Tour Aotearoa. North Island - Te Ika-a-Māui

Cape Reinga to Wellington

If adventure is your thing and you like to ride off road…the North Island of the Tour Aotearoa has oodles. Beginning our ride with 90 Mile Beach we continue south riding on quiet roads, through quiet towns and stands of giant kauri, wild beaches and some great swimming opportunities

Cape Reinga to Wellington
22 days
1590 km
A fully supported cycle tour of Te Ika-a-Māui

The ‘Tour Aotearoa' North Island - Te Ika-a-Māui is a 1590km cycling route created by the Kennett Brothers exploring the length of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Wellington and riding on as many of New Zealand's off road cycle trails and quiet back roads as possible. We have created a fully supported version of the Tour Aotearoa so that you you can ride a full island or indeed the full length of New Zealand knowing that we have got your back! Our Tour Aotearoa - North Island closely follows this classic route and also includes plenty of quirky extras, stop-overs and special places in the true Escape Adventures' style.

What is "Fully Supported"?

Whether you choose to ride the full length of New Zealand or just one Island at a time - we’ll sort the nitty gritty. Before your tour begins, we will organise all the logistics and book all accommodation.   

We will give you daily digital route maps, that you can follow on your phone or GPS, and route cue notes so that you can ride at your own pace, stop when you like to smell the roses and grab a coffee when the opportunity presents, while always knowing that we are there if you need us.

On tour, your awesome Escape Adventures support crew will have your breakfast ready for an early start and provide snacks for you to carry with you.  They will provide daily ride information and ride sweep with first aid and mechanical support.  Our support vehicle will carry your luggage, and on most days set up a ‘floating picnic lunch’ on route so that you can dine’n’dash and top up on water and snacks.  The support vehicle is also there if you need first aid or mechanical support, or if you need a break from the saddle.

 

Contact Us for Detailed Trip Information

Edibles, Expertise & Encouragement

    Christopher Ingram, Tauranga, New Zealand, 25/11/2022 8:30am

I have just completed my North Island cycle tour biking with the excellent Tim and Theresa.  Gee what a committed and hardworking couple, giving us a truly fully supported adventure. They were really happy days through beautiful pastoral country with heaps of edibles, expertise and encouragement.

Forever proud of myself

    Lynn Selby, Auckland, 19/04/2022 12:00am

It was a great adventure. One of the hardest tests I have ever put my body and mind through but it was worth it. The NZ scenery you steered us through was amazing - shame most New Zealanders will never see it. It did come with its challenges prior to take off but you guys handled it all so well it was quite seamless for us riders. I would definitely advise anyone interested in doing the TA or a bike trip to Africa to contact you. It was certainly one adventure I will never forget and will forever be proud of myself for completing - even if I did do it on an e-bike! Cheers to you both and to your wonderful people who guided and fed us - they are pretty amazing humans!!

Aotearoa - Land of the long bike ride!

    Annie Hudson, Wanaka, NZ, 23/02/2021 12:00am

Riding the entire Tour Aotearoa was fast looming on my bucket list and when I saw that Escape Adventures were putting this trip together, I was on for it! Having had 3 most amazing overseas adventures with Escape Adventures I knew that they would provide the most fantastic experience. All I had to do was get to the start, get on my bike and pedal while Escape took care transporting our stuff, organizing food and accommodation. Escape’s support crew were brilliant, so willing to help and support everyone, prepared and provided outstanding meals and snacks in abundance. All in all a absolutely fantastic way of riding some of our fabulous trails, seeing remote and beautiful New Zealand with like minded Kiwis and to achieve a personal goal at the same time. I just loved it! Riding the length of our country - Aotearoa.

Far North Jewels

    Sarah Griffin, Nelson, NZ, 12/01/2021 12:00am

I rode from Cape Reinga to Auckland with Escape Adventures in November 2020.  The highlights for me were the Legendary 90 Mike Beach, hard sand, bright sun, rolling lines of surf; the ferry crossing to Rawene & night overlooking Kaipara Harbour; Riding through the huge tree heads of the Kauri Forest - WELL comparable with Madagascar’s Baobabs ! - A great leg of TA , and highly recommended. Go for it!

Personality-plus Attitude

    Peter Worsp, Christchurch, NZ, 20/12/2020 12:00am

These guys are just the BEST when it comes to running bike tours. I've been on three of their overseas trips and it was great fun, really well organised, with excellent equipment, and all done with minimum fuss and maximum success for everyone involved. Nothing was a problem, nothing was left to chance, and it was a pleasure to be part of their personality-plus attitude.

This team rocks.

    Julie Bryant, 06/12/2020 8:46pm

I had a blast !. Despite my pre-trip panic of have I done enough training and will I make it, the trip went really well. I’d sum up the experience as Escape Adventures were adventure enablers. The team enabled me to get away and have an “active relaxing” holiday without the hassle of transport, directions, food and accommodation. Of course the really neat thing was meeting other super cool people and seeing parts of NZ that I’d not been to before. I‘d love to do another trip ; )

This Team Rocks!

    Julie Bryant, Nelson, NZ, 06/12/2020 12:00am

I had a blast !. Despite my pre-trip panic of have I done enough training and will I make it, the trip went really well. I’d sum up the experience as Escape Adventures were adventure enablers. The team enabled me to get away and have an “active relaxing” holiday without the hassle of transport, directions, food and accommodation. Of course the really neat thing was meeting other super cool people and seeing parts of NZ that I’d not been to before. I‘d love to do another trip ; )

North Island discovery

    Veronica Beuzenberg, Veronica, 01/12/2020 10:39pm

Excellent to pedal on great trails and quiet roads through scenic back-blocks-North-Island-NZ with such a fun bunch of like-minds. Alice, Bruce and John consistantly served humour, thoughfulness, knowledge and excellent food... Thank you for the delightful adventure Escape Adventures... I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

North Island Discovery

    Veronica Beuzenberg, Nelson. New Zealand, 01/12/2020 12:00am

Excellent to pedal on great trails and quiet roads through scenic back-blocks-North-Island-NZ with such a fun bunch of like-minds. Alice, Bruce and John consistantly served humour, thoughtfulness, knowledge and excellent food... Thank you for the delightful adventure Escape Adventures... I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

Meeting Point: Pukenui (Kaitaia)

Ride Start: Cape Reinga

Ride Finish: Petone
Tour Ends: Wellington

How does a 'Supported Cycle Tour' Work?

YOU - RIDE . NAVIGATE . ENJOY . EAT . SLEEP .

WE PROVIDE:

  • Daily ride information.
  • Digital navigation and cue notes.
  • Mechanical and first aid support.
  • Carry your luggage.
  • Ride sweep.
  • Sag Wagon.
  • Breakfasts, lunches, water and riding snacks (and some dinners).
  • All the logistics.
  • And all Accommodation

The Biking

  • A total distance of 1590km spread over 18 days of biking.
  • This is a 'Pedal bike-centric’ cycle tour. Riding distances and overnight stops have been designed around the needs of pedal biking. E-Bikers are welcome to join.
  • Daily riding distances have been planned to be achievable, (but not without challenge) and to allow plenty of time to explore the local towns along the way.
  • We encourage an early start so that you have time to recharge at the end of the day.
  • 60-126km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic riding route. Approximately 49% sealed roads / 15% quiet gravel roads / 30% cycle trails and a 90km beach section.
  • There are some big climbs, big downs, undulating coastal terrain and of course there is also some flat terrain.
  • Cycle trails have variable terrain and generally slow riding speed.
  • Dirt/gravel road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour.
  • Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle.

Bikes

The ideal bike for the tour is a hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres. A gravel bike is also an option - but only if you are familiar with riding one on unpaved surfaces! You will need to be able to carry up to 1.5-2L water, a jacket and snacks in a backpack, front roll or frame bag.

Escape Adventures has a small fleet of Trek X-Caliber mountain bikes available for hire in S M L & XL: $600 (subject to availability).  Be sure to let us know if you plan on hiring a bike.

Meals

Included in your tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, most lunches and two evening meals. (3 lunches are not included).
Three lunches and most of the evening meals (as per the tour itinerary) are in places where there are dining and wining options available - therefore at your own cost and choosing. (This gives you more control over the cost of your tour AND spreads the love supporting local businesses!).  We are most definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets. If this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.

Typical Included Meals:

  •  Breakfasts - Fresh fruit, muesli, toast and spreads, hot drinks.
  •  Lunches - Picnic style lunches, fresh salads, cold meats, cheese & bread.
  •  Snacks - Fresh fruit, salty snacks, home baking.
  •  Evening Meal - Prepared by your tour leaders or local accommodation.

Accommodation

Accommodation is included for all 21 nights of the cycle tour. Our job is to explore and find the most fitting accommodation to work in with the riding route. Sometimes there is lots of choice, sometimes very little. We will be staying in a combination of motels, hotels, lodges, holiday houses and holiday park cabins. When possible these will have ensuite bathrooms, however in some cases - in holiday houses and holiday park cabins it will be necessary to share bathrooms.

Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement is available. *Single room options may be limited in some locations.

Preparation

This cycle tour includes rides of 60-126km per day.  Please do read about the daily riding distances taking note of the riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly.  The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure!  Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:


- riding on gravel, unpaved terrain and hills. 

- riding 3-4 times a week with rides of 40-80km in length.

Itinerary: Cape Reinga to Wellington

Day 1: Arrive in Pukenui. Meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers at 5pm for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together.

Day 2: We rise early for a 1 hour vehicle transfer to Cape Reinga to begin our cycle tour. 90 Mile Beach leaves strong memories in the minds of all Tour Aotearoa riders - a crazy way to start… but there you have it. I hope we get a north-easterly! 85km

Day 3: Day two on the bike and its time to start preparing our hill legs for the journey ahead… The day promises stunning NZ bush and views of the Hokianga Harbour on a 10 min ferry to Rawene. 111km

Day 4: The Kauri Coast cycle way fully immerses us into the far north - riding through the Waipoua sub tropical forest dominated by giant kauri. This is the epitome of the far north with quiet roads, quiet towns, wild beaches and some great swimming opportunities. 110km

Day 5: What a clever way to get to the centre of Auckland while avoiding the traffic! We head south down the remote and quiet Pouto Peninsula through farmland and the mouth of the Kaipara inland harbour. We cross the harbour by boat (3 hrs tide dependent) and pedal into Parakai. 69km

Day 6: We’re not in the far north any more! But suddenly in the centre of NZ’s largest, busiest and traffic craziest city. Thanks to Auckland Transport for the convenient cycle routes for getting us there alive! 84km

Day 7: Negotiating the city traffic + tricky navigation out of Auckland city is not everyone’s cup of tea… and the support vehicle is available for those who opt out. Once clear of the city we ride around the firth of Thames finishing on a short stretch of the Hauraki Rail Trail. 117km

Day 8: We get our “groove on” riding the smooth surface and gentle gradient of the Hauraki Rail Trail. We ride the historic railway across the Hauraki Plains then divert west all the way to Cambridge. 126km

Day 9: Rest day. Go and visit to Hobbiton movie set or take a walk and explore Cambridge.

Day 10: TA riders tell stories about the Waikato River Trail. Running alongside New Zealand longest river the trail passes a series of hydro lakes, through volcanic landscapes, forest and farmland . Once you’ve ridden it you’ll have your own story to tell! 89km

Day 11: We make a B-Line for the lovely Pureora Forest Park and the topographical centre of the North Island. And then the fun begins! The Timber Trail is famous for stunning stands of virgin forest bush saved from logging in the 1970s. Remote cycle trail and cool bridges bring us to the Timber Trail Lodge. 85km

Day 12: We ride the the second half of the Timber Trail on cycle trail and historical milling tracks down to Ongarue and then onto Taumaranui for the night. 69km

Day 13: We ride the lesser travelled farming roads linking the Timber Trail to Mountains to Sea Route sharing the roads with the local farmers and their sheep. 82km

Day 14: 
Option: Ride the Bridge to Nowhere trail +jet boat. Ride to the Bridge to Nowhere then hop on a 1hr jet boat ride which brings us down the stunning Whanganui River Valley, then ride back to the accom. 69km

Day 15: The Whanganui River Valley has a climate of its own. Take your time rolling up and down (it’s got to be more down than up right?) through this lush river valley down to Whanganui. 98km

Day 16: Rest Day. Explore the galleries and art walks around Whanganui, or maybe its time to give your bike a bit of love?!

Day 17: With a bit of a quirky start to the day we warm up heading east out of town on nice flat quiet farming road. It wouldn’t be NZ without a couple of hearty hills to get your heart happy before hunkering down at the Hunterville Hotel. 67km

Day 18: Some smooth seal starts the day, but soon we're back onto a mix of gravel and farm roads. Taking us from Hunterville to Fielding  93km

Day 19: Leaving Fielding our legs spin like windmills as we crank over Paihitua track. What a wonderful thing a wind powered bike would be! 60km

Day 20: If we get a northerly you’ll have a Porters Pinot in your hand soon after lunch. If we ride into a southerly breeze you’ll just have to wait until dinner time! 114km

Day 21: After a warm up on flat farm roads we meander up the Remutaka Cycle Trail through disused rail tunnels and take in other cool history. Then its down, down, down into the Hutt and cycle trail it all the way into the big smoke. 87km

Day 22: Our final breakfast together in the North Island before bidding farewell.  For those continuing on we will take the ferry across the Cook Strait to Picton.

 

*Actual night stops and daily distances may vary depending on accommodation availability.

Contact us for a detailed Trip Information

Tour Price: Cape Reinga to Wellington

NZD $9,950
+Bike Hire if required $600

Singles: You DON'T have to pay a single supplement!
- If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker.
- If you do not wish to share that is fine too, but a single supplement is available.

Included in your tour:

  • 21 nights accommodation.
  • Meals as per tour itinerary.
  • Two Escape Adventures support crew
  • Support vehicle & bike trailer.
  • 2x boat transfers.

Tour Price does NOT include: getting to and from Kaitaia/Wellington, optional activities, personal equipment & some meals as per the detailed itinerary.