Major Trips

On this page I have summarised the major biking trips that we have done. They are in reverse chronological order, i.e. the latest trip is at the top.

Clutha Gold Trail and other adventures

From 17 to 29 April 2019 we made another trip to the South Island. There were two reasons: one was to attend a three-day Scottish Country Dance school during the Easter weekend in Owaka, in the Catlins; the other was to bike the Clutha Gold Trail, from Lawrence to Roxburgh. We also did a bit of cycling around Owaka, and some touristy drives around the Catlins. On the way down we biked in Christchurch, and on the way back we biked in Dunedin.

We were away for 13 days, so I wrote up this story in four parts.
Part 1 − Wellington the Christchurch; cycling Te Ara Ōtākaro in Christchurch.
Part 2 − Christcurch to Owaka, the Catlins, Owaka to Lawrence
Part 3 − Clutha Gold Trail: Millers Flat to Lawrence; Roxburgh Dam to Millers Flat
Part 4 − Lawrence to Dunedin; Kaikoura; Going home

South Island West Coast

From 28 November to 9 December 2018, we finally made our long-intended trip to ride the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We had several days in the Westport area before riding the trail, and several days after the trail, getting back from Greymouth to Wellington, via Kaikoura. I wrote it up in four parts:
Part 1 – Wellington-Westport-Greymouth
Part 2 – West Coast Wilderness Trail: Greymouth to Cowboy Paradise
Part 3 – West Coast Wilderness Trail: Cowboy Paradise to Hokitika and back to Greymouth
Part 4  – Greymouth, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and back to Wellington


In November 2017, we had a week in Taranaki, spending three days in New Plymouth, where we biked quite a lot; and three days in Eltham where we biked a bit but did mostly other things. I wrote it in four parts:
Part 1 – Coastal and Mangati walkways, and other New Plymouth walkways 
Part 2 – Pukekura Park and Waiwhakaiho Track
Part 3 – "The Forgotten World" railway adventure
Part 4 – Lake Rotokare, cycling in Eltham, Tawhiti Museum in Hawera



Hawke's Bay

We finally managed to get away for a few days' cycling from 5 to 9 May 2017. We had a lovely weekend in Hawke's Bay.





From 3 to 8 June 2016, we biked in the Waikato. While I attended a Scottish Country Dancing weekend school during Queen's Birthday Weekend, John biked in the Cambridge area. After the weekend school, we both biked some of the Te Awa River Ride, and visited the famous Hamilton Gardens. I wrote up this trip in four blog posts:

Cycling in the Waikato
Te Awa River Ride - Cambridge to Karapiro
Te Awa River Ride - Hamilton to Horotiu
Hamilton Gardens

South Island Lupin Trip


From 25 November to 5 December 2015, we had a biking holiday in the Mackenzie Country and a bit of North Otago. The aim was to see the wild lupins, for which the Mackenzie Country is famous, in their full flowering glory.

We biked in Christchurch, Tekapo, Twizel, Pukaki, Ohau and Wanaka. Included were several sections of the Alps to Ocean (A2O) Cycle Trail.

I wrote up the trip in four parts, which are here:

Part 1 – Little River Trail near Christchurch, Tekapo, Lake Alexandrina.
Part 2 – Lake Pukaki (part of the A2O), Mount Cook, Twizel River Track and Lake Ruataniwha.
Part 3 – Pukaki Canal and Glen Lyon Road, Lake Ohau (part of the A2O).
Part 4 – Wanaka, Hawea River Track, Lindis Pass.

Auckland, Hauraki Rail Trail and Tauranga

In July 2015, we visited our daughter in Auckland, where, among other activities, we biked along the Auckland waterfront. Before going home we biked several sections of the Hauraki Rail Trail, and we had a day in Tauranga, exploring the cycle tracks there.

The links to these rides are here:

Auckland – Pakuranga Rotary Pathway, Half Moon Bay ferry into Downtown Auckland, Waterfront track to Mission Bay and St Heliers.
Hauraki Rail Trail: Waihi to Waikino
Hauraki Rail Trail: Paeroa to Thames
Hauraki Rail Trail: The Karangahake Gorge – Waihi Martha Mine, Karangahake Gorge and Tunnel, Victoria Stamping Battery.
Tauranga – Mount Maunganui, Otumoetai foreshore, Waikareao Estuary.

Nelson Region

From 11 to 18 March 2015, we did a "roadie" to the Nelson region, without the car. We biked from our front door to the Johnsonville train, into town, took the e-bikes on the ferry to Picton, and biked over the Wangamoa Hill to Nelson, over two days. Then over the next five days we biked to Mapua, Motueka, Kaiteriteri and back to Nelson. There we folded the bikes, packed them into bags, and took them as luggage on the bus back to Picton. We biked around Picton, then took the ferry and train to go back home.

I wrote up this trip in two parts, which are here:

Part 1 – Johnsonville-Picton-Pelorus Bridge; Rai and Wangamoa Saddles to Nelson; Rabbit Island and Mapua.
Part 2 – Mapua to Motueka; Motueka to Kaiteriteri and back; a fall, and Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park; back to Mapua, then Nelson; Picton.

Touring the Mackenzie Country

From  20 to 24 January 2015, we went on a fully supported bicycle tour of the beautiful Mackenzie Country. My sister Aimée and her husband Neil came along too. We went with a company called Pure Trails, which operates out of Christchurch. We took the ferry and Coastal Pacific train to get to Christchurch. We used the company's hire bikes. This trip included several of the easier sections of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail (A2O).

I described the trip in two parts, which are here:

Part 1 – Train to Christchurch; Geraldine to Pleasant Point; Tekapo; Lake Alexandrina and Mt John Observatory; Lake Pukaki, Pukaki Flats to Twizel (part of A2O).
Part 2 – Quailburn Road (A2O), Omarama, Ahuriri Valley, Pukaki Canal (A2O), Lake Ohau (A2O), Hopkins Valley (beyond Ohau), Benmore Dam to Aviemore Dam (A2O), Kurow, Christchurch, train back to Picton.

Hawke's Bay 

From 28 November to 1 December 2014, we went up to Hawke's Bay again for a few days' cycling. We stayed in the same cottage in Hastings as last time (at about the same time the previous year).

I wrote up each of the three days separately. The links are here:

Day 1 - Landscape ride, Tukituki River, Black Bridge, Haumoana to Clifton, Clive to Hastings, via Whakatu.
Day 2 - Water Ride, Ahuriri, Napier, Mission Estate for lunch.
Day 3 - Wineries Ride, Oak Avenue.

Otago Central Rail Trail 

From 28 March to 12 April 2014, we had our first major holiday with the bikes. We stowed our folding bikes (non-electric) into the car, and headed to the South Island. Biking the Otago Central Rail Trail was the main purpose of a South Island holiday (described below). But we also biked in other places, before and after riding the Rail Trail. They are described in the next section.

We rode the Otago Central Rail Trail over four days, from Clyde to Middlemarch. I have written up the trip in four posts, one for each day. The links are here:

Day 1 – Introduction, Clyde, Alexandra, Chatto Creek, Tiger Hill, Omakau, Daniel O'Connell Suspension Bridge, Ophir.
Day 2 – Ophir, Omakau, Lauder, Poolburn Gorge, Poolburn Tunnels, Poolburn Viaduct, Ida Valley, Hayes Engineering Works, Oturehua and Gilchrist's Store, 45º South Latitude line, Highest Point on the trail, Wedderburn.
Day 3 – Wedderburn, Maniototo Plain, Ranfurly, Waipiata, Kokonga, Daisybank, Prices Creek Viaduct, Prices Creek Tunnel, Hyde.
Day 4 – Hyde, rain, Hyde Train Crash Memorial, Middlemarch, shuttle ride back to Clyde; by car to Alexandra, Raggedy Range, Naseby. Afterthoughts.

South Island 

From 28 March to 12 April 2014, we had our first major holiday with the bikes, the main purpose being to bike the Otago Central Rail Trail over four days. But we biked in Christchurch and Tekapo before doing the Rail Trail, and in Queenstown and Arrowtown afterwards.

I have written up the accounts of these rides separately: four posts for the Rail Trail (above), and four posts for the rest of the holiday. The links to the latter four posts are here:

Christchurch – The earthquake-damaged central city, signs of recovery, art in empty spaces; drive to Sumner, Lyttelton, New Brighton.
Tekapo and Lake Ohau – Lake Tekapo, night-time tour to Mt John Observatory, day-time visit to Mt John, Lake Ohau track (a section of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Rail).
Arrowtown, Queenstown and Kelvin Heights – Arrowtown, Arrow Riverside track, Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu ride to Frankton and Kelvin Heights.
Arrow River Bridges Ride and Glenorchy – Ride along the Arrow River to the Kawarau Suspension Bridge, AJ Hackett Bungy (just watching!), Glenorchy, Shotover River.

Hawke's Bay

From 28 November to 3 December 2013, we went to Hawke's Bay to explore some of the excellent network of cycle trails in the area. We stayed in a cottage in Hastings, which we used as our base.

I wrote up the six days in four posts, wich are here:

Days 1 & 2 - Coastal Ride Napier Marine Parade to Ahuriri, Taradale, Tutaekuri Riverside track, Mission Estate Winery for lunch.
Day 3 -  Hastings to Havelock North, Tukituki Loop.
Day 4 - Hastings Farmers' Market, Coastal Ride Clive to Clifton, Elephant Hill Winery for lunch, Napier City Centre.
Days 5 & 6 - Puketapu Loop, drive to Te Mata Peak, Waimarama, Ocean Beach, drive home.

New Plymouth

On 19 June 2013 we biked the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway.


  1. What you've done is really good, and the format makes it convenient for anyone who's maybe thinking of doing one of these trip and can thus see what you've done and how it went.

    1. Thanks Pat, that was exactly what I was aiming to do.