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Cycling New Zealand's North Island

Listed under Cycling in North Island, New Zealand.

  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
  • Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
Photo of Cycling New Zealand's North Island
Photo by flickr user Steve & Jemma Copley
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From the far north of the North Island to the far south of the South Island, there is an amazing range of stunning scenery. The two islands are dramatically different, each deserving a separate leisurely holiday.

The North Island has a greater variety of excellent paved backroads which are ideal for biking, ranging from wonderful coastal biking on the Coromandel to the volcanic plateau, forests and lakes to the majestic kauri trees of Waipua Forest.

My favourite ride is a 473 km loop around the East Cape which I have ridden several times with friends, most recently in February 2007.

Starting and finishing in Opotiki, we headed east along the coast to Te Kaha, known for its beautifully carved Maori Meeting House. We stayed the night at Whanarua Bay at a backpackers on the waters edge and watched the fading light from the verandah. Next day a stop at attractive Ruakokere church was a must as we continued to Hicks Bay. There are some challenging hills this day, especially in the afternoon as headed inland via Te Puia Springs (hot springs) to the little settlement of Tokamaru Bay. The attraction here is the tavern which offers substantial meals and liquid refreshment, much needed at the end of a tiring day.

Our third day’s lunch stop was at an excellent café at Tolaga Bay, famous for its long jetty and the Hole in the Wall at Cooks Cove. Gisborne was our destination that day; with its traffic lights and shops it was almost a culture shock. Our final day’s ride was the longest at 143 km and took us over Traffords Hill at 725m and then down spectacular Waioeka Gorge and back to Opotiki and a well earned beer.

If you would like help planning a ride in New Zealand, let me know: www.pedaltours.co.nz

Written by  Richard Oddy.

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