Living in Auckland you soon discover that the roads are a constant traffic jam! It’s one of the downsides of being a “JAFA” (Just Another F**king Aucklander!) our solution has been to purchase ourselves bikes to get around the city faster and we have soon found it is much less stressful than first considered! The Auckland council are investing over $37 million on developing over 13 urban cycleway in Auckland as part of the government’s $100 million dollar investment plan of developing urban cycling around New Zealand. With the mild weather here it can be achievable to cycle all year round and not just in the summer months. Plus it saves a ton of cash on public transport or fuel costs!
What we Love:
The Grafton Gully Cycle Way:
Besides the fact that this begins right by our city apartment and ends right where I work, this is a great development that was finished in 2014. It runs all along the motorways from Grafton to Parnell parallel to Queen Street, it is downhill all the way (but not so great on the way back!) and you can wave as you go by at all the cars on the motorway as they all sit in the traffic!
The signs and pathways are really easy to follow plus there is a dedicated page on the council’s website giving you a great map of all the cycleways in the city. Check it out here.
The Paths Link Up:
The completion of the Grafton Cycleway has meant the pathways all link up. You can literally cycle from Point Chevalier (West Auckland) to Mission Bay all on a dedicated (sometimes shared with pedestrians) pathway. This has made cycling in Auckland safer than ever.
As mentioned the council are investing heavily in this mode of transport and are working on linking up all the cycleways. There are plans to build a 160-metre bridge flying high above state highway one as part of completing the Nelson Street cycleway as well as 33.5 million dollar project to begin as soon as there is approval to build a foot and cycle bridge over the harbour bridge, this will be connecting the CBD with those on the North Shore. These are big ambitious projects but ones we are supporting for a better future for Auckland!
Flat Tyre? No worries!
There are now many points around the city where you will find water stations and free air to pump up your bike tyres! There are also lots of areas popping up at train/ bus stations where you can safely secure your bike. For more information click here!
No Bike? No Worries!
You can also hire bikes in Auckland. Great for tourist’s or visitors to Auckland. Next Bike has bikes dotted around the city, it is a great way to explore the city for those who have little time!
Auckland Cycling Culture:
There is a great little cycling community we have discovered as soon as we moved here! If your passionate join Meet-Up (more about this website on our Community Organisations in NZ article) where there are a group of keen cyclists that meet up for social aspects of cycling. There are some really great clubs, one is the Auckland Mountain Bike Club who meet once a month exploring areas outside of Auckland with some grub and a social afterwards and there always seems to be a bike event on in Auckland.
More bike clubs can be found on the Auckland Council website here.
And just recently there was a Bike Rave in Auckland. Yes, a Bike Rave! The event was held near Silo Park on the waterfront, the Auckland bike community came together and decorated their bikes (and themselves) and got raving! Don’t believe me?! Check out their Facebook page!
Now For what we Hate
Traffic – there is no avoiding it!
Your at those damn traffic lights again! There is sometimes no avoiding the Highway Code and you have to consider you won’t get from A to B as quickly as you may think as you will find yourself stuck at a junction for at least 3 minutes at a time! But at least you get to catch your breath in between the hills!
Yes cycling in the city is probably not as healthy as you think. The pollution from the cars does pose a health risk, but hey it’s not China! There are far fewer cars on the road than China that’s for sure!
Get out the city and enjoy the bike with no cars – Check out Wood Hill Forest!
This is cycling or should we say Extreme Mountain biking at its best! Just 40 minutes outside of Auckland on the state highway 16 is reclaimed land that the company have turned into mountain bike tracks suitable for the young keen cyclist just off stabilisers from the extremist who can encounter the 12 foot jumps and not break there neck! We explored this forest recently. For 9 dollars each it’s a good day trip and escape from busy Auckland, the cycle up to the forest from the car park is not that challenging and the tracks are great. You can easily get lost we did think the signage could be better as they do boast they have up to 60km of tracks but an hour or to exploring the forest and a few wrong turns you soon realise you can’t really get lost.