Few places can boast such an astounding level of raw, natural beauty as New Zealand. From the abundant forests, towering mountains, and glistening lakes to the people’s laid back attitude, there is something to appeal to everyone on both islands of this alluring land.

For years New Zealand has been considered the perfect land for hiking, or tramping as it is known there; this is underscored by the international acclaim it has received for its ‘Great Walks’ that cover the breadth of the country.

Cyclists should not be deterred by the popularity of hiking. The Kiwis’ love for anything adventure-related has resulted in the recent development of a number of routes for riders to sink their tires into. Dubbed the ‘Great Rides,’ these routes will lead you through a dazzling array of landscapes across the country.

Riding in the North Island will find you pedalling over the central volcanic plateau, through grassy highlands and wild forests, and along picture perfect beaches. On these routes you may often discover Maori villages. If that is not quite enough, there is the small matter of the Waitomo underground caves that shine brightly with glow worms, or the thermal retreat of Rotorua, where you can sink into bubbling mud and natural pools on the hot water beach.

After all of that, how could it get any better? The answer is the South Island. Milford Sound’s mystical fjords, the adrenaline rush of the world’s adventure capital Queenstown, and the jaw-dropping Fox Glacier are just a few of the incredible places South Island has to offer.

Trailwise, it is just as diverse as the North for riders, offering a variety of different challenges and distances to tackle. One of the most notable is the 312 km (194 mi) Alps 2 Ocean route which begins at the foot of Mt Cook and winds its way through MacKenzie Country and the Waitaki River Valley.

New Zealand is a special country for so many reasons – the dazzling array of natural sights, the wildlife, the friendly people and the fascinating Maori culture – but now it definitely has another to add to its list. This gorgeous land is ripe for cyclists to take advantage of and explore its stunning landscapes and trails. So, what are you waiting for?

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Best Seasons:Sep - Jun
Popular Locations:Queenstown, Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua

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