The Heretaunga Plains are known in Maori lore as the ‘Land of a Hundred Pathways’ and thanks to the development of the ‘Hawke’s Bay Trails’ so this is once again proving to be true!
Originally born out of the vision of the then Mayor of Napier, Barbara Arnott, to create a seaside pathway for Napier, The Rotary Pathway Trust was formed in 2002. The first section of pathway was constructed from Bay View to the Esplanade in Westshore and was immediately a ‘hit’ with the public. More ambitious plans immediately began to build a pathway along Marine Parade and the coast to Awatoto.
In 2009, Prime Minister John Key – as the 21st ‘surprise’ item of the national Job Summit held by the New Zealand Government – proposed the idea of building a cycling route to run the length of New Zealand ‘from Kaitaia to Bluff’. Although the original idea of a direct route was abandoned in favour of linking a network of existing paths and new sections, the project has been outstandingly popular. Termed the ‘Great Rides’, to sit alongside the ‘Great Walks’ system of famous tramping tracks, the individual routes are to be connected into a New Zealand-wide network forming Nga-Harenga, the N.Z. Cycle Trail.
The Hawke’s Bay Trails comprise three fully completed ‘Great Rides’ being the Water Ride, the Wineries Ride and the Landscapes Ride. Together they total 200kms of mostly off-road trails that crisscross the region and link most of the attractions in Napier, Hastings and Havelock North. Each route is unique in its own way. From luscious, green grapevines and orchards to low-lying wetlands where cyclists can pause to view rare wading birds and wildlife. Sweeping coastal paths give way to river trails atop Dutch style stopbanks giving an elevated view of the surrounding scene. Then there’s the lightly forested sections of the Puketapu Loop where the air is full of the scent of wild thyme and fennel. An ever-changing view!
Cycling expert Jonathan Kennett describes the Hawke’s Bay Trails as affording ‘the closest you can get to a European cycling holiday in N.Z.’ The trails are wide, smooth and mostly flat, perfect for enjoying the stunning countryside fuelled by some the finest food and wine to be found anywhere in the country……all well earned, guilt-free calories!
A cycle tour to suit you.
Takaro Trails has several exciting trail itineraries to choose from.
- Day rides from 2 – 6 hours
- Privately guided day tours
- Three and five day self-guided tours
- Our all new luxury collection, multi-day tours featuring some of the regions finest lodges
All Takaro Trails itineraries carry a ‘difficulty grading’ to help indicate the effort and cycling confidence required to fully enjoy your chosen itinerary.
It goes like this:
Easy: Flat, primarily off road, approx. 30-40km per day. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Moderate: Mainly flat with some gentle hills, largest percentage off road, 40-55km per day. Some level of cycle confidence recommended.
Challenging: Some challenging days with multiple hills requiring extra effort. Elevation charts available on itinerary pdfs. A combination of country roads and off road trails, up to 65km per day. You should be training at least 2 or 3 days per week prior to your tour and have good cycle confidence to enjoy these tours.
If you have any concerns about choosing the best itinerary for you please don’t hesitate to email or call us to discuss the options so we can help you get it right!
Our bikes are primarily Scott Sub touring bikes which feature 24 gears, front suspension, comfortable gel saddles and are fully equipped with panniers, odometers, locks, bottle holder and emergency repair kits.
We also now offer high quality E Bikes for multi day and guided day tours. A surcharge of $50.00 per day applies.
For safety reasons all cyclists must wear a correctly-fitted, legally compliant helmet. Tākaro Trails can provide a helmet but you are very welcome to bring your own.
Our accommodation partners….
Hawke’s Bay abounds with a wonderful variety of accommodation to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a selection of the great properties we partner with for our tours.
Pre & post tour options in Ahuriri and Westshore:
Pre & post tour options in Central Napier
Havelock North Motor Lodge – Motel / Motor Lodge pricing
Wine Country Motor Lodge – Motel / Motor Lodge pricing
St Andrews Escape – B&B / Boutique Lodge pricing
Porters Hotel – B&B / Boutique Lodge pricing
Portmans Motor Lodge – Motel / Motor Lodge pricing