The West Coast & Wellington Explorer
Estimated Time: 5 to 10 days, distance 1600km
Auckland to New Plymouth
This tour will take you out of Auckland and down the west coast of the North Island. The route will take you through the heart of the Waikato to Taumarunui before you reach the coast at New Plymouth.
Taumarunui is the start of the Forgotten Highway (State Highway 43) through to New Plymouth. The Forgotten World Adventures is highly recommended. The Forgotten Highway will take you through some amazing country on some really fun roads. Stop in and have a beer with the locals at Whangamomona this is real rural New Zealand.
From Whangamomona our route takes you to New Plymouth City, which is a great place to base yourself while you explore the area.
New Plymouth to Wellington
Leaving New Plymouth our route takes you down the coast through many interesting small communities so be sure to stop and explore.
Whanganui is the next major town and from there it is on to Bulls, Levin and Otaki. If you are into cars be sure to stop at the Southward Car Museum at Paraparaumu. From Paraparaumu you will start to ride through the satellite suburbs of Wellington.
Onto Wellington the best little Capital City in the world, apparently. Wellington is full of things to do like visiting the National Museum Te Papa. Taking the cable car to the Botanical Gardens or visiting WetaWorkshop and much much more.
Wellington is also where you can catch the ferry to the South Island (be sure to check out our South Island Tour suggestions). The city has a great nightlife and there are plenty of places to eat, drink and party.
Wellington to Turangi
From Wellington our route takes you up through the Hutt Valley and over the Rimutaka Hill. This brings you down into the Wairarapa wine region. The riding in this part of the country is great as you weave your way between the rural towns that are dotted along the route that takes you through to Woodville.
After navigating your way over the hills from Woodville you head up State Highway 1 to Waiouru. Waiouru is New Zealand’s main Army training camp. Next door is the Army Museum which is well worth a look.
From Waiouru our route takes you to the west of the Tongariro National Park. There are a number of mountain walks along this route that may be worth doing. Be sure to have a look at the Chateau which is near the base of Mount Ruapehu. Once you have explored Tongariro National Park it is on to Turangi at the southern tip of Lake Taupo.
Turangi to Auckland
From Turangi the route takes you up the western side of Lake Taupo. The back roads are great riding and we stay on them most of the way to Hamilton then it is back up State Highway 1 to Auckland.
This loop could take you a week or two depending on how long you want to stay at the various locations along the way, it is up to you.
The map has lots of suggested spots to visit and there are many accommodation options available to you. (Motel, Hotel, Airbnb, Book a bach)
View our detailed Northland Ride