Cycling Tours and Holidays | Wellington, Wairarapa & Kapiti, NZ

Experience the very best of the lower North Island, New Zealand

The perfect mix of cycling, sightseeing, cafes, restaurants and rest. RIDE holidays promise you a fantastic 10 days in one of New Zealand's most scenic regions.

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

9 days / 8 nights

This is my playground. I was born and bred in Wellington and love the area for what it offers. The city is unique and the cycling is fantastic but challenging. For this particular itinerary I've pretty much included the best of the best. If I had 10 days spare then I'd simply roll out the following. Bike tours are all about finding the right balance. Non-riding partners are very welcome. I can't wait to show you around. There are many hidden gems that only a local would know…

Cheers Karl


Wellington Cycle Tour | Our Itinerary

Day 1

Wellington (NZ), Welcome... Your Holiday Begins

Kia ora, welcome to the coolest little capital in the world (that's a fact). Arriving by early afternoon is encouraged. We'll meet you at the airport and take you to our hotel where we'll help put the bikes together. There will be time for a short spin (20km) around the bays just to make sure everything is working as it should (we have mechanics on standby for anything major).

Other than being a gorgeous city with a stunning harbour - Wellington is known for having fantastic restaurants and cafes. In fact, it has more restaurants per capita than New York and without a doubt the finest coffee on the planet. Over the next few days we'll spend plenty of time on the bike however it's just as important that we drink and eat well.

Tonight we dine together so we can discuss the plan for the next few days. And because you are in New Zealand….. we will eat sheep. And drink Sav. Any complaints? Thought not!!!

Welcome to the land of the long white cloud.

Accommodation - Wellington
Meals - Dinner

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Day 2

Wellington Wind

I've spent my whole life riding bikes around Wellington. I can honestly say that the biking here is some of the best in the country. It's exceptional. But hilly… and on the odd occasion - windy.

We start the day off by riding our bikes to a café that's opening just for us. It has fantastic views of the city. We'll be able to point out today's ride route.

After breakfast we simply ride… ride for fun. We won't be racing. The idea for today is to cover as much ground as possible and drink as much coffee as you can handle. We'll start off with a 30km coastal ride which is flat as a pancake. And finish off with NZ's 5th largest hill which offers stunning views of the South Coast as well as the South Island.

Most of us will cover around 80km (some shorter, some longer) today however that will include 1500m of climbing. A nice gentle start to your holiday.

This afternoon we've booked a tour at the Weta Workshop - home of where hobbits are made. On the way back to the hotel we'll pop in to Garage Project for a craft beer tasting.

Accommodation - Wellington
Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3

Something Different

This morning we catch a ferry from Wellington's CBD to Days Bay. It's just something that you have to do while you're in the Capital City. We'll then have breakfast at the Chocolate Dayz Café. Once we've finished all the pancakes we hop on the bikes and head out to the Pencarrow Lighthouse which gives a totally different perspective of Wellington City. Yes, a touch of gravel (15km) will be had today. Luckily - we have the key to the Eastbourne gate so that the non-riders can also join us.

It's then 40km of pure cycle path out to Upper Hutt and back. Total distance for today will be around 80km although we can easily make this longer. (or shorter) On the way back in to town we'll pop in to a local bike shop and pick up a few Wellington Souvenirs. (bike kit - because you can never have enough)

There's a saying in Wellington "you can't beat Wellington on a good day" And today I can promise you will be a good day.

Tonight is a free night however we will give suggestions on restaurants.

Accommodation - Wellington
Meals - Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Day 4

Kapiti Island

All Wellingtonians know that there's a Kapiti Island. A protected marine and bird reserve about 50km up the coast from the capital city. Completely free of those pesty possums Australia introduced a few years back.

What most people don't know is that you can actually spend a night there and witness the birdlife first hand. Last time I was there we literally had Kiwis within 30 yards of our cabin. I'd say that 99.9% of New Zealanders haven't seen a Kiwi in the wild. You'll certainly get that chance tonight. And just to make sure - we've arranged for a guided 90min nature walk after dinner.

To get to Kapiti we have to ride. So, after breakfast we head out via the Makara Valley and then on to the Paekakariki Hill. We then drop down to the Kapiti Coast and spend the last 15km on a new cycle path. Again - not a long ride however fairly lumpy. You'll cover about 85km today. (we can make this shorter if need be)

Accommodation - Kapiti Island
Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5

Rimutaka Rail Trail

We start the day with an island breakfast before a quick ferry ride back to the mainland where our bikes are waiting. Our most challenging day so far awaits as we take on two fairly large hills. One on the tarmac and one via a gravel road. The first hill being the Aka's (Akatarawa Mountain Range) which features on most Wellington strava profiles. It's a personal favourite of mine as we pop out in the mighty Upper Hutt (think Monte Carlo) which is where I was born. All good things originate in the mighty Hutt.

And this is where our day gets interesting… After lunch we hop on to the Rimutaka Rail Trail. Starting on Wellington's doorstep, this trail winds through the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wairarapa Valley and the mouth of the Orongorongo River. We will ride a 20km section which cuts through the bush-clad Rimutaka Mountain Range, passing through tunnels on an old rail trail before popping out in one of NZ's top wine regions - the Wairarapa. It's then only a short ride to our winery accommodation. What a bloody great day.

Total ride distance is between 60 and 100km depending upon how the group feels.

Accommodation - Wairarapa, Margrain Cottages
Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6

Wine in the Wairarapa

I know a few of you who will book on this prior to me even releasing the itinerary. And I know that you like wine. So, here's the deal. Some cycling and some wine. Any complaints?

The Y (Wairarapa) is well known for its lovely quiet roads and friendly traffic. It's home to 4 or 5 fondo's throughout the year. Yes, the cycling is that nice. Yesterday was a big day so today will be less taxing. About 80km. Our priority being the other attractions that this region has to offer.

This afternoon we start a walking tour of all the local wineries. You can justify that extra glass of Sav knowing that you will walk it off. This evening we recommend you stroll in to town and take advantage of one of the many restaurants on offer. Or maybe you will simply hit the pub which offers award winning pub grub.

Accommodation - Wairarapa, Margrain Cottages
Meals - Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Day 7

Day off... It's Your Holiday Isn't It?

Nah.. No day off. Sorry. You can rest next week.

We will shorten the ride though as today's highlight will be the 3 hour walk through the beautiful Patuna Chasm. So, this morning's ride will be only 40km. Be warned - we ride up to a local wind farm and generally speaking - wind farms are on top of a hill.

Wairarapa's spectacular limestone chasm is fast becoming a must-do for anyone visiting the region. A stunning walk through the bush, chasm and Ruakokoputuna river. See the beauty of this native bush and limestone gorge. Experience the fossils, ferns, stalactites, waterfall, eels, wildlife and native birds.

It's our last night in the Wairarapa so tonight we try out a different winery.

Accommodation - Wairarapa, Margrain Cottages
Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8

Back to Wellington

A short ride prior to a late breakfast. Let's get the legs moving. Let's see if we can find a coffee. Shouldn't be hard.

We say goodbye to all our fellow RH mates and head back towards Wellington. It's about a 2 hour drive. This afternoon is all about packing down the bikes and doing that last minute shopping. Our hotel is very central.

It's been a blast… Just look at what you've achieved.

  • Spending three days in the coolest little capital in the world
  • Kiwi spotting on Kapiti Island
  • Cycling the fantastic Rimutaka Cycle Trail
  • Vineyard cycling in the Wairarapa

And plenty of other great memories.

Let's raise a glass tonight over our final dinner together. Again we've picked a favourite restaurant. You'll need some nice clothes for this one…

Accommodation - Wellington
Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9

Home James

Our time together finishes after breakfast at a local cafe. May as well conclude with a strong coffee. That's how we started this trip almost 9 days ago.

Thank you for travelling with RIDE Holidays. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Safe travels


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Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Our Cycle Tour | Inclusions and Highlights

  • Pick up and drop off at Wellington International Airport
  • All breakfasts, 7 dinners, 2 lunches
  • Explore Wellington's Weta Workshop and Te Papa Museum
  • Eat at Wellington's finest restaurants
  • Ride New Zealand's 5th longest hill
  • Cruise Wellington's beautiful harbour
  • Ride the iconic Rimutaka Cycle (Rail) trail
  • 90 min Kiwi spotting guided walk while staying on Kapiti Island
  • Various wine and beer tastings
  • Local tour guides throughout and mechanical assistance on standby
  • RIDE Holidays (Wellington) cycle jersey
  • Souvenir tour booklet
  • Support vehicles when needed
  • Multiple ride options for varying abilities
  • GPS routes and physical maps
  • 5 star accommodation in Wellington, 4 star in Martinborough.

Tour Cost (per person)

Approximate cost $4200.00 NZD per person (Twin Share)

Want your own room? Single room supplement $700.00 (subject to availability on Kapiti)

Bike Hire: $600.00 NZD (Late model, carbon bikes)

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

Cycle Tour of Wellington Wairarapa & Kapiti New Zealand

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