The Insider's Guide to New Zealand
Kauri Coast Cycleway
This 113km ride begins in Rāwene in the Hokianga Harbour and concludes in Dargaville. Riders follow SH12 as it ribbons around the edge of the Hokianga, before drifting into the depths of the Waipoua Forest. Pay respects to Tāne Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, and weave around the kauri trees that assert their dominance by forcing the asphalt to rise around them. The gravel road that leads towards Trounson Park will delight or terrify (depending on the rider) before the road reseals and connects back with the state highway at Kaihū. From there, riders can decide whether to take the backroads to Dargaville or stick to the main road.
This cycleway traces highways and country roads and has some steep sections, so it's best suited to confident riders. The ride takes between 8 and 11 hours, so plan it over two days.