Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is NZ’s largest cycling event. Around 8,000 riders from across New Zealand and over 20 countries across the globe take part each year.

The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is best known for its 160-km Bike Barn Solo, the one-lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, but this is just one of 18 categories on offer, with both road cycling and mountain bike options for individuals and groups, catering to all levels of cycling and fitness abilities.

NZ’s premier bike event is held on the last Saturday in November and there are plenty of prestigious prizes up for grabs. The 2015 Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge will be held on Saturday the 28th of November.

What to do

Provided by Ride Holidays, Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge offers a 6 day / 5 night travel package, making it easy for those keen on taking part in the event. As well as participating in a loop of the famous lake, the package will also showcase some of the best that the Central North Island region of New Zealand has to offer including sightseeing, local culinary fare, and even a ride up a live Volcano.

Day 1 – Thursday 26 November

Pickup and transit to Lake Taupo from Auckland International Airport. Two handpicked accommodation options are on offer with the first day culminating in a welcome dinner at one of Taupo’s top restaurants.

Day 2 – Friday 27 November

Group ride of approx. 40km stopping at the infamous Huka Falls and concluding at the event village to register and get the chance to check out the Sport & Lifestyle Expo.

Day 3 – 28 November

Take off on one of the 20 different event categories on offer, before enjoying the festival atmosphere back at Event Village where you can sit back on the grass, take in the entertainment on offer and be in to win one of the amazing spot prizes up for grabs at the main prize giving ceremony.

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Day 4 – 29 November

Sunday you’ll take time out on the lake, visiting the famous local Maori carvings, lunching on the water, and maybe even catching a trout for dinner that night.

Day 5 – 30 November

After a day off, on Monday there’ll be another ride, with three options on offer – 40km, 80km or 150km – taking in some of New Zealand’s best scenery before settling in for the night to be transported back to Auckland International Airport on Tuesday the 1st of December.

Ride Holidays Director, Karl Woolcott says “We’ve been working closely with the Cycle Challenge to build a package which offers both the experience of this iconic event as well as the region as a whole, while still offering people the flexibility to choose their own airline if travelling from overseas or other parts of New Zealand. Package numbers are limited so I’d recommend making your booking as early as possible at: .”

Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Event Director, Kay Brake adds “International participation in particular has been increasing year on year with nearly 500 overseas riders from 23 countries taking part in 2014. It makes sense for us work with the likes of Ride Holidays to provide a package which makes it even easier for people to come and experience both the event itself and what the Central North Island has to offer.”

Text adapted from Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

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The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge takes place on Saturday 28 November 2015 and you can find out all you need to know about the event itself at

Want to know what it’s like to loop the lake, whoosh the trails and ascend the mountainous peaks of the area?

Must read: Lake Taupo, NZ: Journey to Mordor