The Kaikoura Trail cycle tour is a collection of bike rides that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s lovely North Canterbury, Kaikoura & Marlborough regions.
This tour is great for people who enjoy wine tasting and pampering themselves, with the thermal hot pools and spa at Hanmer Springs which guarantees relaxation. The food is also a highlight of this trip!
The 186km Kaikoura Trail cycle tour features 85% cycling on sealed roads and 15% cycling on gravel roads and trail. The riding is rated Grade 1 and there are a few gentle hills that can be skipped if desired.
There is vehicle support available at all times throughout the cycle tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
Kaikoura Trail Cycle Tour Highlights
- Enjoy 186km of cycling featuring country landscapes, wild coastlines & vineyards
- Cycle alongside vineyards at Waipara and Marlborough
- Relax in Hanmer Springs Thermal Hot Pools
- Explore the stunning Kaikoura Coastline post-quake
- Spend two nights in Kaikoura and take an optional whale watch cruise
- Partake in a wine tour and tasting at Yealand’s Family Estate
- Enjoy winery lunches in Waipara & Marlborough
- Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Day 1 Christchurch to Hanmer Springs
The Marlborough Wine Trail cycle tour gets underway as we head north to the Waipara grape growing region. Here we commence our first bike ride (13km) which takes you on a tour of the Waipara countryside and vineyards, before enjoying lunch at a cellar door. After lunch we travel a short distance in our support vehicle to our next cycle ride, through the lovely Scargill Valley, dotted with some of the farms original homesteads (22km). At the conclusion of the days cycling we head to the alpine resort town of Hanmer Springs and our accommodation. Enjoy a soak in the thermal hot pools, before our evening meal.
Cycle Distance: 35km
Day 2 Hanmer Springs – Kaikoura
We head out of the Hanmer Basin on a short drive to our cycle ride, which follows the Waiau River flats to the township of Waiau (26km). After exploring the village and enjoying a picnic lunch, we head towards the rugged Kaikoura Coast and cycle on a quiet rural road that takes us alongside the wild Pacific Coast (17km). We transfer a short distance to Kaikoura and our seaside accommodation for the next two nights. Enjoy a meal featuring fresh local seafood, straight from the fishing boats.
Cycle Distance: 43km
Day 3 Kaikoura
This morning enjoy a stunning 16km ride around the Kaikoura Bay to the tip of the Kaikoura Peninsula. You can then enjoy a walk over the spectacular Kaikoura Peninsula to South Bay. Enjoy a picnic lunch with stunning views of the sea and the mountains. The remainder of the day is set aside for you to take up any optional whale watching activities, or sea kayaking etc. See further details in the trip notes document.
Cycle Distance: 16km
Day 4 St Kaikoura – Blenheim
We travel along the stunning Kaikoura Coast, where the land changes following the November 2016 earthquakes are amazing to see as we travel north. At the settlement of Kekerengu, do a 10km cycle into a quiet river valley. We lunch in the seaside cafe before a visit to Winterhome, a stunning garden of national significance which you can take your time exploring. Continuing north our next ride begins at Lake Grassmere. Ride 13km through extensive grape plantations to Yealand’s Estate Winery. Yealand’s is a world leader in sustainable wine production and as well as tasting the wines there is an opportunity to tour the spectacular Seaview vineyard. From here it is a short drive over to Blenheim and our accommodation for the next two evenings.
Cycle Distance: 23km
Day 5 Blenheim
Today is your opportunity to discover and taste the award winning wines of Marlborough by bike. From our base in Blenheim, cycle along the Taylor River out of suburbia and onto the scenic rural roads that dissect the sea of vineyards that line the Wairau Plains. We stop off at numerous wineries where you are welcome to taste the local wines, get a coffee, or simply relax in the serene grounds. Stop at as many or as little wineries as you’d like throughout the day. We meet up for lunch at Allan Scott winery, with further tasting opportunities at the famed Cloudy Bay Winery. We terminate the cycle ride here and transfer to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre where there is the option to view the impressive Knights of the Sky exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. Back in Blenheim we enjoy a celebratory meal together.
Cycle Distance: 38km
Day 6 Blenheim – Christchurch
This morning we enjoy another 15km ride amongst the grape vines on a river terrace above the Awatere River. We then head south back along the Kaikoura Coast, cycling or walking parts of the stunning coastline as development allows. After a refreshment stop at Kaikoura we return to Christchurch, arriving in the city by 5.00pm. Alternatively you can finish your journey in Blenheim after breakfast or Kaikoura after lunch.
Cycle Distance: 15km
18 Feb 2019
13 Mar 2019
14 Apr 2019
14 Oct 2019
18 Nov 2019
23 Dec 2019
1 Jan 2020
20 Jan 2020
24 Feb 2020
9 Mar 2020
23 Mar 2020
6 Apr 2020
What’s included in the tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 6 lunches; 5 breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- wine tour and tasting at Yealand’s Family Estate
- visit to Winterhome Garden of National Significance
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader (since 2017)
Kevin has recently retired to Ohoka, Christchurch, after working 35 years as an IT manager in the Education and Local Government sectors. Both Kevin and wife Karen are passionate about the outdoors and have participated in most North and South Island cycling events. Kevin is a keen sportsperson, a doting grandfather (aka Pop) and has recently rekindled his love for acrylic landscape painting. Kevin joins the team after having completed two PureTrails tours with friends (as a customer!) and looks forward to introducing visitors to spectacular South Island vistas and rewarding cycling adventures.
Customer Service/Operations/Logistics (Founder and Managing Director)
Hilary is at the helm of 'mission control', and is the person who answers your call or email. After travelling the world for several years and working in tourism on her big 'OE', Hilary came home and fell in love with NZ once again and in particular, the South Island. With a love of the outdoors and marketing background she teamed up with her mother to form 'PureTrails'. Hilary enjoys photography, cycling, walking, gardening, and being a mum to Josie & Sullivan.