A bikepacking trip to the luscious Hunua Ranges just outside of Auckland is a great way to escape the city for the weekend – minus the traffic!
- No need for a car so guaranteed no waiting in traffic!
- Take your bike for free on the train and avoid busy city cycling
- Spot New Zealand native bird species in the wild
Hello Hunua Ranges!
When you live in a big city, it can be tricky to head into nature on the weekend. To get away for a few days will often include a lengthy drive, plus battling the inevitable traffic jams on both Friday and Sunday night. Luckily, there are also options to head outdoors without even needing a car!
Since bikes are free to take on any Auckland train, bikepacking is a great way to escape the city for a few days.
By hopping on a train you can avoid cycling on busy roads and start your trip from the city’s fringes. Take a south-bound train to Papakura to bike to the Hunua Ranges, just like we did!
From Papakura train station, make your way to the start of Hunua Road, passing a small supermarket where you can stock up on food. Once on Hunua Road, this windy route takes you through both farmland and forest, and you’ll have now truly left the city behind.
After 15 kilometres, you’ll reach Hunua settlement, where the general store offers the perfect opportunity for a cold drink or an ice cream.
From here, it’s not long before you turn off into Moumoukai Road and enter the Hunua Ranges Regional Park. A steep grunt up and over a decent hill will lead you to Upper Mangatāwhiri Campground, where you can choose whether to call it a day and pitch the tent.
If you’ve still got energy to burn, add on some extra kilometres along Lilburne Road Track up an even steeper hill to Piggott’s campground. Regardless of which campground you end up at, you’ll feel fully immersed in nature before turning around the next day and making your way back into the city.
- Cycling outfit
- Camp outfit
- Rain jacket
- Tent/bivvy, sleeping bag and mat
- Food and snacks (the only stores along the way are in Papakura and Hunua township)
- Minimum 3 litres of water per day (stream water available in the Hunua Ranges)
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone and / or PLB
- AT Hop Card for the train
Read more: Essential Gear for Bikepacking Adventures
How To Get There
Papakura train station is a 50-minute train ride from Britomart, taking the Southern Line which leaves every 30 minutes.
Distance Covered / Elevation Gain / Duration
Day 1: 34 km / 855 m / 3-4 hrs
Day 2: 34 km / 536 m / 3-4 hrs