CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | New Zealand NortHland 2022


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Northland New Zealand - Twin Coast

26 February - 8 March 2022 (11 Days / 10 Nights)



Overview of the Tour

Bike tours are all about finding the right balance. The perfect mix of cycling, sightseeing, cafes, restaurants and rest. RIDE Holidays promises a fantastic 11 days in one of New Zealand's most scenic and historic regions.

We start in Auckland (although you are welcome to start and/or finish in Whangarei) before heading north. Our first 2 nights are spent in NZ's most northern city which is also known as 'the city with 100 beaches! It's a royalty of riches as we make our way up the East Coast staying 3 nights in the Bay of Islands. Before spending 2 nights at Doubtless Bay and Hokianga Harbour. It's then back down the West coast Kauri cycleway, eventually ending back in Whangarei.

Along the way we show you the must-see historic sights of Russell and Waitangi. Another highlight will be the 87km Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Our queen ride will be our 130km ride up to Cape Reinga. (or back - depending upon the wind direction)

Like all Ride Holidays trips, there will Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino ride distances to choose from. There will be some relaxed days and some very challenging riding. We welcome Team Macchiato (non-riders) to join us and you will have your own agenda. galleries, markets, wineries, gardens - they all await.

It's important to note that this trip is 98% on paved roads. Other than the Twin Coast day we have already hired mountain bikes. (included in cost)

Looking forward to showing you around,

The team from Ride Holidays,









NZ Tour of Northland | Tour Details


Tour Inclusions & Highlights

  • 3 nights Bay of Islands and Whangarei
  • 2 nights on the beautiful Hokianga Harbour and Doubtless Bay
  • 87km Twin Coast Cycle Trail (Bike hire included)
  • Queen ride - 120km ride up to Cape Reinga
  • Bay of Islands and Hokianga cruise
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds - breakfast and guided walk
  • Quality central accommodation
  • All meals (except 4)
  • Cycling snacks
  • Hand-picked cafes and restaurants
  • This trip is designed around 20 clients and 5 staff
  • Multiple ride options for varying abilities
  • RIDE Holidays cycle jersey and souvenir tour booklet
  • GPS routes available for upload to personal devices
  • Team Macchiato will have a separate itinerary to the cyclists ** Based on minimum numbers **

    The Tour Price Excludes

    • Airfares
    • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Travel insurance

    The Tour Cost

    • 11 days / 10 nights NZD4690.00 per person
    • NZD970.00 extra for your own room

    Deposit & Balance terms and conditions. The initial deposit is $0 with a $250.00 per person to be paid 60 days prior to departure. Full payment will be due 30 days prior to departure. Our Covid guarantee - The most you will lose (including inside 30 days) is $250.00 which covers our fixed costs like the clothing etc. (which you would still receive)





      Click on the map to view a larger version







      Northland New Zealand Tour Itinerary

      Day 1, Saturday 26 February

      Hundertwasser Art Centre

      We have to start with a highlight and the newly opened Hundertwasser Art Centre certainly ticks that box.

      Here's the plan. For those flying in from other cities please make sure you arrive at Auckland airport by 10.30am. If coming from Australia we suggest you arrive the night before. (talk to Karl about a suggested hotel) For the majority - our starting point is Northcote (Auckland's North Shore) at 11.30am. Why Northcote? Well, we pride ourselves on what we refer to as 1%ers. Unbeknown to the majority, there's a fantastic private bike museum located on the North Shore which is a must see. I've also arranged for coffee and sandwiches, so this is our lunch stop.

      Or….. Feel free to start and finish in Whangarei. Totally up to you. (free secure car parking available)

      It's a short 2-hour drive from Auckland to Whangarei. Our goal is to be there by late afternoon. We'll put all the bikes together and pop out for a short 30km ride known to locals as the airport loop. This ride takes us out to the coast (where we catch up with Team Mac) and does include a section of gravel. (which is fine on a road bike) We then return via the Waka Bridge and the sculpture park.

      Late this afternoon we visit the Hundertwasser Art Centre which is only due for completion in Dec 2021. It's an impressive looking building and will not only be a highlight for Whangarei but a must do for anyone visiting New Zealand in years to come. The iconic building will present Hundertwasser's artistic legacy from 1973 - 2000, highlighting his time in New Zealand. Visitors will also discover Wairau Māori Art Gallery and a theatre, activity centre, museum store with unique products and a café-restaurant with a terrace overlooking the waterfront. It's this restaurant where we hope to eat tonight. We'll run through the next 11 days and introduce the team.

      / Accommodation: Distinction Whangarei
      / Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner

      Day 2, Sunday 27 February

      Whangarei Heads

      Throughout NZ, Ride Holidays is lucky enough to have friends in every town. So, the rides today are based on local knowledge. In fact - we expect to have a couple of locals join us for the ride.

      There are 3 choices of distance. 50km, 65km and 100km. We leave our hotel in small groups and head towards the city and onto the amazing 6km Kamo bike path which follows the train tracks and links the city with 8 different schools. Well that's a great idea!!

      It's then a rural, slightly bumpy road until we arrive at the small coastal community of Pataua which is where the honey café is opening just for us. The beach is beautiful so feel free to throw your togs in the van. The Pataua footbridge has featured in many a TV advert including Air NZ. Those who are brave will jump. Those who are smart will ride on!!

      The 50km ride concludes at the Parua Bay Tavern which is a breath-taking spot to conclude the ride. The fish'n'chips and beer are world famous and the view from the garden bar is second to none. The 70km ride continues on past the tavern back to our hotel. The Espresso ride adds a 30km section out and back to Whangarei Heads.

      Team Mac - what a day we have planned. (I'm tempted to join you) First stop - the Quarry Gardens and apparently Whangarei's best café - the Quail. We've booked a 1 hr guided golf cart tour (9.30am) which allows you to cover more ground and smell more flowers. We feel that it's then important for you to join us on the coast. Visiting the bridge at Pataua and also join us at Parua for lunch. This also doubles up as a honey factory and you are welcome to have a look around. This afternoon at 5km loop walk along the Hatea River which features the famous Te Matau A Pohe bridge. (fishing hook)

      / Accommodation: Distinction Whangarei
      / Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch (Dinner own arrangements)


      Day 3, Monday 28 February

      Epic Day...

      Like most days - we don't see the need for a 6am departure. It's better to have a leisurely breakfast and wait for the traffic to calm down before we start our day.

      Some patience will be required this morning as our first travel day can be logistically challenging. Luggage and bike bags will be sent directly to tonight's hotel. All cyclists hop in the vehicles for a 20km jaunt up the line to avoid the State Highway. We then take small, country, hilly (very) roads and even a ferry through to Paihia - our home for the next 3 nights.

      Maximum distance is 100km and 1400VM. There will be a support vehicle in the vicinity at all times. Hop in when you've had enough.

      Our lunch (yes, it's all about the food) target is the world famous - Helena Bay Hill Gallery and Café. (check out the photo on this page) Team Mac - it's a must you join us here before shooting up the road so you can catch the Paihia Farmers market. (Thursdays only from 1-4pm) We'll catch up with you later on.

      Cyclists - after lunch (20km mark) we hug the coast and ride north. Navigation wise - please keep the blue stuff to your right and the green stuff to your left. Our last stop is the Duke. Aka - the Duke of Marlborough (Russell) which was built in 1827. You may recall that this is where Winston used to hang out on election night before holding the country to ransom for a few weeks. Anyway, these days the Duke offers 5-star waterfront accommodation and dining. Tomorrow night we are eating here so this afternoon is purely a post ride beer or a wine prior to catching a 10min ferry to our hotel in Paihia.

      / Accommodation: Paihia
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (Charlottes)


      Day 4, Tuesday 01 March

      Exploring the Bay of Islands...

      The plan today is to take full advantage of the history, culture & scenery that this region has to offer.

      Continuing from our - "let's do things a bit differently" book. We've asked the Whare Waka Cafe (set in the heart of the Treaty Grounds) to open solely for us. They pride themselves on using local produce in a setting that won't be easily forgotten. We've then asked the local iwi for a walk through of the grounds. All before the public is let in.

      You can then spend some time in the Treaty Museum if you wish. Or wander back to town when you are ready.

      We will offer a short ride up to Haruru Falls. Which today is a small residential settlement. But in the days of early European settlement, it was the scene of many firsts. New Zealand's first river port and an aramoana (sea road or ocean path) for the inland Maori tribes and for the early vision boats.

      And now for highlight number 2 for the day…..

      We've booked everyone on the (not just Team Mac) dolphin watching cruise out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga (please say quickly 6 times) Peninsula to Cape Brett. As far Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the 'Hole in the Rock'. We board our vessel from Paihia at 1.30pm and are dropped off in Russell late afternoon, so a full afternoon spent cruising the Bay of Islands and hopefully patting dolphins. Can't wait.

      Which leads us nicely on to highlight number 3….

      Dinner in Russell. At the Duke of course. (when in Rome) We've booked dinner for 6pm. There are ferries back to Paihia on the hour. Right up until 10pm. Hmmm, is that an ex- politician at the bar? Hey Winston, what are you up to these days?

      / Accommodation: Paihia
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner (Lunch own arrangements)

      Ps, if you have already don't the Bay of Islands cruise then let us know and we'll arrange a ride instead. It's your holiday.



      Day 5, Wednesday 02 March

      Twin Coast Cycle Trail

      Early start…… Big day. Great day!!

      It's likely that many of us will rate today as the highlight of the trip as we tackle one of the country's most beautiful cycle trails. The trail is 87km (equivalent to approx. 110km on the road) and is divided into four sections and can be ridden in either direction. This trail goes through diverse and stunning scenery with spectacular views, but it also takes you on a fascinating journey through some of New Zealand's earliest Maori and European settlements. Story boards along the way bring to life the history and the land and of the local people.

      Most of the trail is off road, and you can cycle two abreast. There is some on-road cycling, but these are quiet country roads. We've enlisted the help of a local company who will drive us (1hr) to Horeke which is the furthest point. There's then only one way home and that involves 87clicks. (Please note that cappuccino cyclists will start from Okaihau which means you only need to cover 70km)

      The central point is Kaikohe so we'll have our vehicle support waiting. Lunch you ask?? We've organised a guest appearance of the RH coffee cart to meet us on the trail. Complete with unlimited caffeine, sandwiches and cake. Because you're worth it.

      Team Mac - it's going to be a tough day for you. We've booked a local wine and lunch tour for you. You depart from Paihia and visit Marsden Estate, Cottle Hill and the Fat Pig Winery. Your experienced guide will educate you on the history of the area as you drive from vineyard to vineyard. Sounds tough - can I join you??

      Simply a brilliant day…

      / Accommodation: Paihia
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch (Dinner own arrangements)


      Day 6, Thursday 03 March

      RH Coffee Cart

      We leave our Bay of Islands paradise and head north to yet another paradise - the beautiful Doubtless Bay. Our home for the next 2 nights.

      All you need to focus on today is getting from A to B, drinking coffee along the way and then a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. We'll take care of everything else.

      Cyclists all hop in the vehicles to avoid busy roads and start riding near Waipapa. Our distance is only 60km however please be warned - this includes almost 1000VM. We have a plan for those who want more km's. Everyone finishes riding at the world-famous fishing club in Whangaroa. Which serves beer, wine and chips. Amen.

      Team Mac visit the Kauri Workshop in Kerikeri. Some of the Kauri on exhibition (sale) has been carbon dated up to 50000 years. That's a big number. Your next stop is Makana. Home to handcrafted chocolate and much, much more. My personal preference is salted caramel. (small hint right there!!)

      Lunch again is where the RH coffee cart pulls up. Probably at Matauri Bay which is home to the Rainbow Warrior Memorial. (bring your togs) Oh, it's also the location of the very seriously organised individual time trial. Who will win the chocolate fish?

      Our hotel for the next 2 nights is none other than the Ramada Taipa Beach Resort - offering kilometres of golden sand. In the past we've stayed at Carrington however it's not close to the water and in this part of the world - the beach is a must. In fact, it's one of the best in the country.

      / Accommodation: Taipa Beach Resort
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


      Day 7, Friday 04 March

      Queen Stage...

      Biggest day on tour as well as the most rewarding. We ride from our hotel to the very northern tip of the country - Cape Reinga. Some of you will take on the 120km and treat it as our very own RH fondo. ** depending upon wind direction we may reverse the ride today like we did in 2020.

      We are riding on SH1 today, however it's relatively quiet and there's a good verge. The support vehicles will be around. There will also be a caffeine stop in Houhora (and lunch) which is about halfway. Last year the majority of cyclists were happy with 100km which is our latte option.

      It's our suggestion for a team photo at the iconic lighthouse. The famous landmark sits at the tip of the Te Paki Recreation Reserve. A highly significant area to Māori, it marks the point from which Maori wairua (spirits) return to their traditional homeland.

      We figure that this could be the only time that the majority of our clients travel this far north so we certainly are not going to rush home. The good news is that we don't expect you to ride home.

      Team Mac - you'll arrive at the Cape before us so we suggest you check out the start of the Te Araroa Trail which is New Zealand's long distance tramping route, stretching circa 3,000 kilometres along the length of the country. We won't make you walk all the way to Bluff but maybe a short 5km loop would be nice.

      Tonight, is another bucket list item. We're having dinner at the world famous Mangonui Fish Shop. This place offers the countries best Fish'n'Chips. It's a must do when visiting the far north. There's also a pub. We won't be late as today was a big day. Tomorrow for the first time - we ride south.

      / Accommodation: Taipa Beach Resort
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

      Day 8, Saturday 05 March

      Hokianga

      We depart Doubtless Bay reasonably early. Lunch will probably be at the North Drift Café in Ahipara which is where you start riding from. It's about 70km on quiet roads to Kohukohu.

      Our time pressure is the ferry over to Rawene which departs every hour or so. Rawene is actually a great spot to chill out for an hour or so while we sort out the bikes. There are many cafes, restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops. It's about a 30min drive to our hotel.

      Team Mac - your first stop is Kaiora honey. It's not just honey that you buy here. They have a massive range of Manuka based products. It's then our suggestion you visit Te Ahu - a multi-functional community facility in Kaitaia, which houses the area's library, museum and i-SITE visitor information centre. The complex also houses a café which is where we recommend you have lunch. We'll meet you at the ferry.

      Our stunning beachfront hotel is situated on the southern side of the Hokianga harbour and walking distance to the mouth. It's literally water's edge and the view is magnificent and very different to anything else we've seen to date. In fact - if the tide is right you can walk around the shore for about 30mins and then pop up on to Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve. Which offers the very best view of where Kupe first landed on Aotearoa. At absolute must-see.

      Tonight, we've asked if we can have a BBQ on the lawn. Once you see the lawn you'll understand why.

      / Accommodation: The Heads - Hokianga
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner









      Day 9, Sunday 06 March

      Extra day….

      Feedback after our December 2020 tour was 97.83% positive. The 2.17% improvement related to the absolutely stunning Hokianga Harbour. More time was needed. So, we're striving for 100% and have added an extra night.

      We will ride however it will be early as we've got a big day planned. It will only be 2 hours and that includes a coffee.

      Otherwise, if you didn't make it to Arai Te Uru yesterday, then that would be a great way of starting the day.

      We've arranged for a 75min tour of the recently opened Kupe cultural centre. In 2020 Team Mac named this as their #1 highlight for the whole tour. So, this year we've included it for everyone.

      This afternoon we've arranged a private water taxi to visit the massive sand dunes that make this region so picturesque. Some of you can have a go at catching a dune. (trendy sand surf speak)

      This evening we'll run shuttles to the pub. It's Friday night and there's bound to be a meat raffle. Having spent some time in this establishment I can assure you that it is 100% Northland, and 100% truly grass roots Kiwi.

      / Accommodation: The Heads - Hokianga
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch. (Dinner own arrangements at the pub)


      Day 10, Monday 07 March

      Tane, you are awesome!!

      Our last day in the saddle. And sections from today's ride (specially Waipoua Forrest) rival any ride I've done in the world.

      Omapere to Whangarei is only 138km. We'll probably target the first 100km and then drive the rest. By the way - we're staying in Whangarei rather than Dargaville because of feedback we received last year. There aren't any hotels that meet the Ride Holidays standard in Dargaville and the restaurants were pretty average as well. Also, it's really nice to start and finish at the same hotel

      The highlight for today being Tane Mahuta. This magnificent tree commands respect. Especially as it's over 2000 years old. We have asked the local Iwi to welcome us and also explain why Tane is so significant. Please note - there's nothing wrong with hugging trees however in this part of the world it is frowned upon due to Kauri Dieback disease. So….. no hugging trees please.

      Also commanding respect is the 5-star rated Tane Mahuta coffee cart. We've arranged coffee, cake and sandwiches. This is our lunch spot so feel free to make use of the beanbags.

      After lunch - we ride the remainder of Waipoua Forest. It's hard to describe how beautiful this is as you are surrounded by hundreds of Kauri trees on both sides of the road. At about the 100km mark we'll find a nice place to park up. It's then a short 40km drive back to Whangarei.

      Late this afternoon we pack down the bikes, chuck on our #1's and head out for our last dinner. It's been fantastic travelling with you.

      / Accommodation: Distinction Whangarei
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

      Day 11, Tuesday 08 March

      Home James

      Whangarei to Auckland is only 2 hours so we'll try and get away by 10am. The loose plan at this stage is that we'll have two options. Either a drop off in North Shore where the cars are stored or at the airport.

      Thank you for travelling with Ride Holidays. We appreciate your loyalty. Especially during these challenging times.

      Until next time. Safe travels. Safe riding.

      / Meals Included: Breakfast





       

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