Cycling New Zealand: North Island
The North Island has some very nice scenery, but locals will be the first to admit that the real breath-taking vistas are to be found on the South Island. If you’re particularly short of time, plan on spending less time here and more down south. Having said that, the volcanic and thermal activity around Rotorua and Taupo are fascinating and certainly worth a look.
Auckland to Miranda 109km
Nice ride around the harbour in Auckland and over the rolling hills to this small coastal town. Free use of the thermal pool at Miranda Holiday Park where you can soak your tired limbs.
Miranda to KatiKati 94km
This is where New Zealand’s favourite soft drink originated. Look out for the big concrete models of L&P bottles on your way out, and try some, it’s really pretty nice.
Katikati to Rotorua 95km
Rotorua is frowned upon by the locals as a tourist trap, but the bubbling mud pools and thermal vents are amazing. Look out for camp sites with thermally heated tent pitches.
Rotoroua to Taupo 91km
If you want to do skydiving or bungee jumping on the North Island, then Taupo is the place to go. If you get the time there’s a nice walk along the river to Huka Falls.
Taupo to Turangi 57km
The southerly wind blows all year round, according to the locals which makes the flat-ish ride more challenging, but it offers stunning views of the lake which is actually an active volcano.
Turangi to National Park 63km
Ride past volcanoes and mountains looking out for Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. National Park is a ski resort which offers plenty of accommodation options and a good starting point if you want to hike the Alpine Pass.
National Park to Wellington
The TransAlpine train runs the length of the North Island. Pick it up at National Park to miss out several hundred more miles of farmland and fast-track to the South Island where the scenery and terrain gets a bit more exciting.