National Cycleway - route planning

URGENT - please contribute to a stocktake of of all regionally significant recreational / tourism cycle routes (off and on road) throughout the country. Submit your routes before 23 March 09 (Monday).

To support the background work / feasibility study being undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism for the National Cycleway, the working party of key stakeholders urgently need to undertake a stocktake of all regionally significant recreational / tourism cycle routes (off and on road) throughout the country.

We need input from people who have a good knowledge of cycle routes within their region - this includes existing routes, or those in construction or that are planned.

Can you please bring this to the attention of any key person (s) in region that is likely to have this knowledge and is able to respond prior to Monday 23rd of March.  We will be collating the information on Monday.

We encourage people to work collaboratively within their networks where possible. As such, it is useful to leave a comment on this page that you are providing the information about particular route, so that others know that this is already being submitted.

Cycle Route means;

  • existing off road cycle routes, paved or un-paved, including mtb trails,
  • routes currently under construction, in planning, and
  • on road routes that are popular for cycling and make great road rides.

In does not include potential routes at this stage.  This information will be sought most probably in the following month.  If you are able to start pulling together information on potential routes in your region or between regions, this would be of great benefit.  These may include paper roads, disused railway lines or logging roads, and scenic rural roads.

We would like to emphasise that this stocktake is a snapshot of the cycle network that is currently in place or in planning.  It is not a process to consult or engage on route planning for a National Cycleway or network.

Information required

Route name (eg. Otago Rail Trail, Queen Charlotte Track or highway number) Region Start and end location of route Distance of route Type of route;

  • Off-road
  • Paved
  • Gravel road / wide trail closed to public vehicle use
  • mountain bike trail - single track
  • Road (public) - sealed or unsealed
  • or combination of above


  • Beginner (low level of fitness (strength) and technical skill)
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced (high level of fitness (lots of hills) or technical skill)


  • urban
  • rural [pastoral environment, farm land].
  • front country [regional parks and DOC estate that is readily accessible, with amenities such as toilet facilities, huts]
  • back country [Limited access, little or no facilities, lower volume of use].

Any other information considered relevant.

Please submit information on the template attached to John Willmer at BikeNZ: 

Microsoft Office document icon Cycle Route Stocktake.doc35 KB


Have asked Alastair S to include Wellington's Great Harbour Way (

Have put the word out via e-mail to all my contacts within the Auckland region.

Stephen Franks
I've walked the Transmission Gully route. It would make a great cycle route to Battle Hill Park from the Kapiti Coast if the road does not go ahead.

From Battle Hill a route through to Belmont Park then the Great Harbour way would miss most roads, and be an asset to the region.

I think Dopers would be a bit much to inflict on people cycling the length of NZ, otherwise Battle Hill to Akatarawa could be a candidate

As one of a few who in recent have actually ridden the complete route, I wonder which routes will be considered. Certainly cutting off around Huntly and using the longer-but far safer- route via Tekuiti, Nat Park is very scenic. However, what about the circuit out to New Plymouth, and the Central Nth Island across to Napier etc.
I guess there are several options in the North Island, possibly 3 routes depending on $$$ availability.
The South Island again presents a similar set of routes, direct Sh1, or across to Nelson down the scenic centre, or across to the West coast, ALL very pretty and challenging cycling areas.

Gerard Hyland has submitted the Dunedin Tunnels Trail, the proposed southern route from Dunedin city to Mosgiel / Taieri.

Stephen Molloy

Remember, all we're after at the moment is what is in place RIGHT NOW (or imminent), not where the cycle route/network *could* go - that is a whole other discussion!

As Glen says we're looking at what is in place or underway, rather than proposed routes

Nigel Rushton's Pedallers' Paradise guides would be a good overview of existing options for touring routes. they mainly have road routes, but where a relatively long back country route is well established it will be noted. I'm thinking of routes like the Whanganui river or Gentle Annie roads in the NI and Rainbow, Molesworth, Hakataramea, Danseys, Mavora in the SI. It is noted already where roads are so busy that they're best avoided, especially for getting in and out of cites, and where there are quieter alternatives

Starting from such a base, and rating routes based on his comments and perhaps even published motor vehicle counts Which exist for State highways) would allow a more complete picture of current options. of course, the additional off road routes that members submit will add to the picture

Also I don't know a great deal about mapping or GIS software, but is this something that we could develop electronically?

Stephen Wood , based in Central Otago

Google Maps would be one way to do it.

Yes, I'd thought that Google Maps could be a nice collaborative way for many people to contribute ideas for what is and isn't there yet. But for now it was agreed that this stocktake will be simply a paper map exercise at the meeting next week. Longer-term I think an on-line mapping facility should be considered to garner a wider range of feedback.

I've sent John templates for GHW, Hutt River Trail, and Rimutaka Rail Trail

A general thought about the project: the big problem for overseas cycletourists is that touring NZ involves sections where there is little alternative to cycling on a main highway. This contrasts with europe, where there are almost always B and C roads that connect main centres. So a priority for the national cycleway may be to identify points where an alternative to a busy highway is needed. Petone-Ngauranga is of course a prime example!

One way to dodge a busy highway is to plan to ride it early Sunday morning!

I agree with Alastair. Fixing those sections that are no good, but where there's no alternative, is a high priority. But it's of course essential that this is viewed in a longer-distance context. To get some action in these areas is one of the main benefits of this national cycleway project.

I have submitted the Waitangi to Kerikeri forest road route. It is an excellent link if you use the Helena Bay Russell route.

As well as the route itself, information on accommodation (from camping to hotels) and food sources is also essential to make the route practical to use. Some otherwise excellent routes may be impractical.

Some maps and guides to reference for ideas on content and presentation are: Adventure Cycling (USA), Sustrans (UK), Bikeline (Europe), Lonely Planet (France) and Paul Bejaminse's Carto Studio maps (Europe).

I submitted the north-south 200km "cyclists highway" Route 52 on the lower North Island between Masterton and SH2 at Waipukurau.

Great jlieswyn! I also am keen to see this route link Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa, then on to the Hutt and Wellington. Contact please

The comment form is not easy to use, as most routes have different sections with different characteristics. I have tried to paste the table in, but that does not work, so have uploaded the table as an attachment. See below.

We don't need to see the submitted templates on this page; a comment describing them is fine. SEND YOUR RESPONSES (TEMPLATES) TO JOHN WILMER. I have reinstated the template document on this page so that others can use it (and left yours there Liz as an example).

I have submitted the kapiti Coastal Walking and Cycling pathway. It is possible to continue cycling to Wellington on a mixture of on-road and off-road routes. There are also river cycleways along Waikanae and Otaki Rivers and a rural delightful ride to Otaki Gorge. Sightseeing spots and history is plentyfull.

Napier Rotary Pathway: urban/rural; beginner; all flat.
for more information see

have submitted 8 routes in my area

OC rail trail (Middlemarch - Clyde)
Danseys Pass (Waitaki V - Naseby)
Dunstan trail (Alex- Clarks junction)
Thompsons Saddle (near Tarras - near Omakau)
Millenium track (Beaumont - Millers flat)
Aniversary track (Clyde - Alex, riverbank)
Hawksburn Road (Cromwell - Clyde)
Nevis Valley (Cromwell - Athol)

there are sme other off road routes around here, but these are the ones currently with public access.
Not sure if there's someone with good knowledge Queenstown Wanaka area submitting. perhaps Mavora lakes road should go in?

Stephen Wood , based in Central Otago

I've put in the Feilding - Palmerston North route (still in planning stage).

Jane Dawson

I have had a very encouraging response from the CEO of Sustrans who advises:

"Great to hear from you. I am aware of what is going on in NZ. Great stuff. Please regard us as a resource. We would like to help any way we can.
Phil Insall has been feeding info into your Govt. but not sure who.
Do contact Phil. He is the lead on this one and I have no doubt he will respond to this email too.

Good luck and keep well. We watch your progress with great interest."

I still await a response from Phil and will advise as soon as it comes in.

I had a response from Phil Insull the international contact in Sustrans:

"hope we can help, which we would like to do by making all the materials on our site available, and by targeted support and should it be necessary, advice, to the right people at the right time. It would be useful when convenient to know the role that CAN is playing and how in your view the other players fit together.....

Apart from Liana, we've also had contact with Angus Davidson at the MED - : ours to him is below.

Thanks for your mail.

Indeed, it won't surprise you to hear that people here noted the national cycleway proposal, and with approval. In so far as we can help you, of course we will.

I guess this help might take a number of forms:

- you will have looked at published Sustrans materials, dealing with the implementation of our programmes, best practice and outcomes monitoring: these may prompt questions and ideas, which we would be glad to try and address

- we might know expert contacts in specific areas who would also be useful to you, and would be glad to consider that if you wish

- you might even want to discuss the underlying assumptions, basic philosophy and objectives of the proposal - issues such as whether it is intended as a tool for economic development based on incoming air tourism, whether such a proposal would be sustainable, and how it would work in a post-Peak-Oil world

So, I'll look forward to your lead on areas you feel we might help you to address...."

Barb Insull

I wonder if Phil is related to me??
barb insull

This email updates you on details related to the New Zealand Cycleway Project.

Progress report

o The Ministry has received a number of high quality concepts and proposals for cycleway tracks since the announcement of funding in the 2009 Budget in May. These are being reviewed and some are expected to become the first tracks of the New Zealand Cycleway Project.
o The Cycleway Team is already working closely with a number of local government authorities on opportunities within their regions. We encourage you, if you have a proposal that you believe is of merit, to ensure that you discuss these with your local representatives. The preferred approach for receiving proposals is via local and regional government as engagement of local and district councils is a key factor in the success of these initiatives.
o The first set of tracks to undergo further feasibility work will be known within the next two months. Further information on current work on the eligibility criteria and the application process for applying to a Cycleway Fund will also be available.

Requests for Proposals

o Requests for Proposals for ‘Tourism Business Services’ and ‘Engineering Services’ to support the Advisory Group closed on 22 June. These services were advertised through the Government Electronic Tendering System (GETS) website. Appointments to these roles are expected by the end of July.

o A new Request for Proposals (RFP) has just been posted on the Government Electronic Tender System (GETS) for ‘Legal Services’ to support the Advisory Group (Cycleway RFP - Legal Services Ref: 26512). The closing date is 14 July.

In order to remain updated please continue to check regularly.

Cycle riding is the great excitement and it is wonderful adventure. And good knowledge of the road of the certian area is the essential thing. then the cycling on the national cycleway is the great fun.

Kangra Valley