EXPLORE THE BAY BY BIKE
The Bay of Plenty is a great place to explore by bike – and we’re lucky enough to have some great urban cycle trails throughout the region, perfect for both families and cycling fanatics (and everyone in between!). There is a mix of commuter and recreational routes to discover. And, thanks to the New Zealand Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme, the majority of these trails have been designed with safety in mind and are well maintained.
TAURANGA URBAN CYCLEWAYS
Tauranga is a sprawling city surrounded by plenty of water, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a trail that doesn’t take you past some stunning water views along the way, as well as plenty of parks and reserves that are home to an abundance of birdlife (for all you keen bird watchers out there). Some of the highlights include:
A hugely popular inner-city track designed for both walkers and cyclists (be polite, and keep to the left) that skirts around the edge of Waikareao Estuary. The track offers great bird watching opportunities and views out to Motuopae Island – a (tapu) sacred Māori burial ground (urupā). This a very easy track and can be done in smaller portions so it's perfect for families (dogs are welcome too).
This is one of Tauranga’s largest reserves and takes cyclists and walkers through farmland, native bush and ponds (well, past ponds – you won’t have to go through them!). Known to some as ‘K Valley’, it is home to historic and archaeological sites of significance. Perfect for a Sunday ride, you can even take the dog!
Create a loop around Pāpāmoa – cycle (or walk!) along the stormwater reserves and back along the beach (which has been voted one of the best beaches in New Zealand). Stop off at Pāpāmoa Beach Plaza for a coffee (or some shopping if you’re that way inclined) and then carry on along the track. Hot tip: dogs are welcome here, too!
WESTERN BAY URBAN CYCLEWAYS
Katikati Urban Cycleways
Explore Katikati by bike with approximately 20km of off and on-road trails around the area. You’ll be treated to beautiful harbour views, the New Zealand’s one-of-a kind Haiku Pathway, Birdwalk sculptures – and the comings and goings of Katikati’s lucky residents.
The Katikati Trails Development Group are working with the local district council to develop even more walkways and cycleways for the public to benefit from – watch this space! For detailed information about the Katikati urban cycle and walking trails, click here.
Ōmokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway
This 19-kilometre section of trail has been a key development in the Bay of Plenty region for the last few years. As of May 2020, all but a few sections of the trail are open to the public. The trail starts in picturesque Ōmokoroa and traverses along the water's edge, over boardwalks and gravel paths, through reserves, and over bridges. There’s plenty of opportunities to spot birdlife and view some historic Māori sites. The trail finishes up at Carmichael Road in Bethlehem – stop at the shopping centre to refuel. For detailed information and trail progress, click here.
WHAKATĀNE & ŌHOPE CYCLEWAYS
Ōhope Harbourside Trail
The Ōhope Harbourside Trail offers 2.9-kilometres of trail that ambles along the shoreline of one of New Zealand’s most unspoiled harbours, Ōhiwa Harbour. The harbour, which is home to plenty of birdlife, shellfish and fish species, holds a special cultural significance to tangata whenua (people of the land).
Warren Cole Walk & Cycleway
Meander along the picturesque Whakatāne riverside trail – perfect for cruising along with the family. Head along to the river mouth and check out the Pacific Ocean as it rolls in. Or head further up to the wharves where there’s plenty going on (and Gibbo’s On the Wharf fish and chips are well worth a stop).