Resources And Information
For Biking In New Zealand

If you’re travelling to New Zealand for a cycling holiday or to use the mountain bike trails it helps to be prepared and know some information before you arrive. Doing so helps you plan your trip more effectively and also stay within New Zealand’s laws while visiting.

Trail Grading

New Zealand has a world class mountain bike trail network, one which is maintained to the highest standard across the whole country. You’ll notice that different trails have different grades based on the difficulty. It’s important to understand the different grades and what they will be like. Here’s information on each grade and what to expect while riding it.


Suitable for all riders. Can be ridden with hybrid bikes. Trail wide enough for side-by-side riding. Smooth surface, with gentle climbs
(i.e. rail trails).


Suitable for most riders. Can be ridden on hybrid bikes or mountain bikes with 20 or more gears. Wide trail most of the way. Surface generally smooth, but with Some hills.


Suits reasonably fit and capable riders. Mountain bikes essential. Most of the trail is single file, and or the surface is rough, with hills.


Suits fit and experienced adult riders only. Mountain bikes essential. Narrow trail, and/or loose rocky surface, and/or long steep climbs some walking is likely


Cycling Safety

It’s perfectly safe to cycle in New Zealand with only 1 in 1000 cyclists that get injured. It’s also important to note that New Zealand has important laws regarding cycling: 

  • Cycle helmets must: be worn; meet an approved standard and be securely fastened.
  • Cycles must have brakes and reflectors.
  • Cycle lights must be on when it’s dim or dark.
  • Doubling is not allowed unless there is a special seat called a pillion fitted and there are footrests for the passenger. The legs of small children must be protected from the wheels. Passengers must wear cycle helmets.
  • Cycles can tow a specially designed cycle trailer but must not be fitted with a sidecar. Source

Route Planning And Links

There are many excellent website dedicated to cycling and biking in New Zealand. You’ll find a lot of information regarding the trails, what to see and do and much more. Below are some of the most popular websites to get you started. 

NZ Cycle Trail – Gives detailed information for each trails in New Zealand with maps. 

Metservice – New Zealand’s weather is very unpredictable make sure you keep checking the weather if riding in more remote places. 


View more New Zealand biking information

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