Cycle Britain

Bikepacking New Zealand Aoteareo 2024

Cycling the length of New Zealand is a long bikepacking tour covering 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff traveling both North and South Island on cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes.  The route chosen by Cycle Britain Tour Leader Alan Little is outlined in the image below but there are variants to the route.  You can set off on your adventure any time, but every year in February there is an organised  Brevet event that riders can register for and have their progress officially recorded. My only journey is oulined below.

Tour Aotearoa bikepacking adventure from Cape Reinga at top of New Zealand involves varied terrain from  single track, to beaches, to dirt roads, gravel roads, sealed roads, cycle lanes, trails and paths, and 5 boat trips. The route is designed to highlight the best New Zealand Cycle Trails Great Rides and back country roads. The route was designed by Jonathan Kennett, a New Zealand cycling guidebook writer.  The majority of the route is dramatic and includes sections such as the Timber Trail, which has 35 bridges including 8 huge suspension bridges up to 140m in length and 60m above the valley floor.

The route is open to the public all year round and I have chosen January to cycle the route solo before the mass participation event. To train I will be undertaking long rides with a laden bike and ensure my kit and bike are perfect and well tested.

“Fully Self Supported”?

 The planning of the route has been completed by Alan to ensure the route can be completed in 21 days. Using Komoot and the Wahoo element and carefully prepared notes and planning for replenishment of food, the journey will be a solo adventure.  Adventure cycling is offered by Cycle Britain with the addition of a support crew and guides. For those interested in venturing into bikepacking our weekend courses provide training in all areas and are led by experienced adventure cyclist and mountaineer Alan Little who is both experienced and qualified to deliver this exciting training event.

Cycle Britain

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I prepare for the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: You can find all the information about preparation for the Tour Aotearoa Brevet for example an overview of the gear you need in our how to bikepack with success

Q: How do I get to Cape Reinga?

A: Transport from Auckland to Kaitaia is a bus services offered by InterCity and Naked Bus (Naked Bus has reduced services in their off-peak season) and flights with Barrier Air.

From Kaitaia, most companies are focused on tours to the Cape and back rather than one-way transport, so your best option is to book a shuttle.

Once the training is done, the bike is all serviced and the kit is just right then its a ride of a lifetime

DAY ONE – 5th January 2024 – CAPE REGINA to HAKATERE LODGE – 90 MILE BEACH

Cape Regina it the starting point of the epic cycle ride. The gravel ride starts by travelling down the Aoupouri peninsula which resembles a long thin diving board. The route is a serious challenge at this point as it involves cycling three hours on either side go high tide. The dramatic headland is where the waters of the Tasman and the Pacific Ocean meet. Cape Regina for my start will involve hitting the beach after cycling down the Te pack stream. After careful consideration and reading of many people struggling to complete the beach ride, I decided to start easily with what will be a four to six-hour ride along the beach.

DAY TWO 6th January 2024 – HAKATERE LODGE TO OPONONI

DAY THREE 7th January 2024 – OPONONI TO DARGAVILLE

DAY FOUR 8th January 2024 – DARGAVILE TO AUKLAND via KAIPARA CRUISES 3 HOUR FERRY

DAY FIVE 9th January 2024 – AUCKLAND to PAEROA (Racecourse Motel) 99 miles 2635 ft ascent 2850 ft descent.

This day involves passing the Miranda hot springs and and includes the Hauraki Rail Trail. https://haurakirailtrail.co.nz

DAY SIX10th Janaury 2024PAEROA to MANGAKINO – Lake Maraetaki Lodge 92 miles 11.5 hours 3,800ft Ascent, 3125 descent

DAY SEVEN 11th January 2024 – MANGAKINO TO TIMBER TRAIL LODGE – 52.2miles 5,000ft ascent 4000ft descent

DAY EIGHT 12th January 2024 – Timber Trail Lodge to TAUMARUNI – Alexander Spa Motel

DAY NINE 13th Janaury 2024 – Taumarunui to Molsey Campsite

DAY 10 – 14th January 2024 – Mosley campsite to JET BOAT then onto WhanganuiKings Court Motel

DAY 11 – 15th January 2024 – Whanganui to Makoura Lodge – 12 hours, 85 miles 6,300 ascent and 5325 descent

DAY 12 – 16th Jan 2024 – Makoura Lodge to Masterton (Amble Inn)

Day 13 – 17th Jan 2024 – Masterton to Wellington to meet Ferry at 2am sailing (18th Jan)

Day 14 – 18th Jan – Off the ferry at 5am and continue cycling to Belgrove (Lydias Lodge)

Day 15 – 19th Jan – Belgrove to Murchison (off the beaten trail accommdation)

DAY 16 – 20th Jan 2024 – Murchison to Reefton

DAY 17 – 21st Jan 2024 – Reefton to Sundowner hotel

DAY 18 – 22nd Jan 2024 – Greymouth to Lanthe Mathhi Campsite

Day 19 – 23rd Jan 2024 Lanthe Matahi to Fanz Josef 58 on Corn Motel

Day 20 – 24th Jan – Franz Joseph to Haast – Aspiring Court Motel

Day 21 25th Jan. – Haast to Wanaka

Day 22 – 26th Jan – Wanaka to Queestown

Day 23 – 27th Jan – Queenstown to Mossburn

Day 24 – 28th Jan – Mossburn to Bluff

Day 25 – Invergargill flght to Auckland and then onto Home

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