CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | New Zealand NortHland 2021


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Northland New Zealand - Twin Coast

04-14 May 2021 (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 promise a fantastic 11 days in one of New Zealand's most scenic and historic regions.

Safety is also key which is why we've decided to avoid the Easter & School holiday traffic that April will attract.

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 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. 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 95% on paved roads. However, to get away from some of the busiest roads we will be riding gravel. As suggested - you need to be prepared for gravel so having a 2nd set of tyres with some grip is highly recommended.

Look 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 the Karikari Peninsular
  • 87km Twin Coast Cycle Trail
  • Our queen ride - 120km ride up to Cape Reinga
  • Hokianga Harbour and Bay of Islands cruise
  • Waitangi Treaty grounds - breakfast and guided walk
  • Ride on 90mile beach (Bike hire included)
  • 4 & 5 star accommodation
  • All breakfasts, all lunches (except 2) and all dinners (except 1) 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 NZD4595.00 per person
    • NZD 970.00 extra for your own room

    Optional Extras:

    • Bike Hire - Twin Coast Trail day $100.00 for a mountain bike or $130.00 ebike

    There is a limited deposit of $250.00 to be paid on this tour. We will monitor the coronavirus situation and keep you posted if things change. Balance is due 45 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 04 May

      We head North

      It's great to have you here. We'll finalise the exact plan closer to May however for those flying in from other cities please make sure you arrive by 10.30am. We'll collect you at 11am. The other starting point is Northcote 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 Shore which is a must see. I've also arranged for coffee and sandwiches, so this is our lunch stop. Location wise - the bike collection is about 100m away from where a few of you are leaving your cars for the next 11 days.

      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: Lunch & Dinner

      Day 2, Wednesday 05 May

      Bike like a local...

      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 95km. (100% paved today, zero gravel) There will be a support vehicle in the vicinity at all times although we will be cut off by a foot traffic only bridge at about the 40km mark. 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 simply 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 2nd to none. The 65km 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 afternoon we suggest you check out the Whangarei Art Museum which is only 200m from our hotel. Or, how about the 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 and Dinner


      Day 3, Thursday 06 May

      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 busiest roads. We then take small, country, hilly roads and even a ferry through to Paihia - our home for the next 3 nights.

      Maximum distance is 90km and 1200VM. I'm sure we can add 10 or so if need be. We see a lot of you riding about half of that as it is fairly chunky in places. (today is 100% paved roads)

      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 hangs 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: Waterfront Suites
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Charlotte's at 7.30pm)


      Day 4, Friday 07 May

      Exploring The Bay of Islands...

      The plan today is 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.

      Depending upon time 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)



      Day 5, Saturday 08 May

      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 87 km 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 stories 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 Kaikoke 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 our 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, Sunday 09 May

      RH Coffee Cart

      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.

      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.

      There are 3 options for today. All designed around avoiding SH10 which is a busy busy road

      Option 1 involves riding from our Paihia hotel to Whangaroa via 50km of gravel and about 30km of paved roads. Quite a few of you have cross bikes which would be perfect. Others may want to consider keeping the mountain bike from yesterday. Which is also the same bike you'll be riding tomorrow.

      Option 2 - We hop in the vehicles to avoid busy roads and start riding near Waipapa - heading inland towards the Puketi Forest. This still includes 20km of gravel.

      Option 3 is a paved road which is about 40km and also finishes in Whangaroa. It does involve 700vm though.

      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. My money is on the McBride household to take home a few Kauri souvenirs. Speaking of takeaways - 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 near Kaeo. We'll pick somewhere nice. Maybe a field where we can all have a coffee, cake and sandwich.

      Our hotel for the next 3 nights is nothing short of luxury. Again, some of us are sharing 3 bedroom villas. 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. It also has a championship golf course so please keep your head up.

      Oh - I almost forgot. 450 metres away from where we are staying is the Karikari Estate Winery. The estate's award-winning Estate Winery offers stunning views across the acreage out to the Pacific Ocean. The region's unique climate, location and weather conditions combine to produce high quality wines with Chardonnay, Pinotage and Syrah amongst the favoured varieties. Karikari Estate Winery is open for Wine Tastings during the Summer months, where breathtaking views pair beautifully with award winning wines. It's also our dinner destination for tonight.

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


      Day 7, Monday 10 May

      90mile Beach

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

      We've again enlisted the help of Ryan and Ken to supply bikes and transport us to 90mile beach. Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 88 kilometres long.

      There's a 60km beach stretch which is about an hour's 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 will also join us on the beach, but we won't make you ride. How about an hour's walk before the van picks you up. Lunch will again be supplied. Let's eat on the beach.

      High tide is 1pm which means it will be an early start, early finish. You can then have the afternoon free at the hotel. Your dream beach is only 500m away and there's not just 1 but 3 to choose from.

      Whatever you do it is suggested that you give your legs a rest. Tomorrow is our longest ride on tour.

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

      Day 8, Tuesday 11 May

      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.

      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 be a caffeine stop in Houhora (and lunch) which is about halfway. This is also where Team Cap and Latte riders will depart from as it's about 65km to Cape Reinga from here.

      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.

      We figure that this could be the only time that the majority travel this far north so we certainly aren't 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.

      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, lunch and Dinner











      Day 9, Wednesday 12 May

      Hokianga

      Maximum mileage for today is about 100km. Give or take 10km. Today is your 2nd to last ride day so you may as well push the boat out. (have never really understood that saying)

      We depart the Carrington Estate reasonably early. Lunch will probably be at the North Drift Café in Ahipara. (this will also be where our shorter distance (60km) rides depart from)

      Our time pressure is our boat charter which leaves Kohukohu at 3.30pm. We decided to charter a boat to take us straight to our hotel. The bonus being that you will see the almost the entire length of Hokianga Harbour. Mike Burkhart - you can drive… (this boat takes people only so the bikes, staff and vehicles will have to go around the long way.. we'll see you later)

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


      Day 10, Thursday 13 May

      Tane, you are awesome!!

      Our last day in the saddle.

      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.

      Team Mac - we've arranged for a 75min tour of the recently opened Kupe cultural centre before you meet up with us at Tane Mahuta.

      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 - and presuming that the majority will ride gravel…. = we take on 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. We will have the vans close by so you can take off your cleats and go for a walk. It's then a short 30km ride 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. We're eating at the Northern Wairoa Hotel. A prominent feature in town since 1878. That's 140years of stories. Maybe we'll add a few more tonight.

      / Accommodation: Hobson's Choice
      / Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

      Day 11, Friday 14 May

      Home James

      Dargaville 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 in your rooms.



       

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