Introductory to Moderate
  • 7 day cycle trail
  • 5 nights high country lodges 2 nights historic homestead
  • 1 night vineyard
  • 3 nights hotel/motel
  • 9 Dinners
  • 11 Lunches
  • 11 Breakfasts

12 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG6971

Trip highlights

  • See the Rangitikei and Wanganui Rivers up close by raft and kayak
  • Explore parts of rural NZ most people never get to
  • Ride the best sections of the Mountain to Sea cycle trail
  • Enjoy Heartland NZ cycleways through the Manawutu and Wairarapa
  • Ride up Route 52, once a designated State Highway but now a quiet, delightful road through rural back country
  • Stay at some stunning rural homesteads and lodges on high country stations
  • Relax at Hawkes Bay's Wallingford Homestead, built in 1858, and now a delightful retreat

Discover back country New Zealand, stunning vineyards and unique lodgings by cycling the back roads and trails of the rural lower North Island on our fully supported LNI Highlights tour, designed especially for the Ropers & friends!

Starting in Taupo, we'll head by van and bike through the Rangitikei District to spend 2 nights on a remote back country farming lodge. A scenic raft down the Rangitikei River, a horse trek or a remote hike or mountain bike are all options to enjoy here. A short transfer to Taihape follows, for a delightful Heartland ride through to Ohakune.

Over the next 2 days, we'll tackle the best sections of the Mountain to Sea cycle trail and have the option to kayak and jetboat on the Whanganui River whilst staying at a high country station.

We get to Whanganui via a really pretty, historic ride down the Whanganui River and after a short urban staycation we're on back roads again into the Manawatu and another rural farm Lodge. The Manawutu Cycleway takes us through the delightful Pohangina Valley, nestled beneath the Ruahine Range into Ashhurst.

A short transfer to Masterton and our next ride is on the Wairarapa Cycleway taking us on quiet roads to Martinborough, where there'll be time to enjoy the odd wine or two, especially as we're staying on a vineyard.

Our final 2 days see us riding the best sections of Route 52 and heading back towards Taupo but not before staying 2 nights at Wallingford Homestead in rural Hawkes Bay, which is guaranteed to be a real treat.

After we meet in Taupo, we'll have a short tour briefing, load up the bags and bikes and head off to Taihape for morning tea (taking approx 2 hours). We will set off on our bikes from here and ride through the Rangitikei District with its green rolling hills and deep incised river gorges to Pukeokahu. The road is a mix of paved and gravel which wind through valleys and climb along ridges giving plenty of unspoilt views. We cross the Mokai Bridge high above the Rangitikei River which was the previous site of the Mokai Gravity Canyon, with an 80m bungy jump and one of biggest flying foxes in the Southern Hemisphere, but closed in 2016. We ride into remote Tarata Fishaway Lodge nestled at the base of the Ruahine Range overlooking the Rangitikei River. Our hosts for the next 2 nights are the Stephen & Trudi, who own this charming, rustic accommodation and who provide exceptional country comfort, where the focus is on delivering a quality, fun experience, maintaining good relationships with the local community, and operating with a minimum footprint in the natural environment.

Meals:  L,D

This part of our country is a hidden gem and well worth spending a day exploring with several different activities to choose from. Departing from Tarata, a scenic rafting tripthrough gentle rapids, crystal clear waters, vertical gorges and unbelievable scenery of the Rangitikei River. This trip is suitable for anyone, with the rapids just Grade 1/2. Included is a side visit to a secret waterfall and a picnic lunch stop with the option to swim, floating quietly through Middle Earth, scenes from the movie Lord of the Rings. There is the option to ride back on quiet back country roads, or hitch a ride in the van. If you prefer to keep your feet dry you might enjoy claybird shooting or a 4WD adventure with other options including exploring the local area by bike or on foot – either takes you off the beaten track and into remote, stunning back country. A second night enjoying a home-cooked dinner at the Tarata Fishaway Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we ride between the Gumboot Capital of the World and the Carrot Capital of New Zealand..... A short drive to Taihape kicks off the day, where we might sneak a morning coffee and a picture by the gigantic iron boot, given the town's claim to being the ''Gumboot Capital of the World''. The ride traverses the quiet valleys and volcanic plateau between Taihape and Ohakune. We follow a series of quiet backroads, both sealed and gravel, with the main attraction of the ride being the delightful landscape. On a clear day the views of Ruapehu as we approach Ohakune are outstanding. Ohakune's claim to being the Carrot Capital reflects the importance of market gardening in the area but perhaps of more interest is its proximity to Tongariro National Park and the skifields on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu.

Meals:  B,L,D

The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail is one of NZ's Great Rides and is an epic journey between 2 national parks. Today we'll enjoy 2 of its trails and one of the connector routes as we travel from Ohakune to Whakahoro, well off the beaten track on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National park. We start on the Old Coach Road trail - which once provided an all-weather road link for horse-drawn coaches carrying passengers and goods between the two railheads of the North Island main trunk line. The trail traverses Tongariro National Park forest and farmland, with many epic lookouts and surprising and memorable sights over the volcanic plateau. A short transfer to National Park where we start our next ride on the Fishers Track, originally formed in 1896 to allow access to Retaruke and Kaitieke Valleys and now a very special track through a rural heart. We then join Oio Road, a quiet, undulating gravel road, with a few challenging short sharp climbs and some fabulous downhills. Our day finishes at Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Getting off the grid and out into the New Zealand bush to experience real station life should be one of our tour highlights.

Meals:  B,L,D

Blue Duck Station is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground whilst its core values are to conserve its endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers, and preserve the history of the area, so overall a fascinating place to spend a day. Experience the beauty of the Whanganui river; kayak from Whakahoro into Whanganui National Park and jet boat back. Alternatively get a taste of what Blue Duck Station is all about on a bush safari. Get an understanding of the local history, hear all about their conservation work and witness the everyday workings of the station. The Bridge to Nowhere is just an hour and 15 minutes by jet boat so head to the Mangapurua landing and enjoy a guided 40 min walk to the bridge whilst hearing about the history of this iconic New Zealand landmark and its surrounds. Blue Duck Station has acres of tracked land superb for backcountry horse trekking and tramping. The scenery varies from native bush canopy to rivers and streams, ridge top tracks and mountain views so enjoy an adventure by horse or on foot.

Meals:  B,L,D

We transfer this morning from one remote location on the banks of the Whanganui River to another - there's no direct road so the drive might take a wee while but it will be scenic! Our ride today follows the Whanganui river as it flows towards the sea, this peaceful road blends sublime scenery with a series of delightful heritage sites, both Maori and European. Starting at Pipiriki – gateway to Whanganui National Park – this longish but leisurely ride undulates through small settlements perched high above the mighty river. A beautiful marae, notable church and convent, charming old flour mill, and other special sights tell their stories. We finish the day in the picturesque riverside city of Whanganui, one of the first cities to be founded in NZ. Dinner at your leisure tonight with plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Meals:  B,L

Mainly following quiet country roads through farmland, this ride connects arty Whanganui and rural hub of Hunterville, making for a picturesque journey passing through heartland Rangitikei. The Three Rivers route traces historic stock routes as it winds its way north to the Volcanic Plateau. Highlights include Whanganui’s quirky Durie Hill elevator, tunnel and tower; and pretty rural scenes. From Hunterwille it's about an hour's transfer to Makoura Lodge, located on another high country station on a remarkable slice of rural New Zealand's landscape. The property has been owned by the McIntyre family since 1896 and our hosts are the 5th generation on the property.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we stay off the beaten track on a scenic and often surprising journey through rural Manawatu, full of natural wonders, local history and country hospitality. We wind our way up the Mangawharariki Valley, following deep sided Papa cliffs with wide ranging views to the Ruahine Ranges and vistas of snow covered Ruapehu in the distance. The ride includes stunning climbs and descents into dramatic gorges and the delightful historic settlements of Apiti and Kimbolton. A short transfer across to Masterton where you can wander and dine at your leisure.

Meals:  B,L

Our morning’s ride on the Wairarapa Cycleway is a pleasant touring route with stunning Wairarapa views and plenty of rural charm. We’ll take a mid-morning breather by the delightful church Gladstone before finishing this delightful ride in the small town of Martinborough. Martinborough is the heart of Wairarapa wine-country with plenty of opportunities for tastings and cellar-door dining. It offers a heart-warming blend of down-to-earth rural charm and sophisticated indulgence. The village centre itself is leafy and attractive. We are staying on one of the local vineyards so this afternoon feel free to just relax right there or explore one or more of the neighbouring cellar doors, cruise the boutique shops or we can head across to explore another lovely Wairarapa town, Greytown.

Meals:  B,D

The infamous Route 52 awaits us today, originally designated State Highway status but downgraded in 1960 when prosperity deserted New Zealand's farming industry and farming districts became depopulated. Today this route through quintessential rural New Zealand offers quiet roads, country pubs and friendly locals. We'll use the van to shuttle us to the most scenic sections with our final destination being our accommodation at Wallingford Homestead, built in 1858 and at the heart of a 34,000 acre sheep and cattle station in the 1900’s. Now a boutique stay, it offers peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings.

Meals:  B,L,D

This place is too nice to only stay for one night! Spend the day enjoying the peace and quiet of the Homestead (maybe including a dip in the heated pool!) or the best old school NZ beach ever just happens to be down the road! Vast and golden, sheltered by large headlands at both ends and offering walks down to the rocks or up to the river mouth, Te Paerahi Beach is a great spot to explore. We can ride or drive there and back. Another reason to extend our stay at Wallingford is to get to experience more of the wonderful food. Inspired by the Wallingford surrounds the Homestead kitchen has an emphasis on seasonal produce and foraging, all sourced from local, passionate, ethical artisans plus taste truffles, herbs, fruit, veges and delicious Angus Beef from the Homestead's own 'gardens'.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today continues yesterday’s rural theme on stunning back roads leading to the base of the Ruahine Ranges through rolling country. We end our journey in Dannevirke, known for its Scandinavian heritage dating back to 1872 when 21 Danish and Norwegian families arrived to settle the district. You'll see a strong Viking theme in the town. We'll have our final lunch to celebrate the end of our journey. We then transfer back to Taupo in the early afternoon where you will be delivered to your chosen accommodation.

Meals:  B,L


  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 11 nights accommodation mostly with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Boutique wine tasting
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Van and trailer support
  • 2 experienced Adventure South guides
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Any Optional Activities eg, rafting, kayaking, horsetrekking, jet boat, farm tour
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. You will have the company, once again, of Sue Clark and another equally experienced member of our guiding team. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Bike information


Introductory to Moderate  

This tour is graded introductory to moderate. The trails are not particularly technical but you do need to be capable of cycling distances between 50-70km per day, for 5+ days. Some parts of the Old Coach Road Trail are on rougher terrain with some roots and tight corners which can be a little tricky in wet conditions. There will still plenty of time for our casual morning tea stops. On-road sections are on back roads with low to moderate traffic levels but riders still need to be confident riding with some traffic. E-bikes are suitable if ridden appropriately and battery life is managed (i.e. not on Turbo the whole time, and in the correct chain ring for climbing hills).

Departure dates

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalNZD$180
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)NZD$480
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$850
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Roper & friends : Central Plateau, Whanganui & the Wairarapa trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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