One of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Heartland Rides, the Manawatū Cycleway is a 121km journey through our region’s rich natural and cultural history. We recommend spending at least two days soaking up all the trail has to offer; as you pedal from rural Mangaweka, beneath the soaring Ruahine Ranges, along the flowing Rangitīkei River and past vibrant farmland, through to downtown Palmerston North.
There’s plenty of nature reserves and heritage sites to admire along the way – and accommodation options are available in Āpiti or Ashhurst. Fill your camera roll with photo opportunities aplenty – you’ll be happily snapping away the whole ride. Don’t stress if your biking skills are a little rusty, this trail is a favourite with riders of all abilities.
A recent addition to Manawatū’s trail network is He Ara Kotahi, meaning a ‘pathway that brings people together’. This network of riverside pathways connects communities together thanks to an awe-inspiring bridge that spans the mighty awa – a work of art in its own right. The bridge pays tribute to the iconic karaka tree, a beauty of the forest that has strong ties to the local iwi’s history.
Crossing the Manawatū River, you’re just as likely to see commuters, students and tourists zooming past, on a trail that’s as functional at it is enjoyable. Ride effortlessly between the city centre, Massey University, FoodHQ and Linton Military Camp, or create your own loop – this map will help get you started.
Mountain bikers will find it difficult to resist Arapuke Mountain Bike Park in Linton. With a myriad of tracks and trails on offer from Grade 2 through to Grade 6, it attracts downhill-addicts from all over the lower North Island. Ride your favourite tracks to your heart’s content or seek out a new challenge, with over 30km of prime off-road trails to choose from. Fast-flowing descents, swooping corners and daring jumps – Arapuke has all this and more, to satisfy your need for speed.
Looking for a different kind of adventure? Strap on your helmet and check out the wealth of trails on offer across the region – with something to suit every skill level and appetite for adventure. Be sure to share your pics on the ‘gram and tag us on Palmy & Manawatū on Instagram (@manawatu_nz) – we’d love to see what you get up to on two wheels!