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The Manawatū Cycleway on The Country Road

100% Sealed Roads

Part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail's official Cycle Touring Routes, this stunning multi-day ride through Manawatu is one of the best ways to experience the region and takes you from Mangaweka to Palmerston North city.


Distance: 115km each way
Elevation: 37m – 694m
Time: 2-3 days
Grade: Advanced
Surface: 100% Sealed Roads 

Cyclists will be treated to some of the very best New Zealand has to offer, including soaring white mudstone cliffs in Mangaweka, the dramatic backdrop of the Ruahine Ranges and lush farmland along the Pohangina Valley terraces. 

The 115km ride takes you through the heart of rural Manawatu into the urban center of Palmerston North city, providing cyclists with a two-day trip set against the region’s unique rural landscape. With over 80% of this ride on quiet, backcountry roads, cyclists are able to truly enjoy the region’s friendly hospitality and stunning countryside.  

This off-the-beaten-track takes you on a journey to discover hidden places and tucked away treasures ranging from convivial country cafes and pubs; heritage sites, galleries and gardens, to scenic reserves, day walks, swimming holes, glow worm caves, picnic areas, and camping spots. 

With a variety of accommodation providers, such as bed and breakfasts, campsites and boutique lodges, there are many ways to experience this multi day ride. The last 8km stretch into Palmerston North takes you along the Manawatu Riverside Pathway, a gentle, undulating limestone path that follows the Manawatu River into Palmerston North city. From here, cyclists can opt to stay and enjoy the city for a night or two, or continue on to the Wairarapa via the Tararua Traverse. 

Plan your trip below, or view our suggested itinerary. 


Mangaweka Township – Step back in time to discover this charming town on State Highway One, and begin your adventure. 

Awastone – Talk to the rafting, kayaking and adventure specialists to plan your river action! 

Mangaweka Campground – A true riverside kiwi-camping experience with all the facilities you could want. 

Ruahine Dress Circle Reserve – Waterfalls and swimming holes make this the perfect rest stop, and a local secret! 

Rangiwahia Township (optional detour 4km) – This quaint village offers charm, with a good domain for camping, public restrooms and WiFi as well as a stunning native bush reserve and walk. 

Mangahuia Wetlands – Explore natures playground at this private wetland paradise. Entry is free, just shut the gate!  

Apiti Village – A small rural village set in natural surroundings, Apiti is known as the gateway to the Ruahine Ranges as well as home to several artist studios and a museum. 

Apiti Taven and Eatery – The local heart of the Apiti community, with great food, excellent service and a warm and friendly welcome to all.  

Apiti Lavender Farm and Accommodation – Pack a picnic, wander through picturesque lavender fields, and visit the quaint little shop full of organic lavender products. Tranquil, pet-friendly accommodation available for families, couples or cyclist looking for a friendly place to stay.  

Makoura Lodge – A luxury country venue and accommodation lodge with a range of onsite activities. 

Pohangina Base – Campsites and bunk rooms offer a great place to base yourself on your adventure. 

Springvale Gardens & Accommodation – Beautifully landscaped gardens with a strong history and story to tell. 

Totara Reserve – Stunning ancient forest offering walking tracks, swimming spots and campsite facilities. 

County Fayre – On weekends this is humming with coffee and Devonshire teas, with amazing local history adorning the walls. 

Raumai Reserve – Stop in at Raumai Reserve for a swim in the river, and a relaxed picnic in natural surroundings. 

Ashhurst Bakery & Cafe – A must-do coffee stop, with a tasty menu of local cuisine that can be enjoyed indoors or out in the garden. 

Ashhurst – Ashhurst is a colourful town offering all your basic needs and supplies, plus a great local cafe and Inn. 

Palmerston North City i-SITE – Free Wi-Fi, great toilets and showers plus expert local knowledge, the i-SITE team is your New Zealand travel booking specialists.

Contact us

[email protected]
+64 6 350 1922
0800 MANAWATU (626 292)

Please note this information should be used as a guide only. To help ensure your safety we advise you review our safety page and contact the individual provider for up to date information on their compliance with all Health and Safety and regulatory requirements.