Get On Your Bike For A Family Cycling Holiday

A cycling holiday might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re picturing your next getaway, but with the sun shining and so much of New Zealand to explore, swapping the car for a bike is a great way to go on an active adventure.

A completely unique experience, a cycling holiday is a fun way to create memories, grow healthy bodies and minds, soak up our country’s natural beauty and spend quality time with the whole family. If you’re new to cycling, check out why we think your next vacay should be on two-wheels, plus we’ve found some of the best family cycling package deals to get you started!

Why take a cycling holiday?

An easy activity that is perfect for anyone young at heart, there are cycle trails to suit all fitness levels. Nana and poppa can easily join in on your getaway and if you have a little one, you can hire a bike to safely secure babies as young as six months old. There’s even e-bikes designed for kids too!

There are a number of flat, easy paths around our regional parks and boardwalks for beginners to find their feet. Check out our top three family-friendly trails below. We also love the Clutha Gold Trail and West Coast Wilderness Trail for family adventures.

rotorua cycling

What can you expect?

Outside of the active body benefits that a cycling holiday provides, an experience like this delivers on so many levels.

  • Get off the beaten track and find historical landmarks, waterfalls, hidden caves and more 
  • Ride between attractions to explore more of the city you’re in
  • Take a food and wine tour and treat yourself and the kids to some tasty treats
  • Pack a picnic and find a scenic spot to have lunch
  • An affordable holiday with your family

Companies such as Tākaro Trails Cycle Tours, TopTrail, and Kiwi Journeys help simplify the experience by offering great family packages that take the hassle out of planning – organising airport transfers, accomodation, quality bikes and e-bikes and more, so all the hard work is done for you! Simply pack your camera, water and some snacks and get ready to hit the scenic trail.

For more information on what to bring, safety tips and to see a list of the best cycling trails in New Zealand, visit

Top 3 family-friendly trails

We know that little legs can only go so far in a day, so to help you pick the best spot to start your cycling holiday we’ve found three of the best trails around the country.

Hawkes Bay Trails

New Zealand cycling guru Jonathan Kennett describes the Hawke’s Bay Trails as ‘the closest you can get to a European cycling holiday without travelling to Europe’.

The limestone trails are wide, smooth, mostly flat, and 90% off road making the riding super family friendly and safe.

With mostly flat terrain, fantastic attractions, great food and gorgeous weather, Hawke’s Bay is brilliant for biking at any time of year.

These trails are the perfect way to explore the region and offer something for everyone – from world-class wineries and wildlife, to art deco architecture, art galleries and well-earned ice cream!

Nelson Great Taste Trail

A mix of rural, urban, coastal and riverside scenery, the Nelson Great Taste Trail is a delight for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Serving up an array of family-friendly (and adult-friendly) eateries, markets and galleries, this trail forms a big loop around the Nelson-Tasman region.

Taking in Nelson, Wakefield, Motueka and Kaiteriteri (amongst other settlements) the Great Taste Trail is readily accessible along its full length. This makes for countless return ride and loop options, along with handy bike hire depots and shuttle services making it easy to tailor a trip to suit your itinerary and interests. But no matter how you slice and dice it, be sure to allow plenty of time to stop and enjoy the sights.

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail

A spectacular cross-country journey from the Bay of Islands to Hokianga Harbour, Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail serves up an irresistible mix of relaxing riding with some seriously significant heritage sites and stories.

Following a smooth rail trail, cycle paths, wetland boardwalk, suspension bridges and country roads, it can be ridden in either direction or broken into smaller day trips. It is both relaxing and highly rewarding, with opportunities to visit various cultural sites and attractions while enjoying the sub-tropical climate for which the ‘winterless’ north is famous.

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Written by Kidspot New Zealand in partnership with Tourism New Zealand.

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