Cycle Tour New Zealand was started in 2003 by David Stillaman. Originally an online journal, it has grown over the years and is now maintained by a team of enthusiastic, if slightly veteran, cyclists. Between us we have logged many years of 'saddle time', exploring the length and breadth of New Zealand.
New Zealand has an abundance of geographical loveliness... in landscape, lakes, coastal areas and mountains. But cycle touring in New Zealand has its own unique challenges. New Zealand does not have the cycling culture or infrastructure enjoyed by parts of Europe. And while there are many excellent bike trails, often they are more geared towards mountain-biking or bike-packing rather than fully kitted touring bikes. Nor are they contiguous. Often you have little choice but to take the road, and sometimes that road is a main highway.
Our aim is to thread together safe and scenic routes that can be ridden on loaded touring bikes. We don't grade our rides, but if one is particularly rough we'll say so. Similarly, if it's a heavily trafficked route then we'll point that out too. We review rides fairly regularly, but any publication like this is out of date as soon as it it printed, so do your own research too.
Our focus is on camping, but if you're a credit-card tourer most of these rides will suit you too.
Our advice? Use this guide to get you started, but leave space for discovery and serendipity too. See what you like and what you don't like from this site, and then do your own thing. After all, cycle touring is all about taking a leap into the unknown. Stay safe and cycle well.