Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail

Cycle trail

More than a million people per year use the 22 Great Rides of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

In April 2009, the Government allocated $50 million to the National Cycleway Fund to implement cycle trails throughout New Zealand, forming the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

In addition to this funding, $30 million of co-funding was committed from regional stakeholders towards the construction of these trails.

Since 2009, the trails have been expanded with the vision of creating a connected network of rides, consisting of the Great Rides, Heartland Rides and the Urban Cycling Network.

An additional $25 million over four years was announced at Budget 2016 for the next phase of the New Zealand Cycle Trail – enhancement and extension – to ensure that it continues to offer a world-class visitor experience.

Great Rides

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

Government and local communities co-fund the Great Rides, providing a healthy and enjoyable way for Kiwis and international visitors to see the country.

Heartland Rides

On-road cycle touring routes linking the Great Rides, urban centres, transport hubs and other key tourist attractions were added to the network under the Network Expansion Project. Known as Heartland Rides, these routes encourage cyclists onto scenic backcountry roads where they can experience heartland New Zealand.

Urban Cycling Network

More recently, the New Zealand Transport Agency has provided significant co-funding through the Urban Cycleway Programme to help construct a number of on-and-off-road cycleways making it safer and easier for cyclists to navigate through our urban centres.


The primary objectives of the New Zealand Cycle Trail are:

  • to create jobs through the design, construction and maintenance of the cycle network
  • to create a high-quality tourism asset which will enhance New Zealand’s competitiveness as a tourism destination and provide on-going employment and economic development opportunities for regional economies
  • to maximise the range of complementary benefits that the cycle network provides to a wide range of New Zealanders. This includes events, recreational, health and other benefits.


More information

More on Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail can be found at

Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund

Funding to maintain and enhance the quality of New Zealand’s Great Rides.

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Enhancement and extension

Funding for extending and improving the Great Rides.

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Evaluation of the New Zealand Cycle Trail

Around 1.3 million people used the Great Rides of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail in 2015, generating an estimated $37.4 million for local communities.

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