North's bike paths get the thumbs up


New Zealand's top cycle touring gurus say Northland's bike trails are among the best in the country.

Brothers Jonathan, Paul and Simon Kennett have just published Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails, a guide to Kiwi cycling holidays.

It describes all the official cycle trails as well as the brothers' own favourite routes, found after a nationwide search for quiet roads and tracks suitable for leisurely riding and rediscovering heartland New Zealand.

Four of the book's 46 routes are in Northland - the Far North Cycleway, the Kauri Coast, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail and the Kaipara Missing Link.

Jonathan Kennett said the guidebook was made for people who wanted to experience the real New Zealand. "This book will inspire even the most hardened couch potato to get on their bike. Cycling holidays offer a healthy and fun alternative from the stress and strains of modern living: Fresh air, sunshine, astounding views, friendly people and an awe-inspiring country."

There was no need to go to Central Otago for an enjoyable cycling holiday, he said.

The Twin Coast Cycle Trail is part of a network of cycle trails and is supposed to stretch from Horeke by the Hokianga Harbour to Opua in the Bay of Islands.

The sections from Kawakawa to Moerewa and Mangakahia Rd to Okaihau are complete, but work through Moerewa's Ngapipito Valley and from Okaihau to Horeke has stalled due to landowner opposition. Reasons for opposing the trail range from farmers worried it will interfere with their work to Treaty claims on the former rail corridor.

Negotiations are underway with the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust about building a trail beside the railway tracks from Kawakawa to Opua.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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