Cape to Cape – across the central North Island
Kōpiko means to go back and forth, meander, wander or ramble. The Kōpiko Aotearoa cycle trail traverses the North Island of Aotearoa/NZ at its widest point – a challenging course of over ~800kms comprised of remote back country roads and cycle trails. It’s a tough, multiday, endurance ride with over ~10,000 metres of climbing.
The Kōpiko Aotearoa trip at a Glance…
Note: we are doing the shortened course via Whakatane (see map below) in 2024 due to slips and flooding around Tiniroto and Wairoa. The actual days of riding will be 8 to 8.5 with two transport days on either side.
Price: NZD $3,600 inc GST. Add $920 inc GST if e-bike hire is required.
Dates: Leaving Sat 09 Mar 2024 to Thurs 21 Mar 2024 (Sun 10 Mar is the first day of riding)
Time commitment: 10 days (8 riding, and two days either side get to and from the trail)
Who is it for: Seasoned cyclists, capable of 80-110 kms of varied terrain riding each day. You will need to prepare.
Ride starts at: East Cape Lighthouse
Ride ends at: Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Departs from and returns to: our Rotorua base, secure car parking here
Total kilometres: approximately 800kms
Accommodation styles: from glamping to holiday cabins, community halls to resorts & motels, most likely excluding ensuite bathrooms. In places accommodation is very limited as the route is remote. Single supplements are possible in some locations.
Best bike: hardtail mountain bike, full-suspension mountain bike, gravel bike
E-bikes: yes, e-bikes can be charged along the way
Max number of riders on the trip? 10
What Track & Trail Cycle Adventures provides…
- Secure lock-up for your car at our Rotorua base and/or Rotorua airport transfers
- Daily ride information, map files for your phone, route notes & Spot tracking
- All accommodation (9 nights)
- Breakfasts, lunches, dinners (except on the rest day)
- Water, riding snacks and sunscreen
- Basic mechanical support and first aid
- Carry your luggage forward
- Support vehicle (in some places the van cannot be on the route)
- Carbon offsets for the van and your travel to the start
- All the transport ex Rotorua
- Bike hire if needed
- fees and entries
- … what you provide: you ride, have fun, be awesome and see the less trod parts of NZ
The Ride – shorten in 2024
- A total distance of 800km spread over 8 days of riding. Excludes a rest day in Rotorua and a day at either end getting to and from the course.
- While E-bikers are certainly welcome, it’s important to note that this cycle tour is primarily intended for human-powered cyclists. The riding distances and daily stages have been specifically tailored to accommodate ordinary pedal bikes.
- Daily riding distances have been planned to be challenging but achievable and to allow plenty of time for photo stops, to explore the local towns and points of interest along the way.
- We encourage an early start so that you have time to recharge at the end of the day.
- 80-115 km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic riding route. Approximately 60% sealed roads, 27% quiet gravel roads and 13% cycle trails.
- The KōpikoAotearoa trail involves a lot of ascent. You will need to train for that.
- The cycle trails in New Zealand include diverse terrains and typically involve a riding pace ranging from 9 to 15 kilometers per hour.
- Single track, gravel or road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour.
- A hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off-road tyres is the ideal bike.
- Our support vehicle is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle or a lift up the steepest inclines.
The Route Map – shorten course in red for March 2024
Boiling Mud Wai o Tapu
Kōpiko Itinerary: East Cape to Cape Egmont
This section may be subject to small changes right up until the start of the tour. Note: Days 3 to 7 are changed or removed in 2024 so only 8.5 days of riding plus two transit days.
Bikes, Food & Accommodation
Are you BYO bike? If you are driving to the start of the tour in Rotorua, you may like to bring your own bike. There are a few bike styles that work well on the Kopiko. In order:
- Hardtail mountain bike
- Full suspension MTB (with rear shock pumped up)
- Gravel bike
- Touring bike
- E-bikes…. whatever your bike, gravel tyres are best… but not road bikes
You are responsible for the fitness of your bike. Please get it fully serviced before you join the tour. It will be doing ~800 km on some of the roughest terrain in the country and parts will not be available.
Your bike must be able to carry 1.5 litres of water, your rain jacket, snacks, phone, spare inner tube and sunscreen so a handlebar bag, front roll or frame bag is recommended. Avoid backpacks as they put too much pressure on your sitting bones, affect your balance and are too hot in summer.
The tour includes all breakfasts, lunches, evening meals and snacks. We are able to cater for vegetarians and some coeliac. If this includes you, it is crucial to advise us of this well before the tour begins.
Typical meals Include:
- Breakfasts – Fresh fruit, muesli, yoghurt, toast and spreads, hot drinks including Nespresso.
- Lunches – Picnic-style lunches, bread or rolls and filings such as cold meats, eggs, cheese & vegetables.
- Snacks – Fresh fruit, muesli bars, nuts and baking.
- Evening – Prepared by your tour leaders, local accommodation or nearby restaurant
Accommodation is included for all 13 nights of the tour. Our job is to explore and find the most fitting accommodation to work in with the riding route. The Kopiko is a very remote, rural riding route and the availability of accommodation is limited with often only basic options available. We will be staying in a combination of motels, holiday park cabins, farm stays, lodges, a hotel and one community communal accommodation. Where possible we choose accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, however it more likely bathrooms will be shared.
Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re travelling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another same gender biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement is available. *Single room options may not be possible at all in some locations.
Safety comes first! The main threats are; getting lost, getting cold, running out of water, sunburn and some pretty loose driving by hunters. We are here to mitigate as many of those risks as possible but care and attention will be required from you at all times.
This cycle tour includes rides of 80-115 km per day. The daily itinerary below gives distances and time in the saddle each day. It also shows daily vertical metres gained. Over the course of the tour, this will add up to almost two Mount Everests, so preparation is required to avoid running out of steam.
Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:
- Riding on gravel and other unpaved surfaces
- Riding hills, lots of them! In a day you may climb 1,500 to 2,000 metres in rises and falls.
- Riding 3-4 times a week with rides of 50-80km in length.
The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure!
Kōpiko Trip Price
NZD $3,600 inc GST plus bike hire of $920 inc GST if required.
– If you’re travelling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another rider.
– If you do not wish to share let us know early. A single supplement of about $80 per day will apply.
The tour price does NOT include:
- getting to Rotorua
- optional activities
- personal equipment (bags, helmets)
- bike repairs
- alcoholic drinks & random café stops
- emergencies. Cost of emergency evacuation by ambulance or helicopter is at your own cost.
If you have to leave the tour, we will we help you arrange transport back to Rotorua at your own cost. You may wish to take travel insurance.
Please read our Terms & Conditions carefully before booking.