The ride heads south for an hour on the only road before turning onto Ninety Mile Beach and continuing down the coast to Ahipara. From Ahipara, a sealed road heads inland across the countryside to the Hokianga Harbour.
The main town of Kaitaia is 14 km northeast off the trail. Ahipara, Kohukohu and Rawene along the route offer a range of accommodation and food options. Kohukohu and Rawene also have galleries and historic sites. Broadwood has a general store, which is closed on Sundays.
Waipapakauri, a few kilometres inland from Ninety Mile Beach, provides basic food options and Holiday Park accommodation.
From Cape Reinga, cycle down Highway 1 for 15.6 km, then turn west at Te Paki. Continue down Kauaeparaoa Stream (also called Te Paki Stream) to the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach. From there, cycle 80km south to Ahipara. Ahipara is the first and only place beside the beach that has shops.
It is a long way, but at low tide, the beach surface is hard, smooth and fast riding with a tailwind. The only soft sand occurs where streams flow across the beach. Wash your bike of salt and sand at Ahipara.
Head out of Ahipara on Foreshore then Roma roads. Turn right at the Kaitaia-Awaroa Road T-intersection. At Herekino, turn left to continue following the Kaitaia-Awaroa Road. The village of Broadwood lies along this road about 35 km from Ahipara. It has a general store.
From Broadwood, it is 30km, including a 2km ferry trip, to Rawene, via Broadwood then Kohukohu roads.
The ferry terminal to Rawene is 4km south along the coast from Kohukohu. The ferry runs several times a day. It charges a minimal fee for the 15-minute trip across the Hokianga Harbour to Rawene.
Credit content & photo to NZ Cycle Trail
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The lighthouse at Cape Reinga, -34.4267, 172.6777