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4 Day Gastronomic Hawke’s Bay
If you are a connoisseur of the finer things in life and also enjoy a spot of relaxing cycling, then this is the tour for you. Discover the endless charms of a region steeped in exquisite winemaking, one which offers the cyclist a pleasurable and intoxicating mix of off-road trails through protected wetlands, winding rivers, coastal vistas, bountiful orchards, vineyards and superb countryside. Off the bike, you'll join an exclusive behind the scenes tour at the Church Rd winery and have plentiful opportunities to explore the plethora of vineyards dotted along the detailed route. Three nights of boutique, luxury accommodation await you, as well as two gourmet dinners, private car transfers and lunch reservations. A true treat to behold.
- CategoryFor Food Lovers
- Duration4 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level1 - Beginner
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation1 - Easy
- Distance65.2 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance21.7 miles
- Day 1Arrive Hawke’s Bay
On arrival at Hawke’s Bay airport, you will be met and transferred to The Crown Hotel, Ahuriri, Napier for your overnight stay. Dinner tonight is by your own arrangements.
- The Crown Hotel, Ahuriri
- Day 2Cycle Ahuriri to Breckenridge Lodge, Taradale
Departing the historic port village of Ahuriri, you will join the Estuary Trail and cycle through the Department of Conservation protected wetlands area with its abundant birdlife. Passing under the expressway, the trail continues towards the foothills of Poraiti. It is sobering to reflect that up until the 1931 earthquake all this area was a vast tidal inlet, encompassing thousands of hectares of wetland, marshes and mud banks.
On reaching the suburb of Taradale (12 km/7.4 mi) a ‘Behind the Scenes Tour’ at Church Rd Winery is included in your tour cost. You also have the opportunity to visit the Mission Estate, New Zealand’s oldest winery, before completing the scenic 20 km (12.4 mi) ‘Puketapu Loop’ trail. A real favourite with locals and visitors alike, the trail follows the Tutaekuri River west to the rural community of Puketapu with its classic Kiwi pub. This is a great stop for refreshments before you proceed to your overnight stay at Breckenridge Lodge.
Tonight you will be treated to pre-dinner drinks followed by a five-course degustation dinner prepared by your host and chef Malcolm Redmond.
- 21.7 miles
- Breckenridge Lodge
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Day 3Cycle Breckenridge Lodge to Gimblett Gravels
Departing Breckenridge Lodge you join the Tutaekuri River trail to the east and cycle through beautiful orchard, market garden and vineyard country to the coast at Awatoto (10 km/6.2 mi).
Crossing the bridge at the Horseshoe Wetlands you turn back inland on the Ngaruroro River trail for a further 8 km (4.9 mi) of scenic cycling, passing by the Pakowhai Country Park, before leaving the trail on the outskirts of Hastings to visit Oak Avenue.
One of the scenic features of the area, the trees were planted in the 1860s as a driveway to one of Hastings' original homesteads. These magnificent, old trees leave a rich legacy and the shady mile is certainly enjoyed by cyclists.
The ‘wineries ride’ trail then takes you around the fine wineries of the Gimblett Gravels appellation, where you may spend the afternoon sampling the wine and enjoying the ambience of the many cellar doors open for tastings. Those offering tastings include Ngatarawa, Trinity Hill and Te Awa, where lunch will be reserved. At the end of the day, you and your bikes will be transferred the short distance to Greenhill Lodge or The Manse.
Following pre-dinner drinks a three-course table d’hote dinner will be served at your accommodation this evening.
- 21.7 miles
- Greenhill Lodge or The Manse
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Day 4Cycle Havelock North to Ahuriri
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation and be transferred to the charming village of Havelock North. From here you follow the Tuki Tuki river trail, cycling through stunning apple orchard and vineyard country, typical of the region. You may even have ‘frisky’ cattle joining you on the trail as you make your way towards the coast (10 km/6.2 mi).
It’s worth taking some time to sit on one of the viewing benches along the East Clive Wetlands to observe the many native birds and flocks of black swans which inhabit the area.
Enjoying refreshments in the village of Clive at the quirky Zeppelin Café is a popular respite before continuing on the coastal trail with its stunning views back towards Cape Kidnappers. On reaching the outskirts of Napier you follow Marine Parade, lined with the iconic Norfolk palm trees that are so recognised as a symbol of Napier. As you get closer to town you’ll pass by the statue of the ‘Spirit of Napier’, which represents the city rising from the ashes of the 1931 earthquake, and David Trubridge’s magnificent ‘Ecliptic’ monument, celebrating the new millennium. From here, a short cycle around the port brings you back to Ahuriri and the end of your Hawke’s Bay Escape.
- 21.7 miles