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  • Matt Harrop

    New Plymouth is home for me too. The PowerCo Queen’s Birthday Tour http://www.cyclingnewplymouth.co.nz/ has a couple of stages that take some of the roads near Whangamomona. Great riding, the scenery is fantastic. The Whangamomona Hotel does great burgers and coffee as well.

  • Warwick

    Thanks! Awesome article, great to read about rides you haven’t done in your own country

  • Ok, now you’ve done it. This is now on my MUST DO list.

  • timmy

    This is an amazing post- I’ve never even contemplated New Zealand for cycling. But I don’t know why. What is the best way to get to the start location? And does it provide an opportunity to ride to the start to make it a longer adventure?
    Also, what sort of tyres would be recommended for the road bike? So many questions. Love it.

    • Djcarruthers

      The best way is to get a ride to Taumanui and start your adventure there. Its quite remote so unless you are doing it as part of your cycle your through New Zealand, you will likely to need dropping off either by a friend or by Intercity bus. Regarding tires, you need something durable enough to handle the rough sections, FYI I used 23mm Duro tires on the fsa 420 wheelset. Also need enough air so you don’t pinch flat and becareful on the rough descents! I think 25mm tires would be better though.

      • timmy

        Thanks for the follow up Daniel.

      • Tricky Dicky

        Great post. It looks stunning. Is it possible to avoid the gravel at all by staying on the Highway? Had enough mishaps riding on gravel in Italy to last me a lifetime.

        • Djcarruthers

          No not possible, you just need to have good tires and handle the bike well! There is two gravel sections, 12km and 16km for total of 28km of rough riding. It the scenery on this portion is fantastic and no cars

  • Demchinsky

    Great write up! This is now right up the top of my bicycle bucket list! Nice photos too.

  • JC

    Get me over there

  • Ian

    I have ridden only a small part of that route. I must go back. Where’s my passport?

  • jules

    what is the cycling scene in NZ like? i did a motorbike ride there a few years back and was unimpressed with auckland drivers.

    • Djcarruthers

      New zealand cycling scene is fantastic plenty of club rides and racing happening. Also plenty of epic riding all round, Nz makes for a fantastic cycling holiday

    • NZer

      Auckland drivers are sh*t, full stop. It’s a constant dodging game while riding in the city. However there are still heaps of great bunches and racing despite this, and once you get out to the country the riding is fantastic and the drivers tend to calm down a little. I’ve raced all over the north island and there are some truly fantastic roads out there to ride on.

  • a different ben

    I think I saw a hobbit…

    • Djcarruthers

      Yes plenty hiding in the moki tunnel where the giant crab fossils are!

  • Anonymous

     Full Disclosure: Venture Taranaki bought Daniel a coffee when he met with them in New Plymouth

    I Lol’ed at that.

    Nice work on the photo’s Daniel, specatular scenery

    • jules

      who knows how many coffees wade has helped himself to at Rapha’s headquarters? we deserve to know

    • jules

      who knows how many coffees wade has helped himself to at Rapha’s headquarters? we deserve to know

  • Info

    Any suggestions on the best time of year to do this type of ride  ?

    • Djcarruthers

      Summer and spring would be good times to ride, but winter is also ok, the winter is not too extreme and just need to have adequate clothing for the fickle weather changes

  • Alan

    I’ve done a lot of cycling in N.Z.  The scenery is delightful just about everywhere, the people are friendly and tourists are well catered for.

    The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is a great event.  In a particularly hilly and winding section of the route, near the southern end of the lake, the organisers put up a large warning sign for the cyclists: “Do Not Look at the View”. 

    Be cautious, however.  In N.Z., compliance with road rules is much worse and the general attitude of drivers to road safety is like Australia 30 to 40 years ago. 

  • Anonymous

    Amazing. Got to do that one day. Could be perfect for one of those ‘Rapha Gentlemen’s Race’ type events? 

    • Djcarruthers

       Yes it would be perfect, but more apt would be to have a Rapha group of riders with a a film guy in tow to make a great video. Good promotion for New Zealand riding! :)

    • NZer

      we already have these events! they are called ‘Race of 6 friends’, three versions so far :) 
      http://r6f.blogspot.co.nz/

  • purpletezza

    There is a reason it so green in New Zealand. Just llike Ireland. It rains every day!

  • James

    Dude – Cool article! My Fiancée is a Kiwi so I’ve done some riding before in NZ. The lack of cars site is appealing when used to riding in Sydney! This is now on my hitlist. If I was to break it up is there accommodation in some if the towns along the way?

    • b tivers

      you would probably want to stay at “Whanga pub” in Whangamomona.  Pretty much mid point of ride. apparently a few home and breakfast places are getting set up along the route as well.  Pretty mean spot to ride.  Some good riding in the taranaki region in general, can do 3 peaks ride too, start in egmont village….ride down do “dawson falls 10km climb, stratford mt house (up to plateau 8km climb) and finish off by riding up north egmont visitor centre 7km climb….about a 180km day.
      some pretty choice surf beaches to hang out too in new plymouth and down the coast

  • That packable Gellie bike you reviewed would be perfect for this one!

  • Andrew_spag

    In NZ you to be very careful with planning road bike trips. The roads are typically very narrow. Generally NZ drivers have little regard for safety and have one of the worst accident rates in world (thats right including the 3rd world !) Even relatively quiet roads can be dangerous and I know of several people who have been knocked of thier bikes in the North Island.

    This route, however looks like a ripper. 

    • Djcarruthers

      Yes, roads are generally narrower in New Zealand and it is not fun to ride on the main state highways like HWY1 as many trucks rumble by at high speed. However, off-the-beaten track such as this ride and many more in New Zealand, you will find that cars treat you with respect most of the time and give you ample room when passing. At least this is my experience riding on backcountry roads. So, stay away from the busy state highways, thats not where the real riding is found. 

  • Clyde Rosanowski

    Beautiful. NZ represent! 

  • Jd

    Nice to see someone experience what we already know here in Taranaki, New Zealand.  I belong to the Stratford CC and we have a Sportive Ride over and back once a year, a challenging ride but oh so good.  We start Stratford to ride on the Saturday to Taumarunui stay overnight and then return the following day, and excellent day or two if you even more keen.

    • Djcarruthers

      btw, the Stratford to Taumarunui route is all sealed except for the 12k section, so if you wanted to by-pass the gnarly 16km gravel section, just continue onto Stratford; however the roads are very busy between Stratford and New Plymouth and don’t have the same forgotten world feeling… 

  • Bruce from the King Country

    Great article. Nice to get some coverage nice this lovely part of the world. I live close to Taumarunui and have just been out for 3 hours on a Sunday morning, all on sealed roads, nice mix of hills and rolling country. Saw 3 cars, about 10,000 sheep, and no other bikes.

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