• 7 days cycling
  • 7 nights hotel/motel
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7151

Trip highlights

  • Dip your wheel in the Pacific and Tasman Seas on the Twin Coast Trail
  • Cycle through the stunning Waipoua Forests
  • Visit Tane Mahuta, "Lord of the Forest" the world's largest kauri tree
  • Cross the beautiful Hokianga Harbour
  • Admire Cape Reinga, the northern most point of NZ
  • Enjoy beautiful cycling along coastal roads with sea views and golden sands
  • Overnight and dine at the famous Duke of Marlborough Hotel

This journey into Northland takes you to the most northerly point in New Zealand. The scenery is sublime with long white beaches stretching between ancient volcanic headlands, remote dune-scapes melding into sub-tropical forests and warmer evenings yielding to spectacular bright starry nights.

From Paihia we embark on the new Twin Coast Cycle Trail between Pahia and the Pacific Ocean on the east, and the Hokianga Harbour on the west. Here we will visit the magnificent kauri forests where we encounter Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's biggest kauri tree and the stunning Hokianga Harbour with it's enormous sand dunes. The northward journey follows 90 Mile Beach and ends at Cape Reinga, where the waters of the Pacific Ocean collide with the Tasman Sea. We then head southwards down the east coast to the small town of Kerikeri and onto to the original capital, the harbour town of Russell. Here our final overnight is in the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel.

Our expert guides will show you the best trailside highlights such as heritage sites, architectural gems, and local walks. We’ll also enjoy delicious local food and drink, and friendly welcomes in accommodation full of character.

We meet at our hotel in Paihia at 9am for a tour briefing before embarking on the first section of the new Twin Coast Cycle. A short drive takes us to Opua and the start of the trail. Our ride heads off along an estuary edged with mangroves. The gentle trail continues alongside the tracks of a vintage steam railway and crosses a beautifully restored bridge before ending in the small rural town of Kawakawa. Here we'll find the Huntervasser toilets adorned with mosaic tiles, sculptures, cobblestone floors and a grassy roof. Next, we cycle through the town of Moerewa before climbing gently for the next 25km through rolling farmland and forest with waterfalls and suspension bridges along the way. We finish our riding for the day at Kaikohe and enjoy lunch at the Mint Café, housed in what was the ground floor banking chamber of a neo-classical building built for the Bank of New Zealand in 1910. In the afternoon there is an option to visit the pioneer village museum before a 45 minute drive to transfer to our hotel in Omapere overlooking the vast Hokianga Harbour. This will be our base for the next 3 nights. We have time to relax and walk on the beach before dinner, then a sunset walk to view the sun setting into the ocean is an evening must do. Cycle Distance: Opua to Kaikohe - 44km Accommodation: The Heads - Hokianga

Meals:  L,D

This morning we will head back to Kaikohe and ride the second section of the Twin Coast Cycle. We start by climbing gently along an old railway corridor to reach a viewpoint 280m above sea level. After passing through a spooky, curved 80m tunnel constructed in 1915, the trail descends to Lake Omapere and on through rolling rural country to Okaihua. We are then greeted with views down the Utakura Valley, we tackle the last part of the ride through farmland before descending into the valley following a series of switchbacks. A 1200m-long boardwalk section then snakes through the mangrove estuary connecting us to the Hokianga Harbour. The trail ends in the quaint historical settlement of Horeke. There will be time to visit the old fire station and Wesleyan Mangungu Mission House dating back to 1838. For those who would like more riding, we can continue on the undulating gravel road to Takehe which is an extra 16km. We then transfer back to Omapere and overnight overlooking the harbour and giant sand dunes. Cycling Distance: Kaikohe to Hokianga Harbour - 42km Accommodation: The Heads - Hokianga

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we visit the ancient Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest. We start with a drive to visit the Traunson Kauri Park and take a 1.6km loop walk through the forest. We then set off on our bikes and ride the quiet gravel road via Donnellys Crossing to SH12. The highway is generally very quiet and undulating and becomes enclosed by thick lush native forest as it winds through magnificent stands of tall kauri, rimu and northern rata, and offers extensive views in a few places. The sag wagon is as always available to take the hard work out of the hills. We take a slight side detour to our lunch site alongside the Waipoua River. The climbing continues after lunch and at the top of the last major climb we take a rest from the bike to walk through the forest. Here we can admire Tane Mahuta, 'Lord of the Forest'. With a girth of 13.77m it is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. As we leave the forest we are greeted with views of the surrounding hills and our descent to Pakia Hill Lookout rewards us with spectacular views of Hokianga Harbour and the large sand dunes across the bay. We continue to descend back into Omapere and our accommodation for a 3rd night. Cycle Distance: Traunson Forest Park to Omapere - 45km Accommodation: The Heads - Hokianga

Meals:  B,L,D

Our scenic ride today starts as we skirt the shores of the beautiful Hokianga Harbour. We pass through Opononi which became famous when a bottlenose dolphin "Opo" started swimming with children in the summer of 1955/56. We continue on to visit the unusual Koutu bolders, like the Moeraki Boulders are huge spheres up to 3m in diameter, and take a walk on the beach. We follow the quiet rural roads to Rawene where we take a car ferry across the harbour. The road continues to follow the waters edge along the side of the Mangamuka River, before turning inland and winding its way through the pretty Maungataniwha Ranges. We can load up the bikes at Broadwood, or continue cycling further along the road climbing through the Herekino Gorge to emerge on the west coast at Ahipara on the southern end of the spectacular 90 Mile Beach. Cycle Distance: Omapere to Rawene – 30km, Rawene to Broadwood – 28km Accommodation: Ahipara Bay Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

A spectacular ride today takes us to New Zealand’s northernmost point at Cape Reinga. Cape Reinga is considered the separation marker between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash to create unsettled waters just off the coast. At the Cape there is a gnarled pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old. According to Maori legend, the spirits of deceased Maori leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. We will ride a section of road either north to south or south to north to take advantage of tail winds. The road is straight and undulating with occasional views out to sea and we make a small detour to visit the famous 90 Mile Beach. From the cape we walk over the cliff tops to Tapotupotu Bay via Sandy Bay (5km) affording stunning coastal views and views back to the lighthouse. In the afternoon we will drive back down the peninsula to Awanui and onto our comfortable resort at Taipa Bay. We can enjoy a walk on the beach immediately opposite our accommodation and tonight we have dinner overlooking the sea. Cycle Distance: Pukenui to Cape Reinga – up to 70km Accommodation: Ramada Reia Taipa Beach

Meals:  B,L,D

Mangonui is an interesting historic settlement and the 3km heritage trail is a walk around the old buildings providing a glimpse of the Maori and European history in the area. We then transfer to Kaeo to get back on the bikes and cycle the coastal road around the Whangaroa Harbour. The road weaves through a pretty mix of rural and coastal landscapes with some gentle climbs and long descents. We can admire the stunning Taiaue Bay before weaving to the end of the ride where the road meets the state highway. Here we load up the bikes and transfer to Kerikeri with options to visit the Rainbow Falls, Old Stone Store or Wharepuke Sculpture Park in the late afternoon. Cycle Distance: Whangaroa to Matauri Bay Road/SH10 – 41km (635m ascent) Accommodation: Group split between Wharepuke Motel/Colonial House Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

On leaving Kerikeri we drive approx. 1 hour to Helena Bay (with an option to visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds). We unload the bikes at the Helena Bay Cafe and Gallery where there will be time to view the sculpture garden and gallery and have morning coffee. We then set off, first with a great descent down to Helena Bay and then we enjoy more spectacular coastal riding as we bike from bay to bay. We follow the Russell Road northwards through beautiful northland bush, with views of the bright blue seas and sandy beaches, the views from the high points make the climbs worth while! We arrive in Russell in the late afternoon where there will be chance to explore this historic whaling settlement. We can also take a short walk to Flagstaff Hill for incredible views across the Bay of Islands. We spend our final night in the luxurious Duke of Marlborough Hotel and celebrate our week's cycling achievements at our final group dinner. Cycling Distance: Helena Bay Gallery to Russell - 60km (570m ascent) Accommodation: Duke of Marlborough Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we say farewell to our guides and take the passenger ferry across the bay to Paihia where the tour finishes.

Meals:  B


  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 evening meals
  • 7 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Professional qualified guide/driver
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Ferry transfers at Hokianga Harbour and Russell
  • Healthy snacks and fruit while cycling
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. dolphin watching from Russell, visit to Treaty House at Waitangi )
  • 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. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. 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.




The tour is graded moderate. There is a mix of gravel roads, paved roads and trails, and the roads can be undulating at times. Some days the cumulative elevation is significant, but not due to any one hill climb, just the rolling nature of the landscape. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 4 hours of cycling per week for the three months leading up to your trip. We recommend training on compacted gravel trails, and completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time. The more training you have done on hills and on compacted gravel, the more enjoyable your trip will be. The support vehicle is however never far away should you wish to rest your weary legs.

Departure dates


Base Price

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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$895
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Gillian Press & Friends - Twin Coast & Northland Cycle 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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