Tour Aotearoa - Section 2

Auckland to Whanganui

If adventure is your thing and you like to ride off road...this section of the Tour Aotearoa will spin your wheels.

Auckland to Whanganui
12 days (including start & finish)
650 km
Section 2 of 6. Fully supported version of New Zealand’s classic Tour Aotearoa

We have divided the 3000km Kennett Bros Tour Aotearoa into six 7-12 day sections so that you you can enjoy riding and exploring that 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.

Section 2: Auckland to Whanganui

If adventure is your thing and you like to ride off road...this section of the Tour Aotearoa will spin your wheels. Combining the Hauraki Rail Trail, the Waikato River Trail, Pureora Forest - Centre of the North Island Cycle Trail, Timber Trail and Bridge to Nowhere Trail - this is the most rugged and off-road section of the Tour Aotearoa. Finish with the lovely down river Whanganui River trail and ending in Whanganui.

Contact Us for detailed trip information.

Start: Auckland City

Finish: Whanganui

The Biking

  • A total distance of 650km spread over 10 days of biking.
  • 35-105km riding per day on wonderfully quiet sealed and gravelled roads, and a lot of New Zealand’s less accessible
    cycle trails!
  • Cycle trails = lots of ups and lots of downs and generally slow riding speed.
  • A hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres is the ideal bike.
  • The route is designed for pedal bikers with a good level of biking fitness / or E-Bikes.
  • Hire Bikes are available locally. Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.
  • Off-road biking experience will greatly add to the enjoyment of your tour.
  • Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available on all road sections and will meet us intermittently on cycle trail sections.


We will organise the logistics, book accommodation and organise all included meals. Two of 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, five lunches and three 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 11 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 motels, holiday park cabins, hotels, guesthouses and lodges!

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.

Preparing for your Cycle Tour

This cycle tour includes rides of 35 -105km 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: Auckland to Whanganui

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

Day 2:  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.

Day 3:  The smooth surface and gentle gradient of the Hauraki Rail Trail is sure to get you in the groove travelling on your bike. We ride the historic railway across the Hauraki Plains and through the Karangahake Gorge all the way to Te Aroha.

Day 4:  A gentle day’s ride through lush farmlands to Matamata.  A free afternoon to relax or check out Hobbiton movie set.

Day 5:  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!

Day 6:  Getting well off beaten track, quiet country roads and cycle trails roller coaster through the lovely Pureora Forest Park and the topographical centre of the North Island.

Day 7:  Let the fun begin!  The Timber Trail 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.

Day 8:  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.

Day 9:  We ride the farming roads linking the Timber Trail to Mountains to Sea Route and a gain a glimpse of rural New Zealand.

Day 10:  Following the Mountains to Sea Route, the narrow and challenging 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.  *In bad weather we will take an alternative route.

Day 11: 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.

Day 12: Our final breakfast together on section 2.  For those continuing on - a well earned rest day and time to explore Whanganui area.

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

Contact us for a detailed Trip Information

Tour Price

NZD $4,250
+Bike Hire if required $400

  • Any two consecutive sections - 5% off the tour prices.
  • Full North Island.  26 days |  NZD $9,800 | Bike Hire if required $750
  • Full Tour Aotearoa.  49 days |  NZD $18,200 | Bike Hire if required $1,200

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:

  • 11 nights accommodation
  •  Meals as per tour itinerary.
  •  Two Escape Adventures tour leaders
  •  Local support driver
  •  Support vehicle & bike trailer
  •  1x boat transfer

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