The Manawatu Cycleway on The Country Road

The New Zealand Cycle Trail has made its way to the Manawatu Region with an on-road trail 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 centre 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 City 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 SH1, and begin your adventure.

Mangaweka Adventure Co. - Talk to the rafting, kayaking and adventure specialists to plan your river action!

Mangaweka CampgroundA true riverside kiwi-camping experience with all the facilities you could want.

Ruahine Dress Circle ReserveWaterfalls 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.

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

Apiti - (optional detour 6km) A small rural village set in natural surroundings, Apiti is known as the gateway to the Ruahine Ranges.

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

Pohangina BaseCampsites 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.

Pilgrims Rest Tea Rooms - When the sign is out, pop in for a cool drink or devonshire tea, and meet 'chicken' the pet deer.

Totara ReserveStunning 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.

Pohangina Valley EstateA small, boutique winery producing several wine varieties, as well as olive oil.

Fusion 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-SITEFree WiFi, great toilets and showers plus expert local knowledge, the i-SITE are your New Zealand travel booking specialists.



Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

For more information visit Adventure Smart