Gravel riding is taking off around the world, and we’re lucky to have some great gravel rides in Taranaki. Be it back country roads through forgotten tunnels, bikepacking missions or more leisurely road rides.
Never heard of gravel riding? It tends to describe riding a drop-bar bike on unpaved roads and trails, fitting somewhere between road cycling and mountain biking. From super-chilled social rides to remote and demanding endurance racing, mass-participation events to dirt touring, there’s something in gravel for everyone.
Just starting out: The Uruti Valley Loop Trail is a 45 km loop and mix of tar seal and gravel. It includes the Uruti Tunnel and you can start and finish at Café 487.
Moving up a gear: The Kiwi Road loop is also based near Uruti and is a 55km ride, with a few more hills.
A big day out: The Whangamomona Road loop with Bridge to Somewhere is a more challenging ride. Starting in Whangamomona, this loop goes down to the Bridge to Somewhere and then follows the Okara Road Trail back to the Wangamomona Pub for a well deserved refreshment.
Challenging off road adventure: The Rerekapa and Moki Trails can be joined via back roads to create a loop. Both trails are on Find My Adventure, and you can use local back roads to link them.
Overnight weekend fun: The Forgotten World Highway is a 185km ride where you can pedal back in time and experience an amazing historical tour on New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail.
A serious multi-day challenge: The Kopiko Aotearoa is a 1000km ride finishing in Taranaki. Cutting a track through some very hilly, remote country, this super-scenic and technically easy, but physically arduous, ride follows some of the North Island’s best cycle routes.