Waikato: Four of the best urban cycling spots

Te Awa: The great NZ river ride. Photo / Hamilton and Waikato Tourism
Te Awa: The great NZ river ride. Photo / Hamilton and Waikato Tourism

1. Gallagher Skills Park

Right next door to the Avantidrome is the Gallagher Skills Park, a place for the under-10 set to work on their two wheels skills. Three tracks are suitable for the pre-schoolers on their Stryder bikes, the tricylists and the beginner BMXers. There's a pump track, a wooden mountain bike for beginners and a terrific road skills park complete with traffic islands, lights and signs - great for road safety training. Look out for workshops starting in the spring. Revolve Cafe takes care of parental caffeine needs.

2. Te Awa - the Great New Zealand River Ride

One of the newest great rides, this section of Te Awa was opened in April from Cambridge Domain to the Avantidrome. There's already a 5.5km stretch from Leamington to the Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro, completed in time for the 2010 World Rowing Championships.

There's a section north from Hamilton to Horotiu, with more bits planned for an end-of-summer completion, eventually linking to Ngaruawahia and between Hamilton and Cambridge.

3. Hamilton City River Rides and Walks

Fittingly, the river city now has a shared walkway and cycleway running for 10km through central Hamilton and along the banks of the Waikato River. Well-signposted and accessible from multiple points along the river, it links with the Hamilton Mountain Bike Track in Pukete Farm Park to Hamilton Gardens in the south, with lots of great spots to stop and admire the view.

4. Hamilton Mountain Bike Track

Also known as Pukete Mountain Bike Park on Pukete Farm Park, this mostly flat track has easy contours and is great for beginners and families. More advanced riders can rip through the track's tight twists and turns and table top jump of the more rugged northern corner, surrounded by native trees. Grade 2 to 3 (easy to intermediate).

- NZ Herald

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