Evaluation of the New Zealand Cycle Trails

An evaluation of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails was conducted over 12 months from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

About the evaluation

This evaluation is part of the monitoring of the performance of the Great Rides. It details how the 22 New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides are impacting trail users, the communities in which the trails are located, and New Zealand as a whole.

The main aims of the evaluation are to:

  • gather data from all 22 Great Rides for the 12 months – beginning 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  • develop a consistent methodology for collecting and analysing trail data.
  • consider impacts across the four capitals identified in Treasury’s Living Standards Framework – natural capital, social capital, human capital and financial and physical capital.

Key findings

The findings of the evaluation provide compelling evidence that New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides are having positive impact to New Zealand. Key findings are as follows:

  • Over the 12 months from 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021, almost 2.19 million trips were taken across the New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides network.
  • 98.5% were domestic users.
  • 27% of the New Zealand adult population has participated in a cycle tourism activity in the past year.
  • Estimated health benefits of $11 million resulting from trail use for cycling, such as improved sense of wellbeing and mental health; an increased appreciation of the natural environment; and physical fitness improvements.
  • Cycle trail users brought an estimated direct economic contribution to regions of more than $950 million.

Cycle Tourism Insights Report

An independent insight-driven analysis of trends and opportunities to further develop cycle tourism and to increase its value to communities across New Zealand has been completed.

The report was informed by analysis of existing secondary information about cycle tourism, consultation with industry stakeholders and a consumer survey of the cycle tourism market in New Zealand and Australia. A link to the full report can be found below.

Last updated: 14 April 2022