Tour Aotearoa - North Island
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.
We have divided the 2950km Kennett Bros Tour Aotearoa into two islands (or four 8-12 day sections) so that you you can enjoy riding and explore each Island or section in detail - without the hassle of carrying your gear or finding food and accommodation. Our sections loosely follow this classic route and also include plenty of quirky extras, stop-overs and special places in the true Escape Adventures' style.
The Full North Island: 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. We continue down the guts and bag our fair share of New Zealand cycle trails including the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trail, Pureora Forest - Centre of the North Island Cycle Trail, the stunning Timber Trail, the Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui River Trail and Remutaka Cycle Trail - all linked together with surprisingly quiet roads in stunning rural New Zealand.
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!
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, 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, 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: Ahipara (Kaitaia)
Start: Cape Reinga
- A total distance of 1575km spread over 18 days of biking.
- 43-126km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic, quiet gravelled and sealed roads, cycle trails and a 84km beach section.
- There are some surprisingly big ups, big downs, rolling coastal terrain and of course there is also some flat terrain.
- A hard tail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres is the ideal bike.
- This is a pedal bike-centric cycle tour. Riding distance and pace is designed at pedal bike-pace. / E-Bikers are also welcome.
- Hire Bikes are available locally. Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.
- 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.
We will organise the logistics, book accommodation and organise all included meals. Our awesome Escape Adventures tour leaders will ride with you, and provide daily briefings, first aid and mechanical support. Our trusty ’Sag Wagon’ support vehicle will carry your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water, and is there if you need a break from the saddle. There are times when the vehicle will need to take a different route and will meet up with you where it can. We will supply you with daily route notes and maps so that you can ride at your own pace throughout the day.
- Included in the tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, all lunches (except for two), and five evening meals.
- The other meals (as per the daily itinerary below) are in places where there are dinning 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 and 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. Cooked breakfast on occasions.
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.
All accommodation for the 20 nights of the tour is included. We have explored and chosen the most fitting accommodation we could find to work in with the riding route. For this section we will be using holiday park cabins, motels and a lodge.
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 will apply. Single room options may be limited in some locations.
This cycle tour includes rides of 43-126km 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 with some hills.
- 2-3 times a week with rides of 30-50km in length.
Itinerary: Cape Reinga to Wellington
Day 1: Arrive in Ahipara. 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 2 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! 105km
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. 87km
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. 87km
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. 72km
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! 80km
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. 88km
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 and through the Karangahake Gorge all the way to Matamata. Optional visit the Hobbiton movie set. 118km
Day 9: 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, forrest and farmland . Once you’ve ridden it you’ll have your own story to tell! 105km
Day 10: A well earned rest day to explore the local area. Possible visit to Waitomo Caves.
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 he 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. 72km
Day 14: Option 1: Transfer to National Park - Ride to Koriniti. 100km sealed road. Option 2: Ride the Bridge to Nowhere trail +jet boat. Kaiwhahuka track climbs over the the Bridge to Nowhere track and literally to the Bridge to Nowhere. A 1hr jet boat ride brings us into the stunning Whanganui River Valley where we ride to our accommodation. 100 or 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. 43km
Day 16: 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 17: How about a morning (or evening) walk around Hunterville? The Three Rivers Route is a cleverly planned riding route that avoids traffic and show cases New Zealand rural roads with stunning gorges and single lane bridges in true kiwi style. 73km
Day 18: Leaving Makoura our legs spin like windmills as we crank over Paihitua track. What a wonderful thing a wind powered bike would be! 99km
Day 19: If we get a northerly you’ll have a Porters Pino in your hand soon after lunch. If we ride into a southerly breeze you’ll just have to wait until dinner time! 126km
Day 20: 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. 100km
Day 21: 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.
Tour Price: Cape Reinga to Wellington
+Bike Hire if required $600
+E-Bike Hire if required $1,800
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 will apply.
Included in your tour:
- 20 nights accommodation
- Meals as per tour itinerary.
- Two Escape Adventures tour leaders
- 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.