I owned a bikeshop in Hamilton, New Zealand for six years (the mid-nineties) and for my hols my wife and I would take our bikes for ten days, two or three weeks around some part of the North Island. Over the years we've been to most of the island's more remote (read 'more interesting') spots. So in the interests of those planning to come to these fair shores and want something a bit different I can thoroughly recommend you consider the following stretches(in no particular order): (Things you may want to consider: *We had mountain bikes with full racks - a lot of our routes therefore were unpaved. Given today's technology 700c could handle them with ease; *These are 'Out-Of-The-Way' our number one priority when planning our trips; *We used the rail network (branching out from Hamilton) as a starting point - so we could throw our net further and not lose valuable on-the-bike time; *Whereas people know the South Island for its mountains and clean-and-green-ness, I'd consider the North Island for its getting in touch with New Zealanders - there are a lot more of them there for a start) Port Waikato to Awakino: rolling farmland, small settlements, not too big on shops. 3-6 days. Taihape to Napier: Crossing the 'Gentle Annie' forestry, farmland, massive downhills; deserted 2-3 days. Raetihi to Wanganui: following the river - NO people 2-4 days (depending on who you meet and diversions). Stratford to Te Kuiti: visiting the fantabulously named Whangamomona 2-4 days. Loads of native forest, and small farming settlements Lower Hutt to Masterton: via Cape Palliser - the coolest golf course, tumbleweed and deserts 3-6 days Te Aroha-Rotorua: along the Kaimai foothills to Matamata, then over 499metres and then back roads to Ngongotaha via Maclaren Falls This would avoid the traffic during the World MTB champs East Cape: Opotiki-Gisbourne-Opotiki. Big country, big hills and distances (compared to my other routes) Coromandel: avoid Jan or you'll be fightin for camping space and road space North of Auckland to the Brynderwens (south of Whangarei): just too much traffic to be enjoyable. However North and west of Whangarei is fantastic. In all these trips we only suffered one puncture, and this was in the days before kevlar. Anyone else visited 'Out-Of-The-Way' New Zealand??