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A trip to the Hamilton & Waikato region isn’t complete without a few days spent exploring by bike. There are hundreds of kilometres of trail to discover, offering riders a close-up look at the region's picturesque scenery and fascinating past.

Hamilton & Waikato: New Zealand’s Cycling Heartland

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Hauraki Rail Trail

Whether hurtling down forest-clad hills or meandering alongside winding rivers and through rolling farmland, the region’s tracks and trails offer memorable experiences for riders of all fitness and skill levels.

Laid-back riders and family groups will love the sights of the Hauraki Rail Trail and the backcountry adventure of the Timber Trail, while the rugged Waikato River Trails offer excitement for serious mountain bikers and families of intermediate riding ability.

There are shorter rides to enjoy too, from mountain biking on Mount Te Aroha and in the Cougar Mountain Bike Park, to urban adventure on Hamilton’s riverside cycling and walking paths. Family groups will love Te Awa – The Great New Zealand River Ride, while those wanting a compact off-road experience shouldn’t miss Hamilton Mountain Bike Track.

The region’s future looks bright, with new trails and cycling facilities being developed all the time. In New Zealand’s cycling heartland, one visit is never enough.

Download a copy of the Hamilton & Waikato Cycle Trails Brochure

The Hamilton & Waikato Cycle Trails Brochure includes maps, grades, location details, general trail information and much more for the top cycle trails and mountain bike parks in the Hamilton & Waikato region. View and download a copy here.

Guide to Hamilton & Waikato cyle trails grading system

  • Grade 1 (Easiest) – Flat and suitable for all riders. Surface is either firm gravel or asphalt and trails are wide enough for two people to cycle side by side most of the way.
  • Grade 2 (Easy) – Predictable and mostly flat with some gentle climbs. Surface is either firm gravel or asphalt and trails are wide enough for two people to cycle side by side at times.
  • Grade 3 (Intermediate) – Can be narrow in sections and may include hill climbs, steep drop-offs and small river crossings.
  • Grade 4 (Advanced) – May include steep or narrow track, sections where traction is poor, and obstacles that are difficult to avoid.
  • Grade 5 (Expert) – Technically challenging and may include physically demanding climbs, numerous obstacles and narrow track. Some walking and bike carrying may be required.

A local's guide to cycle trails in Waikato, NZ

A local's guide to cycle trails in Waikato, NZ

Cycle Trails on offer in the Hamilton & Waikato Region

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    Waikato River Trails

    There are few better places for cycling than the banks of the mighty Waikato River. With a variety of sections taking in native forest and birdlife, hydro dams, suspension bridges, exhilarating downhills and stunning views, there is plenty for mountain bikers to enjoy.
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    The Timber Trail

    The Timber Trail follows historic tramways through the ancient native forest of the Pureora Forest Park. It stretches for 85km between Pureora village and the old logging town of Ongarue, offering riders a backcountry adventure through an area abundant in birdlife.
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    Hauraki Rail Trail

    To the north of the region is one of its hidden gems – the Hauraki Rail Trail. This 82km ride makes a great three day ride and stretches from Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula to the historic Waikino Railway Station and Waihi in the east, and the spa town of Te Aroha to the south.
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    Te Awa - The Great NZ River Ride

    This scenic 70km river ride is between Ngaruawahia and Horahora, south Lake Karapiro weaves through rural and urban landscapes, taking in waterfalls and historic Maori sites.
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    Mount Te Aroha

    Nestled in the foothills of Mount Te Aroha, this mountain bike track offers something for all abilities, including challenging ascents and exhilarating downhill sections for more daring riders.
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    Raglan Cycle Trails

    Raglan, famous for its left-hand surf break, is also home to two great cycle ways. The Mt Karioi Loop track boasts stunning coastal views, while the Pipiwharauroa Trail winds through Te Uku wind farm.
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    Hamilton City River Rides & Walks

    This shared walkway and cycleway runs for 10km through central Hamilton, along the banks of the Waikato River.
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    Hamilton Mountain Bike Track

    Conveniently located within Hamilton’s city limits, Hamilton Mountain Bike Track is great for riders looking for something close to the city.
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    Cougar Mountain Bike Park

    Located on the outskirts of Tokoroa, Cougar Mountain Bike Park offers 35km of off-road forest tracks with views over the surrounding area.
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    Avantidrome – Home of Cycling

    While Olympic medal winning cyclists such as Sarah Ulmer (road and track) and Sarah Walker (BMX) already call Cambridge home, the town is now fast becoming New Zealand’s official home of cycling with the new national cycling centre of excellence situated just north of town.
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