CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | New Zealand NortHland 2020

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Northland New Zealand - Twin Coast

01 - 11 December 2020 (11 Days / 10 Nights) | SOLD OUT

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 promise a fantastic 11 days in one of New Zealand's most scenic and historic regions. Non-riding partners are very welcome and will be well looked after.

We start in Auckland before heading north to Whangarei where we spend a couple of nights. It's a royalty of riches as we make our way up the East coast staying 3 nights in both the Bay of Islands and on the Karikari Peninsular. 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 120km ride up to Cape Reinga. It's then back down the West coast via Hokianga Harbour and the Kauri cycleway. Eventually ending up in Dargaville.

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. It's important to note that this is a road cycling trip so your standard road bike is the preferred bike. We will ride on gravel roads if you are comfortable. For the Twin Coast Trail and 90mile beach rides we will offer mountain bike hire.

One thing for sure - we will eat well. This trip is designed around high-quality accommodation, amazing restaurants and yes - beach time.

Look forward to showing you around,

Karl Woolcott

NZ Tour of Northland | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions & Highlights

  • 3 nights Bay of Islands and the Karikari Peninsular
  • 87km Twin Coast Cycle Trail
  • Our queen ride - 120km ride up to Cape Reinga
  • Hokianga Harbour and the Kauri cycleway
  • Ride on 90mile beach
  • 4 & 5 star accommodation
  • All breakfasts, all but 2 dinners, 1 lunch and some 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

    The Tour Price Excludes

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

    The Tour Cost

    • 11 days / 10 nights NZD4495.00 per person
    • NZD 970.00 extra for your own room

    Optional Extras:

    • Bike Hire - Twin Coast Trail day $90.00 for a mountain bike or $130.00 ebike
    • 90mile beach bike hire $90.00 per person

    There is a limited deposit of $500.00 to be paid on this tour. We will monitor the coronavirus situation and keep you posted if things change. We are happy for you to book flights. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

    Australians are welcome to book and won't be charged deposits until the NZ,OZ bubble is confirmed.

      Click on the map to view a larger version

      Northland New Zealand Tour Itinerary

      Day 1, Tuesday 01 December

      We head North

      It's great to have you here. We'll finalise the exact plan closer to December however for those flying in from other cities please make sure you arrive by 10.30am. We'll collect you at 11am before running in to the city to pick up others.

      It's then a short 2 hour (although we will stop for coffee and cake) drive up to Whangarei. Our home for the next 2 nights. Our goal is to be there by late afternoon. We'll put all the bikes together and pop out for a short 30km known to locals as the airport loop. This ride takes us out to the coast where we turnaround at Tutukata lighthouse. Team Mac will join us as there's a lighthouse walkway. We then return via the Waka Bridge and the sculpture park.

      It's then time for our first dinner together. Our restaurant has been recommended by a local Whangarei client. We'll run through the next 11 days and introduce the team.

      / Accommodation: Distinction Whangarei
      / Meals Included: Dinner

      Day 2, Wednesday 02 December

      Bike like a local...

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

      There are 2 choices of distance. 65km and 90km. We leave our hotel and head for amazing beach and small coastal community of Pataua. Most of the roads today will be ambling rolling (false flat) country (tar) roads. For those who are keen we can also offer a couple of short gravel excursions which would be totally fine on a road bike.

      We also get the chance to ride over (bikes only) the inlet bridge and for those that are brave you can jump off. (I honestly don't mind holding your bike) Our loop includes the northern towns of Nunguru and Tukukaka. Schnappa Rock café would be suitable for lunch. I expect to eat a lot of fish on this trip.

      So, in summary - a whole day exploring the wider Whangarei area. We'll have a support van in tow so when you've had enough, you've had enough.

      Team Mac - there's a fantastic coastal walk called Bream Head which is in the same region as the cyclists. There are 4 different trails to choose from. Have a look at We will all lunch together.

      Happy hour? Yes, 5pm at the Butter Factory which serves quality craft beer and delicious pizza. See you there. Choice.

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

      Day 3, Thursday 03 December

      Epic Day...

      Door to door the shortest distance is just over 80km. However, that would be boring and involve SH1.

      We take the quiet country roads and even a ferry. Total distance - 101km and about 1100VM. Remember that we have a van with us so you can pull out when you've had enough. On that note - I see 2 different groups forming on this trip. Let's call it the espresso/latte pace vs the latte/cappuccino pace. I'll be with the cappuccino's as I find the chat is always better.

      By the way - it's against the law in Northland to do anything really fast. That includes cycling so even the espressos will need to be a bit chilled. If you want to stop for a swim then please stop. It's a compulsory coffee every 2hrs and donuts are encouraged.

      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 from 1-4pm) You could then catch the ferry over and meet us at the Duke.

      Cyclists - after lunch 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. These days it offers 5 star waterfront dining and accommodation. (we'll pop in for a beer or a wine) You may recall that this is where Winston hangs out on election night before holding the country to ransom for a few weeks. Anyway - 100km over. Tick. Our hotel is literally a 10min ferry ride away.

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

      Day 4, Friday 04 December

      Exploring Bay of Islands...

      Let's not call it a down day but the plan is to limit the cycling so that we can take advantage of the history this region has to offer. Our ride rolls out via the Waitangi Treaty grounds where we've hired a local guide to show us around. Waitangi isn't to be rushed so we'll allow plenty of time.

      Next stop - 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. Missionaries once saw 60 to 100 canoes pulled up on the mud banks. Maori had a small settlement here where they traded. There were nine kaianga (villages) between Haruru and Waitangi.

      We then circumnavigate Opua Forest where there are ample opportunities to admire the massive Kauri trees. From the town of Opua you then have a decision to make. A, ride home and enjoy the rest of your day in Paihia or B, catch the car ferry over to Okiato and then on to Russell. Finishing at the Duke again and of course a 10min ferry ride back to the hotel. (shorter route is 69km, longer is 85km)

      Team Mac will also accompany us to the treaty grounds and the Falls. We have then arranged a cruise out to the hole in the rock. Some of the cyclists may actually want to join you.

      In the evenings during summer there is a very cool very low-key pizza place called Hone's Garden. Craft beer, wood fired pizza. Very very casual sitting outdoors under trees at long tables. Sounds perfect. Boom.

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

      Day 5, Saturday 05 December

      Twin Coast Cycle Trail

      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 87 km and is divided into four sections and can be ridden in either direction. The central point is Kaikoke. 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 stories of the local people.

      You will find 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. We will offer mountain bikes for today as well as e-bikes. And, we've got a plan for those only wanting to bike halfway.

      Team Mac - it's going to be a tough day for you. We've booked a local wine 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 our area as you drive from vineyard to vineyard. Sounds tough - can I join you??

      Simply a brilliant day…

      / Accommodation: Waterfront Suites
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 6, Sunday 06 December

      North we go...

      We leave our Bay of Islands paradise and head north to yet another paradise - the Karikari Peninsular. And, our home for the next 3 nights.

      It's a tough job but someone has to do it. All you need to focus on today is getting from A to B, drinking coffee along the way and then a nice glass of Sav at the end of the day. We'll take care of everything else.

      Hotel to hotel is about 110km and we manage to avoid SH1 for the entirety. We're not expecting everyone to ride the whole distance so will have the vans in support. It's relatively flat by Northland standards with only about 750m of climbing. Flat as a pancake in guiding language!!

      Along the way we ride through Kerikeri where we'll catch up with a mate of mine. His name is Keri. (true story that) Our plan for lunch is the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club Café & Bistro. It's then Northwards via the coastal Doubtless Bay road.

      Our hotel for the next 3 nights is nothing short of luxury. In fact - it's quite expensive so we're all sharing 3-bedroom villas. (yes, you'll have your own room) Carrington is a grand estate at the heart of Northland. The 3000-acre estate on the pristine and picturesque Karikari Peninsula is a world-class beach-side escape, a million miles from everyday life and a unique New Zealand resort.

      / Accommodation: Carrington Estate
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 7, Monday 7 December

      Day off...Kind of

      After 6 days consecutive riding it's important that we remember the word - Holiday.

      Lots of options… 1, we've enlisted the help of a local company to supply bikes and transport to 90mile beach. There's a 57km beach stretch which is about a 30min drive away. We'll pick the favourable wind direction on the day. It's a great opportunity to leave the expensive road bikes at home and ride on the smooth sand for a few hours. Team Mac would be very welcome to join us? High tide is 1pm which means it will be an early start, early finish. You can then have the afternoon free at the hotel. (or even play golf later that day?)

      Or, your dream beach is only 500m away and there's not just 1 but 3 to choose from. There's also a winery and an olive plantation to check out. You could ditch the bikes today and explore by foot and take advantage of one of the many trails in the area. For those like myself who are keen on fishing then we could look at a charter. I also know a few of you will be eyeing up the gorgeous golf course that our accommodation is part of. Heck - some may feel like doing some washing and catching up with emails. (frowned upon)

      Tomorrow is our longest ride on tour so whatever you do it would be wise to keep that in mind.

      Let's catch up for dinner and talk though tomorrows plan.

      / Accommodation: Carrington Estate
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 8, Tuesday 8 December

      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 134km and treat it as our very own RH fondo. Others - we will drop you 50, 80km up the road. We recommend riding the last portion into CR.

      We are riding on SH1 today however it's relatively quiet and there's a good verge. The support vehicles will be around. There are also a few caffeine stops in Ngataki which is about halfway.

      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 (spirit) return to their traditional homeland.

      The good news is that we don't expect you to ride home. Let's jump in the vans. Ideally, we'll have you back in luxury by mid-afternoon to take full advantage of the beach or pool.

      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.

      You'll be tired. Early drinks tonight followed by an early dinner. Tomorrow for the first time - we ride south.

      / Accommodation: Carrington Estate
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 9, Wednesday 9 December


      It's our guess that there will be some tired legs after yesterdays ride. Our stunning beachfront hotel is situated on the southern side of the Hokianga harbour which is about 140kms away. We propose that we all bundle in the vehicles and cut the distance by about half. If some want a longer ride then we'll simply drop you off first. The majority we will probably start riding in Ahipara - why? Because it has coffee.

      One thing we'll need to be aware of is the need to catch the ferry from Narrows to Rawene. A ferry that waits for no one. Miss the ferry and it's an additional 40km loop or a short 2km swim. Choice is yours.

      Team Mac - you visit the must-see farm of Kaiora honey. It's not just honey that you buy here. They have a massive range of Manuka based products. We may even bring the cyclists here as well as it does look really impressive.

      Our accommodation offers beachfront rooms which are a minute's stroll from the shore. If you don't get one of those then all rooms have balconies which offer magnificent views of the harbour and sand dunes. As the website says - the beauty here is unlike anywhere else in the country and a slice of Kiwi paradise. I guess we will see.

      / Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 10, Thursday 10 December

      Tane, you are awesome!!

      Omapere to Dargaville is only 87kms. By this stage of the trip we'll know if you are comfortable on gravel. In which case - 27kms of the 87 will be on a well maintained but quiet gravel road. If you aren't happy with a few stones then we'll stick to the seal.

      The highlight for today being Tane Mahuta. This magnificent tree commands respect. Especially as it's over 2000 years old. 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 5star rated Waipoua Forest Café. What got my attention was the crepes, stuffed with jam and cream. Some of us will need fattening by day 10. Others will simply have to pass over their portions. We'll look after them wisely!! (keep in mind that some of these rural places won't have eftpos. Cash is king at this particular café)

      If we do go gravel then we'll be riding the 2nd half of the Kauri Coast Cycle way. We ride via Donnellys Crossing, turning right onto Trounson Park Road and the cycling 8km to the Trounson Kauri Park. It's then a short 30km into the big smoke of Dargaville.

      Late this afternoon we pack down the bikes, chuck on our #1's and head out for our last dinner together. I can assure you - having written this itinerary - I am excited. It's going to be a cracker and I can't wait to share that with you.

      / Accommodation: Hobson's Choice
      / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

      Day 11, Friday 11 December

      Home James

      Let's finish with a café breakfast. It's our last meal together. Dargaville to Auckland is only 2 hours so we'll aim to have you at the airport by 1pm. Friday afternoon traffic isn't great in this part of the world. (please book flights from 3.00pm onwards) We'll then run those into the city who are locals.

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

      Until next time. Safe travels. Safe riding.

      Thank you for your company,

      / Meals Included: Café Breakfast


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