The gorgeous Megan Gale is beaming after cycling trip around the North and South Island of New Zealand, where she came to a revelation. ‘When I went to the North Island and did the Timber Trail, what I loved most was meeting people from the Maori community and getting in touch with my heritage,’ she says.
New Zealand holds a special place in the model’s heart, as it’s where her mum May, who is part Maori, was born. ‘It was really great to get an insight into the culture from a different perspective,’ she says. ‘Being on a bike enables you to get up close and to see things from a different perspective,’ she says.
Megan got to tour wineries, visit restaurants, explore towns and see nature up close – sometimes a little too close! ‘At one point, I went on a suspension bridge and it was a little bit unnerving,’ she recalls. ‘Underneath was a deep ravine and I wondered: “Do I look down?” Luckily, I had Olympic cycling gold medallist Sarah Ulmer there with me holding my hand! ’The ride on the South Island along the Otago Central Rail Trail was rugged at times, but always accessible.
‘We saw a mix of age groups, including parents with their kids. The trails cater to all people of different abilities and levels,’ she says. The proud ambassador for Tourism New Zealand’s cycling campaign can’t wait to explore more of the country’s diverse network of off-road bike trails, including more than 2700km of pristine cycleways.
Next time she plans to bring footballer partner Shaun Hampson and their son River. ‘Now I’ve done two cycling trails, it’s whet my appetite to try more. I got inspired seeing families out there, thinking: “Oh I could definitely come back with mine,”’ she smiles.
Megan’s Top 5 NZ Cycle Trails.
1. Queenstown Trail
2. Hawke’s Bay Trails
3. Rimutaka Cycle Trail
4. Clutha Gold Trail
5. Tasman’s Great Taste Trail
For more information and to discover New Zealand’s cycle trails visit newzealand.com/au/cycling.