Plan a weekend of cycling in the Manawatu

Manawatu's vast and inspiring vistas are set in the heart of the central North Island in New Zealand, taking in the sweeping Ruahine and Tararua ranges, the mighty Manawatu River, and impressive forests, gorges and beaches. The Manawatu region showcases some of the best of what New Zealand is known for. 

With the Gravel and Tar Elite races and the Slicks and Stone challenge being on the 2020 Auckland Anniversary weekend (25-27th January) it’s a chance to visit the Manawatu to get involved in all things cycling. Join us for the big after-event party on the evening of the 25th Jan at the finish line at Memorial Park. There will be food, entertainment, and a chance to mix with cycling enthusiasts of all levels. Even if you’re not competing, plan to visit for the long weekend and bring your bike or bikes!



An active escape is easy in Manawatu with scenic cycling routes, running and mountainbike tracks throughout the area. Explore Te Apiti, the Manawatu Gorge, including the iconic walking track and wind farm, take a walk along the Manawatu River pathway, visit the Victoria Esplanade or check out the Hokowhitu Lagoon. 

For some culture, visit the New Zealand Rugby Museum or the Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, or for shopping visit Palmerston North's city centre. 

For more information on things to do in Manawatu, click here.


From Palmerston North to Feilding and beyond, Manawatu has multiple accommodation options for your weekend trip to the Gravel and Tar. There's everything from hotels, motels and holiday parks, to farmstays, glamping and backpackers.

For more information on places to stay in Manawatu, click here.




Manawatu has a vibrant cafe scene and delectable dining options.

George St in Palmerston North is a buzzing hub of dining activity, day and night. Cyclista is a favourite for coffee-loving cycling fans during the day, and there's several fantastic restaurants for the evening. 

Broadway is another hot spot for dining activity with restaurants galore. Book at meal at the Aberdeen for the best steak in town. And there's great options further afield in Feilding, as well.

For more information on dining options, click here.