoenui or divert along Taumatamaire Rd (gravel) for a nice ride in farmland and bush. Turn onto Totoro Rd and head to Ongarue. You can ride all or some of the Pureora Timber Trail if you wish, mix of single track and old gravel roads (need dry conditions for a touring bike). If you don't want to ride it all, head north to Bennydale. You can ride half the trail from a turnoff road or carry on to Bennydale. Head to Mangkino and take the River Trail to Whakamaru. Either carry on the trail or take to the road to Atiamuri where you can take gravel backroads to Rotorua. Head along the west side of the lake to turn to Mamaku and take the forestry gravel road (Cecil Rd and Leslie Rd) to Putararu. Head to the river and take the river trail north and head to Te Aroha to pick up the Hauraki Rail Trail which can take you to Thames and then to Miranda. From here, you can work your way along the coast back to Auckland.

This gives you mostly quiet roads and lots of scenery along the way. I have done almost all the route during many tours of the region. You would have to work out distances to see if you can fit it all into 3 weeks or cut it short if need be.