The weather's on the up, so why not grab a buddy or three and head out on an out-of-town bike ride for some fresh air? It'll do you the world of good, we promise. Plus it'll get you charged up for the impending 18-ride strong New Zealand Cycle Trail.

1. Hamilton to Cambridge and Lake Karapiro

This stretch is 30km of mostly flat roads, so you'll just need to focus on riding steadily and not being blown off by passing cars on the way. Head out of town towards Lake Karapiro and on to the brand-new 10km of cycle path.

2. Hamilton to Raglan

For more hill challenges, and the bonus of one of the most scenic west coast beaches, try the Hamilton to Raglan ride of just under 50km. There are pretty places to stay if you want to make it a weekend overnighter.


3. Tauranga circuit

You can pick and choose any number of rides around this flat beachside conurbation. Cycle all the way along Marine Parade back to the Mount. The roads are usually pretty busy, but, thankfully, drivers seem to be calm and happy at this beachside place.

4. Rotorua

Cycling around Lake Rotorua isn't as scary (or as hilly) as biking around Lake Taupo - 43km compared to nearly 160 km - and you get to see the lovely countryside outside glam RotoVegas.

5. Hawkes Bay

As one of New Zealand's two model communities for cycling (the other is New Plymouth), the towns and countryside of Hawkes Bay are very cycle friendly. Being flat helps, as does having plenty of watering stops along the way to refuel for the next leg.