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5 Day Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Self Guided Bike Tour

Total about 160 km cycling (80% off road, 20% rural roads)

Days
5

Pricing From
$1100

Difficulty

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Overview

Perfect for those wanting to take a leisurely view of all the best scenery the region has to offer while the shorter daily cycling distances leaves plenty of time for enjoying other activities on the 5 Day Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour.  A great cycling holiday combining all the highlights of the Hawke's Bay Trails with stunning views out to Cape Kidnappers. Enjoy the gentle cycling of the Hawke's Bay Trails for four days then complete the 'Puketapu Loop' and 'Tuki Tuki Loop', one of New Zealands Classic Road Rides.  This itinerary is perfect for those with time to take a leisurely view of all the best scenery the region has to offer.  Accommodation for two nights in Taradale and two nights in Havelock North.

Total cycling distance approximately 160km
80% cycled on off-road, easy trails with 30% on flat, rural roads.

Bikes and Birds Cycle Trip in Hawkes Bay

Bikes and Birds Cycle Trip in Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour

Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour

Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour

Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour

Hawkes Bay Easy Explorer Independent Bike Tour

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ahuriri to Taradale: Via Bay View and Estuary TrailApprox. 25km

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.  Following the coast north along Westshore, a popular surfing beach, you reach the community of Bay View (10km).  A cold drink and snack at the coastal Snapper Café is always a popular option, as is a visit to Crab Farm Winery with its bohemian style. 

The trail then continues through the Ahuriri Station, a working sheep farm before passing in front of the Hawke’s Bay airport. From here you join the Ahuriri Estuary Trail where views of protected birdlife can be enjoyed as you make your way to the Old Embankment Bridge. 

Passing under the expressway the trail continues towards the foothills of Poraiti and 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 (15km) a visit to the Mission Estate and Church Rd wineries is definitely recommended to end your first day on the bike!

Day 2The Puketapu Loop Approx 25km

The ‘Puketapu Loop’ is a real favourite trail for locals and visitors alike.  Following the Tutaekuri River west the first section of the trail is shaded by pine trees and the smell of wild fennel perfumes the air. 

Continuing past kiwifruit orchards and farmland you arrive in the rural community of Puketapu, home to the iconic Puketapu Pub.  A member of the classic N.Z. pubs network this is an excellent place to enjoy a hearty lunch in relaxed style before continuing the loop back to Taradale on the opposite side of the river. 

Visits to the historic Otatara Maori Pa site, Moana Park winery and the Silky Oaks Chocolate Factory are also highlights of this route before returning to your Taradale accommodation.

Day 3Taradale to Gimblett Gravels Wine Region: Via the river trails and Oak AveApprox 40km

Departing Taradale you join the Tutaekuri River trail, this time to the east, and cycle through beautiful orchard, market gardening and vineyard country to the coast at Awatoto (10km). 

Crossing the bridge at the Horseshoe Wetlands you turn back inland on the Ngaruroro River trail for a further 8kms 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 bikes will be transferred the short distance to your Havelock North accommodation. 

Day 4The Tuki Tuki Loop Approx 30km

Today’s route is cycled in part on the roads of the Tuki Tuki Valley, acclaimed as one of New  Zealand’s classic road rides, before joining the Tuki Tuki River trail to the coastal communities of Haumoana and Te Awanga.  

The first part of the ride takes you up the gentle climb of Waimarama Rd before descending into the valley behind Te Mata Peak and passing Craggy Range Winery.  Crossing the Tuki Tuki River at Red Bridge you cycle 9km on the Tuki Tuki Rd taking in five smallish hills which add up to 320m of climbing in total. 

The scenic views over the river valley and vineyards are stunning and the lack of cars makes the cycling very relaxed.  On reaching Moore Rd you join the flat, easy cycle trail to follow the river to the coast at Haumoana.  This sleepy seaside community has long been home to artists and retains its relaxed style. 

The coastal trail leads to Te Awanga and here you can reward your cycling efforts with a long, lazy lunch at one of the fine wineries of Clearview Estate Winery or Elephant Hill Winery. 

At the end of the afternoon you and your bikes will be transferred back to your Havelock North accommodation.

Day 5Havelock North to Ahuriri: Via Tuki Tuki River and coastal trails Approx 35km

Departing bustling Havelock North with its excellent shopping and cafes, you follow the Tuki Tuki river trail through apple orchard and vineyard country.  See the orchardists trimming the trees and sometimes ‘frisky’ cattle joining you on the trail as you make your way towards the coast (10km). 

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 follow Marine Parade lined with the iconic Norfolk Palm trees that are so recognized 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 also 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 acclaimed Art Deco treasure. Lock up your bike at the information centre and take a stroll around the town to take in the fascinating facades and distinctive architectural styles of the 1930’s.  

A short cycle around the port then brings you back to Ahuriri and the end of your adventure! 

Cost per person (Twin share)

June 2019 - September 2020

  • Motel accommodation: from NZ$1,100
  • Boutique B&B accommodation: from NZ$1,449

* Bring your own bike and save NZ$150.00 off tour cost

E-bikes available at NZ$250

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Ahuriri to Taradale: Via Bay View and Estuary TrailApprox. 25km

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.  Following the coast north along Westshore, a popular surfing beach, you reach the community of Bay View (10km).  A cold drink and snack at the coastal Snapper Café is always a popular option, as is a visit to Crab Farm Winery with its bohemian style. 

The trail then continues through the Ahuriri Station, a working sheep farm before passing in front of the Hawke’s Bay airport. From here you join the Ahuriri Estuary Trail where views of protected birdlife can be enjoyed as you make your way to the Old Embankment Bridge. 

Passing under the expressway the trail continues towards the foothills of Poraiti and 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 (15km) a visit to the Mission Estate and Church Rd wineries is definitely recommended to end your first day on the bike!

Day 2The Puketapu Loop Approx 25km

The ‘Puketapu Loop’ is a real favourite trail for locals and visitors alike.  Following the Tutaekuri River west the first section of the trail is shaded by pine trees and the smell of wild fennel perfumes the air. 

Continuing past kiwifruit orchards and farmland you arrive in the rural community of Puketapu, home to the iconic Puketapu Pub.  A member of the classic N.Z. pubs network this is an excellent place to enjoy a hearty lunch in relaxed style before continuing the loop back to Taradale on the opposite side of the river. 

Visits to the historic Otatara Maori Pa site, Moana Park winery and the Silky Oaks Chocolate Factory are also highlights of this route before returning to your Taradale accommodation.

Day 3Taradale to Gimblett Gravels Wine Region: Via the river trails and Oak AveApprox 40km

Departing Taradale you join the Tutaekuri River trail, this time to the east, and cycle through beautiful orchard, market gardening and vineyard country to the coast at Awatoto (10km). 

Crossing the bridge at the Horseshoe Wetlands you turn back inland on the Ngaruroro River trail for a further 8kms 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 bikes will be transferred the short distance to your Havelock North accommodation. 

Day 4The Tuki Tuki Loop Approx 30km

Today’s route is cycled in part on the roads of the Tuki Tuki Valley, acclaimed as one of New  Zealand’s classic road rides, before joining the Tuki Tuki River trail to the coastal communities of Haumoana and Te Awanga.  

The first part of the ride takes you up the gentle climb of Waimarama Rd before descending into the valley behind Te Mata Peak and passing Craggy Range Winery.  Crossing the Tuki Tuki River at Red Bridge you cycle 9km on the Tuki Tuki Rd taking in five smallish hills which add up to 320m of climbing in total. 

The scenic views over the river valley and vineyards are stunning and the lack of cars makes the cycling very relaxed.  On reaching Moore Rd you join the flat, easy cycle trail to follow the river to the coast at Haumoana.  This sleepy seaside community has long been home to artists and retains its relaxed style. 

The coastal trail leads to Te Awanga and here you can reward your cycling efforts with a long, lazy lunch at one of the fine wineries of Clearview Estate Winery or Elephant Hill Winery. 

At the end of the afternoon you and your bikes will be transferred back to your Havelock North accommodation.

Day 5Havelock North to Ahuriri: Via Tuki Tuki River and coastal trails Approx 35km

Departing bustling Havelock North with its excellent shopping and cafes, you follow the Tuki Tuki river trail through apple orchard and vineyard country.  See the orchardists trimming the trees and sometimes ‘frisky’ cattle joining you on the trail as you make your way towards the coast (10km). 

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 follow Marine Parade lined with the iconic Norfolk Palm trees that are so recognized 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 also 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 acclaimed Art Deco treasure. Lock up your bike at the information centre and take a stroll around the town to take in the fascinating facades and distinctive architectural styles of the 1930’s.  

A short cycle around the port then brings you back to Ahuriri and the end of your adventure! 

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