Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail

Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail includes the Great Rides, Heartland Rides and some of the cycle trails in the Urban Cycling Network.

About the cycle trail

Each year more than 1 million people use the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

As well as offering a world-class visitor experience, the trail creates ongoing job opportunities and economic, recreational and health benefits for New Zealanders.

Building the cycle trail

In 2009 the National Cycleway Fund received $50 million in funding from the New Zealand Government. The funds were used to create a network of cycle trails across the country — Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Around $30 million of co-funding from local stakeholders was contributed towards construction of the Great Rides.

Design specifications for the Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail are set out in the New Zealand Cycle Trail Design Guide [PDF, 11 MB]

About the network

The New Zealand Cycle Trail network is made up of the:

  • Great Rides
  • Heartland Rides, and
  • some urban cycle trails.

Great Rides

The Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network are predominantly off-road trails. They showcase the best of New Zealand's landscapes, environment, culture and heritage. The trails are located around the country from Northland to Southland.

Government and local communities co-fund the Great Rides, which provide a healthy and enjoyable way for New Zealanders and international visitors to see the country.

Heartland Rides

Through the Network Expansion Project, a series of on-road cycle touring routes were added to the New Zealand Cycle Trail network. These are known as the Heartland Rides.

The Heartland Rides link the Great Rides with urban centres, transport hubs and other key tourist attractions. They encourage cyclists to use scenic back-country roads where they can experience heartland New Zealand.

Urban Cycling Network

Through its Urban Cycleway Programme, the New Zealand Transport Agency has co-funded the building of a number of on-road and off-road cycleways. The cycleways make it easier and safer for cyclists to move through our urban centres.

Positive outcomes from the project

The main aims of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project are to:

  • create jobs through the design, building and maintenance of the cycle network
  • create a high-quality tourism asset that increases New Zealand’s competitiveness as a tourism destination
  • provide ongoing job and economic development opportunities for regional economies
  • maximise opportunities for events, and a range of recreational and health benefits for New Zealanders.

A 2016 evaluation of the 22 Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail shows the project produces many positive economic and social outcomes.

Funding to enhance and extend the network

In 2016, the government approved $25 million in project funding over 4 years to help improve and extend the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

In this section

New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund

The New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund provides up to $6 million each year to support projects that improve and extend the Great Rides.

Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund

The Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund provides $2 million each year to support projects that improve and maintain the quality of the Great Rides.

Evaluation of the New Zealand Cycle Ride Trail

Read an evaluation report and the key findings about the 22 Great Rides that make up Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.