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Hawke's Bay 3 Day Leisurely Pathways
Take a mellow ride through NZ’s tranquilly beautiful Hawke’s Bay and immerse yourself in an environment rich in wildlife, heritage and delightful views. This short three-day pedal will see you venturing off-road on mostly level trails with ample space and lovely surrounds. You’ll discover a lush region famous for its extensive vineyards, a number of which you are welcome to discover via the detailed itinerary. Fine wines aside, your serene journey through Hawke’s Bay will also reward you with beautifully natural vistas, easy-going and relaxing cycling, vibrant country towns, fun tourist attractions, coastal pathways and the fascinating Art-Deco city of Napier.
- CategoryEasy-going & Leisurely
- Duration3 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level1 - Beginner
- Activity Level1 - Easy
- Elevation1 - Easy
- Distance68.4 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance23 miles
- Day 1Ahuriri to Taradale – Via the Estuary and Puketapu Loop
Today has an optional extension of approx.15 km (9.3 mi) to include the Ahuriri Station Sheep Farm.
Departing the historic port village of Ahuriri, you’ll see kids fishing, boats unloading their catch and friends laughing over coffee at one of the quaint cafes. As you join the Ahuriri Estuary Trail, there are protected birds to enjoy as you make your way to the Old Embankment Bridge. 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 visit to the Mission Estate and Church Rd wineries is recommended before completing the scenic 20 km (12.4 mi) ‘Puketapu Loop’ trail. A real favourite with locals as well as visitors, the trail follows the Tutaekuri River west to the rural community of Puketapu with its classic Kiwi pub, a great stop for refreshments. Visits to the historic Otatara Maori Pa site, Moana Park winery and the Silky Oaks Chocolate Factory round out a great day before you proceed to your Taradale accommodation.
- 21.7 miles
- Taradale Accommodation
- Day 2Taradale to Gimblett Gravels Wine Region via the river trails and Oak Ave
Departing Taradale, you join the Tutaekuri River trail, this time to the east, and cycle through beautiful orchards, market gardens 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) scenic cycle, 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. Planted in the 1860s as a driveway to one of Hastings' original homesteads, the 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 can spend the afternoon sampling the wine and enjoying the ambience of the many cellar doors open for tastings. Those offering tastings include Ngatarawa, Salvare, Trinity Hill and Te Awa. At the end of the day, you and your bike will be transferred the short distance to your Havelock North accommodation.
- 24.9 miles
- Accommodation in Havelock North
- Day 3Havelock North to Ahuriri via Tuki Tuki River and coastal trails
Today has an optional extension of approx. 15 km (9.3 mi) to include the Cape Coast Wineries.
Departing bustling Havelock North with its excellent shopping and cafes, you'll follow the Tuki Tuki river trail through apple orchard and vineyard country. See the orchardists trimming the trees; sometimes ‘frisky’ cattle will join 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. Enjoy refreshments in Clive before continuing on the coastal trail with its stunning views out towards Cape Kidnappers. On reaching the outskirts of Napier you'll follow Marine Parade, lined with the iconic Norfolk Palm trees that are so recognisable as a symbol of Napier. As you get closer to town you’ll pass by the statue of the ‘Spirit of Napier’, representing the city rising from the ashes of the 1931 earthquake, and David Trubridge’s magnificent ‘Ecliptic’ monument, celebrating the new millennium. There’s an opportunity to visit the National Aquarium of N.Z. before arriving in the city centre, a world-renowned Art Deco treasure where you can spend some time viewing the distinctive architectural styles before cycling the final 5 km (3.1 mi) back to base.
- 21.7 miles