Coast to coast cycle route gives an alternative choice to go to Taranaki

The Kopiko Aotearoa off-trail bike path from Eastern Cape to Cape Egmont includes 1000 km of unpaved roads, off-trail bike paths and steep sections of hills.

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The Kopiko Aotearoa off-trail bike path from Eastern Cape to Cape Egmont includes 1000 km of unpaved roads, off-trail bike paths and steep sections of hills.

Taranaki is becoming a popular destination for off-trail cyclists embarking on a 1000km adventure across the North Island between the east and west coasts.

The multi-day route between the Eastern Cape and Cape Egmont is relatively well known to adventurous “bike packers” who have previously completed all or some of the sections of the route.

Now an updated guidebook – Kōpiko Aotearoa – published by Wellington-based Kennett Books is expected to attract more cyclists to include the trip in their bike journals.

Bike packers travel extremely easily because they need to be able to carry everything on their bike. So rely on local companies at the stops to assist with your trip.

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Author Jonathan Kennett said the route between the Eastern Cape and Cape Egmont was the best drive he had made since cycling from Cape Reinga to Bluff on the Aotearoa tour.

The rural route takes you along winding coastal roads, unpaved roads through Te Urewera National Park and steep hills that correspond to climbing Mount Everest twice, as well as smooth public asphalt paths.

Not only did the guide lead off-trail newbies in the right direction, but it also added cafes, accommodation, bike shops for repairs, and historical and cultural waypoints to enjoy along the way.

The route can be ridden in either direction and tired bike packers approaching Taranaki can replenish supplies and energy as they cycle through townships like Ohura, Whangamomona, Tarata, and Pungarehu.

The Kopiko Aotearoa off-trail cycle path from the Eastern Cape to Cape Egmont leads through the Timber Trail on the central North Island.

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The Kopiko Aotearoa off-trail cycle path from the Eastern Cape to Cape Egmont leads through the Timber Trail on the central North Island.

You can also take a well-deserved break on New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway and the Pukeiti Rhododendron Gardens before finishing at Cape Egmont.

The route fits in well with the Taranaki Trails Trust’s recently announced plans to build a bike path in the area to expand Ngā Haerenga’s national cycle path network, said trustee Charlotte Littlewood.

“The Kennetts are known for knowing where the best cycling spots in the country are, so it’s exciting to have this guide show them how amazing the bridle paths are in Taranaki.”

“The trust hopes that the guide will attract more bike packers to the region and offer another opportunity to explore.”

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