The Top 6 Off-Road Cycling Trails New Zealand Has to Offer
(Cycling through New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery is a unique experience)
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore New Zealand and have a face to face experience with what the country really has to offer. The spectacular scenery, natural beauty, and unique culture are best experienced while going on one of the numerous bike-rides through the many available cycling trails. Most of these follow paths that were established by the early indigenous settlers of New Zealand. The country has made efforts to restore and extend historic pathways which enable cyclists to stopover and visit a large number of historical and cultural heritage sites. A few of the best cycling trails that New Zealand has to offer are:
Soak Up the Sun Riding the Stunning Queen Charlotte Track
stunning views from trail
This track is located in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of South Island. It stretches for 71 km between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sound. The Queen Charlotte track is well known as one of the best cycling trails that New Zealand has to offer. It is renowned for its picturesque views, the sunning scenery, distinct landscape, historical sites, and native wildlife. A ride through this trail will serve as a unique and memorable experience as it traverses through lush forests, historical bays, and also along ridges that provide beautiful views of the Sounds.
Otago Central Rail Trail will Reveal the True Beauty of the South Island
Otago Central Rail Trail
This cycling trail stretches for 150 km through the South Island. It runs between Middlemarch and Clyde, following the former route of the Otago Central Railway. This trail is one of the most popular tourist attractions of South Island. The towns along the trail have developed facilities to aid tourists on the trail. The Otago trail is well known for its historical value and is a tribute to human endeavor. The scenery, bridges, and tunnels along the length of the trail are what make this ride fascinating and adventurous.
Te Ara Ahi – Ride through an Active Thermal Landscape
This bike trail offers tourists a 74 km riding exploration through the thermal lands of steam vents, natural hot bubbling mud pools, and outstanding geysers. The trail travels from Rotorua to Lake Ohakuri and passes through four different geothermal fields, each with their own unique flora and fauna. The trail is also rich in Maori history and lore as it passes through many Maori villages.
The Timber Trail: Cycle the North Island
The Timber trail at the North Island is a couple of hours away from the Te Ara Ahi trail. It travels through the beautiful and peaceful Pureora Forest and several other important ecological areas. The trail follows old tramlines, stops at old timber milling establishments and even passes through eight large suspension bridges which provide for breathtaking views across this 85 km trail.
This trail is within easy reach from the Te Ara Ahi trail at Rotorua, it is also a short distance away from Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. There are many options that are available for traveling between these two cycling trails and other cycling trails across the country. One of the best options is to hire a car or book with one of the main bus companies or specialized cycle tour companies.
The Queenstown Trail – Cycle through Prehistoric Forrest
The Queenstown cycling trail stretches for nearly a 100 km within the Wakatipu Basin. This winding trail offers travelers some of the most stunning natural scenery that the country has. It also travels through the Gibbston Wine area and the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Hidden ruins, incredible architecture and significant bridges, such as the historic Kawarau Bridge, are also a part of this cycling trail. After finishing the bike trail there are a wide range of other tourist attractions that Queenstown has to offer.
Mountains to Sea Trail
This 317 km trail is one of the most epic traveling experiences that the North Island has to offer. The Mountains to Sea cycling trail is a combination of mountain biking trails, public road and jet boats to cross the water. Travelers start off from the Mountains of the Central Volcanic Plateau and end up near the sea in Whanganui. The cycling trail also traverses through two national parks full of natural beauty, stunning scenery and cultural heritage.
Angela Hallberg is Omega Rental Cars’ Marketing Manager – one of New Zealand’s most trusted car hire companies. Like Omega on Facebook or follow on Twitter @OmegaRentalCars.