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Mountain bikers and cyclists, this one’s for you. New Zealand’s affinity for all things sports-related will make the most adventurous tourists feel right at home. If you’re eager to cycle up a storm, we’ll help you map out your journey. To get your heart racing, here are some of the best routes along the Auckland region.
This incredible 18-kilometre (11.2-mile) route is perfect for adrenaline junkies. Don’t fret too much about your fitness and skill levels, though – you can always break it into smaller chunks to suit your abilities. The Pohutukawa Coast trail starts at Omana Regional Park, traversing Maretai and Whitford Forests. Some of the tracks are quite challenging: there are a few steep sections that can get quite slippery when it rains, and jump sections are varied in height.
Pumped-up pedallers will relish this popular adventure destination. Woodhill Forest is home to a dedicated network of mountain biking tracks and jump spots. Trails are spread along 12,500 hectares (just under 31,000 acres) of forested land, offering plenty of options for all skill levels. The park is approximately 40 minutes away from the central business district, and is open pretty much all year round.
You may have noticed by now that Auckland is jam-packed with awesome mountain biking tracks. Fourforty in particular is situated within an hour’s drive from downtown. The park boasts an adrenaline-inducing 440 metres (just under 1450 feet) of gravity mountain bike jumps and trails, suitable for beginners and advanced riders. You can hire a bicycle on arrival, but it is recommended you bring your own protective gear (helmets, knee-pads, solid riding shoes, etc.).
This stunning regional park is a favourite for hikers and bikers alike. The Hunua Ranges is located 40 minutes from downtown Auckland, and is lined with lush forestry, remarkable waterfalls, and rolling farmlands. Its dedicated assortment of cycling trails caters to all abilities – there’s even a practice area where you can ride around if you want to ease into those pathways.
A short, scenic cycle, right at the heart of the city. Perfect for getting a good feel for why Auckland is known as the City of Sails. Hire a bike and explore the downtown waterfront. Head towards the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter and, if you want to take things up a notch, make sure to pedal up to Westhaven Marina too.
One of Auckland’s first dedicated off-road cycleways, the Green Route from Takapuna to Devonport will take you along the North Shore’s beautiful coastlines. You can take the ferry from downtown to Devonport, then go ahead into the 6-kilometre (3.7-mile) journey towards Takapuna. There are a few tight spots to watch out for, but overall the ride is sure to be very scenic and peaceful.
One of the best ways to explore Waiheke Island is by hiring a bike and heading along to its vineyards, beaches, parks, and forests. There are guided cycle tours you can sign up for, or you can simply opt for a self-guided ride. Keep in mind that the island is quite hilly – if you’re wanting to make things easier, there’s always the option of hiring an electric bike instead.
Grab a bike and explore some of the most popular inner-city beaches. Tamaki Drive traverses through Orewa, Mission Bay, Kohimarama, and Saint Heliers. You can choose to depart from downtown Auckland, or hire a bike at Mission Bay. Either way, you’ll steer clear of the roads, as the promenade has special lanes for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.
This trail starts at Panmure Bridge, in Pakuranga, then across to Prince Regent Drive. From there, you’ll ride along to Half Moon Bay, pedalling through the coastal Rotary Walkway that will take you straight into Bucklands Beach. Aside from a few off-road zig-zags, the route is relatively smooth – there’s no risk of losing your bearings, as everything is quite clearly signposted.
From downtown Auckland, venture west from Upper Queen Street towards the northwestern cycleway. This route will take you into Avondale and Waterview, where you’ll pass through the buzzing Waterview Tunnel. If you’re up for a challenge, go further west to Te Atatu – upon arrival, you can always grab a coffee or a bite to eat from the nearby cafés and eateries.