New Zealanders’ favourite places to go cycling

posted in: Places, Things to do 0

With more than 10,000 votes cast from keen New Zealand cyclists, the nation has chosen its favourite place to go riding. The best cycle ride in New Zealand is on a disused railway line in the South Island, according to voting in a national competition.

NZ’s Favourite Places to Cycle is an annual competition to identify, share and celebrate favourite places to ride, whether these are off-road or adventure trails, a city route, part of the official NZ Cycle Trail, or, even better, someplace waiting to be discovered by more than a few who are in the know.

New Zealanders’ favourite place to cycle is on the Otago Central Rail Trail

Top choice

Otago Central Rail Trail

Central Otago

Entirely off-road, this trail provides rugged scenery, country pubs and historic gold-mining villages as cyclists follow the 152km trail that follows the former route of the Otago Central Railway. The old railway line became New Zealand’s first off-road cycleway and walking trail, opening in 2000.

2016 category winners

Otago Central Rail Trail

Nga Haerenga NZ Cycle Trail and Overall Winner

The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest), Rotorua

Off-Road or Adventure Ride


Urban Trail or Commute

Taupo and surrounds

On-Road Ride


NZ Cycle Trail

Hauraki Rail Trail (Waikato)

Hawkes Bay Cycle Trails (Hawkes Bay)

Great Lake Cycle Trail (Taupo)

Queenstown Trail (Otago)

Otago Central Rail Trail (Central Otago)

Off-Road or Adventure Ride

The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest), Rotorua

Taupo MTB Trails (Taupo)

Makara MTB Park (Wellington)

Kaiteriteri MTB Park (Tasman)

Port Hills (Christchurch)

Urban Trail or Commute

New Plymouth Coastal Walkway and Trails (Taranaki)

Auckland Bays and Central Suburbs (Auckland)

Taupo Central Trails (Taupo)

Napier (Hawkes Bay)

Christchurch (Canterbury)


Taupo and surrounds (Taupo)

Napier and Hastings Urban Cycleways (Hawkes Bay)

Wellington Bays (Wellington)

Dunedin surrounds and Otago Peninsula (Otago)

Port Hills and Banks Peninsula (Canterbury)

Previous winners

The Redwoods in Rotorua was voted New Zealand’s Favourite Place to Cycle in 2014 and 2015.

The 2015 category winners

Otago Central Rail Trail

Nga Haerenga – NZ Cycle Trail

The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest), Rotorua

Off-Road or Adventure Ride and Overall Winner

Taupo lakefront trails

Urban Trail or Commute

On-Road Ride

Taupo and surrounds

Source: Bike Wise, New Zealand’s national cycling programme, is funded and co-ordinated by the NZ Transport Agency. It runs the NZ’s Favourite Place to Cycle competition to celebrate Bike Wise Month, launched in February 2014.