New Zealand by cycle
From Auckland to Taupo
- Auckland to Taupo: between 5 and 7 days.
- Best of trail: Kawakawa bay, Top 20 holiday parks with hot pools.
- Worst of trail: windy Firth of Thames. Hills from Arapuni to Mangakino.
New Zealand, new adventure, new roads and new culture. Every journey breaks our minds and clears the horizon. New horizons here we go!
We left Buenos Aires with a lot of the doubts and anxieties. We were concerned about the bicycles passing through the baggage carousel , migrations and how to arrive to our first destination.
As the time passed everything started to clear. The bicycles arrive fine and the Auckland airport has an assembly area specially for bicycles so we were really comfortable in our arrival. We set up the bikes and started to ride!
Our first stop was Papakura, a little town 40 km from the city. We chose it because we didn’t want to enter the city riding through the motorway. Also because our plan was to ride heading south.
Auckland airport – Papakura = 20 km
We stayed for two nights in the house of a local couple who gave us lot of recommendations and best wishes. We started to ride Clevedon road to the east. A beautiful road through the green hills and the kind drivers. Lot of cyclist around as it was weekend. There is a little bit of elevation till Kawakawa bay but the only part that is steep is the last one. After a nice descent we arrive to Order Point. We slept in the camping, highly recommended, Orere point Top 10 Holiday Park. In the place there is only a shop. Clevedon is another place to buy supplies before.
Papakura – Orere = 41 km
The following day we headed south through the same road. At first is hilly but after a few km, all flat. The problem here can be the wind because the road is next to the Firth of Thames. That’s our case and these was the reason we decided to stop in Miranda’s camping, also a Top 10 Holiday Park.
In New Zealand you will find a big level of quality campings. From free campings to luxurious ones with laundry, kitchen, wifi and pool.
Orere – Miranda = 35 km
In March was the last time we rode large kilometers and that’s why we were tired and out of shape the first days. This is why we decided to start with short distances. That’s how we left Miranda with two possible destinations, Paeroa and Te Aroha.
We headed south again and we started to feel a mild but annoying headwind. After the warm up we accelerated the pace and between roads and routes we arrived to Te Aroha after the big steep hill in the entrance of the town. Before that the elevación was easy.
Miranda – Te Aroha = 66 km
The following day we worked, yes, we have to pay this wonderful trip. Also we took the time to rest and stretch.
In the early morning rained a lot, but at 11am started to clear, that’s why we decided to continue. With the wind behind us we did 40 km till Matamata really fast. We stopped in the town for lunch and to look for shelter as started to rain again. We chatted with a German colleague that was heading to Rotorua and after a while we decided to continue, this time with head wind again.
We road through two highways full of trucks and was not nice, but rapidly we arrived to the Waikato river were a road begins and was a nice ride, a bit hilly but with a nice landscape around. We arrive to the free camping and enjoyed the sunset next to the river. Matamata is the last place to buy groceries.
Te Aroha – Waikato = 59 km
Next morning we had breakfast in the river shore and after setting up the bikes we continued the ride. We headed south through the same road next to the Waikato river. This was the hardest day, because after Arapuni the steep hills start and it is like never ending. We road for 8 hours just to do 56 km. Also the wind was not by our side, again! Even the entrance to Mangakino was a steep hill. Besides that the last part of the road, when you ride next to the Waipapa lake is lovely, an amazing forest.
We needed a bed after that day so we booked a nice hotel in the town. Lying on the bed we check the road to Taupo and the elevation was similar so we were a little bit worried but we wanted to ride it anyway.
Waikato – Mangakino = 56 km
After a strong breakfast we started riding again south. When we were leaving town a light rain started and the head wind blew against us. We predicted a heavy day, but after a while stopped raining and the hills were not that bad as the elevation was more distribute along the highway.
Halfway we experienced some problems with the gears so we had to stop to fix it. Between this stop and the lunch stop we needed a good ride to warm up again, so we continued focus in the first big objective, Taupo. Thanks to a few descents we arrived to the city where we stay a few days riding around.
Mangakini – Taupo = 55 km
Taupo is a nice town to stay a few days. There are a couple of mtb trails to do. We did the one in the Huka falls. Also from here you have the chance to visitar Tongariro NP.