Cycling Hawkes Bay on the north island in New Zealand has been made even easier, with the recent completion of three national cycling trails across the region. The first off road pathway was opened in 2002 in Napier with the support of Napier City and local Rotary Clubs. A decade on and the 200+ kms of trails have established Hawkes Bay as one of the great cycling regions in New Zealand.
Beautiful coastal scenery, rural landscapes, stunning wetlands and waterways and over 70 top class wineries and cellar doors, make cycling Hawkes Bay a must do for any trip to New Zealand. Blessed with over 2200 hours of sunshine annually, and cooled by South Pacific sea breezes, Hawkes Bay enjoys Mediterranean type weather often likened to Bordeaux.
Marist Missionaries from France saw the opportunity, and planted the region’s first vines in 1851, for sacremental purposes. But little did they know Hawkes Bay would become New Zealand’s leading wine region. Centred predominantly around the cities of Napier and Hastings, the Hawkes Bay wine region produces many grape varieties but has chardonnay as the most planted grape.
Cycling Hawkes Bay NZ
Cycling Hawkes Bay is made even more accessible to all cycling abilities as it’s pretty much flat, and the trails are off road and well maintained. The dedicated Wineries Ride is of course our favourite. Covering 32kms in the fertile Heretuaunga Plains, bordered by the Ngaruroro River and Hastings City, the ride is over flat terrain with gorgeous vineyard vistas and numerous cellar doors. The ‘Water Ride’ is an easier, shorter trail that meanders through the wetlands and out to the coast, and the ‘Landscape Ride’ makes up the third trail, which explores the coastal communities of Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton which border the coastline iconic Cape Kidnappers (home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony and one of the world’s top 40 golf courses).
How to Get to Hawkes Bay
Access to Hawkes Bay is easy. There is an airport in Napier with easy connections via Auckland or Wellington with Air New Zealand. Driving is also made easy with a single highway route from Auckland (5 hours) or Wellington (4 hours), with both routes offering gorgeous rural scenery and plenty of stop options.
Wineries of Hawkes Bay
With over 70 wineries in Hawkes Bay there is plenty of choice. Some of our favourite cellar doors are:
Mission Estate: http://www.missionestate.co.nz/
Te Awa Winery: http://www.teawa.com/
Craggy Range: http://www.craggyrange.com/
Black Barn Vineyard: http://www.blackbarn.com/
Church Road: http://www.churchroad.co.nz/
FInd out about our exclusive guided long weekend tour over the Easter holiday break April 17-21 2014.