OK so you’ve decided to come to New Zealand and soak up some of the magic at the bottom of the South Pacific and maybe you’ve even chosen a few NZ trails to do.

You’re gonna need a bike! If you decide to bring your own you’ll need to ride from Auckland Airport to the Central City. It’s about 20km, which is not too crazy (unless you just flew 16 hours in tourist class…). However, there’s still a lot of intersections to negotiate before you reach your goal. And 50+ volcanoes also mean that the route could easily be hilly, while the two large harbours can make for a confusing road network.

So Cycle Action has put our collective experience together to suggest a suitable route. It is a comfortable 90 minute ride, but you could take a whole day if you want to explore along the way. The video shows interesting sites that are close to the suggested route. These are also marked on a dedicated Google Map.

Wherever possible we have suggested flat quiet roads. If you don’t want to ride all the way catch the train at Onehunga (Onehunga also has a friendly bike shop and quite a few stores for anything that you could need on your travels).

This ride works just as well for leaving Auckland, but either direction it would be worth avoiding the busy commuter hours. The ride finishes on Karangahape Road in central Auckland and there are many accommodation options nearby.

Do you have friends thinking about coming to New Zealand to explore by bike? Please let them know about this fun way to start their riding adventure.

Cycle Resources - Maps New Zealand Cycle Trail
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  • Christopher

    Great stuff!! I can see this really working!

    Minor correction needed – Onehunga, not Onehung.

    • Max

      Thanks Christopher, fixed that.

  • Boyd

    When I do it, i use McKenzie Road and Coronation Rd. It is shorter, and there has never been any traffic issues. The other rout is a little pritier.

  • Paul

    Good advice for the cyclo tourist, I was asked a couple of weeks ago the route into town by very paniered up tourist as I was riding up to grand drive, I gave hime the advice to take grand drive through cornwall park as this is my prefered route, its good to see it is recommended in the video as well. I hope he had ample gearing for NZ, might be a good recommedation as well to tourists. Oh and I wished they had made it a little more cycle friendly at the gate between Grand Drive and Twin Oaks drive.

  • At the risk of being a naysayer..
    I live by the airport, and in the last 5 years of driving/bicycling/motorcycling past it on a daily basis (I dont tend to go down past the winery on my commute, it takes 10 mins longer, but I do go up through onehunga, one tree hill way – which it seems a shame not to have added to the video, as it is a stunning ride of a summers morning), I have never seen anyone but sports cyclists.

    Perhaps this might change that? I’ve not seen people get off a plane with a bike (except for “sports cyclists”) and cycle out of the airport. Perhaps it’s an opportunity for a business? I’d be keen to help out. Rental/cheap/not so cheap/shop/hire type place, with perhaps tours or guides to help get people to the place in auckland of their desire?
    If it were me visiting a foreign land, I’d probably want to get the lay of the land before I rode anywhere, unless I had someone to help..

    • Max

      Hi Geoff – fully agree, it’s not exactly the done thing right now. But with NZ becoming more of a cycle tourist destination, we want to encourage people to not just go for a package-tour type of trip – and those who want to bring their own bikes should be encouraged to use them, rather than ship them to Thames or Rotorua by bus first…

      Also, there’s some plans to significantly improve the airport to city route, but of course that will take a while, and we wanted to show a way to ride the route now, rather than in a year or three…

  • Christopher

    I’ve shared this on the crazyguyonabike website as it seems a good a place as any to share…


    • Max

      Thanks Christopher!