Hauraki Rail Trail, Mt Te Aroha View, NZ

Cycling Escapes

Ride top trails this summer

With three of the NZ Great rides based in the region, along with a variety of mountain bike tracks, there are plenty of cycling options to choose from.

Hauraki Rail Trail, Te Aroha, NZ
Grade 1

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.
Te Awa, The Great NZ River Ride, Cambridge, NZ
Grade 2

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.
Grade 3-5

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.

The Timber Trail, Cycling, Waitomo, NZ
Grade 2-3

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.

Mountain Bike Parks

From challenging tracks for the more experienced to beginner trails suitable for the whole family.

Cycle Trail Brochure

Download a copy of the Hamilton & Waikato Cycle Trail Brochure for location, distance and grade details on the cycle trails and mountain bike parks on offer.

Hot Deals

Off Trail Activities

Free Attractions

From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and more - the Hamilton & Waikato region has plenty of free attractions to enjoy alongside your cycling escape.

  • Waiorongomai Valley: (pictured above) Step back into gold mining history as you explore the Waiorongomai Valley in Te Aroha
  • Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway: Visit the internationally acclaimed springs, with water so pure its supplies around 70% of NZ's bottled water
  • Wairere Falls: Walk the Wairere Falls track near Matamata for stunning views of the falls and out over the region
  • Otorohanga Kiwiana Walk: Pick up a quiz sheet from the Otorohanga i-SITE and look for clues on the Ed Hillary walkways
  • Hamilton Gardens: Download and follow the Hamilton Gardens Children's Discovery Trail activity sheet
  • Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve: Explore the attractive bush walk to the Cascade Waterfalls
  • Hamilton Lake Domain: Stroll around the lake and let the kids loose on the playground
  • Hakarimata Walkway: Visit ancient Kauri trees, tackle the summit stairs or try the family friendly rail trail tracks
  • Gallagher Bike Skills Park: Helps your children to learn essential bike skills in a safe environment
  • Mokena Geyser: Watch the world's only naturally hot soda water geyser erupt every 40 minutes in Te Aroha
  • Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy
  • Plus much more


From inner city hotels and motels to rural lodges and beachside holiday parks, the region boasts a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes, with many within a short distance of the major trails.

  • Novotel Tainui Hamilton: On the banks of the Waikato River, within a short distance of the Hamilton City section of the Te Awa cycleway, Novtel offers all the creature comforts of a large hotel.
  • Sudima Hotel Hamilton: In the heart of Hamilton City, Sudima Hamilton is walking distance to all major resturants and entertainment destinations.
  • Bella Vista Hamilton: A short ride from the Hamilton section of Te Awa, Bella Vista Hamilton offers motel accommodation which caters for cyclists.
  • Te Aroha Landing: Neslted on the banks of the Waihou River in Te Aroha, Te Aroha Landing is the prefect accommodation option for this riding the Hauraki Rail Trail. 
  • Plus many more options

Things to see and do

From underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and inn-city fun - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy off the trails this summer.

  • Waitomo Glowworms: Visit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves - sure to be a hit with all ages.
  • Black Water Rafting: Get your adrenalin pumping with a Black Water Rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures - perfect for the older kids
  • Animal Encounters: Get up close and Get up close and personal with exotic animals such such as Lemurs and Rhino at Hamilton Zoo
  • Middle-earth: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the now permanent Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Waikato River Explorer: Experience the unique beauty of the Waikato River with a cruise on the Waikato River Explorer
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with native birdlife and reptiles
  • Inner City Fun: Challenge family and friends to a friendly game of ten-pin bowling or enjoy the dining options on offer at SKYCITY Hamilton 
  • Zealong Tea Estate: Take some time for yourself and discover NZ's only Oolong Tea Plantation and enjoy high-tea at the cafe
  • Waikato Museum: With great interactive children's exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity
  • Te Aroha Mineral Spas: Soothe those aching muscles after a long rider with a soak in the Te Aroha Mineral Spas.
  • Retail Therapy: Get some retail therapy at NZ's largest shopping complex, Te Awa at The Base
  • Plus much more

Cycle Trail Grading System

Many of the trails will include sections with different grades, so we advise checking the grades of the trail you are planning to ride before you start. 

  • 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.