Photo courtesy of Hawke’s Bay Trails, www.nzcycletrail.com/hawkes-bay-trails.
Looking for an easy way to see all that Hawkes Bay has on offer this summer? Then jump on your bike!
Hawkes Bay features one of the country’s most extensive cycle networks, making up part of the overall Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail Project. From humble beginnings in 2002 with the opening of the very first Napier off-road pathway, the Hawkes Bay network has grown to encompass over 200kms around the region, and now has the honour of being known as one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Rides’.
There are three established ‘Rides’ within the Hawkes Bay network – the Water Ride, the Landscape Ride, and the famous (or infamous!) Wineries Ride – catering for all fitness and ability levels for kids and adults alike. The Water Ride is a great place to start as it offers a flat ride with plenty of starting points. This trail encompasses Napier and its surrounding areas and offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. This is an easy ride perfect for families, and there are plenty of places to stop for a breather, or a latte, before heading back off again.
The Landscape Ride is a great way to sample the coastal communities of the Bay, and offers a bit more of a challenge for intrepid cycle travelers. This trail follows the coast, providing the chance to explore the communities that lie around it. The trail also provides the opportunity to explore the idyllic Tuki Tuki valley in Havelock North where the impressive heights of Te Mata Peak keep vigil.
The Wineries Ride is one of the most sociable trails that Hawkes Bay has to offer, heading into the Heretaunga Plains and surrounding areas of Hastings, and offering a mix of off- and on-road riding. Head through the Gimblett Gravels region where some of country’s best wineries lie. Stop off at the Te Awa Winery, a leafy paradise that features many a Hawkes Bay wedding at this time of year, or take in the delights of world renowned Sileni Estate.
And if straying off the beaten track suits you better, take the opportunity to try out some of the shorter rides, featuring pub and restaurant stops, amazing views, and a path to the world famous Rush Munro Ice Cream Parlour. For more information on the adventures that lie ahead of you during your time in Hawkes Bay, Hawkes Bay Tourism provides a wealth of knowledge and tips.
A hop and a skip away from the Taradale leg of the Hawkes Bay trails is Colonial Lodge Motel which offers the perfect start and end point for your adventure. The Colonial Lodge Motel offers a range of accommodation options to suit even the most discerning traveller, providing a great location for starting your Hawkes Bay trail adventure from!